2022 African American High School Graduation Rate by HBCU/PBI States

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. – Benjamin Franklin

Only one HBCU/PBI state has an African American high school graduation rate above 90 percent (Maryland) and only one has a high school graduation rate below 80 percent (Mississippi). The U.S. high school graduation rate is 90.04 percent, while the African American high school graduation rate is 87 percent. There are 23 HBCU/PBI states and only five have an African American high school graduation rate above the African American national average and only one is above the overall national average.

This does not even begin to address the extreme direness that is African American male graduation rate which among the most recent reports by the Schott Foundation shows the African American male high school graduation rate at 59 percent, lowest among all groups in the U.S. Unfortunately, that data is from 2015 so where exactly it stands in the current is hard to know. Any assumption that is has improved greatly or that males have moved out of last place can be quickly dowsed with the gender gap review of colleges and universities and HBCUs in particular. The result is that on campuses like Howard University there are almost 75 percent women and just barely above 25 percent men.

Making the future for forming African American families and equitable partnerships that much more complicated. An argument that African American communities hyper focus Black boys on sports from an early age and Black girls on academics certainly must be part of the conversation. The educational achievement spectrum shows an immense gender gap across all levels of educational obtainment. Further complicating this dynamic is in employment African American women have almost one million more jobs than men. There is no other group where the women outnumber the men in terms of employment. What came first, the chicken or the egg? Did low education lead to low employment or vice versa?

What is for certain is that the future of HBCUs lie in more investment in early childhood through 12th grade education. A conversation of how HBCUs, their alumni, and other organizations can invest in a more coordinated and strategic way to impact the pipeline of African Americans that will ultimately matriculate to college is vitally necessary. If HBCUs could show themselves at the vanguard of that movement, then perhaps HBCUs would see an increase in the market share of African Americans who go to college choosing HBCUs. As it stands, while the populations at HBCUs are increasing, the percentage of African American students who go to college choosing HBCUs remains at around 9 to 10 percent.

Maryland – 90.23%

California – 89..78%

Texas – 89.77%

Delaware – 89.27%

Oklahoma – 89.09%

Georgia – 86.67%

Illinois – 86.52%

Missouri – 86.37%

Pennsylvania – 86.35%

Kentucky – 86.21%

Michigan – 86.14%

Tennessee – 85.99%

Virginia – 85.95%

Ohio – 85.86%

North Carolina – 85.56%

Massachusetts – 85.55%

New York – 83.82%

Arkansas – 83.64%

Alabama – 83.22%

Florida – 83.21%

South Carolina – 82.49%

Louisiana – 80.06%

Mississippi – 79.71%

Source: World Population Review

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