Category Archives: Lists

Football Not Required: Most Powerful Colleges Who Dominate Financially Without Athletics

I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination. – Jimmy Dean

There seems to be an acute misconception among many HBCU alumni these days that a college or university simply can not be successful or powerful without football. The craze created by the “success” of Deion Sanders at Jackson State University and the thought of replicating it at Bethune-Cookman University with Ed Reed has sent the athletic debate into a piranha like feeding frenzy. Despite realities that every college with a major football program all spend more on research than they do on athletics, something not true at many football crazed HBCUs is perpetually disturbing. The University of Texas which many hold up as an example of how much money can be made on sports spends approximately $310 million annually on auxiliary enterprises (i.e. athletics), but spends $610 million annually on research. The thirteen institutions that comprise the University of Texas system spend $686.2 million on auxiliary enterprises, but spends $3 billion on research. If the priority is not clear, then it should be. But many will and have argued that they are able to do that because of football (of which there is no data to support the notion). It leads many HBCU alumni to believe that without athletics and football on the Division I level in particular that a college or university can not succeed financially. So we took a look at America’s most powerful colleges who have no football team or Division III football, but are among the nation’s largest endowments and research spenders. Based on the theory held by most HBCU alumnus, none should be financially well off. However, actual correlation between endowments and research expenditures of colleges and universities would say otherwise.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Division III Football)

Endowment: $27.5 billion

National Rank: 6th

Research Expenditures: $949.0 million

National Rank: 29th

Washington University in St. Louis (Division III Football)

Endowment: $13.5 billion

National Rank: 13th

Research Expenditures: $989.2 million

National Rank: 25th

Emory University (No Football)

Endowment: $11 billion

National Rank: 15th

Research Expenditures: $852.9 million

National Rank: 31st

New York University (No Football)

Endowment: $5.6 billion

National Rank: 26

Research Expenditures: $1.1 billion

National Rank: 23rd

Williams College (Division III Football)

Endowment: $4.2 billion

National Rank: 29

Research Expenditures: $4.9 million

National Rank: 417th

Carnegie Mellon University (Division III Football)

Endowment: $4.0 billion

National Rank: 32

Research Expenditures: $402.4 million

National Rank: 70th

California Institute of Technology (No Football)

Endowment: $3.8 billion

National Rank: 36

Research Expenditures: $438.6 million

National Rank: 62nd

Amherst College (Division III Football)

Endowment: $3.8 billion

National Rank: 37

Research Expenditures: $213.8 million

National Rank: 115th

Wellesley College (No Football)

Endowment: $3.2 billion

National Rank: 43

Research Expenditures: $6.3 million

National Rank: 387th

University of Rochester (Division III Football)

Endowment: $3.2 billion

National Rank: 44

Research Expenditures: $409.3 million

National Rank: 67th

Again, these ten institutions either have no football or play football on the Division III level, which is the lowest of the NCAA levels. Yet, all ten institutions constitute a presence among America’s Top 50 college and university endowments. Each institution by itself has an endowment larger than all HBCUs combined. It is safe to say that their lack of emphasis on athletics has provided the use of those funds for investment in building their infrastructure of research and entrepreneurship. The Kaufmann Foundation in 2016 highlighted just how impactful MIT’s focus on research and entrepreneurship has been. At the time of the report Kaufmann found that, “MIT alumni have launched 30,200 active companies, employing roughly 4.6 million people, and generating roughly $1.9 trillion in annual revenues. That revenue total falls between the world’s ninth-largest GDP, Russia ($2.097 trillion), and the 10th-largest, India ($1.877 trillion), according to 2013 data on those and other countries from the International Monetary Fund.” Those revenues in 2016 are greater than African America’s buying power ($1.6 trillion) today. The number of those employed by MIT alumni companies alone would be equivalent to over 20 percent of African America’s labor force.

The reality that all of these ten schools have larger endowments than all HBCUs combined and four of them have larger research budgets than all HBCUs combined, but also that all ten of them spend less than HBCUs do on athletics combined is telling. Because athletics is what we see the most it is the thing that we equate with the most power and fortune, when in reality it is often what you do not see that is actually the most powerful and provides wealth. There is a stark difference between rich and wealthy and there are no wealthy athletes either individually or institutionally. Our continued use of limited resources chasing low hanging fruit that we think is high is a detriment to our long-term sustainability. With colleges and universities in far better financial condition than many HBCUs closing down there is an overdue reckoning coming to higher education institutions and those who do not have their financial houses not just in order but are focused on the fundamental building blocks that are necessary for an institution to remain relevant and add value to society is acute. Whether we like it or not, athletics is a luxury and an entertainment, and for institutions with the limitations in resources that we have it is potentially one of the most reckless uses of those limited resources. These schools are models of what is possible of success and power when institutions of higher learning – imagine that – focus on the development of a people’s mind. Minds that can solve problems, create intellectual property, form companies, and more to the benefit of the HBCU ecosystem far longer than a body can and at much greater impact.

Source(s): NACUBO, NSF

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

The 2019-2020 SWAC/MEAC Athletic Financial Review

In the fourth HBCU Money report on the SWAC/MEAC’s athletic finances, there has been one trend that is consistent – an acute amount of red on the balance sheet of each respective HBCU as it pertains to their athletic departments and it continues to grow redder and redder. Since HBCU Money first began reporting the SWAC/MEAC Athletic Financial Review, there have been losses of $128.6 million (2014-2015), $147.1 million (2016-2017), $150.7 million (2017-2018), and this year they continue their trend of the athletic black hole with losses over $161 million through athletics with no correction in sight. Not exactly the cash generating juggernauts that HBCU alumni have in mind when it comes to how deeply many believe that athletics can be the financial savior to HBCU financial prosperity. Instead, athletics seems to be potentially at the crux of many HBCU financial woes. Almost unfathomable is that many in the SWAC/MEAC have athletic budgets higher than their research budgets.

The harsh reality is that even with all the popularity buzz generated by Jackson State University’s head football coach, Deion Sanders, the factors working against HBCU athletics ever achieving real profitability remains a pipe dream at best. To land a major television contract, which is the only reason on mass that the SEC and Big 10 are the profitable athletic programs they are requires something that HBCU alumni bases severely lack. Large fan bases that have high incomes and an affluence. The harsh reality that HBCUs have small alumni bases, a reality that has been exacerbated post-desegregation where now HBCUs only get 9 percent of African Americans in college, combined with African America having both the lowest median income and wealth do not make for a recipe for advertisers to pay top dollar to television stations who would then healthily compensate HBCU institutions. HBCU athletics can be profitable, but it requires a completely different business model than our PWI counterparts. See, “The 5 Steps To HBCU Athletic Profitability”.

HBCU athletic revenues went down while expenses and subsidies went up in 2019-2020. That is usually a trend all would prefer be flipped. Students continue to bear the brunt of generating HBCU athletic revenues. This year’s review shows that approximately 73 percent of HBCU athletic revenues are generated through subsidies, up from 70 percent the year prior. Something to consider when 90 percent of HBCU students graduate with student loan debt.

REVENUES (in millions)

Total: $200.4 (down 1.2% from 2017-2018)

Median: $10.3 (down 4.6% from 2017-2018)

Average: $10.6  (up 5.0% from 2017-2018)

Highest revenue: Prairie View A&M University  $18.7 million

Lowest revenue: Coppin State University  $2.8 million

EXPENSES (in millions)

Total: $213.0 (up 0.5% from 2017-2018)

Median: $12.5 (up 15.7% from 2017-2018)

Average: $11.2 (up 5.7% from 2017-2018)

Highest expenses: Prairie View A&M University  $18.7 million

Lowest expenses: Mississippi Valley State University  $3.9 million

SUBSIDY

Total: $148.4 (up 4.9% from 2017-2018)

Median: $6.4 (down 18.4% from 2017-2018)

Average: $7.1 (unchanged from 2017-2018)

Highest subsidy: Prairie View A&M University $15.5 million

Lowest subsidy: Coppin State University $1.7 million

Highest % of revenues: Delaware State University: 92.0%

Lowest % of revenues: Florida A&M University: 37.0%

PROFIT/LOSS (W/ SUBSIDY)

Total: $-12.7 million (down 40.0% from 2017-2018)

Median: $0 (up 100.0% from 2017-2018)

Average: $-666,295 (down 46.3% from 2017-2018)

Highest profit/loss: North Carolina A&T State University  $615,094

Lowest profit/loss: North Carolina Central University  $-6,264,082

PROFIT/LOSS (W/O SUBSIDY)

Total: $-161.0 million (down 6.8% from 2017-2018)

Median: $-9.8 million (down 40.0% from 2017-2018)

Average: $-8.5 million (down 13.3% from 2017-2018)

Highest profit/loss: Mississippi Valley State University  $-2,177,123

Lowest profit/loss: Prairie View A&M University  $-15,417,471

CONCLUSION: At current, it would take an approximately $4.3 billion endowment dedicated to athletics to ween the SWAC/MEAC off of these subsidies onto a sustainable path. A sum greater than all HBCU endowments combined. Perhaps through merchandise sales, Jackson State could see its way to profitability without subsidies. Perhaps, but as former HBCU alumnus and NFL Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe recently said, “There is only one Deion Sanders”. One thing is for certain, HBCUs have not done a proper cost-benefit analysis for the money they spend and subsidize to their athletic departments nor have they explored potential alternative models.

Editor’s Note: Howard and Bethune-Cookman are excluded in this report because they are private institutions and their athletic finances were not included in this report.

Source: USA Today

GENTRIFIED – The Ten HBCUs With The Least African Americans On Campus

My experiences at Princeton have made me far more aware of my ‘blackness’ than ever before. I have found that at Princeton, no matter how liberal and open-minded some of my white professors and classmates try to be toward me, I sometimes feel like a visitor on campus; as if I really don’t belong. – Michelle Obama

A look at enrollment statistics from the National Center for Education Statistics show that currently of the HBCUs that receive federal funding (colleges such as Chicago State, Malcolm X College, and a few colleges are excluded because of the federal definition* of what an HBCU is defined as.) The problem of course with not amending that definition leaves no room for the evolution or expansion of the funding. It also continues to mean that others define us more than we define us. The acute tragedy of it means more importantly that money designated for building of African America’s higher education interest is being siphoned off by other communities. In some cases extremely so and that extreme is that on our list seven of the ten HBCUs listed have less than 50 percent of their student body being of African descent. 

T1. Saint Philip’s College (TX) – 9.2%

T1. West Virginia State University (W. VA) – 9.2%

2. Bluefield State College (W. VA) – 9.5%

3. Gadsden State Community College (AL) – 17.2%

4. Shelton State Community College (AL) – 35.2%

5. Lincoln University of Missouri (MO) – 46.2%

6. University of the District of Columbia School of Law (D.C.) – 47.5%

7. Central State University (OH) – 52.7%

8. Bishop State Community College (AL) – 58.9%

9. Fayetteville State University (NC) – 59.6%

10. Edward Waters College (FL) – 61.8%

These schools are the worst of the bunch, but by no means isolated. There are a number of HBCUs where the trend line shows a decreasing population of African descent against the total population of the school and were we to increase our cutoff to 70 percent, a considerable number of additional schools would have been added. This trend is in line with the recent release from the NCES stating, “The percentage of Black students enrolled at HBCUs fell from 18 percent in 1976 to 8 percent in 2014 and then increased to 9 percent in 2020.” What does it mean for African America’s higher educational interest that HBCUs are seeing their leadership and recruitment focused on taking ethnic diversity to a potential extreme? To the point where the school’s would no longer hold or be a cultural asset to African America? These are the questions that need to be asking in urgency, because for the institutions that remaining an African American institution is important too, then strengthening their K-12 pipeline for African American high school graduates is an urgent conversation to be had. That HBCUs do not focus on an Afrocentric definition of diversity, people of African descent from different parts of the Diaspora, African Americans from different geographies, economic backgrounds, religious backgrounds, etc. would still provide diversity shows we often take our cues for higher educational direction from PWIs and not a collection of our own thoughts.

It also more importantly begs the question that if an HBCU is only Black in historic terms only, should their federal funding be redistributed to HBCUS/PBIs who are still serving the higher educational interest of African America. The HBCUs listed (excluding UDC’s law school) received $280 million of the $2.7 billion in federal funding from American Rescue Plan Investment in Historically Black Colleges and Universities most recently, but given their populations, arguably very little is going to help African American students, their families, or our communities. Is the goal for the funding to be substantive to African American higher education development or just symbolic because without absolute consideration to that point, then we are simply getting more of the latter and not the former. 

HBCU Money’s 2021 Top 10 HBCU Endowments

If there was a short analysis of the 2021 HBCU endowment list it would be this – still not enough. Despite record breaking donations toward HBCUs from Mackenzie Scott and others in 2020-2021, the PWI-HBCU endowment gap among the Top 10 PWIs and HBCUs continues to balloon, a gap that stands at a staggering $121 to $1. This despite a 35 percent increase by the Top 10 HBCU endowments from last year. Simply put, winning the philanthropic “lottery” is not enough and it never will be when it comes to closing the endowment gap. The rabbit never beats the tortoise to put it another way. HBCUs must find a way to find consistent capital infusions over time as opposed to lighting quick one-offs.

The HBCU donor pool is simply too small and too poor (relatively speaking) to close the endowment gap. Without increasing the percentage of African Americans college students who go to HBCUs from 10 percent to 25-30 percent, it does not bode well for HBCUs to be able to close the endowment gap through traditional means. HBCUs and their alumni are going to have to be more creative and must be so expeditiously. While this is the most HBCU endowments we have ever reported with $100 million or greater, increasing from five in 2020 to seven in 2021, PWIs saw an 25 percent increase in the number of endowments over $2 billion going from 55 to 69 and an equally 25 percent rise in the number of endowments over $1 billion going from 114 to 142. This while HBCUs are still waiting for their first billion dollar endowment.

To that point, the race between Howard and Spelman is tightening. Last year’s $334 million lead that Howard held over Spelman has shrunk to $265 million. At one point it seemed a foregone conclusion that Howard would reach the milestone first (The Race To The First Billion Dollar HBCU Endowment: Can Anyone Catch Howard?), that is no longer the case. Howard’s public relations over the past year have not been favorable and while many people say all press is good press – not when you are an African American institution. With Hampton and North Carolina A&T’s departure from the MEAC, no HBCU conference (CIAA, GCAC, MEAC, SIAC, SWAC) is dominating the Top 10 and the list is split 50/50 between private and public HBCUs as well. Arguably this is the most diverse Top 10 HBCU endowment list since we first began publishing, but one thing remains feverishly consistent and that is there is a lot of work to be done to ensure HBCU endowments and therefore the institutions of HBCUs are sustainable and thriving.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Top 10 HBCU Endowment Total – $2.7 billion
  • Top 10 PWI Endowment Total – $328.7 billion
  • Number of PWIs Above $2 billion – 69
  • Number of PWIs Above $1 billion – 142
  • HBCU Median – $97.8 million (33.7%)
  • NACUBO Median – $200.4 million (25.8%)
  • HBCU Average – $203.8 million (53.6%)
  • NACUBO Average – $1.2 billion (35.2%)

All values are in millions ($000)*

1. Howard University – $795,203 (11.6%)

2. Spelman College – $530,399 (40.3%)

3.  Hampton University – $379,992 (35.4%)

4.  Morehouse College – $278,073 (77.0%)

5.  Meharry Medical College – $186,943 (19.3%)

6. North Carolina A&T State University  – $157,336 (113.2%)

7. Florida A&M University – $118,635 (24.4%)

8. Morgan State University$97,783 (162.9%)

9. Tennessee State University – $91,120 (33.2%)

10. The University of the Virgin Islands – $82,863 (23.9%)

OTHERS REPORTING:

*The change in market value does NOT represent the rate of return for the institution’s investments. Rather, the change in the market value of an endowment from FY20 to FY21 reflects the net impact of:
1) withdrawals to fund institutional operations and capital expenses;
2) the payment of endowment management and investment fees;
3) additions from donor gifts and other contributions; and
4) investment gains or losses.

SOURCE: NACUBO

Take a look at how an endowment works. Not only scholarships to reduce the student debt burden but research, recruiting talented faculty & students, faculty salaries, and a host of other things can be paid for through a strong endowment. It ultimately is the lifeblood of a college or university to ensure its success generation after generation.