Men struggling to finish at Black colleges

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MEMPHIS, Tennessee – They’re no longer the only option for African-American students, but the country’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities brag that they provide a supportive environment where these students are more likely to

MEMPHIS, Tennessee – They’re no longer the only option for African-American students, but the country’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities brag that they provide a supportive environment where these students are more likely to succeed.

That, though, is not necessarily true.

An Associated Press analysis of government data on the 83 federally designated four-year HBCUs shows just 37 percent of their Black students finish a degree within six years. That’s four percentage points lower than the national college graduation rate for Black students.

One major reason: the struggles of Black men. Just 29 percent of HBCU males complete a bachelor’s degree within six years, the AP found.

A few HBCUs, like Howard and all-female Spelman, have much higher graduation rates, exceeding the national averages for both Black and white students. But others are clustered among the worst-performing colleges in the country. At 38 HBCUs, fewer than one in four men who started in 2001 had completed a bachelor’s degree by 2007, the data show. At Texas Southern, Voorhees, Edward Waters and Miles College, the figure was under 10 percent.

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Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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