Spotlight on: Affordable Private HBCUs

One of the biggest myths about HBCUs is that they are "expensive."  The reality is that, on average, HBCUs are approximately 1/3 less expensive than their counterparts.  Even the HBCUs where tuition is highest (Hampton, Howard, Morehouse, Spelman, Tuskegee and Xavier) are much less costly than other private colleges in the same area.  Additionally, there are quite a few private HBCUs that have received high marks for their affordability.  This list features colleges that have been ranked highly by multiple sources (including Best Value Colleges,, Washington Monthly, HBCU Lifestyle) for providing great value, being affordable and/or providing great financial aid & scholarships.

For clarity:

*This is not a listing of actual tuition costs.  It is highlighting HBCUs that have been recognized for affordability.*

Private colleges charge students the same rate regardless of their state of residence. 

Colleges are listed alphabetically.  

Learn more about the most affordable PUBLIC HBCUs here

Published 2017

Claflin University
(Orangeburg, South Carolina)

Claflin University has been noted as a "Best Value Small College" and a "Best Deal on Small Colleges" for Intellectuals, Sports Management and Computer Science.  It was also featured as one of the "Most Affordable Small Colleges in America."

Florida Memorial University
(Miami Gardens, Florida)

The only HBCU in southern Florida, FMU has been recognized as one of the "Most Affordable Small Private Colleges."  It is considered a "Best Value" for pursuing a degree in biology, criminal justice and business administration.  

Huston-Tillotson University
(Austin, Texas)

Huston-Tillotson benefits from being located in Austin, considered one of the most affordable college towns in the country.  It is listed among the "most affordable small private HBCUs" and included among the most affordable "small private colleges" in the nation.

Johnson C. Smith University
(Charlotte, North Carolina)

Johnson C. Smith is recognized for its great value and affordability, specifically for sports management, biology, computer science and business.  It is ranked as one of the 'most affordable small private colleges' in the US.

Lane College 
(Jackson, Tennessee)

Lane was ranked as the #2 college in affordability among 'small private HBCUs' and is considered one of the best values in the state of Tennessee.  

LeMoyne-Owen College
(Memphis, Tennessee)

Like Huston-Tillotson, LeMoyne-Owen is located in a city that is considered one of the nation's most affordable college towns.  It's business and biology programs are considered 'Best Values.'  The college is also identified as one of the country's most affordable small colleges.  

Paine College
(Augusta, Georgia)

Listed as #7 among the most 'affordable small private HBCUs,' Paine's biology and business programs are considered 'Best Values.'  In the state of Georgia, it is also considered a "Best Value.'

Rust College
(Holly Springs, Mississippi)

The alma mater of Ida B. Wells was recently proclaimed the 2nd cheapest college in the nation.  Rust is considered one of the most afforable places to study journalism, social work and political science.  

Tougaloo College
(Tougaloo, Mississippi)

In addition to being named one of the most affordable HBCUs in the nation, Tougaloo was ranked the #3 best value in the state of Mississippi.  

Voorhees College
(Denmark, South Carolina)

Voorhees is the only college in South Carolina in the top 100 in the nation for affordability.  The sports management and criminal justice programs are considered 'best values.'

Three other private colleges to check out

Paul Quinn College (Dallas, Texas) Paul Quinn recently became the 1st urban "work college" and the 1st HBCU to receive this designation.  The program requires students to work 10 to 20 hours a week and helps reduce student tuition by $10,000.  The college estimates that a student who recieves the maximum Pell Grant amount will owe $1303 per school year, meaning they can graduate with less than $5000 in debt.  

Stillman College (Tuscaloosa, Alabama)  In 2015 Stillman made the decision to reduce tuition by 22%.  Full-time students who stay on campus and participate in the most robust meal plan will pay less than $20K per year, This does not take into consideration any financial aid packages or scholarships, which will reduce costs even more.

Tuskegee University (Tuskegee, University) While Tuskegee University is one of the most expensive HBCUs, when simply looking at the cost of tuition per year (without financial aid or scholarships), it has been named a "Best Value" for many of its academic programs and one of the best values in the state based on return on investment- cost of attendance (and amount owed in student loans) compared to the amout earned after graduating.

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