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Most Affordable Historically Black Colleges in the U.S.

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By BVS Staff

Historically black colleges and universities were first established soon after the Civil War when Southern states still practiced segregation in schools. These HCBUs, as they have come to be known, provided places for freed African Americans to earn a quality education. Today, there are over 100 historically black colleges and universities in the United States, and they continue to support African American students as they pursue excellence in their respective fields. These are the 50 most affordable.

#50 -Concordia College Alabama

Selma, Alabama


Located in historic Selma, Concordia College Alabama is the only historically black Lutheran college or university in the US. CCA started as a small school taught by the "mother of Black Lutheranism in central Alabama," Rosa Young, and has since grown to be one of the state's best private liberal arts colleges. It offers associate's and bachelor's degrees in five major areas of study, including health sciences, teacher education, and social and behavioral sciences. Students enrolled in this affordable historically black college also enjoy a strong extracurricular and overall college experience through student life programs that emphasize community and personal growth.
Net Price: $21,492

#49 -Paul Quinn College

Dallas, Texas


Founded in 1872 to educate freed slaves and their descendants, Paul Quinn College is one of only eight work colleges in the US, as well as the only urban work college. As a work college, Paul Quinn promotes not only a culture of learning, but also a culture of service. The school is very small compared to other four-year institutions and historically black colleges and universities, but it still provides its students with a quality education in multiple fields, such as legal studies, social entrepreneurship, religious studies, and liberal arts.
Net Price: $17,824

#48 -University of the District of Columbia

Washington, District of Columbia

The University of the District of Columbia is the only public institution of higher learning in DC, as well as the only exclusively urban land-grant university in the nation. It started as two separate normal schools established in the 1870s: Miner Normal School for black girls and Washington Normal School for white girls. After desegregation, these two schools merged. The college was able to slowly provide more opportunities and programs of study to its students through lobbying by district residents and a series of mergers. Today, this affordable historically black college offers 81 undergraduate and graduate programs, the most popular of which include business administration, nursing education, and human development and family studies.
Net Price: $17,676

#47 -Paine College

Augusta, Georgia

Paine College was founded in 1882 by the Methodist Episcopal Church South and the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in order to train recently-freed African-Americans to be teachers and preachers. The curriculum was originally only high school level, but by 1903, enough college-level coursework was offered to justify the school's name change from Paine Institute to Paine College. However, the high school curriculum remained for roughly 40 more years due to there being no other public secondary school for blacks in the area. Today, Paine remains a small college with only about 500 students enrolled. However, the affordable historically black college's curriculum has evolved to include 16 comprehensive bachelor's programs in 16 different subject areas.
Net Price: $17,308

#46 -Huston-Tillotson University

Austin, Texas

Huston-Tillotson University was formed in 1952 by the merger of Samuel Huston College and Tillotson College. It is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and the United Church of Christ, as well as the United Negro College Fund. Since the merger, the university has remained a primarily black college, though it is a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and multi-faith institution that aims to serve a diverse student body. It offers undergraduate degrees in a wide range of fields, including Political Science, Biology, Education, and Environmental Studies. This impressive historically black college also offers a graduate program in Education.
Net Price: $17,088

#45 - Bethune-Cookman University

Daytona Beach, Florida

One of the leading historically black colleges and universities in the country, Bethune-Cookman University was founded in 1904 by Mary McLeod Bethune as a literacy and industrial training school for young African-American girls. Its curriculum and student body expanded gradually starting in 1923 when the school merged with the Cookman Institute of Jacksonville, Florida and became co-ed. It received full accreditation as a junior college in 1931, had its first four-year baccalaureate program approved in 1941, and achieved university status in 2007. It now boasts six graduate programs and roughly 4,000 full-time students. Its most popular majors include nursing, criminal justice, business administration, and mass communication.
Net Price: $16,645

#44 -Shorter College

North Little Rock, Arkansas

Founded in 1886, Shorter College is the only private, two-year historically black college or university in the nation. It is also one of the fastest growing campuses in Central Arkansas. While it only offers a handful of associate's degree programs, the few available programs are strong and provide students with the foundation they need to either transfer into a bachelor's program or further their career. The generalized nature of these programs allows them to be applicable to a wide variety of career paths.
Net Price: $16,644

#43 -Stillman College

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Originally known as Tuscaloosa Institute, Stillman College was founded in 1876 by Reverend Dr. Charles Allen Stillman of the First Presbyterian Church of Tuscaloosa in order to train African-American men for the ministry. It gradually expanded its scope to include a broad liberal arts education, as well as a nurse training school. Today, Stillman still offers multiple bachelor's degrees, as well as a master's degree in elementary education. Popular majors offered by this affordable historically black college include business administration, criminal justice, and special education.
Net Price: $16,414

#42 - Allen University

Columbia, SC

As one of the top historically black colleges and universities in the country, Allen University boasts its title as the first South Carolina university to be founded by African-Americans for African-Americans. It was founded in 1870 in order to educate newly freed slaves, including not only those of university level and age, but also elementary and high school students. After 1933, the university discontinued this grammar school to focus on its college-level programs in theology, law, and teaching. Since then, Allen University has expanded to offer 21 programs in eight different fields, including chemistry, business administration, music, and social science.
Net Price: $15,695

#41 -Philander Smith College

Little Rock, Arkansas

Originally known as Walden Seminary, Philander Smith College was the first attempt west of the Mississippi River to educate freedmen. It was founded in 1877, and in less than ten years expanded its curriculum to become a four-year college. Today, Philander Smith College offers 20 undergraduate programs that emphasize research, study abroad, and other hands-on experiences. Popular majors include business, health and physical education, and psychology. Class sizes are kept small, partly because only about 800 students are enrolled at PSC, but also because meaningful interactions with peers and faculty at this affordable historically black college are a priority.
Net Price: $15,679

#40 -Miles College

Fairfield, Alabama

Miles College was founded in 1898 to promote educated leadership in the African-American community, and it has a rich history of activism, particularly during the Civil Rights Movement. It is a small college, with just over 1,500 students enrolled, but this doesn't mean students at this college have fewer opportunities than those attending a larger institution in the Birmingham area. Multiple degree programs are available in business, communications, education, humanities, social sciences, and mathematics. Students at this affordable historically black college can also take advantage of experiential learning opportunities and extracurricular activities organized by an active Student Life office.
Net Price: $15,646

#39 -Wilberforce University

Wilberforce, Ohio

Named after English abolitionist William Wilberforce, Wilberforce University was the first college to be owned and operated by African-Americans. It was founded in 1856 through a collaboration between the Cincinnati Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church and the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Its curriculum initially focused on teacher training, but has since expanded to include 24 bachelor's programs in different areas of study as well as a master's degree in rehabilitation counseling. Popular majors from this top affordable historically black college include mass media communications, sociology, rehabilitation services, and computer science.
Net Price: $15,345

#38 -Morris College

Sumter, South Carolina

Morris College was founded in 1908 by the Baptist Educational and Missionary Convention of South Carolina. Its curriculum originally included elementary and high school education, but it later narrowed its focus to college-level education. Today, this affordable historically black college offers several bachelor's degree programs in subject areas such as political science, organizational management, early childhood education, and mass communication. All of these programs are designed and taught by committed faculty with real-world experience in their field, so students receive a high-quality education regardless of the major they choose.
Net Price: $14,635

#37 -Fort Valley State University

Fort Valley, Georgia

Fort Valley State University was founded in 1895 as Fort Valley High and Industrial School. Early on, the school leadership adjusted the curriculum to be more like the model used by Alabama's Tuskegee Institute, and has since continued to gradually expand its programs. As Georgia's only 1890 land-grant school, FVSU focuses heavily on its agriculture and STEM programs. Its biology and chemistry programs are among its most popular undergraduate degree programs. This affordable historically black college now also offers nine graduate programs, including MS degrees in Biotechnology, Mental Health Counseling, and Education.
Net Price: $14,342

#36 - Alcorn State University

Lorman, Mississippi

As the very first black land grant college in the US, Alcorn State University has a rich history. The school was founded as part of a state effort to provide an education to the descendants of formerly enslaved Africans, and has grown from a small, male-only institution with only three buildings to one of the leading affordable historically black colleges in the US with hundreds of highly qualified faculty and a campus built on over 1,700 acres of land. Today, Alcorn State offers degrees in over 50 different subject areas on both undergraduate and graduate levels. While this university has grown a lot since it was founded over 140 years ago, students still enjoy many of the benefits of a smaller school, including a close-knit community of peers and meaningful interaction with professors.
Net Price: $14,237

#35 -Virginia University of Lynchburg

Lynchburg, Virginia

Originally known as Virginia Seminary and College, Virginia University of Lynchburg was founded in 1886 to train freedmen in the community to be well-educated ministers, missionaries, and teachers. Self-reliance, racial pride, and faith were and continue to be emphasized in the curriculum and campus culture. The school is one of the smaller historically black colleges and universities, with only about 600 students enrolled, but it still boasts strong school spirit, community, and academic programs. While other subject areas have been added to the curriculum, the religious studies degree programs remain the most popular.
Net Price: $13,949

#34 -Voorhees College

Denmark, South Carolina

Founded in 1897 by a young African-American named Elizabeth Evelyn Wright-Menafee, Voorhees College was the first historically black college and university in South Carolina that was accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. For over 100 years, the college's goal has been to provide students with an education that balances practical career training with a broad liberal arts background. Today, this affordable historically black college offers several BS and BA programs in a wide range of subject areas including accounting, emergency management, theological studies, and biology.
Net Price: $13,851

#33 - Arkansas Baptist College

Little Rock, Arkansas

Originally known as the Minister's Institute, Arkansas Baptist College was founded in 1884 by the Colored Baptists of Arkansas both to train religious leaders in the African-American community and to make general higher education available to young men and women in the community. Today, Arkansas Baptist College is one of the most affordable historically black colleges in the US to offer several degree programs to a small but diverse student body. This includes bachelor's degree programs in business administration, criminal justice, and religious studies, as well as a handful of associate degrees and certificate programs.
Net Price: $13,708

#32 -Wiley College

Marshall, Texas

Founded in 1873, Wiley College is one of the oldest affordable historically black colleges and universities west of the Mississippi River. During the school's first years, the leadership and students faced threats and harassment form racists in the nearby town of Marshall, Texas. However, instead of moving to a less hostile area, the college actually moved closer to the town, setting a great example of resilience against racism. Even under these conditions, the college thrived and expanded in terms of enrollment, property, and programs offered. Today, Wiley College offers over 30 majors, many of which are education-focused.
Net Price: $13,520

#31 -Jarvis Christian College

Hawkins, Texas

Jarvis Christian College was founded in 1913 with the support of Negro Disciples of Christ in Texas and the Christian Woman's Board of Missions to provide industrial and religious training to young African-American men and women in the community. Today, Jarvis Christian College offers several bachelor's degree programs, including a wide range of teacher certification programs. It also offers a handful of associate's degrees, such as General Studies and Religious Studies. This affordable historically black college's most popular majors include Special Education Teaching, Physical Education Teaching, Biology, and Criminal Justice.
Net Price: $13,462

#30 - American Baptist College

Nashville, Tennessee

One of the smaller historically black colleges and universities on our list, American Baptist College was founded in 1924 as a seminary for African-American ministers. It was not only a leader in providing opportunities for black Christian workers, but it also educated many civil rights leaders and became a command post for social justice causes in Nashville. Today, the college is an accredited institution that offers both strong theology programs and programs in secular subjects such as entrepreneurial leadership and behavior studies. While this college doesn't boast the large number of programs many bigger institutions offer, it is a great option for students looking for a quality, affordable education at a smaller school.
Net Price: $13,273

#29 -Tougaloo College

Tougaloo, Mississippi


Tougaloo College was founded in 1869 by local Christian organizations to provide an education to newly freed slaves and their children. From 1871 to 1892, the college served primarily as a teacher education school, but since then, many other subject areas have been added to the curriculum. Today, there are 29 majors for students to choose from, and a handful of them allow students to choose an emphasis to customize their education. This affordable historically black college also boasts a diverse faculty, 70% of whom hold terminal degrees in their field.
Net Price: $12,674

#28 -Talladega College

Talladega, Alabama

Talladega College was founded in 1867 by two former slaves. One of its primary goals was and continues to be teacher education, which was the first collegiate-level program offered. Today, Talladega College offers 17 bachelor's degree programs in subjects such as Mass Media Studies, Public Administration, and Sociology. It is among the smaller historically black colleges and universities on our list, with roughly 1,500 students enrolled. This allows students to benefit from smaller class sizes, a close-knit community of peers, and interaction with professors. However, it is also large enough to offer many benefits larger colleges and universities are able to offer, such as experiential learning opportunities.
Net Price: $12,477

#27 -Langston University

Langston, Oklahoma

Originally known as the Oklahoma Colored Agricultural and Normal University, Langston University was founded in 1897 as a land grant college. It is the only Historically Black College or University in Oklahoma, and it is comprised of three campuses. Like most land grant institutions, Langston University has a focus on agriculture and STEM programs. However, this affordable historically black college does also offer several programs from other subject areas. Some campuses even offer master's and doctoral programs in subjects such as physical therapy and entrepreneurial studies.
Net Price: $12,470

#26 -Texas College

Tyler, Texas

Texas College was founded in 1894 by the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church to educate young African-American men and women in the community. Over time, the curriculum expanded, and today students enrolled at this affordable historically black college can choose from 12 bachelor's degree programs, including mathematics, religion, and social work. Associate's degrees are also offered in general studies and early childhood education. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the low student to faculty ratio and work with professors and advisers to get the most out of their education.
Net Price: $12,212

#25 -Edward Waters College

Jacksonville, Florida

Founded in 1865, Edward Waters College is Florida's oldest independent institution of higher learning and its first institution established for African Americans. This affordable historically black college is still small, with a current enrollment of just over 800 students. However, it has grown significantly in terms of its academic programs and has expanded its land as well. EWC offers eight bachelor's degree programs, including Business Administration, Communications, Biology, and Elementary Education. While this may seem like a fairly small number of degree programs, many of these programs include different tracks or concentrations, which make them very versatile.
Net Price: $11,746

#24 -Lane College

Jackson, Tennessee

Lane College was founded in 1882 by the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in order to provide newly freed African-Americans with an education after the Civil War. The curriculum originally focused on teaching and religion, but by 1896, it had gradually expanded to include natural and physical sciences as well as mathematics. Today, Lane College offers bachelor's degrees in a wide range of subject areas such as biology, engineering, computer science, and mass communication. With just over 1,400 students enrolled, Lane College is one of the smaller historically black colleges and universities in our ranking. This small size allows for better student-teacher interaction and a close-knit community of peers.
Net Price: $11,659

#23 -University of the Virgin Islands

Charlotte Amalie, Virgin Islands

The University of the Virgin Islands was founded in 1962, and its first campus opened the following year. It is the only HBCU located outside of the continental US. UVI started as a small college that only provided associate's degrees, but was quickly able to add bachelor's degrees in liberal arts and education as well as master's programs in business administration and public administration. It was able to further expand its curriculum after it was given land-grant status in 1972. Today, this affordable historically black college is comprised of two campuses as well as three off-campus facilities. These campuses offer a wide range of programs, so no matter what students academic or career goals are, there is a program they can use to achieve that goal.
Net Price: $10,848

#22 -Central State University

Wilberforce, Ohio

Central State University was originally founded as an affiliate of Wilberforce University and it is one of the oldest black-administered institutes of higher education in the nation. It became independent from Wilberforce University in 1947, and it achieved university status in 1965. CSU is a land grant institution, so the curriculum focuses heavily on STEM and agricultural fields. However, this doesn't mean that other subject areas are neglected. While the STEM programs are the most popular, there are also many students who pursue degrees in fine arts or education from this affordable historically black college.
Net Price: $10,840

#21 -Lincoln University

Jefferson City, Missouri

Lincoln University was founded by members of the 62 United States Colored Infantry shortly after the Civil War ended for the purpose of educating newly freed African-Americans. The early curriculum focused on teacher training and combining labor and study, but expanded to include industrial and agricultural courses after it became a land grant institution in 1879. Today, this affordable historically black college offers 50 undergraduate degree programs, as well as a handful of master's degree programs, to a small but diverse student body.
Net Price: $9,950

#20 -Rust College

Holly Springs, Mississippi

Rust College was founded in 1866 as a school for all ages, from elementary school children to high school-level adults. Gradually, more college-level curricula was added, and the elementary and high school programs were slowly phased out to focus on collegiate education. Today, Rust College continues to grow and offers bachelor's and associate's degree in many fields, including business administration, mass communication, and chemistry. Preparation for life after college is a priority at this affordable historically black college, so curriculum is occupation-focused and designed to carefully balance theory and practice.
Net Price: $9,870

#19 -Southwestern Christian College

Terrell, Texas

Southwestern Christian College started in 1948 as a small bible institute with only 45 students. Only a year later, the school purchased property from the recently closed Texas Military College in Terrell and expanded its scope. Today, SCC's curriculum remains simple, but comprehensive and strong. This affordable historically black college offers three degree programs: an AA and an AS in general studies, and a BS in Religious Studies. These programs are designed and taught by highly-qualified faculty, and they thoroughly prepare students for further education.
Net Price: $9,403

#18 -Harris- Stowe State University

St. Louis, Missouri

Harris-Stowe State University is a historically black college that began as two separate normal schools for teacher education: Harris Teachers College and Stowe Teachers College. While Harris was for white students only, Stowe was founded to provide a similar education to future black teachers in the area. These two schools merged in 1954, and went on to expand the curriculum and offer a variety of bachelor's programs in teaching. One of its most unique programs is its BS in Urban Education, which prepares its students to handle the challenges faced by schools in urban settings and to this day, is the only undergraduate program of its kind in the US.
Net Price: $9,172

#17 -LeMoyne-Owen College

Memphis, Tennessee

LeMoyne-Owen College is the result of a 1968 merger between Owen College and LeMoyne Normal and Commercial School, both of which had a history of providing education to African-American students in the Mid-South area. As one of the most versatile historically black colleges and universities on our list, the college offers bachelor's degree programs in 23 areas of study, including urban leadership, chemistry, child development and family studies, and computer science. All programs are occupation-based and taught by experienced faculty members who are committed to student success. Students also enjoy small class sizes and individualized attention from professors and a diverse community of peers.
Net Price: $9,114

#16 -Coppin State University

Baltimore, Maryland

Coppin State University was founded in 1900 to train African-American elementary school teachers in the Baltimore area. By 1938, the curriculum had expanded from one year to four years, and in 1963, its degree granting authority was expanded to include subjects other than teaching. Today, there are nearly 4,000 students enrolled at CSU, and the university offers 53 undergraduate majors and nine graduate degree programs. Students at this affordable historically black college also enjoy a balance between the opportunities available at larger universities and the community and the sort of access to professors that is typical of smaller institutions.
Net Price: $9,043

#15 -Shelton State Community College

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Shelton State Community College is one of the largest two-year institutions in Alabama and one of the largest historically black colleges and universities on our list, with approximately 7,000 enrolled students and two campuses. Its main focus is its technical and general education programs, but it is also well-known for its art, music, and theater programs. It also offers community and corporate education programs. The broad nature of Shelton's academics means that no matter what students' career goals and interests, Shelton has an applicable degree or certificate program. Popular majors include health professions, business, and marketing.
Net Price: $8,847

#14 -Southern University at Shreveport

Shreveport, Louisiana

Southern University at Shreveport was founded in 1964 as a branch of the Southern University System. It is the only HBCU comprehensive community college in the state of Louisiana, and its initial purpose was to provide the first two years of college and university work to the Shreveport-Bossier City area. Today, SUSLA offers a wide range of academic programs, including technical studies, university-parallel associate's degrees and certificate programs. Some of the most popular programs available from this affordable historically black college are health professions, liberal arts and sciences, and management.
Net Price: $8,844

#13 -Bluefield State College

Bluefield, West Virginia

Originally known as the Bluefield Colored Institute, Bluefield State College was founded in 1895 to provide higher education to young African-American men and women, as well as to train black teachers. It is the only non-residential four-year college in the West Virginia public education system, and it offers several associate's and bachelor's degree programs. Now among the leading historically black colleges and universities in the region, the curriculum is career-oriented, and most students earn degrees in STEM disciplines such as engineering management and imaging science, for example.
Net Price: $8,531

#12 -Clinton College

Rock Hill, South Carolina

Founded during the Reconstruction to end illiteracy among freedmen, Clinton College is the oldest institution of higher education in Rock Hill, South Carolina. It is a small college with an enrollment of only about 200 students. However, this doesn't mean students receive an inferior education. New academic programs are being added often, and the programs that are currently available are strong and taught by highly-qualified faculty. The small student body comprising this affordable historically black college also allows students to have more meaningful interactions with peers and family.
Net Price: $8,113

#11 -University of Arkansas at Pinebluff

Pinebluff, Arkansas

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff was founded as Branch Normal College in 1875, a branch of Arkansas Industrial University. In 1882, the school was proud to announce that the first African-American student to graduate and receive a college degree in Arkansas had graduated from Branch Normal. Gradually, curriculum was expanded, first in 1927 to include agricultural and mechanical education, and then again in 1972 to include a more comprehensive liberal arts curriculum after merging with the University of Arkansas system. Today, this affordable historically black college continues to grow its programs, but still has strong roots in agriculture and education.
Net Price: $7,883

#10 -Lawson State Community College

Birmingham, Alabama

Lawson State Community College as it is known today was created by two mergers. The first merger was between Wenonah State Junior College and Wenonah State Technical Institute, which came together in 1973 under the Lawson State Community College name. This merger created an institution that offered both career technical education and university-parallel academics. The career technical division was strengthened in 2005 when another school, Bessemer State Technical College, merged with Lawson State. Today, students enrolled in this affordable historically black college are able to choose from an impressive range of programs that meet their personal needs, whether they are interested in construction careers, health professions, social sciences, or business.
Net Price: $7,676

#9 -Denmark Technical College

Denmark, South Carolina

Denmark Technical College was founded in 1947 as part of the South Carolina Trade School System and was mandated to train the local African-American community in a variety of trades. Since then, it has become a strong two-year institution that offers several programs of study. These include college transfer programs, associate degree programs, and technical certificates. Small class sizes are prioritized at this affordable historically black college, so students can benefit from individualized attention from faculty and an environment conducive to meaningful class discussion.
Net Price: $7,121

#8 -Trenholm State Community College

Montgomery, Alabama

Trenholm State Community College is a multi-campus institution formed by the consolidation of two technical schools that were founded in the mid-1900s. While its technical certificates and workforce training programs are still a major part of Trenholm's curriculum, the college has expanded to offer university-parallel associate's degree programs that can be easily transferred to four-year institutions. All programs affiliated with this affordable historically black college are taught by highly qualified faculty with field experience, so whether students opt for the college's technical programs, its health programs, or its academic programs, they can expect to receive a high-quality education.
Net Price: $7,118

#7 -J.F. Drake State Community and Technical College

Huntsville, Alabama

J.F. Drake State Community and Technical College is a two-year technical public institution that was founded in 1961 by Governor George Wallace to support the career education needs of African-Americans in the community. It is the first and only institution of its kind in the State of Alabama, and it provides both university-transfer and technical degrees that heavily emphasize hands-on learning. While it is one of the smaller historically black colleges and universities on our list with only about 500 students enrolled full-time, it still is able to offer several unique degree programs. Some of Drake State's most popular programs are Business Administration, Practical Nursing, Medical Assisting, and Welding Technology.
Net Price: $7,033

#6 -St. Philip's College

San Antonio, Texas

One of the oldest and most diverse community colleges in the US, St. Philip's College is the only college that is both a historically black college and Hispanic-serving institution. It was founded in 1898 as a normal and industrial school for recently freed black girls. In 1902, Artemisia Bowden, the daughter of a former slave, joined the school administration, and under her leadership, the school rapidly grew into a thriving junior college. Since then, this affordable historically black college has continued to grow and now offers almost 70 associate's degree programs, as well as several certificate programs.

Net Price: $6,349

#5 - Bishop State Community College

Daytona Beach, Florida

As one of the most affordable historically black colleges in our ranking, Bishop State Community College started in 1927 as a Mobile branch of Alabama State College. Its original purpose was to offer extension courses to African-American teachers in the region. In 1965, it became an independent junior college. Since then, Bishop has expanded to four campus locations in the Mobile area. Its most popular programs are its technical and career programs, but it still offers strong academic degree programs in subjects such as social sciences, developmental education, and health related professions.
Net Price: $5,436

#4 -Gadsden State Community College

Gadsden, Alabama

Gadsden State Community College serves over 6,000 students on six campuses in three Alabama counties. Its Valley Street Campus has been designated as an HBCU campus. It was formally established in 1960 as the Gadsden Vocational Trade School, a private vocational training school for Black Americans. Until desegregation, it was the only technical school enrolling Black Americans in Alabama. In 1985, the vocational trade school merged with Gadsden State. The Valley Street Campus offers courses in Marketing Management, HVACR, Carpentry, Message Therapy and Nursing Assistant. Students can earn a certificate, short-term certificate or associate degree at Gadsden State.
Net Price: $4,719

#3 -Mississippi Valley State University

Itta Bena, Mississippi

Mississippi Valley State University was founded in 1946 to provide vocational training and educate future elementary school teachers. The scope of its curriculum expanded quickly to include BS degrees in 14 subject areas, and in 1976, MVSU offered its first master's degree. Today, even more academic programs are available on both the bachelor's and master's level. Its most popular majors are education, business, public administration, and law enforcement. No matter which program students choose at this affordable historically black college, the curriculum is designed to thoroughly prepare students for life after college and provide students with a wide range of future education and career opportunities.
Net Price: $4,695

#2 -Coahoma Community College

Clarksdale, Mississippi

Coahoma Community College was originally founded as an agricultural high school in 1924 and was the first agricultural high school in Mississippi created for African-American students under the "separate but equal" doctrine. It was also the first institution for black students in Mississippi to become eligible to share funds appropriated by the state legislature for public junior colleges. Today, this highly affordable historically black college offers several programs of study, including over 50 university-parallel associate's degree programs, as well as a handful of health science programs and career and technical education programs.
Net Price: $2,449

#1 -Simmons College of Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky

Founded in 1879 as the Kentucky Normal and Theological Institute, Simmons College of Kentucky was one of the first post-secondary institute for African-Americans in the community. Like many early schools for black students, the curriculum started as a simple teacher and pastor education program. However, the foundation was quickly set for a dramatic expansion of the curriculum. Today, this extremely affordable historically black college offers AA degrees in general and religious studies, as well as a handful of BA programs such as sociology, music, and cross-cultural communication.
Net Price: $698

Rating and Ranking Methodology

Our editors consulted College Navigator to identify the 50 most affordable historically black colleges and universities in the United States. We list them here in order of affordability based on net price.

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