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The 4 HBCUs in Florida: Which is Right for You?

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What’s Covered:


Florida is home to four of the more than 100 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the U.S., including one of the largest HBCUs in the country.


In this post, we’ll cover the benefits of HBCUs, and what sets each Florida HBCU apart from the others. 


If you’re planning to apply to several HBCUs, you may also want to look into the Common Black College Application, which allows you to apply to up to 58 HBCUs with a one-time application fee.


What Are HBCUs, and How Are They Different?


HBCUs were established prior to the Civil Rights Acts of 1964, with the intention of serving Black students, who were previously denied educational opportunities. In the years following the Civil War, many academic institutions refused to accept Black students; the Civil Rights Act made this and segregation of all types illegal. 


While HBCUs were created primarily to support Black students, they welcome people of all backgrounds, races, and ethnicities. Twenty-four of students at HBCUs today do not identify as Black, according to the National Center for Education Statistics


Many students say HBCUs offer excellent support, academically and personally. In fact, research shows that Black graduates of HBCUs are more likely to thrive financially and socially compared to Black grads of non-HBCUs.


Moreover, the cost of education is typically significantly lower (26%) than peer institutions that are not HBCUs.


If you’re interested in attending an HBCU, here are four great options in Florida.

The 4 Undergraduate HBCUs in Florida

1. Bethune-Cookman University

Location: Daytona Beach

Acceptance Rate: 84%

Undergraduate Enrollment: 2,779


Bethune-Cookman has a long and illustrious history. Once a high school and then a junior college, today the HBCU is a university granting bachelor’s and graduate degrees across seven schools:


  • School of Arts & Humanities
  • School of Business
  • School of Education
  • School of Nursing
  • School of Graduate & Professional Studies
  • School of Science, Engineering and Mathematics
  • School of Social Sciences


B-CU offers top programs in areas like nursing, business, STEM, education, and more. The Wildcats play in NCAA Division I FCS and are a member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and Southwestern Athletic Conference (effective later this year). Additionally, The Marching Wildcats, the school’s famed marching band, have appeared in Marching Orders.

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2. Edward Walters University

Location: Jacksonville

Acceptance Rate: 56%

Undergraduate Enrollment: 2,900


Founded in 1866 with the mission of educating former enslaved people, Edward Walters University is the oldest HBCU in Florida. It remains affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal Church, true to its original principles and motto, “Academic, Spiritual, Physical.”


The college has eight undergraduate programs: Biology, Business Administration, Communications, Criminal Justice, Elementary Education, Mathematics, Music, and Psychology. All students participate in a rigorous liberal arts curriculum.


Its athletic teams, the Tigers and the Lady Tigers, play in the NAIA Division I in sports such as baseball, basketball, cheerleading, cross country, golf, football, softball, track & field, and volleyball. The school also has a marching band known as the “Triple Threat Marching Band,” which has numerous honors to its name.


3. Florida A&M University

Location: Tallahassee

Acceptance Rate: 36%

Undergraduate Enrollment: 8,100


One of the largest HBCUs (at one time the largest) in the U.S., FAMU is consistently ranked among the country’s best schools and was previously ranked the number-one college for African Americans by Black Enterprise Magazine. Currently, the university offers 54 bachelor’s degrees, 29 master’s degrees, and 12 doctoral programs in areas like business administration, journalism, engineering, criminal justice, allied health, and many other fields.


Outside of the classroom, students can join more than 100 student clubs and organizations, along with honors societies, fraternities and sororities, and professional organizations. The Rattlers and Lady Rattlers compete in a wide variety of sports, including football, perhaps its most famous team.


4. Florida Memorial University

Location: Miami Gardens

Acceptance Rate: 40%

Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,100


FMU began as a training school for children and ministers, but in its 140-year history, it has transformed into a university of higher learning. It is Christian-related and historically Baptist-related.


Offering programs in niche areas like Aviation Management and Cybersecurity, along with more common majors like Computer Science, Biology, Communication, Criminal Justice, Business Administration, and Education, the undergraduate schools include the School of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, and the School of Education. Dual-degree options are also available in some cases. 


Five men’s and seven women’s varsity teams constitute the FMU Lions.


What Are Your Chances of Acceptance?


Planning to apply to a school on this list? Find out your odds of admission to Florida’s four HBCUs and hundreds of other colleges in the U.S. CollegeVine’s chancing engine will use data such as your GPA, standardized test scores, extracurricular activities, and more to estimate your true chances of acceptance. Even better, it’s completely free!


Short Bio
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab mix Hercules. She specializes in education, technology and career development. She also writes satire and humor, which has appeared in Slackjaw, Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, Jane Austen’s Wastebasket, and Funny-ish. View her work and get in touch at: www.lauraberlinskyschine.com.