Best HBCU Colleges in Florida

Find out the details about HBCU colleges in Florida and which ones are the best.

Best HBCU Colleges in Florida
Zohair Mirza

HBCU stands for “historically black colleges and universities,” and are institutions that were established before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, with the primary mission of serving the African American community. Since many of these institutions of higher education can be traced to the years after the American Civil War, HBCUs tend to be concentrated in the U.S. South.

A common question asked about HBCUs is “what are the best HBCU colleges in Florida?” There are indeed four HBCU colleges in Florida. The four HBCU colleges in Florida include the following:

BrokeScholar decided to conduct a study in order to determine the best HBCU colleges in Florida. Read on to find out more about the best HBCU colleges in Florida.

Best HBCU Colleges in Florida

When it comes to the best HBCU colleges in Florida, there are only four colleges to work with. However, using data sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), we were able to put together a list of the best ones academically. Though some data was limited, such as SAT and ACT scores, for these HBCU colleges in Florida, we also analyzed graduation rates and admission rates. Here’s a look at the best HBCU colleges in Florida:

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

4-year, public institution

Types of degrees:

  • Associate's degree
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Master's degree
  • Post-master's certificate
  • Doctor's degree - research/scholarship
  • Doctor's degree - professional practice

The Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (or Florida A&M University) is a very impressive HBCU college in Florida. Founded in 1887 and located in Tallahassee, Florida A&M University has an undergraduate student population of around 7,300 and 9,000 students total. Academically, Florida A&M University is one of the best HBCU colleges in Florida. It has the most selective acceptance rate out of the four HBCU colleges in Florida, with an admission rate of 35%. Also, out of the four HBCU colleges in Florida, Florida A&M University has the highest graduation rate at 55%. In addition, in terms of its SAT and ACT scores, Florida A&M University has the strongest scores among the four HBCU colleges in Florida: Its 75th percentile ACT Composite score is 23, while its 75th percentile SAT Reading and Writing score was 590 and SAT Math was 560.

Since Florida A&M University is a public university, it has different rates of tuition for in-state students versus out-of-state students. According to NCES data, the in-state tuition and required fees are approximately $5,785; on the other hand, its out-of-state tuition and fees are an estimated $17,725.

Bethune-Cookman University

4-year, private not-for-profit institution

Types of degrees:

  • Bachelor's degree
  • Postbaccalaureate certificate
  • Master's degree

Founded in 1904, Bethune-Cookman University is located in Daytona Beach. It has an undergraduate student population of a little over 2,500, and a little over 2,600 students overall. Bethune-Cookman University has an admission rate of 100% but has the second-highest graduation rate out of the four HBCU colleges in Florida, at 32%. Its 75th percentile SAT scores for both Reading and Writing, and Math, are just behind Florida A&M University’s scores, as is its 75th percentile ACT Composite score of 18. As a private, not-for-profit college, Bethune-Cookman University has the same tuition and required fees costs for both in-state and out-of-state students, at $14,794, according to NCES data.

Florida Memorial University

4-year, private not-for-profit institution

Types of degrees:

  • Bachelor's degree
  • Master's degree

Founded in 1879, Florida Memorial University is located in Miami Gardens. Among the four HBCU colleges in Florida, Florida Memorial University has the smallest student population: Its undergraduate student population is an estimated 992, with 1,028 students overall. Florida Memorial University is also on the more selective side of the HBCU colleges in Florida, with an admission rate of 57%, second only to Florida A&M University. Plus, Florida Memorial University’s graduation rate is 32%, tied with Bethune-Cookman University’s graduation rate. As a private, not-for-profit college, Florida Memorial University has the same costs of tuition and fees for in-state and out-of-state students: Approximately $16,836, according to NCES data.

Edward Waters University

4-year, private not-for-profit institution

Types of degrees:

  • Bachelor's degree
  • Master's degree

Founded in 1866, Edward Waters University is the oldest of the four HBCU colleges in Florida, having been established one year after the end of the Civil War. Edward Waters University is located in Jacksonville. Among the four HBCU colleges in Florida, Edward Waters University has the second-largest student population: Its undergraduate student population is an estimated 2,840, with 2,871 students overall. Edward Waters University is more selective than fellow HBCU institution Bethune-Cookman, having an admission rate of 80%.  The graduation rate at Edward Waters University is 28%, which is on the low side out of the four HBCU colleges in Florida, but also has the lowest transfer-out rate at 2%. Like three out of the four HBCU colleges in Florida, Edward Waters University is a private, not-for-profit college. Its approximate cost of tuition and required fees is $14,878 for both in-state and out-of-state students, according to NCES data.

The Bottom Line on the Best HBCU Colleges in Florida

All four of these HBCU colleges in Florida have multiple academic departments, providing a wide range of study opportunities. For example, Bethune-Cookman University has four academic departments, including Arts and Humanities; Business and Entrepreneurship; Sciences, Engineering, and Mathematics; and Nursing and Health Sciences.  Florida A&M University has a truly impressive array of colleges and schools under the university’s umbrella: From the College of Agricultural & Food Sciences (CAFS) to its College of Law, to its School of Architecture & Engineering Technology (SAET), to its School of Graduate Studies and Research. 

Many of these HBCU colleges in Florida accept scholarships, so it’s worth checking out BrokeScholar’s library of scholarships and grants if you’re interested in any of these schools. What’s great about all these HBCU colleges in Florida is that they are quite affordable when compared to the national average cost of college, so you can get a great bang for your buck.