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Southern among top 25 colleges in the nation conferring bachelor degrees to African Americans


BATON ROUGE, La. - Southern University is among the top 25 colleges in the nation that have awarded bachelor degrees to African-American students from 2004 through 2013, according to a study on the trends in bachelor degrees conferred to students of color.

The findings, in the July 16 edition of "Diverse Issues in Higher Education," showed that from 2004 through 2013 Southern awarded 8,493 undergraduate degrees to African-American students. A further breakdown showed that 96 percent of SU's bachelor degrees were awarded to African-American students.

According to the study's findings, 10 of the top 25 schools, like Southern, are historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

These findings speak to the power of Historically Black Colleges and Universities in our ability to produce meaningful outcomes for our students," said Dr. Ray Belton, Southern University System President-Chancellor. "I join the voices of my colleagues in recognizing the importance of this study and highlighting its findings.

The study was conducted by Dr. Victor M.H. Borden professor of Higher Education and Student Affairs at Indiana University - Bloomington and Dr. Rhonda V. Sharpe, Visiting Associate Professor of Economics at Bucknell University.

"The HBCUs on the list conferred 40 percent of the degrees conferred by institutions on the bachelor's top 25 list for African-Americans/blacks," the study said. "All of the HBCUs on the list conferred at least 75 percent of their bachelor's degrees to African-American students and 10 universities conferred less than 25 percent."

The HBCUs and the number of student conferred bachelor degrees over the 10-year period studied, includes: Southern, 8,493, Florida A&M University, 13,076; Howard University, 11,742; North Carolina A&T University, 10,793; Jackson State University, 8,649; Hampton University, 7,887; Tennessee State University, 7,576; Morgan State University, 7,382; Prairie View A&M University, 7,308 and North Carolina Central University, 7,000.

The top 25 list for African Americans is topped by the University of Phoenix Online which awarded 21,336 bachelor degrees over the 10-year time span studied. The total accounted for only 13 percent of all bachelor degrees awarded by the University of Phoenix during that period, the study said.