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Morehouse Top College for Black Students…Again

Black Enterprise announced its 2004 list of the “50 Best Colleges & Universities for African Americans” and for the third consecutive term, Morehouse holds the No. 1 spot.

The BE Top Colleges report, which debuted in January 1999, was developed in collaboration with Thomas A. LaVeist, Ph.D., chief executive of DayStar Research, and Johns Hopkins University professor of health policy, management, and sociology. LaViest is also author of the “DayStar Guide to Colleges for African Americans” and coauthor of “8 Steps to Help Black Families Pay for College.”

Of the 10 highest ranking schools for 2004, Historically Black Colleges and Universities hold five of the top 10 positions; seven of the top 10 are located in the South; and nine of the top 10 are private institutions.

The College is the nation’s largest private liberal arts institution for African American men and previously achieved the top spot in 2003 and 2001. This year, marks the beginning of the magazine packaging its college rankings annually.

“We could not be more proud of this honor, nor more committed to continuing our historic mission,” said Dr. Walter E. Massey, president of Morehouse College. “For more than 137 years, Morehouse has enjoyed a reputation for academic excellence, which has produced some of the nation’s most outstanding leaders. We are proud to aim even higher as we move into the 21st century.”

Closely following Morehouse is No. 2 ranked Spelman College in Atlanta. Both Spelman and Morehouse are part of the Atlanta University Center, which shares students, faculty, and resources.

Rounding out the top 10 are: No. 3, Hampton University, Hampton, Va.; No. 4, Howard University, Washington, D.C.; No. 5, Xavier University, New Orleans, La.; No. 6, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, Fla.; No. 7, Stanford University, Stanford, Ca.; No. 8, Columbia University, New York, N.Y.; No. 9, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., and No. 10, Duke University, Durham N.C.

“The goal of the 50 Best Colleges for African Americans survey was to be as inclusive as possible while targeting schools that would be of interest to black students,” writes Consumer Affairs editor Tanisha A. Sykes. Four hundred and eighty-two colleges were selected based on the following criteria: accredited four-year colleges in which black enrollment was at least 3 percent, or colleges that are large or well known.

BE surveyed a group of 1,855 black higher education professionals with titles such as president, chancellor, and provost. Each was asked to rate schools based on whether they felt the institutions provided a good social and educational environment for African Americans. Each school surveyed received a rating from two to negative two, with zero being neutral and two meaning the school is “strongly recommended.” Respondents were only to weigh in on schools they knew about.

Schools were categorized according to the college classification protocol developed by U.S. News and World Report, which is a modified version of the protocol developed by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Survey respondents were asked to rate only schools that they were knowledgeable about. The results were then narrowed to the published Top 50.

Jaye Prince, a junior business marketing and music performance major from Anniston, Ala., admitted Morehouse’s accomplishment makes him appreciative to the benefits of attending a prestigious school, but at the same time it serves as a reason to put more time into his studies.

“I’m not surprised. This raises a sense of pride in yourself and makes you work harder to sustain that achievement in yourself and your school,” he said.

The complete list of the 50 Best Colleges for African Americans appears on pages 154 to 168 in the October issue and is already on newsstands.

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