Jackson State University was named as one of the 50 Best Colleges for African-Americans in a recent listing released this month by ESSENCE and Money Magazine.
According to the editors at ESSENCE, choosing a college is one of the most important decisions Black students will make in their lifetime. Because of that, ESSENCE partnered with Money Magazine to create a definitive list of the schools that serve African-American students best.
Jackson State was listed as one of the Top 10 Schools for STEM Degrees, ranking fifth in the nation. JSU was recognized, with nine other institutions, for its record of producing the highest number for Black graduates with degrees in science, technology, engineering or mathematics in 2014*.
Drawing on the federal data that Money compiles for its annual Best Colleges rankings — including graduation rates, net college costs after financial aid and graduates’ early-career earnings — plus criteria ESSENCE established, including the racial climate on each campus, 50 schools were selected that provide Black students with the best combination of the following:
1. REPRESENTATION: African-Americans had to make up at least 5 percent of each college’s student body.
2. AFFORDABILITY: The price students pay after aid is subtracted and factored in the average loan debt they take on was measured.
3. POSTGRAD EARNINGS: ESSENCE combined Money’s data on graduation rates with a Georgetown University analysis of colleges that produce unusually high-earning graduates after accounting for the racial, academic and socioeconomic background of their student bodies. The result is a mix of schools for different kinds of students. Some, such as Princeton, have comparatively fewer Black students but extremely generous financial aid and financially successful alumni. Others, such as North Carolina A&T, provide opportunities to many more Black students and have high graduation rates. And in a year marked by #blackoncampus protests, ESSENCE incorporated the voices of both students and faculty who spoke about their lived experiences at these schools.
*Most recent year for which data has been compiled.