Howard University holds an important place in history as one of the nation’s historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). If you’re interested in attending this Washington, D.C. school, you likely want to know – is Howard University actually a good school for you?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Yes, Howard University is considered one of the best HBCUs in the U.S., known for its strong academics and history of activism. It provides a supportive community for Black students and opportunities to get involved with research, leadership, and service.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore Howard’s academic reputation, campus culture, notable alumni, admission requirements, and more. We’ll also look at some of the downsides and criticisms of the university.

With all this information, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about whether Howard is a good fit for your college experience.

Academics and Reputation

When it comes to academics, Howard University has a strong reputation for excellence. The institution has consistently been recognized as one of the top Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the United States.

Its commitment to providing a high-quality education is evident in its national rankings, undergraduate academics, graduate school and research, as well as its core curriculum and honors program.

National Rankings

Howard University consistently ranks among the top universities in the nation. According to U.S. News & World Report, it is ranked #80 in the National Universities category. This recognition speaks to the university’s strong academic programs, faculty expertise, and overall reputation.

Undergraduate Academics

Howard University offers a wide range of undergraduate programs across various disciplines, including business, engineering, sciences, humanities, and social sciences. The university is known for its rigorous curriculum and dedicated faculty who are experts in their respective fields.

Students have access to state-of-the-art facilities and resources that enhance their learning experience.

Graduate School and Research

Howard University’s graduate school is highly regarded in numerous fields, including law, medicine, business, communications, and the sciences. The university’s commitment to research is evident in its numerous research centers and institutes, where faculty and students collaborate on cutting-edge projects.

The opportunity to engage in innovative research contributes to the university’s strong reputation in academia and industry.

Core Curriculum and Honors Program

At Howard University, students have the opportunity to pursue a well-rounded education through the core curriculum. This curriculum ensures that students develop a broad knowledge base across various disciplines, fostering critical thinking and intellectual growth.

Additionally, the university offers an honors program for academically talented students, providing them with specialized coursework, research opportunities, and mentorship.

Student Life and Campus Culture

Demographic makeup

Howard University boasts a diverse student body, attracting students from various backgrounds and cultures. The university takes pride in its commitment to fostering an inclusive and multicultural environment.

With a strong emphasis on African American heritage and history, Howard University provides a unique experience for students looking to immerse themselves in a rich cultural setting. According to National Center for Education Statistics, the student body at Howard University is predominantly African American, with a smaller percentage of students from other racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Campus events and activities

At Howard University, there is never a shortage of events and activities to engage in. From academic conferences and symposiums to cultural festivals and concerts, the campus is always buzzing with energy and excitement.

Students can participate in clubs and organizations that align with their interests, such as the debate team, dance groups, or social justice organizations. The university also hosts guest speakers and performers, offering students the opportunity to broaden their horizons and gain new perspectives.

Whether it’s attending a poetry slam or cheering on the basketball team, there is something for everyone at Howard University.

Housing and dorms

Howard University offers a range of housing options for students, including traditional dormitories and apartment-style living. The university strives to create a comfortable and supportive living environment for its students.

Living on campus provides students with the opportunity to form lifelong friendships, engage in collaborative projects, and fully immerse themselves in the vibrant campus culture. The university also provides resources and support for students living off-campus, ensuring that all students have access to safe and affordable housing options.

Sports and Greek life

Sports and Greek life play a significant role in the campus culture at Howard University. The university is a member of the NCAA Division I and competes in various sports, including basketball, football, track and field, and more.

Attending sporting events, such as the annual homecoming game, is a popular tradition among students and alumni. Additionally, Greek life organizations, such as fraternities and sororities, provide students with opportunities for leadership, community service, and social activities.

These organizations contribute to the overall sense of community and camaraderie at Howard University.

Costs, Financial Aid, and Admissions

When considering whether Howard University is a good school, one of the key factors to evaluate is the costs, financial aid, and admissions process. These aspects play a crucial role in determining the accessibility and affordability of the institution for prospective students.

Tuition and fees

Howard University, like many other private universities, has a tuition and fees structure that may seem higher compared to public institutions. However, the university offers an exceptional education and a range of resources that justify the investment.

As of the academic year 2021-2022, undergraduate tuition and fees at Howard University are approximately $28,440 per year for full-time students. It’s important to note that tuition costs can vary depending on the program of study and the number of credits taken.

Scholarships and financial aid availability

Howard University understands the financial challenges that students may face and is committed to making education accessible to all deserving individuals. The university offers a variety of scholarships, grants, and financial aid options to help offset the cost of tuition.

Students are encouraged to explore the various scholarships and financial aid programs available through the university’s Office of Financial Aid. Additionally, external scholarships and work-study opportunities can further alleviate the financial burden for students.

It’s worth noting that the availability of scholarships and financial aid may vary depending on factors such as academic performance, financial need, and program of study. Prospective students are advised to thoroughly research and apply for any relevant scholarships or aid programs to maximize their chances of receiving financial assistance.

Admissions selectivity and requirements

Howard University has a selective admissions process, considering both academic achievements and personal qualities in evaluating applicants. The university seeks to admit students who not only demonstrate academic excellence but also possess leadership skills, extracurricular involvement, and a commitment to community service.

While there is no specific cutoff for GPA or standardized test scores, competitive applicants typically present strong academic records and perform well on standardized tests such as the SAT or ACT. In addition to academic achievements, applicants are required to submit recommendation letters, a personal statement, and a completed application form.

Prospective students are encouraged to visit the Howard University admissions website for detailed information on application requirements, deadlines, and any additional materials that may be required for specific programs of study.

Prominent Alumni and Career Outcomes

Notable Howard alumni

Howard University has a long list of prestigious alumni who have achieved great success in various fields. One of the most notable alumni is Thurgood Marshall, who became the first African American Supreme Court Justice.

Marshall’s contributions to the civil rights movement and his landmark decisions have left a lasting impact on American society. Another prominent alumna is Toni Morrison, a Nobel laureate in Literature, whose powerful works have made her one of the most influential writers of our time.

Other notable Howard alumni include Chadwick Boseman, the late actor known for his iconic role as Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Kamala Harris, the current Vice President of the United States.

These individuals, along with many others, exemplify the caliber of talent that has emerged from Howard University.

Career support and outcomes

Howard University is committed to providing its students with the necessary resources and support to succeed in their careers. The university’s Career Services Center offers a wide range of services, including resume building, interview preparation, and networking opportunities.

They also host career fairs and job placement programs to connect students with potential employers.

According to a recent survey conducted by the university, 90% of Howard graduates are employed within six months of graduation. This impressive statistic speaks to the effectiveness of the university’s career support programs.

Additionally, many Howard alumni have gone on to hold leadership positions in their respective fields, further highlighting the impact of a Howard education on career outcomes.

It is important to note that individual success ultimately depends on the efforts and skills of each student. While Howard University provides a strong foundation and support system, it is up to the students to seize the opportunities and make the most of their education to achieve their career goals.

For more information on Howard University’s notable alumni and career outcomes, you can visit their official website

Criticisms and Downsides

While Howard University is widely recognized for its contributions to education and its commitment to nurturing talented students, like any institution, it has faced its fair share of criticisms and challenges.

Ongoing financial struggles

One of the major concerns surrounding Howard University is its ongoing financial struggles. Like many other historically black colleges and universities, Howard has faced financial constraints that have impacted its ability to provide resources and support to its students.

These financial challenges have led to concerns about the quality of facilities, faculty, and academic programs. However, it is important to note that Howard has taken steps to address these issues, including implementing cost-cutting measures and seeking external funding sources.

Sexual assault and Title IX issues

Another area of concern for Howard University is its handling of sexual assault and Title IX issues. Like many institutions, Howard has faced criticism for its response to reports of sexual assault on campus.

There have been allegations of mishandling of cases, lack of transparency, and inadequate support for survivors. It is crucial for the university to continue improving its policies, procedures, and support services to ensure the safety and well-being of its students.

Concerns about racism and bias

Howard University, as an institution that aims to empower and uplift Black students, has also faced concerns about racism and bias. Some students and alumni have expressed frustration with instances of racial insensitivity and discrimination within the university community.

It is essential for Howard to actively address these concerns, promote inclusivity, and foster a supportive environment for all students. By engaging in open dialogue, implementing diversity and inclusion initiatives, and holding individuals accountable for their actions, the university can work towards creating a more equitable and inclusive campus.


Howard University has a long and important history as a top HBCU, known for its academic rigor, activist spirit, and successful Black alumni. While it faces some financial and cultural challenges today, Howard continues to provide a supportive environment for Black students to learn and grow.

By weighing the school’s strengths in academics and community against criticisms around finances, culture, and social issues, you can determine if Howard University is the right college choice for you. Use this comprehensive guide to make an informed decision about this historic HBCU.

Similar Posts