VUU Soars Into Top 40 Among HBCUs

September 20, 2023

[RICHMOND, VA – September 18, 2023] -- Virginia Union University continues its upward trajectory, rising to the country’s 39th best HBCU, entering the Top 40 just five years after not being ranked at all. 

U.S. News & World Report published the rankings today, showing the University having risen more than 30 positions in five years: 

2023: #39  
2022: #43  
2021: #48  
2020: #56  
2019: #72  
2018: Not ranked   

“The people of Virginia Union are driving this historic university forward—faculty, staff, alumni, and students,” said Dr. Hakim J. Lucas, President and CEO. “Together, we set a goal of becoming best-in-class, and each year we move closer to achieving it. Our team is focused, creative, and deeply committed to expanding access to higher education, especially for students who are the first in their families to go to college. This university is mighty, and our march forward continues.” 

The announcement comes as the university welcomes its largest class in 8 years, driven by an unprecedented 31% surge in undergraduate enrollment over the previous year. University leaders hailed the enrollment increase, which runs counter to enrollment declines around the country. 

The U.S. News & World Report measures “academic quality using seven categories:  

  • outcome measures,  
  • graduate indebtedness,  
  • assessment by administrators at peer HBCUs,  
  • faculty resources,  
  • financial resources,  
  • student excellence,
  • and alumni giving.  

These indicators include input measures that reflect a school's student body, its faculty and its financial resources, along with outcome measures – such as graduation rates, first-year student retention rates, graduate indebtedness and social mobility – that signal how well an institution educates students and whether they eventually graduate.”     

Here is the full ranking and analysis of VUU.