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XULA named top HBCU for social mobility

The nation's Black Catholic university is once again ranking well, this time for getting Black graduates into at least the middle class.

(Xavier University of Louisiana)

Xavier University of Louisiana has been named the #1 HBCU in the nation for upward mobility, according to a new study released by the United Negro College Fund (UNCF).

The report was released late last month, showing that 78.9% of students at the Black Catholic university from the bottom two-fifths of income earners eventually made their way into the top 60%.

The school announced the news on November 29th.

“Xavier’s success rate puts it on par with Ivy Plus Institutions such as Yale University and Columbia University of New York,” the university said in a press release.

Studies on social mobility have become commonplace in recent years, often functioning as a measure for African American students’ success in higher education—especially at HBCUs, where student populations are predominantly Black and close to half are first-generation college students.

The UNCF study shows that these institutions routinely outperform predominantly White institutions (PWIs) in this regard, educating 30% more low-income students than the national average and achieving more than double the national rate of social mobility.

XULA in particular has performed exceptionally well in such metrics, ranking 6th in upward mobility among all US universities in 2017.

It was also the top HBCU in the category in 2018, the same year PBS NewsHour featured it in a docuseries episode highlighting their status as the US undergraduate institution producing more Black doctors than any other—a distinction they continue to maintain.

Last year, it was US News' #4 university in the South for social mobility, and was named the #3 overall HBCU this past September.

The school has recently established medical, law, and other graduate school partnerships with Baylor University, the University of Southern California, Lehigh University, Regis University, and Case Western Reserve University.

It was also named an HBCU Institutional Leader by the Fulbright Program in May.


Nate Tinner-Williams is co-founder and editor of Black Catholic Messenger, a seminarian with the Josephites, and a ThM student with the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA).


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