An acronym for an historically Black college or university. An HBCU is an accredited institution of higher education, either public or private, established before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with a principal mission of educating Black Americans. There are 101 HBCUs in the U.S., with Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, established in 1837, as the nation’s first. HBCUs enroll a significant population of first-generation, low-income students. HBCUs provide an education to students of all races but with specific history and programs that benefit African-Americans.