January 9, 2016:    Oakwood University (OU) was ranked 12th among the 106  historically black colleges and universities in the United States by BestColleges.com, an independent information service for students and their families. It is fifth in the nation in the nation in the number of African American graduates who apply to medical schools and has a nationally recognized science program, the report stated.

Among the other top-ranked schools are Howard University in Washington DC, Spellman College in Atlanta and the famed Tuskegee University. The historically black colleges and universities were all operating prior to landmark civil rights legislation in 1964 prohibited racial discrimination on all accredited schools in the country.

OU is an institution of the Adventist denomination’s North American Division. It was founded in 1896 in the aftermath of the American Civil War and the end of slavery with the goal of educating freed slaves. The campus is a historical landmark as well as home to more than 2,000 current students and one of the largest Adventist congregations in America. It is located in Huntsville (Alabama) near the Redstone rocket research center of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

The rankings are based on academic standards, outcomes, affordability and student opinion. The information used in developing the rankings is from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), a service maintained by the National Center for Education Statistics and four other collaborating organizations, including the College Board.

Prominent institutions that ranked more poorly than OU included Fisk University in Nashville (Tennessee), Alabama A&M University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Virginia State University and Morehouse College in Atlanta. About two in five college and university students in the United States are from ethnic minority backgrounds.