North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University is affectionately known as North Carolina A&T. The Greensboro-based historically Black college and university is the “Home of the Aggies” and boasts an impressive legacy that makes its students and alumni proud.
Here are 10 facts about North Carolina A&T.
The HBCU was founded after the passage of The Second Morrill Act of 1890. The law required former Confederate states to abolish race-based admissions or establish separate land-grant institutions for Black students to mitigate educational discrimination.
The Board of Trustees of the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (now North Carolina State University) chose to do the latter, according to a history webpage. On March 9, 1891, the North Carolina General Assembly established the Agricultural and Mechanical College for the Colored Race, now North Carolina A&T.
It was the second college established under the Morrill Act.
According to its academics webpage, North Carolina A&T has eight colleges focusing on key academic disciplines. It offers 117 undergraduate degree programs and 29 minors; 29 master’s degree programs, nine doctoral programs, one post-master’s certificate and eight post-baccalaureate certificates.
Not only is NCAT a top HBCU for STEM majors, but it also produces the highest number of Black engineers in the nation. It has been ranked consecutively as the leading university in this category for years.
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The university’s College of Engineering was established in 1968. It is composed of six departments including chemical biological and bio engineering (CBBE); civil, architectural and environmental engineering (CAEE); computer science (CS); computational data science and engineering program (CDSE); electrical and computer engineering (ECE); industrial and systems engineering (ISE); and mechanical engineering (MEEN).
The college offers 10 undergraduate degrees, eight master’s degrees and one Ph.D program.
According to its website, North Carolina A&T also produces the highest number of Black agricultural graduates. The university was ranked as offering the country’s second most affordable bachelor’s degree in agriculture in 2019.
“Now more than ever, it is critical that prospective students make rational financial choices when selecting an academic program,” Dr. Kenrett Jefferson-Moore, chair of the Department of Agribusiness, Applied Economics and Agriscience Education, said.
“We are fortunate to offer an online agricultural education program that is not only affordable, but also provides the quality that students so richly deserve,” Jefferson-Moore continued.
North Carolina A&T has consistently made the Top 10 rankings of HBCUs by various publications, with its specific standing fluctuating based on the publication.
Forbes ranked it the number one public HBCU on its 2021 list of America’s Top Colleges. The 2022 U.S. News & World Report listed it as the ninth-highest-ranked HBCU in the nation.
The university is also said to have the top nursing school at an HBCU by FromRNtoBSN.com.
Like most HBCUs, North Carolina A&T boasts an impressive list of alums. They include U.S. Rep. Alma Adams; Oscar-winning producer and television host Terrence J; late NASA astronaut Ronald McNair; civil rights leader Jesse Jackson Sr.; former Chicago Bears running back Tarik Cohen; architect Walter Hood and many others.
Boasting a student body of 13,322, North Carolina A&T is second only to St. Philips College in Texas, a community college that is also a Hispanic Serving Institution. According to its fact sheet, the student body comprises 8,099 women and 5,223 men.
North Carolina A&T raised an unprecedented $93.1 million in donations and smashed its previous record of raising $18.1 million in 2020.
Nearly half the amount came from a generous donation from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, who gave the university a historic gift of $45 million.
As a result, the endowment increased to $157.5 million from $83.7 million.
“The incredible generosity of our supporters has created a new financial reality at North Carolina A&T that holds great immediate and long-term potential for our university,” Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. said. “Just as we have successfully stepped up to compete academically and as a research university over the past 12 years, we are now moving into a level of competitiveness in generating private support that has not been witnessed among HBCU campuses. These investments are now generating millions annually in earnings that go to support a wide range of student success, academic, research and programmatic needs, and they are making a real difference in the quality and impact of A&T.”
In addition to its other accolades, North Carolina A&T is considered one of the top research universities with professors who are among the top 2% cited science researchers in the world.
It is a member of the Southeastern Universities Research Association and classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a doctoral-granting high-research activity university.
According to Money Magazine, the home of the Aggies was the top pick for its “Best Colleges for Your Money” list. While the 2022 rankings have changed, A&T is still affordable when compared to other universities.
In-state tuition for 2021-22 was $6,733 and out-of-state tuition was $20,243.