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INSTITUTE, W.Va. — West Virginia State University has been recognized as one of the leading Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the nation by College Consensus, an online college rating service.

The Institute university was named the No. 21 HBCU in the nation by College Consensus in the organization’s listing of the Top 50 HBCU’s.

“We are honored to receive this recognition as a leading HBCU, as providing access and opportunity to higher education for African Americans was the reason the university was founded, and has always been a critical component of our mission,” said WVSU Interim President Dr. R. Charles Byers. “With the important discussions taking place in our nation today about race relations, the role that HBCUs can play is more important now than ever.”

College Consensus examines data from numerous college ranking sites, including U.S. News & World Report, WalletHub, The Wall Street Journal and others. Those results are combined with student reviews, from sites including Niche, My Plan and Unigo, creating a Publisher Rating and a Student Review Rating. The combination of these two creates the Consensus Rating.

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West Virginia State University was founded in 1891 under the provisions of the Second Morrill Act, one of 19 land-grant institutions authorized by Congress and designated by the states to provide for the education of Black citizens in agriculture and the mechanical arts.