Black Excel College ProfileHAMPTON UNIVERSITY

(Hampton, Virginia 23668)


Web site: <>

The following profile is based on research and actual interviews with enrolled African-American students. The viewpoints expressed are Black Excel’s and should be pursued as a supplemental reference only.


(Hampton's endowment is valued at $102 million. It ranks only behind Howard and Spelman among HBCU’s.)

College Rank: Historically Black Hampton University is undoubtedly one of our most prestigious colleges, ranking in reputation and rank beside schools like Howard, Spelman, and Morehouse. When we think of Hampton we think of a "class" institution (Booker T. Washington was a graduate) where proven or promising achievers are striving to better themselves. Our impression at Black Excel is that Hampton has created an "image," deservingly so, that makes the school a desirable place to grow and shape your future. Indeed, Hampton includes both undergraduate and graduate schools that cover a wide range of majors: Business and Management, Communications and Education, the Health and Social Service fields, as well as other areas of study. Over 400 corporations have recruited at Hampton in recent years, and there is usually a waiting list on Career Day because demand to see and talk to students is so high.

The Campus: Hampton’s urban campus is scenic, with an air of hospitality. Some students laud it as "Hampton by the Sea", because water (Chesapeake Bay) borders the 204-acre campus on three sides and you often see boats and mariners. Hampton sits off a major highway and is not far from Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and Colonial Williamsburg. You must drive through a gate when you reach the grounds. On campus, there are over 120 buildings, including  the Pure and Applied Sciences, Arts and Letters, Nursing, Education, and Business buildings (some are designated National Historic Landmarks). One, The Mansion, was built before the founding of the college. Ogden Hall, on campus, is the home of the Virginia Opera and other symphony companies.

There are also single, co-ed, and honors dorms. The newest dorm for females is eight stories high, and there's a relatively new male dorm. There is also a natural history museum, art gallery, learning resources center, main library (with a Peabody Collection of African-American resource material), gymnasium, Olympic-size pool, and a 11,000-seat stadium. In the Student Union Center, there is a recreation area with arcade games, pool tables, and a snack bar. On campus, you will pass tennis and basketball courts as well as magnolia and orchard trees. Whenever you go, you’ll generally find a pleasant view.

Getting In:  Getting into Hampton University has been described as being "moderately difficult." Black Excel agrees. In one recent year, 7,211 applicants applied and only 3,200 were accepted (1,181 chose to enroll). In the near future, HU’s acceptance rate will probably remain between 50-52%, if not drop lower.

 A combined SAT score of at least 900 is said to be "desirable," but the SAT median score for applicants is in the 1,000-plus range. Average ACT: 20. Of the students who are accepted, at least a quarter of the freshman admits are in the top 10% of their graduating classes. The Average GPA of admitted students is almost 2.9. The eventual good news: 25% of HU graduates head for higher degrees within one year.

Black Excel insiders tip:  HU is looking for students who demonstrate academic seriousness, leadership, and a strong commitment to community service. Many of the applicants will also be applying to schools like Spelman and Florida A&M University.

 If you are a good student but are a bit discouraged by Hampton’s stats and search for strong students, do consider this note from Hampton Admissions:

"Students whose potential and promise may have been inhibited by a lack of economic, social, and educational opportunity are also considered for admission."

Note: Hampton now requires an essay and recommendations,. If you feel that you have leadership qualities or special talents that could carry you over the acceptance line, you must let the school know. If you were a leader in student government, for example, that would be a major plus. Playing an instrument or having a singing talent could also be a factor. If you feel that an interview could help, call the school and make arrangements for one. Keep in mind that Hampton does have a Summer Bridge Program for some pre-admission students. It might be an option in "questionable" cases. Inquire.

Academic Reality:  Many students who were "A" students in high school mention some adjustment problems. One Computer Science major whom Black Excel talked to says students with strong college-preparatory backgrounds have an advantage. Our source also says that a "little seriousness" and "hard work" won't hurt. The rule: any malingering or goofing off usually results in poor grades. For students who are having difficulty, there is a tutorial program that is said to be helpful. Both students and teachers instruct.

Generally, the size of any introductory class will be 50 students or less. Usually, you'll find between 10 to 15 students sitting in on upper-division classes.

Computers are available around the campus, and the main library (nearly 400,000 bound volumes) is more than adequate. The ratio of students to teachers is about 16-to-1, so there is a lot of close interaction and attention. The ratio of white/black teachers is approximately 50%. There is a wide range of majors (from business to the social sciences) and there are pre-professional programs in dentistry, law, medicine, pharmacy, and social work. For students interested in engineering, there are 3-2 programs associated with Old Dominion and George Washington University. At Hampton, over 63% of the students graduate within five years. That retention rate is far greater than at most schools, and is indicative of the commitment of the administration to "get the job done."

Notable Technology Upgrade: Hampton University has installed six touch-screen booths—kiosks—around campus that will offer college and community data at a touch. Students will be able to get information about restaurants, theaters, the school calendar, and course offerings.

All 1,500-plus freshman must take University 101, which is a class run by computers.

"I wanted all Hampton students to have an appreciation of the role of technology in the global economy," says Dr. William Harvey, the college President. The school is calling its innovation an "ATM " (Academic Technology Mall.)

The 80-seat electronic classroom where each student can hold a computer in his hands is a mall. You can shop at a Learning Center, a language lab, and do distance learning from your seat. Sophomores must continue their orientation to technology by taking Humanities 201, another addition to a revised core requirement.

(Thanks are due to IBM’s assist, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for funding.)

Transfer students: HUdeclares says that a "minimum 2.3" in prior college work is required. As is the case at  other top-ranked schools, since relatively few upper-class students leave, transfer spaces are limited. Be aware that the acceptance rate for a transfer student is lower than that for a regular applicant. That 2.3 transfer? Perhaps it's a student from UPenn. Got the picture? Apply with gusto, as if you're a freshman candidate.

HU Faculty: Nearly 400. Approx. 300 full-time. Doctorates near 70%.

Majors: (Partial list of some general fields): Education, Engineering, Business, Music, Architecture, Art, Communications, Health, Nursing, Drama, Sociology, Home Economics, History, and Mathematics. Baccalaureate degrees available in 47 areas. Review the college catalog for extensive degrees and specializations.

Most Popular majors:

Biology: 11.4%.
Psychology: 8.8%
Mass Media: 7.6%
Business Management: 7.6%
English: 5.6%

Essays: Make them resonate.

Recommendations: Do the same.

Campus Life and Recreation: The students Black Excel has talked to are very happy with HU. They have a beautiful campus. But if you're not in the "classy" honors dorms, the rooms are often described in terms like "dull" or "livable." In Davidson Hall, one dorm we visited, the hallways were painted green, and the rooms had those to-be-expected beds, desks, and lamps. Our opinion: the standard, no-frills college setting.

Most students are said to be "nice," easy to get along with, and exhibit cultural pride and self-esteem. The majority of students are from the South, Northeast, and Middle Atlantic states. At Hampton these students involve themselves in many recreational and social activities. There are enough parties to "keep everybody happy."

There is a marching band of 276 members, an orchestra, a gospel choir, fraternities and sororities (with their Step Shows), a Student Union hangout, the Hampton University Players (drama), and over 100 other student organizations available. Students show strong support for the schools basketball and football teams.

There are also Homecoming and Career Days that are well attended. The Hampton Script is the school newspaper. A major rivalry is with nearby Norfolk State. It's noteworthy that over 80% of freshman return for their sophomore year.

Hampton’s fine football team, usually plays in several "classics," including the Coca-Cola Classic at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., and the Whitney Young Classic at Giants Stadium in New Jersey.

Sports Flash: HU is the first Historically Black College to sponsor an intercollegiate sailing team. The coach is Gary Bodie, former coach at the Naval Academy, where he guided the midshipmen to four National Championships. Scheduled competition includes the Univ. of Florida, Old Dominion, and SUNY Maritime

At present, there are campus curfews: 11 P.M.  Sunday through Thursday, and 1 A.M. on the weekends. Some students complain, saying that they "don't have such restrictions" at home. Campus security will question you if you break curfew, especially if you're a female.

Undergrad Enrollment: 4,219 students, 96% African-American. Students arrive from over 42 states and 16 foreign countries.

Girls outnumber the boys, seemingly, "5-to-1," says one young woman. Another informant explains, "most of the males move off campus after freshman year, so it feels like it's 7-to-1 on campus, at times. " The real deal: 62.8% women, 37.2% men.

Food: There are two cafeterias. Years ago the food was described as "southern and excellent": chicken, biscuits, grits, black-eyed peas, collard greens, and the like. Now students complain that the food is unsatisfactory, with the best meal being breakfast. After a recent student survey that knocked the food the administration is reportedly looking for a new caterer.

Students utilize meal plans but can, if they wish, buy snacks and goodies like hamburgers at the snack bar in the Student Union.

Tuition: Approximately $8.198. Room and board is $3,878, with a required added fee for incoming students of $750.

Financial Aid: Approximately 80% of the students receive some form of financial aid. The aid breakdown usually follows this pattern: 30% in the form of scholarships, 40% in the form of a loan, and 30% in the form of work-study. Students that participate in work-study (about 15 hours) usually earn about $1,100-1400 per school year. The loan is usually a Stafford Loan. Pell grants are also a vital resource for incoming students. There is a deferred payment plan for those who prefer monthly payments. Army or Navy ROTC involvement can also impact on your tuition. Needless to say, a war can uproot you and disrupt school attendance. Be careful.

Need-based scholarships average $1,800. Your parent must complete FAFSA and forward IRS forms. Deadline: March 31. Apply for financial aid as early as possible.

Full year scholarships are available to some of our math, science, and engineering stars. Inquire about the Student Enhancement in Mathematics and Science (SEMS) Program. Also there are other scholarships and internship possibilities. (Aside: HU’s Department of Biological Sciences ranks 3rd in the nation for awarding baccalaureate degrees to AA’s in related fields.)

Other helpers: Deferred payment plans. ROTC: Army, Navy. Cooperative Education.

Aid deadline: March 1. Get it done before that. Phone: (804) 727-5332.

Admission deadline: 3/15, 12/15. Admissions phone: (757) 727-5328.
                                   1 (800) 624-3328. Fax: (757) 727-5084.

 Early Admission/Action: 9/1. Note that a "B" average and a combined 1050 SAT, is desirable here. Be in the top 25% of your graduating class.

 International students: Must submit proof of academic capability in English and have  an American Academic Sponsor. Your TOEFL Score must be at least 500 of 800.

To reach the Alumni Association:

National Hampton Alumni Association, Inc.
Hampton University
Hampton, VA 23668

(757) 727-5425
Fax: (757) 727-5994



(Black Excel profiles are created under the direction and supervision of founder and writer, Isaac J. Black.)


Free $5000 Scholarship

FREE $5000 for College Tuition

Need money for college? Use FastWeb's free scholarship search to find information on more than 600,000 scholarships!

Find Free College Money! Find free money for college or an advanced degree. Search now!