A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

Biennial Evaluation Report - FY 93-94

Chapter 533

Howard University

(No CFDA Number)

I. Program Profile

Legislation: Congress issued a charter for Howard University by an Act of March 2, 1867 and provided for Federal assistance in subsequent acts (codified, as amended, at 20 U.S.C. 121 to 130aa) (no expiration date).

Purpose: To aid in the construction, development, improvement, endowment, and maintenance of Howard University.

Funding History

Fiscal Year Appropriation Fiscal Year Appropriation
1879 $10,000 1966 $13,902,000
1880 10,000 1970 59,964,000
1885 24,500 1975 81,700,000
1890 29,200 1980 121,893,000
1895 29,500 1981 133,983,000
1900 35,100 1982 145,200,000
1905 47,600 1983 145,200,000
1910 104,735 1984 156,200,000
1915 101,000 1985 158,230,000
1920 243,000 1986 157,168,000
1925 591,000 1987 170,230,000
1930 1,249,000 1988 172,203,000
1935 665,241 1989 178,973,000
1940 754,160 1990 182,446,000
1945 1,280,575 1991 195,213,000
1950 4,262,000 1992 212,360,000
1955 5,082,000 1993 194,005,000
1960 7,148,000 1994 192,686,000

II. Program Information and Analysis

Population Targeting

Howard University, located in Washington, D.C., provides a major avenue of postsecondary access and opportunity for blacks and others from disadvantaged backgrounds. Chartered by Congress in 1867 to provide such opportunities, Howard University serves about 12,000 students annually, approximately 86 percent of whom are members of minority groups. Foreign students comprise about 11 percent of enrollment.

Howard University's students are enrolled in 18 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. The University offers master's degrees in more than 85 areas and doctoral degrees in 24 fields. To support its academic programs, the university provides library services, administrative support, and research opportunities for its students.


Federal funding includes support for the University's academic program, endowment, research, construction, and hospital (Table 1). The appropriation for the academic and research programs decreased slightly in FY 1993, while the appropriation for the hospital and endowment programs increased. More than half of education and general (E&G) expenditures are derived from Federal appropriations (Table 2). In FY 1993, the percentage of E&G expenditures received from Federal appropriations was 55, down from 68 in FY 1991.

In FY 1993, 18 percent of hospital support was derived from the Federal appropriation, compared to 53 percent in FY 1976. An agreement was made in 1977 between Howard University and the then-Department of Health, Education, and Welfare that the hospital would become more self-supporting over time. The appropriation for the hospital decreased slightly in FY 1988 and FY 1989, remained constant from FY 1989 to FY 1990, and increased from FY 1990 to FY 1993.

Federal support for construction assists Howard University in providing physical facilities that are suitable for classroom instruction, research, and administrative support services, and facilities that are adequate for an educational institution to accommodate sufficiently a student body of approximately 12,300. Construction funds were provided in 1991, 1992, and 1993 for a variety of renovation and reconstruction projects.

The endowment grant program is designed to assist the University in meeting its future needs and to reduce long-term Federal funding requirements by stimulating private contributions. Howard University receives these Federal funds as an endowment grant, provided that it matches the grant through non-Federal contributions. In FY 1993, the University was able to match 100 percent of available funds.

To provide incentives for increased non-Federal contributions to the Howard University endowment, the Administration will again propose a change to the current one-to-one endowment matching formula that would allow a match of two-to-one for every non-Federal matching dollar above $1,000,000 and a match of three-to-one for every non-Federal dollar above $2,000,000. This legislation was introducted in the House of January 26, 1994. Introduction of the legislation in the Senate was expected in the spring of 1994.

The research program is designed to improve Howard University's capacity to compete for and acquire research grants.

Foreign students comprise about 11 percent of Howard University's students. Historically, they have been charged the same tuition and fees as other students. Recently, the Congress required a tuition surcharge for foreign students which was phased in over the 1990-91 through 1992-93 academic years. This fee now adds a surcharge of 50 percent to the tuition of foreign students. There is however, no surcharge for foreign students who first enrolled prior to those years.

Table 1

Appropriations by Funding Catetory, Fiscal Years 1989 to 1993

FY 1989 FY 1990 FY 1991 FY 1992 FY 1993
Academic program $151,357,000 $155,306,000 $153,513,000 $153,515,000 $150,764,000
Endowment grant 1,482,000 1,500,000 2,928,000 2,928,000 3,351,000
Research 4,730,000 4,730,000 4,616,000 4,616,000 4,533,000
Hospital 20,910,000 20,910,000 28,300,000 28,310,000 28,973,000
Emergency Construction --- --- 5,855,000 23,000,000 6,384,000
Subtotal $178,479,000 $182,446,000 $195,212,000 $212,369,000 $194,005,000
Reappropriation for endowment grant 494,000 --- --- --- ---
Total $178,973,000 $182,446,000 $195,212,000 $212,369,000 $194,005,000
SOURCE: Program files.

Table 2

Selected Statistics for Howard University, Fiscal Years 1989 to 1993

FY 1989 FY 1990 FY 1991 FY 1992 FY 1993
Total number of students 1/ 13,181 12,506 12,299 11,941 11,919
Academic appropriation per student $11,483 $12,419 $12,482 $12,856 12,649
Percentage of E&G expenditures from Federal appropriation 65 67 68 54 55
Percentage of support for hospital from Federal appropriation 15 13.5 17 17 18
1/ Includes summer school enrollment.
SOURCE: Howard University.


In 1991, a management review of Howard University (III.4) was conducted. The principal findings of the review are as follows:

Strategic Planning: The University should review its initiatives contained in the Howard 2000 plan (III.6.), quantify costs and savings in more detail, prioritize programs, and develop a detailed implementation plan and associated schedule. A definitive plan for tracking and execution of these initiatives should also be developed. Given limitations on financial resources such as cash balances and additional debt capacity, the University should aggressively pursue additional cost saving measures, improve fund raising performance, and reduce the subsidy from the University to the Howard University Hospital. Unless stringent cost-saving measures are adopted, the University will have a deficit of $50 million per year by the year 2000, assuming that the Federal appropriation increases at historical growth rates.

Fund raising: Howard's annual privately raised funds trail those of peer institutions. Howard's alumni response rate (eight percent) was far below that of the peer institutions.

Tuition pricing: Despite substantial tuition increases over the last 4 years, the University's tuition remains markedly below that of private peer institutions. Howard's tuition is significantly more than in-State tuition for almost all public peer institutions but below their out-of-State student tuition.

University-sponsored financial aid awards have increased more rapidly than tuition recently. Financial reasons do not appear to contribute significantly to the high dropout rate or declines in enrollment.

The University has not released financial data on foreign students that would allow the Department to assess their ability to afford Howard's tuition and fees. Without evidence that foreign student enrollment is sensitive to tuition, the foreign student surcharge appears appropriate in light of the portion of educational costs recovered through tuition charges for out-of-State students at State-supported institutions.

Student services: The services provided by the University are comparable to peer institutions, but its expenditure per full-time-equivalent student is much higher for these services.

The poor quality and limited availability of housing may be a factor contributing to declining enrollment.

The University has a high rate of violent crimes compared to similar urban institutions. Although the security staff is small compared to other universities, improvements could be brought about through better use of automation and crime prevention equipment.

Academic programs: The recommendations of the Howard University Commission Report (III.5) focus primarily on restructuring academic departments, adding or eliminating course offerings, increasing the University's research activities and increasing enrollment. In response to the Report, the tactics outlined in the Howard 2000 plan (III.6) for specific academic departments do not directly address the quality of academic programs and the impact on student outcomes. In fact, the University does not maintain data on student outcomes, such as advanced degrees, professions and income levels. However, as an indicator of academic quality, the University graduates only 42 percent of full-time entering students within seven years, despite a low student-to-faculty ratio of 4 to 1, which is much lower than the 10 to 1 average of the comparison groups.

The University's faculty are compensated slightly less than peers at the comparison group schools. However, salary increases have been higher than average over the past few years in an effort of the University to become more competitive. Faculty costs are impacted by the University's very low student-to-faculty ratio.

Physical facilities: As a percentage of total education and general budget, Howard's funding for physical facilities is reasonable when compared to peer institutions. The budget for deferred maintenance, however, is inadequate given existing needs.

The University has estimated that priority capital projects will require an investment of $118 million over the next eight years. This estimate is based on a faculty needs assessment conducted by an outside contractor (III.2.).

Administrative operations: Howard continues to have high administrative expenditures as a percentage of total educational and general expenditures.

Research spending: Howard spends less per student on research activities than the comparison group averages and the rate of increase has been slower.

Endowment: The Department has urged the University to strengthen efforts to match the Federal endowment grant; in FY 1993, the University matched all available funds.

Hospital: Congressional legislation stipulates that the Howard University hospital become progressively more self-supporting over time.

Although the purpose of the management review was to give a clear picture of where Howard University is, it should be made clear that many of the findings relate to practices and policies of past administrations. During the time that the study was being conducted, Dr. Franklyn Jenifer became the fourteenth president of Howard University; the data in this report do not reflect the reforms that he has spearheaded, among them internal reviews of university operations (including the Howard University commission report and Howard 2000) and administrative reforms aimed at establishing a solid foundation for strategic planning and long-term improvement. Howard University administrators note several significant recent changes that have been made (III.2.).

III. Sources of Information

  1. Program files.
  2. Howard University.
  3. Howard University: A Comparative Fiscal Analysis (Washington, DC: Pelavin Associates, Inc., April 1990).
  4. Management Review of Howard University (Washington, DC: Ernst & Young, May 1992).
  5. Investing for Excellence: Strategically Repositioning Howard University to Face the Challenges of the Twenty-First Century (Washington, DC: Howard University, 1990). (Howard Report.)
  6. Howard 2000: A Blueprint for Building a Stronger University to Face the Challenges of the Year 2000 and Beyond (Washington, DC: Howard University, 1991). (Howard Plan.)

IV. Planned Studies


V. Contacts for Further Information

Program Operations:
David A. Bergeron, (202) 708-9069
Program Studies:
Daniel Goldenberg , (202) 401-0182

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