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Wilberforce University an Institution Situated at the Intersection of a Noteworthy History and a Promising Future.


Information on cost, academic programs, accreditation, special services, campus contacts, refund policies, Return of Funds to Title IV, and procedures for officially withdrawing are available in the University Catalog at these locations:

  • Cost of Education
  • Academic Programs (pgs. 37-155)
  • Accreditation (p. 1)
  • Academic Regulations (pgs. 8-17)
  • Campus Contacts (pgs. 156-162)
  • Institutional Refund Policy (p. 27)
  • Return of Funds to Title IV (p. 33)
  • Procedures for Officially Withdrawing (p. 10)
  • General Information on physical facilities (pgs. 5-6)
  • College Index (pgs. 164-167)

Wilberforce University is a four-year accredited liberal arts institution.

We offer 21 academic concentrations in:

  • business
  • communications
  • computing and engineering sciences
  • humanities
  • natural sciences
  • social sciences

Through the University’s Adult and Continuing Education Program we offer Credentials for Leadership in Management and Business (CLIMB). This program serves students interested in completing their Bachelor of Science degree in organizational management, health care administration, or information technology.

Wilberforce University is the nation’s oldest private, historically black University owned and operated by African Americans. Its roots trace back to its founding in 1856, a period of American history marred by the physical bondage of people of African descent. It was also a period when the education of African Americans was not only socially prohibited but was illegal. There was nothing about the prevailing social and cultural ethos of the era that suggested that African Americans might or should be taught or could learn. Yet a powerful idea assumed life and Wilberforce University was born. The founding of Wilberforce University represented a bold, audacious and visionary example of what could happen when men and women of goodwill transcended race and the prevailing social and cultural constructs and norms to pursue a noble purpose.

Wilberforce University was named for the great eighteenth century abolitionist, William Wilberforce who said “We are too young to realize that certain things are impossible… So, we will do them anyway.” It was this can-do spirit that infused Wilberforce University with strength to persevere, and the institution met with early success through 1862. The outbreak of the Civil War forced the school to temporarily close its doors. This short set back did not deter the institution for long. In March 1863, Daniel A. Payne a bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal church, negotiated to purchase the and buildings, and the University was re-incorporated in July 10, 1863. Bishop Payne opened the doors of the university with six students and a debt of $10,000 and became the first person of African descent to be the President of an American Institution of higher learning. Wilberforce University prospered as young African Americans sought to educate themselves in the ending of the Civil War promised a new social order. One April 21, 1865, a headline in the New York Times announced, Wilberforce University Destroyed by Fire. Yet, Wilberforce recovered, endured and continued to grow. Throughout its 163-year history, Wilberforce University has demonstrated a formidable spirit of resilience and triumph and has never wavered from its sacred duty to educate and enrich its students.

Wilberforce University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) , a regional accrediting agency recognized by the Department of Education which accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in the North Central region, comprised of 19 states, including Ohio.

To contact The Higher Learning Commission:
Higher Learning Commission
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, Illinois 60604-1411
Phone: 800.621.7440 / 312.263.0456 | Fax: 312.263.7462 |

This accreditation affirms that Wilberforce University continues to provide quality educational programs and services to students. The next reaffirmation is scheduled for 2025/2026. For the Wilberforce University Public Disclosure Statement of Status, please click here.

Higher Education Act - Annual Notice

The Higher Education Amendments of 1998 (HEA98) requires institutions to provide annual notice to enrolled students of the availability of the following consumer information:


It is the established policy of Wilberforce University not to tolerate any form of discrimination or harassment by or against any individual or group of individuals for reasons of sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, disability, military status, sexual orientation gender identity and expression, etc. The university is fully committed to providing equal opportunities in all employment-related activities, educational programs, and other activities of the institution. Any person who is subjected to conduct that creates a discriminatory, intimidating or harassing environment should report the Office of Human Resources, (937) 708-5798.


It is the policy of Wilberforce University to provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities. If you would like to request such accommodations because of a physical, mental, or learning disability, please contact the Office of Student Academic Support Services.

Visit their website at Office of Student Academic Support Services or call (937) 708-5257.

View the accommodations policy at  Wilberforce University Reasonable Accommodations Policy and Process


Information on rights and procedures for inspection, correction, and disclosure of information in the student’s record are student rights.  Click this link FERPA to view Department of Education FERPA website.  Wilberforce University FERPA information is published in the University Catalog. You may obtain a copy by contacting the Office of the Registrar.

Visit their website at Office of the Registrar or call (937) 708-5736.


Description of student aid program, application procedures and eligibility criteria, and rights and responsibilities of students receiving financial assistance. Student financial aid information is Information is available by contacting the Office of Student Financial Aid.

Visit their website at Student Financial Services or call (937) 708-5727.


Statistics concerning reported crimes occurred on campus. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security such as policies concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters.  To receive a copy of the report, please contact Campus Police.

Visit their website at Campus Police  or call (937) 708-5701.

View the current annual report at Annual Security & Fire Safety Report.


Information on Wilberforce University’s intercollegiate athletics programs: intercollegiate varsity teams; number of participants; operating expenses; gender, status, and salary of all coaches; revenue generated; funds spent on athletic student; and recruiting expenditures for both men’s and women’s teams.

View the current survey at Annual Equity in Athletic Disclosure Act Survey.


HEOA Sec. 488(a)(1)(E) amended HEA Sec. 485(a)(1) (20 U.S.C. 1092(a)(1)): added HEA Sec. 485(a)(1)(U): HEOA amendment effective August 14, 2008: “Institutions must make available to current and prospective students the retention rate of certificate- or degree-seeking, first-time, undergraduate students as reported to IPEDS.

Retention Rate

The First-time Full-time Freshmen Retention Rate reported in IPEDS Fall 2018 Enrollment Survey:   39%

Retention & Graduation Rates
Six Year Completion-Graduation Rates Report – All Undergraduates
Six Year Completion Rates- Student Athletes
Student Body Diversity Report 2018
2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, & 2010


Wilberforce Student Concerns

Wilberforce University is dedicated to resolving all student complaints in a fair and timely manner. Complaints that cannot be resolved by working with the relevant office or department should be addressed in writing to

Please be sure to include:

1. Your name and student # ID

2. Your email address or other preferred contact method

3. A description of the circumstances and the steps taken to resolve the issue with the relevant office or department.

If necessary, students may also contact Wilberforce’s state licensing agency – Ohio Department of Higher Education, 25 South Front Street, Columbus, OH 43215, 614-466-6000, or the college’s accreditor Higher Learning Commission, 30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2400, Chicago, IL 60602-2504, 800-621-7440.

Wilberforce University embodies six(6) core values that undergird all decisions critical to accomplishing the university’s mission:

Our Students

Our Students are the center of our existence; respect, spiritual values and commitment to their educational success is our priority.


We are an African Methodist Episcopal Church University that believes in the Living God; we embrace Christian principles as our foundation.

Christian Principles

Ethics, integrity, and honesty, as exhibited in the Christ of Scripture, are an essential part of our spiritual growth and permit us to develop our relationships with God and one another.

Quality Education

We will provide a living-learning environment with excellent teaching and a challenging curriculum.

Social & Community Responsibility

We are devoted to serving our community through personal and institutional outreach consistent with our core values.

History and Tradition

We embrace and cherish our history and take responsibility for our future and for distinguishing ourselves through the 21st century and beyond.

© Wilberforce University - All Rights Reserved.
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