Rate this HBCU Day 60: Savannah State University

How would you rate Savannah State University?

  • 1 (If there are no other options...)

    Votes: 1 9.1%
  • 2

    Votes: 1 9.1%
  • 3

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 4

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 5 (it works)

    Votes: 3 27.3%
  • 6

    Votes: 3 27.3%
  • 7

    Votes: 1 9.1%
  • 8

    Votes: 1 9.1%
  • 9

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 10 (Premier institution of Black Excellence)

    Votes: 1 9.1%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .


Space is the Place
Jan 23, 2016
Figthing borg at Wolf 359

We last covered Miles College which received an average score of 5.8.

See the updated leaderboard here

Savannah State University was originally founded as a segregated land grant university. It was called the Georgia State Industrial College for Colored Youth and was started in Athens, GA in 1890 until moving to Savannah the next year. Its presidents have all been Black starting from Richard Wright Sr. who was born a slave. It was the first public HBCU in the state of Georgia.

Savannah State was primarily a normal school to train teachers in its earliest years. It was also named Georgia State College (not to be confused with Georgia State University) from 1932-1950 before being called Savannah State. Like most normal school HBCUs, it transitioned into a liberal arts school as it stands today. Today it hosts several unique programs for a HBCU, most notably its marine biology program. One of its leading professors Dionne Hoskins-Brown, a Black woman marine biologist, is credited with training many students who went on to earn higher graduate degrees and work in the field.

Savannah State also hosts a cultural exchange center with China, the Confucius Institute. Once common at many universities though, these have become controversial and been closed in recent years due to allegations of influence peddling by the Chinese government.

Dionne Hoskins-Brown

Founded: 1890

City, State: Savannah, GA

Type: 4-year, Public

Nickname: Tigers and Lady Tigers

Enrollment and percent Black enrollment: 3,385 (3,138 undergraduate) , 90% Black

Part-time student percentage: 20%

First Generation Student Percentage: 33%

Percentage of students from households under $30k/over $100k: 59% / 5%

Out of State Percentage: 13% (Top States: Florida & South Carolina)

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 18:1

Admissions Acceptance Rate: Open admissions

4-yr/6-yr graduation rates: 10% / 29%

Transfer out rate: 43%

Male/Female percentages (Female:Male Ratio): 38% male/ 62% female (1.6:1)

Tuition: In-state: $5.5k, Out-of-state: $16k

Median Federal Debt After Graduation: $29k

Median Parent PLUS Loans After Graduation: $16k

Median Earning 10-Years after 10 years from freshman year: $37k

Median Earnings for specific majors after 3 years after graduation:
Electrical Engineering: $58k, Accouting: $46k, Business Administration: $42k, Criminal Justice: $40k

Top Majors by Degrees:
Business Administration/Marketing/Accounting, Criminal Justice, Biology, Computer Engineering

Endowment: ~$8-10M

Alumni Engagement: N/A

Athletic Conference: SIAC (NCAA Div II)

Mascot: Tigers


Notable Alumni:
Robert Wright Sr. - born a slave and became the first president of Savannah State (then Georgia State Industrial College for Colored Youth )

Shannon Sharpe - Super Bowl champion football player and one of the greatest tight ends in history, now sports commentator

JaQuitta Williams - former Atlanta area TV anchor

Lt. Gen. Walter Gaskins - former Marine Lt. General, first Black to command a Marine Corp division

Main Campus

Hill Hall

University Village

Marine Biology Building

Theodore A. Wright Stadium

Tiger Arena

Powerhouse of the South Marching Band




Miss Savannah State University



@JBoy @Lucky_Lefty
@ab.aspectus @Originalman @#1 pick @Ziggiy @SupaVillain @Tug life @Idaeo @get these nets @MostReal @Bryan Danielson @Rollie Forbes @Sonic Boom of the South @staticshock @Charlie Hustle @BigAggieLean. @Optimus Prime @How Sway? @DropTopDoc @Johnny seawolf


Black American. The Sipp/Carolina.
Dec 27, 2017
ATL via Tre 4
Dated an AKA from SSU. Good woman. Brought me to their homecoming, and it was a lot of fun. Took her to an A&T homecoming, and had her admit ours was better lol.

Anyways, Shannon Sharpes alma mater. Did not know that it was open admittance. In athletics, they were a MEAC school for awhile, but I remember them dropping out of the conference my sophomore year in college. Left right around the same time WSSU left.

How Sway?

Great Value Man
Nov 10, 2012
I only know about Shannon Sharpe and the beautiful campus (so I've heard). And also they're narching band, but most HBCUs have solid bands.

Based off those numbers, I gotta give them a 6


A Thick Sauce N*gga
Apr 30, 2012
SSU is the college primarily for 2 types of people........ folks who are only going to college because they feel they are supposed to and dont know what else to do at the moment, and people who really fukked up in high school and need to find a college to accept them. Most people dont even sniff graduation over there.

I never met someone who planned in high school to go there, you would always ask where people went after they graduated and it was "oh they over at Savannah State".

Honestly if your option is SSU you are much better off going into the military and getting some life experience and a method to pay for school (if that’s still what you want) instead of going to SSU and racking up a lot of debt with nothing to show for it.
Last edited:

Blown Moon

All Star
Jul 14, 2012
The most ******ish of nikkas surround the campus. Don't go there if you have other options. That's all I got.:francis:

get these nets

Jul 8, 2017
Above the fray.

Savannah State leader resigning amid declining enrollment

May 2, 2023

This Monday, May 1, 2023 photo shows the main entrance to Savannah State University in Savannah, Ga. Savannah State President Kimberly Ballard-Washington is resigning as leader of Georgia's oldest historically Black public university amid financial challenges that include employee layoffs and a faculty revolt against one of her top administrators.

The president of Georgia's oldest historically Black public university is resigning amid employee layoffs sparked by declining enrollment and a faculty revolt against a top administrator.
Savannah State University President Kimberly Ballard-Washington announced Thursday that she would step down on June 30. The school on Friday announced it was laying off 27 employees on the same day, which is the last day of the state budget year.
Student numbers are shrinking, which in turn drags down the amount of state aid that Savannah State gets, because aid is generally driven by enrollment.
Ballard-Washington wrote in a letter to faculty, students and staff that she was stepping down due to "personal issues."
She'll be replaced by Cynthia Robinson Alexander, who will become interim president on July 1, University System of Georgia Chancellor Sonny Perdue announced. Alexander is currently the system's associate vice chancellor for finance.
Perdue didn't say how or when regents might name a permanent replacement, and system spokesperson Kristina Torres declined to comment further on Monday. Torres didn't say if the Board of Regents or Perdue asked Ballard-Washington to resign.

Ballard-Washington was a longtime lawyer for the University System of Georgia and the University of Georgia before regents sent her to take charge of Savannah State in 2019. In recent months, the campus has been roiled by a reorganization plan that eliminates majors in English, history, environmental science and Africana studies. Documents obtained last year by the Savannah Morning News show the cuts could save $900,000.
Ballard-Washington told WTOC-TV that in addition to the program cuts, the university may close some buildings to reduce utility costs. The university has ended some faculty contracts and is freezing hiring for vacant positions.
"It tugs at your heartstrings when you want to make a difference, but you can't make the difference that you want to make," she told WTOC-TV Friday. "I think I moved the needle a bit, but the needle needs to be moved further and I'm stepping aside so someone else can come and do that."

Savannah State's finances have been up and down in recent years. In the 2022 budget year, the school eked out a $71,000 cash gain, financial statements show, but that was bolstered by a one-time injection of $11 million in federal coronavirus aid. Savannah State saw cash fall by $3.4 million in 2021, after increasing by $3.5 million in 2020.
Enrollment at Savannah State, which used to hover just under 5,000 students, has fallen for six straight years, and was only 2,962 in fall of 2022, down 40% from 2016.
Other regional universities in Georgia have seen enrollment declines, but not as steep. The seven other universities that regents consider to be in the same class as Savannah State saw overall enrollment fall 6% from 2016 until 2022. Fort Valley State University, another historically Black school in Georgia, saw enrollment fall 3% since 2016.
State appropriations to public universities are based on a two-year lag in enrollment data, which means Savannah State is looking at several years of declines in state aid even if enrollment turns around soon.

Ballard-Washington has also been dogged by faculty discontent with one of her top lieutenants. Faculty in the university's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences voted "no confidence" in Dean David Marshall's leadership in March.
That vote is nonbinding, but the Savannah Morning News reported that system officials met with Marshall and professors last week, planning a report that will recommend whether Marshall should remain in his position.
Ballard-Washington has said she supports due process for Marshall and that the faculty complaints lack specifics. Part of the discontent involves the suspension of academic programs and questions of whether faculty can work from home, while other complaints say Marshall has belittled and abused professors. Marshall has denied misconduct

get these nets

Jul 8, 2017
Above the fray.

USG Chancellor Sonny Perdue: Consolidation of Savannah State is 'not on the table'​


Hill Hall, built in 1901, is the oldest building on the Savannah State University campus​

May 26, 2023
In an interview with Atlanta's WABE public radio station, University System of Georgia Chancellor Sonny Perdue said "unequivocally," neither consolidation nor a merger are on the table for Savannah State University.

Perdue's answer comes weeks after the resignation of the school's president and a staff layoff. Prior to those moves, Savannah Alderwoman Alicia Miller Blakely spoke of a rumored consolidation of Savannah State in her candidate profile interview with Savannah Morning News in late March.

A statement from USG at the time said the consolidation fears were unfounded, but Perdue had not commented directly until the interview on WABE's "Closer Look with Rose Scott."

"Let me say, unequivocally, that consolidation or merger is not on the table anywhere, particularly Savannah State, because there's been a rumor down there, politically I think, of that being a possibility. That's not a consideration at all," Perdue said.

SSU has been in a school in turmoil recently. Disgruntled faculty in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences held a vote-of no confidence against Dean David Marshall in March, prompting President Kimberly Ballard Washington to call for a USG investigation into the matter.

In late April, Ballard Washington tendered her resignation from the university, the day before a round of layoffs were announced. Perdue named Cynthia Robinson Alexander as interim president, effective July 1. Alexander currently serves as the USG's associate vice chancellor for finance. She leads the Board of Regents' management of all alternative financing transactions.

In his radio interview, Perdue said he sees opportunity in SSU, and said he hopes to see the school become one of the premier HBCUs in the southeast.

"You can't tell me why Savannah State shouldn't be one of the top, premier HBCUs in the Southeast, with where it's located," Perdue said. "We've got a lot of work to do, and we plan to do it. But there's no talk of consolidation."

Perdue said the merger of Armstrong State University with Georgia Southern in 2018, might be the cause of the concerns regarding an SSU consolidation.

"That is not in the works at all. I want to reassure anyone listening from Savannah State, anyone that's concerned about HBCUs: Neither Fort Valley, Albany or Savannah, no consolidation," Perdue said.