Fact check: Joe Biden did not say he attended Delaware State University 

Tens of thousands of social media users have been sharing posts that say Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden lied about attending Delaware State University (DSU). This claim is false: Biden did not say that he attended DSU.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS

During the first U.S. Presidential debate between President Trump and Biden on Sept. 29, Trump said, “So you said you went to Delaware State, but you forgot the name of your college. You didn’t go to Delaware State” (see 27:34 minute mark in this video of the debate  here  ). 

Posts shared on Twitter (  here  ,  here  ) say “Joe Biden has repeatedly claimed he was a student at Delaware State University” or “Joe Biden literally lied about attending a black university… what the actual f***?!?!”.  

Many of the posts on Facebook (  here  ,  here  ,  here  ) link to an article by the Washington Times ( here  ) with the headline, “Biden’s claim about attending historically Black Delaware State refuted by university”.  Others ( here )  link to an article by American Lookout ( here  ) with the headline, “Joe Biden lied about going to historically Black school Delaware State University.” 

The articles say they are referring to Biden saying, “I got started out of an HBCU, Delaware State” at a speech he made at Wilson High School, Florence, South Carolina, on Oct. 26, 2019 ahead of the South Carolina primaries (see 28:55 minute mark in this video of the talk  ).  

In the speech, Biden did not say that he “attended” or “went to” DSU.

Carlos Holmes, a representative for DSU told Delaware Online that it was clear Biden was referring to the support he received from the school when he announced his bid for the Senate on the DSU campus in 1972 ( here ).  

HBCU stands for Historically Black Colleges and Universities ( here  ), of which there are more than 100 in the United States. They were established before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when white-dominated higher education institutions could ban African-American students (here). Non-Black students can attend HBCUs ( here  ).  

Joe Biden attended the University of Delaware (  here  ,  here  ,  here  ). 


False. Biden did not say that he attended Delaware State University. At a speech he made in South Carolina in 2019 when he said that he “got started” out of DSU, he was likely referring to the support he received when he launched his U.S. Senate bid at the campus there in 1972.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work  here  .