Graduation rates remain troublingly low for African American female students, despite their increased enrollment rates into higher education institutions. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the factors of persistence that lead to the academic success of African American female college students. A total of 10 participants engaged in interviews to share their lived experiences as college students. The study was guided by the following research questions: (1) How do African American female students describe their journey to graduation while attending a public university? (2) What institutional supports systems do African American female students in higher education institutions encounter in reaching graduation? (3) What types of barriers do African American female students in higher education institution face in their journey to graduation? Findings from interviews unveiled factors of persistence that lead to the academic success and degree attainment of this student population. These factors were (a) university organizations (b) minority women faculty and staff mentors, and (c) self efficacy. Data analysis revealed that university organizations fostered engagement, academic support, and mentorship. African American female faculty and staff were an important factor in the mentorship they provided for students. Also, self-efficacy in the students was strengthened through access to positive support systems. Implications for practice and recommendations for future research were identified. The findings might also be beneficial to university administrators who seek to increase the retention and graduation rates of African American female college students.