College is one of the best times to broaden your horizons, try new things, and meet new people. One of the best ways to do that is to attend a college with a culturally and ethnically diverse student population. Being surrounded by a diverse student population will expose you to new viewpoints, challenge conventional thinking, and expose you to experiences. Because there are so many benefits to attending a diverse college, we compiled this list of the top 50 most diverse U.S. colleges.
To compile this list we took the racial breakdown of each university and combined it with their Equity Index Score, or EIS. The EIS represents the likelihood that any two people chosen at random in a school will be of different races or ethnic groups. An EIS score of one would indicate a 100% probability that two people chosen at random would be of different race or ethnic groups, and a score of 0 would represent a 0% probability. Thus, the more racially diverse a school is, the closer the EIS score will be to one. For more information on how this score was calculated check out this article from U.S. News and World Report.
The most racially diverse college on our list is Rutgers University–Newark. It is an urban, public research university of nearly 13,000 students that is noted for bringing university experts together with those from the corporate, nonprofit, and public sectors as well as community residents to collaboratively take on the most significant challenges facing metropolitan areas locally and globally.
|$13,597- in state
$28,987- out of state
Students come to the University of Houston from more than 137 countries around the world. The school boasts an ethnically diverse student population, as well as a robust number of international studies students. The school offers support programs for LGBT and international students as well.
|$10,518 in state
$24,378 out of state
Andrews University considers itself a “mini melting pot”, or a “global village” due to the high number of ethnically diverse students. With about 20% of the student population coming from a different country to study there, it is hard to argue with them. The university enhances this diverse student population by offering a variety of cultural groups and organizations to its students.
St. John’s was one of the first universities to offer equal opportunity education and enrollment for its students. Today the school puts a particularly strong emphasis on helping minority students attend law school through its school of law diversity program.
Residing in the heart of San Francisco Bay area helps Stanford to maintain its highly diverse student population, and a reputation for being accepting of a variety of minority lifestyles. Stanford offers eight individual community centers that provide opportunities for learning and networking within a variety of ethnic and cultural groups.
The University of San Francisco uses its diversity to foster what it calls “inclusive excellence.” They strive to help students find common ground with one another, and then use that common ground to move to a higher ground together.
Notre Dame de Namur University (NDNU) was one of the first private, nonprofit universities in California to be designated a Hispanic Serving Institution and an Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI). NDNU sponsors organizations to support students who identify as African American, Latino/a, Pacific Islander, Muslim, and LGBTQ. The university also regularly surveys its students to assess how well NDNU is addressing the needs of diverse students. Undergraduates are required to take a minimum of 9 credit hours on cultural diversity and community engagement.
With students from over 100 different countries, it is easy to see why the University of Hawaii at Manoa is one of the most diverse schools in the nation. The University prides itself on the spirit of aloha, or mutual regard, that embodies its campus culture, and makes students of all different cultures feel welcomed.
|$11,404 in state
$31,516 out of state
The Dominican University of California has specific diversity requirements for its instructors to follow when creating their curriculum. Nearly a third of the school’s student population are first time college students, and there are a variety of culturally diverse clubs on campus to help students enjoy their college experience.
UCLA actually requires all of its students to take courses on diversity before they are able to graduate. The campus is located near downtown Los Angeles, and the student body reflects the ethnic diversity of the surrounding area.
|$12,753 in state
11. Mills College
Mills College dedicates an entire web page to social justice and diversity. They offer resources for a variety of minorities including religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, disabilities, immigrants, and more.
Cal State – Long Beach is ranked 9th among all schools, in awarding degrees to minority students, and consistently ranks within the top ten in awarding degrees to hispanic students. The campus multicultural center offers a variety of workshops, trainings, and learning opportunities for students of all different ethnic groups.
|$6,452 in state
13. UC Merced
UC Merced is the newest member of the California school system, and from its inception in 2005 it has put an emphasis on making diversity a priority part of its student body. Its programs help to not only support minority students through school, but also in helping them to find quality employment and careers upon graduation.
|$11,220 in state
St. Peter’s has a relatively small student body, but students come from 29 different states, and more than 39 countries around the world. They pride themselves on being “small enough to know your name, and big enough to bring the world to your door.”
BYU Hawaii is a satellite campus for the larger Brigham Young University campus in Provo, Utah. With students from over 70 countries around the world, BYU Hawaii is the preeminent international center for learning in the pacific. The University also bolsters one of the largest student populations of native hawaiian and pacific islander students in the nation.
|School||Equity Index Score||Tuition||Enrollment||Admissions|
|16||Nova Southeastern University||0.71||$27,660||4,699||48.8%|
|17||Texas Woman’s University||0.71||$8,522 in-state
|18||University of California Santa Cruz||0.71||$13,481 in-state
|19||University of Illinois- Chicago||0.71||$13,670 in-state
|20||University of Texas- Arlington||0.71||$8,878 in-state
|21||University of the Pacific||0.71||$42,934||3,810||54.9%|
|22||Massachusetts Institute of Technology||0.70||$46,704||4,512||7.9%|
|23||New Jersey Institute of Technology||0.70||$15,648 in-state
|24||University of California- Davis||0.70||$13,951 in-state
|25||University of California- Santa Barbara||0.70||$13,865 in-state
|26||University of Texas- Dallas||0.70||$11,806 in-state
|28||Georgia State University||0.69||$10,686 in-state
|30||San Diego State University||0.69||$6,976 in-state
|31||University of California Riverside||0.69||$14,050 in-state
|32||University of California- Berkeley||0.68||$13,432 in-state
|33||University of Southern California||0.68||$50,210||18,740||18%|
|34||Florida Atlantic University||0.67||$6,039 in-state
|35||University of California Irvine||0.67||$14,577 in-state
|36||George Mason University||0.66||$10,952 in-state
|38||Stony Brook University||0.66||$8,855 in-state
|39||University of Maryland- Baltimore County||0.66||$11,006 in-state
|40||University of Massachusetts- Boston||0.66||$11,966 in-state
|41||University of Texas- Austin||0.66||$9,830 in-state
|42||Azusa Pacific University||0.65||$34,754||5,918||81.8%|
|43||California Institute of Technology||0.65||$45,390||983||8.8%|
|44||Carnegie Mellon University||0.65||$50,410||6,309||24.6%|