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How Can You Measure How Diverse a College Is?

Diversity can mean a few different things when it comes to colleges and universities. Here are the factors of a school that measure how diverse it is.

Ciera GrahamDr. Ciera Graham
K–12 Manager
City of Seattle
Colleges and universities that value Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) are more likely to have a diverse student body and faculty as well as academic offerings like cultural and ethnic studies. When you start your college search, ask the following questions to learn how committed a campus is to DEI:

  • How many students of color are on campus?
  • Does the campus have gender-neutral restrooms or campus housing?
  • Is the campus accessible for students with disabilities?
  • Does the campus celebrate a variety of cultural events or holidays?

Colleges that value DEI tend to have programs and scholarships that support diverse students like TRIO Programs or clubs focused on students’ social identities and lived experiences. Access to these programs allows students to build relationships with their peers and receive additional academic and financial resources to succeed in college.

Joan Isaac MohrJoan Isaac Mohr
Vice President and Dean of Admissions

Quinnipiac University
You can measure a college’s diversity in comparison to others in similar settings and similar types of colleges. Schools look for the obvious racial and gender diversity, yes, but colleges also look for geographic diversity, as in students who come from different states, regions, or countries; economic diversity, as in students who come from a variety of economic backgrounds like PELL recipients; and diversity with first-generation college attendees. These are all indicators of diversity as much as race, gender, and religion—which are the major factors of diversity students often think of. Some colleges might specifically be less diverse in these respects to help boost a certain type of students, i.e. women’s colleges, Christian and Catholic universities, and HBCUs. Except for some women’s colleges, these types of schools don’t exclude other people but rather prioritize certain types of students during admission.  

Are you looking for colleges that value diversity of any kind? Check out our featured diversity colleges lists to find your supportive community.

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