20 Colleges With the Most Diverse Student Body

Pew Research Center confirms that the United States ranks high in cultural diversity. It is more diverse than Russia but less diverse than Spain. 

Most Diverse Student Body - fact

In recent years, the UCDA mentioned that America welcomed more diverse races, with increasing populations of Asians, Blacks, and Hispanics populations.

Featured Programs

Diversification in higher education aims to reduce the disparities between whites and racial and ethnic minorities in the areas of academic work and extracurricular activities.

Diversity on campus has a profound effect on student success and the worldview of an individual, which can improve the college experience and propel workplace success.

The diversity context in this article is not limited to race, tribal affiliation, and ethnicity. It also considers factors such as sexual orientation, income level, culture, and gender for a full college experience in a diverse environment.

Colleges in various school districts listed in this article will include that highly emphasize diversity at all levels. There could be other variables that may be considered or influenced based on a college’s diversity.

Over the past few years, American colleges have been making more efforts to diversify their campuses and ensure that students from historically underrepresented backgrounds are more welcomed in different programs and campuses. Many schools and clubs have opened diversity and inclusion offices for historically underrepresented groups. According to experts, enhancing campus diversity is beneficial to students from historically underrepresented groups and the entire society. Get to learn more about the importance of diversity in colleges and how the list of schools is taking initiatives to create a more diversified student population. 

20 Colleges with the Most Diverse Student Body

Pacific Union College (PUC)

Angwin, California

Pacific Union College is known for its diversity. 1882 was the year the college was founded. It is an Adventist liberal arts college. This is the best college if you’re thinking of enrolling in entrepreneurship, nursing, biology, visual arts, or communication programs.

There are 17.7 percent Asian students, 27.7 percent white students, and 27.1 percent Hispanic/Latino students. Multiculturalism is evident on campus. 

Nearly 1700 undergraduates at Pacific Union are part of 30 cultural, academic, and special interest clubs. Cultural clubs are available for different races, such as Latinos, Koreans, Asians, Blacks, and Filipinos. More than 1300 Pacific Union students serve as missionaries worldwide, adding to the college’s ethnic and global feel.

Every Monday, the Campus Center at PUC hosts “Neighborhood Night,” where students get to know different people in other clubs and participate in community events.

Their definition of diversity includes these aspects (race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, and disability) identified in the WASC Statement on Diversity. Students and faculty are expected to respect the values embodied in our handbooks, and are committed to helping all members of their community feel welcome, respected, and valued.

Golden Gate University

San Francisco, California

San Francisco’s financial district is home to Golden Gate University, a private university that offers degrees in business, accounting, taxation, and law. In addition to two undergraduate degree programs with eight concentrations, 15 graduate degree programs with 24 concentrations are available.

Embracing ethics and diversity is at the heart of the university’s mission to prepare students to serve and lead. Golden Gate education is a vital part of living up to that mission. 

In their law department, 62% are from racially diverse backgrounds, 64% are women, 11% identify as LGBTQ, and 48% are first-generation college students or law students. GWU Law has a tradition of social justice work.

Their ELJ clinic was awarded the 2013 Dedication to Diversity and Justice Award for its work to reduce pollution in underserved communities living near power plants and manufacturing facilities.

Their Pro Bono Honors Society has provided over 22,000 pro bono hours to underserved veterans, and the Veteran Legal Assistance Center provided thousands of dollars in benefits to underserved veterans.

Boston University

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston University is among the top 25 most diverse colleges and universities in the country, ranking fifth among higher learning institutions in Massachusetts. BU. Has more than 21% international students, the highest share of all schools ranked among the most diverse colleges.

Boston University is considered highly selective, with an admissions rate of 22.1%. Highly selective, nationally recognized schools often recruit more applicants, leading to more diverse students.

Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground (HTC) has brought students of diverse backgrounds, cultures, and religions together to engage in courageous dialogue. Students learn about their shared humanity through programs like Coffee & Conversation at the HTC, helping them expand their social and spiritual growth.

Among some of their diversity programs are the India club and the Brazilian Association. They also have a black student organization UMOJA and the Minority Engineers Society. The campus has a wide variety of cultural organizations that allow students to take pride in their heritage. 

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Nevada, Las Vegas

Diversity is an essential value of the University of Nevada – Las Vegas (UNLV). UNLV was designated as a Minority Serving Institution by the Department of Education in December 2012 due to its high percentage of minority students. This designation is awarded to institutions with specific indicators, including diversity in its student body. 

Additionally, they have been evaluated by how many minority students are eligible for federal assistance, such as Pell Grants, Work-Study, Perkins Loans, and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants. UNLV is a Hispanic Serving Institution that serves Asian Americans, Native Americans, and Pacific Islander students.

With 52 cultural, ethnic, and religious student organizations on campus, the university is prepared to serve these multicultural students.

The Anti-Black Racism Task Force is committed to addressing biases and stereotypes on campus. Historically, colleges and universities serving minorities have been designated as minorities.

Rice University

Houston, Texas

At Rice University, diversity is another essential element for this renowned school. There are 37.7% white students, 17.6% Hispanic, 29.1% Asian, 8.1% black undergraduates, and 4.5% students are multi-racial.

Almost half of Rice’s students are from Texas, which is among the country’s most diverse states. Its Council on Diversity and Inclusion includes numerous working groups, such as affirmative action and community relations.

With the help of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, students can join a variety of cultural groups and get involved and find their communities. Students can choose to be as involved in campus life as possible due to Rice’s diverse academic and social environment. 

Houston, where Rice is located, is a diverse and rich community where 145 languages are spoken.

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, California

The University of California at Berkeley was started In 1868 to offer students an educational experience honed to contribute to society for the sake of the advancing first-generation college students. Around 34,000 students attend UC Berkeley, renowned for being progressive and pioneering. Diversity is a priority at Berkeley.

The Division for Equity and Community Inclusion focuses on creating a respectful work environment for all employees. Berkeley leads the way in creating a diverse campus by having several student groups.

One year after the Berkeley campus opened for instruction, the regents voted to admit women on equal terms with men. The university enrolls 17 of the first female students.

According to its students’ racial/ethnic diversity, Berkeley ranks 425 out of 3,790 schools. Thanks to the university’s high level of diversity, there are many educational opportunities and activities that allow them to interact with students from different cultures.

Stanford University

Stanford, California 

Diversity has shaped Stanford University since its founding in 1891. Jane Stanford pledged to resist the tendency of a stratified society by keeping open a pathway for the deserving and exceptional to rise with their hard work. Today, Stanford University lives up to this noble promise.

A diverse campus, Stanford University has several ethnic and cultural club organizations, such as the Armenian Student Association, Black Family Gathering, Black Men’s Forum, Native American Graduate Students, the Vietnamese Student Association, and the Chinese American Association.

Stanford University ranked #2 on the diversity ranking out of 3,514 schools in the United States. There are a good number of students at Stanford. Undergraduates at this school earned 1,892 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019. There are 12.26% of international students. 

Harvard University

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Students who value diversity will enjoy Harvard University! There were 2,902 diplomas awarded to qualified undergraduates in 2018-2019 by this private, not-for-profit university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. At Harvard University, approximately 25% of students are in the traditional age range.

Harvard University, the diverse campus that it is, enrolls 40% White students, 13.7% Asian students, 9.21% Hispanic students or Latino students, 5.98% Black or African Americans, 3.99% Two or More Races Students, 0.215% American Indian or Alaska Native Students, and 0.0979% Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Island Students.

Diverse perspectives, cultures, and ideas create conditions for growth at Harvard University. The school encourages the celebration of individuality.

Swarthmore College

Swarthmore, Pennsylvania

Colleges like Swarthmore are great for students who appreciate diversity, with about 11.81% of international students.

Located on the campus of Swarthmore College, the Black Cultural Center has been the home of Swarthmore’s distinguished community of Black students since the 1960s.

Swarthmore College has 37.5% White students, 15.6% Asian students, 12.8% Hispanic students, 7.65% Black or African American students, 7.47% Two or More Races students, 0.376% American Indian or Alaska Native students, and 0.125% Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander students enrolled.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Only 6.7% of applicants get into MIT, making it one of the most selective institutions in the United States. In deciding which candidates to admit, the school may be able to take racial and ethnic diversity into account more than less selective schools. It is a relatively homogeneous county in Massachusetts, where MIT is located.

The school has drawn students from every state and now maintains a very diverse campus. The majority of respondents are white, with 35.2%. A third of students are Asian, followed by 16.9% of Hispanic students.

Students of all backgrounds are welcome at MIT Admissions. While some students may think that getting into MIT is only a dream, it’s worth all the competition and effort once you get into this institution.

MIT Institute Community & Equity Office promotes a supportive, inclusive community that embraces diversity and enables everyone to reach their full potential.

Amherst College

Amherst, Massachusetts

Considered one of the most diverse colleges globally, Amherst College’s students of color account for over 43% of the enrollment. As part of the university’s commitment to diversity, the Office of Admission sponsors several special programs, including Diversity Open Houses and Diversity Internships.

The African and Caribbean Student’s Union is a student organization open to all African and Caribbean descent students.

Amherst prides itself on promoting student diversity by recruiting, admitting, and enrolling diverse student bodies. Through the Access to Amherst (A2A) program, the Office of Admission introduces prospective students to the campus, student body, faculty members, and classes of Amherst College.

Diversity Outreach Interns work to promote diversity at Amherst College by providing information and personal perspectives. Working collaboratively, the Office of Diversity & Inclusion works to develop a just, equitable, vibrant, and intellectually challenging environment.

Yale University

New Haven, Connecticut

Yale was founded in 1701 to expand knowledge, inspire innovation, and preserve cultural and scientific knowledge for the next generation. Yale has always had a solid global reach. New Haven, Connecticut, is one of its hometowns, and they work together to strengthen the city’s economy and community.

There are 13,609 students from different backgrounds enrolled at Yale University. There are 13,468 full-time students at Yale University and other students, some 141 of them, are part-time. Hence, Yale University has 99% full-time students enrolled.

Among all undergraduate students and graduate students at Yale, 41.2% are white, 15.1% are Asian, 10.4% are Hispanic students, 6.01% are Black students or African American, 5.11% are Asian-American, and 0.309% are American Indians or Alaska Natives.

Yale’s belonging program aims to facilitate diversity, support equity, and create an environment that is welcoming, inclusive, and respectful of other students

George Mason University

Fairfax, Virginia

Mason Nation is the nickname students use for George Mason University, an institution that serves 34,000 students from all 50 states and 130 countries. GMU is the largest university in Virginia and offers many academic programs. GMU students enjoy over 350 clubs and 1000 events annually.

Diversity, Inclusion, and Multicultural Education (ODIME) offers additional resources to encourage, assist, and promote the diverse population at George Mason University. Learning Services, for example, provides tutoring services to students who need them. Having such support makes it no wonder GMU is one of the most ethnically diverse colleges in the country.

George Mason University is home to students of different backgrounds, consisting of 41.7% White students, 17.5% Asian students, 13% Hispanic students, 10.7% Black students, 4.13% Two or More Races students, 0.169% Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islanders students, and 0.156% American Indian or Alaska Native students. Anyone can enroll at George Mason University. 

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Carnegie Mellon University has an Asian majority of 38% of its American students, making it one of the most diverse colleges where Asians are the largest racial or ethnic group. More than 1,500 students from more than a dozen countries attend CMU.

Among the school’s undergraduates, 18% identify as nonresident international students. A Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion at Carnegie Mellon helps historically underrepresented groups and those attending college for the first time.

For minority first-year students, the center holds events like the Martin Luther King, Jr Lecture Series and an overnight retreat before orientation.

Wellesley College

Wellesley, Massachusetts

The founders of Wellesley believed that women deserved access to the best education in the country. Perspectives, experiences, and voices shape the brilliant ideas, the brightest solutions, and the healthiest communities.

Its mission is to ensure that all Wellesley students are given equal opportunity to succeed, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, physical ability, or other factors that divide them.

All 50 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, are represented by Wellesley students. Wellesley students represent 87 countries. 47% of students’ homes speak a language other than English; more than 30 languages are spoken on campus.

The class of 2023 is composed of 52 percent of students of color. One of the Seven Sisters colleges, Wellesley College, offers the same high-quality education as diverse colleges in the Ivy League to female students. 

Racial, ethnic, and geographical diversity is high at the school, with 78.4% of randomly selected students being of different citizenship, race, or ethnicity. Respondents identified as Asian 23.9%, white 42.0%, Hispanic students, 14.5%, Black students, 7.2%, and multi-racial 7.0%.

Florida Atlantic University

Boca Raton, Florida

Boca Raton, Florida, is home to Florida Atlantic University. More than half or 60% of the student body is of ethnic descent. The school runs the “A Campus of Difference” program that strengthens the university’s community-building capabilities. Participants become aware of their biases and learn to appreciate diversity on campus through anti-bias training.

Fostering the recognition of bias and its harm to people and society encourages proactive changes regarding the challenges faced on campus. Also, students examine their own cultural identity and their own identity as students. Students of all ethnicities benefit from diversity training like this at Florida Atlantic University.

FAU’s Center for Inclusion, Diversity Education, and Advocacy offers a half-day workshop designed to explore a person’s sense of self and cultural identity and recognize how stereotypes can influence interactions with others. Diversity is to be valued and respected on campus through an inclusive community.

Holy Names University

Oakland, California

One thousand four hundred students are enrolled at the university, representing diverse backgrounds, cultures, and ethnicities. Based on percentage, Hispanics, Whites, African-Americans, and Asians make up the most prominent groups.

At Holy Names, the university actively promotes unity in diversity by sponsoring focus groups with students, faculty, and community members to discuss social justice. Additionally, many clubs and organizations provide service and engagement.

To take action that supports a campus, community, and society that is actively anti-racist, Holy Names asking students, faculty, staff, alumni, and supporters to sign their Anti-Racism Pledge, engage in self-reflection and take action.

Cambridge College

Boston, Massachusetts

More than 65 percent of Cambridge College’s students are members of a minority group. Cambridge’s inclusive culture produces an educational experience beneficial to students of ethnicity. Students from more than 50 countries studying at all levels and in all majors can take advantage of the International Students Office services.

Cambridge College prides itself on providing a high-quality education at a low tuition rate and offering financial aid to those who qualify. Over 60% of students receive financial aid, and tuition is less than the average four-year college.

In 2015, the Boston Globe reported that Harvard College is among the top five business schools with the most significant number of African American graduates. Cambridge College has been named one of the best colleges for Latinos by Latino Leaders Magazine.

Stony Brook University

Stony Brook, New York

At Stony Brook University, two randomly selected students will have at least a 79% chance of belonging to a different race, ethnicity, or citizenship status than the other student. The school, located on Long Island, has a population of American undergrads that is 37.5% white, 30% Asian, 14.1% Hispanic, and 8.2% black.

This list includes many of the most expensive colleges. Over $47,000 is the average cost for one year at the 25 most diverse colleges. Stony Brook’s cost is just under $24,000, nearly half that amount.

They value and respect a wide range of backgrounds, viewpoints, and experiences at Stony Brook. They commit to our core values of inclusion while advancing and sustaining best practices in diversity and equity (DEI).

University of Houston

Houston, Texas

Diversity is a hallmark of the University of Houston. There are 21.6 percent Asian students, 10.8 percent Black students and African-American students, 30.7 percent Hispanic/Latino students, and 27.7 percent white students.

The university’s clubs and organizations also emphasize the importance of a diverse population in campus life. The Afghan Student Association, Albanian Student Association, Bangladeshi Student Association, Black Student Union, Chinese Student Association, Middle Eastern Student Association, Russian Student Association, and South Asian Law Students Association are some groups promoting diversity. 

In recognition of UH’s outstanding contributions to the community, the Corporation for National and Community Service has awarded it an award. Cougar-driven projects cultivate excellence by incubating excellence, addressing community challenges, and preparing students for civic engagement.

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, Maryland

Among the most diverse colleges in Maryland is Johns Hopkins University. Johns Hopkins’ American undergraduates identify as Asian 27.7%, Hispanic students 15.5%, and black 8.1%. Johns Hopkins has almost no students from the surrounding area, as 90% of undergraduates are from out of state.

The university is most renowned for its prestigious medical school, but it is a challenging school to attend college, even for undergraduates. With just an 11.5% admission rate, it may be able to be more selective and create diverse learners than schools with smaller applicant pools.

Johns Hopkins University deeply values the dignity and equality of all men, women, and children, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, religion, disability, or national origin.

University of San Francisco

San Francisco, California

At the University of San Francisco, students of white ethnicity make up less than 30% of the overall American student population, one of only two schools where this is true.

Another racial group accounts for nearly as much of the undergraduate student body as Asians, with 27.8%, and Hispanics, with 25%. 9.6% of USF’s American undergraduate population is multi-racial. A random pair of students from San Francisco County is likely to have an ethnic background, with a probability of 69.2%.

You are welcome at USF, regardless of nationality, class, or color. Alumni and students hail from more than 100 countries and 50 states. Their faith backgrounds range from Christianity to Islam. International students also speak nearly 50 languages.

Why Is Cultural Diversity Important In A College

America is called a “melting pot,” as it welcomes people from all corners of the globe to reside, study, and earn a living in the country. US colleges and diverse universities are known for their innovative, fast-growing, and successful atmospheres because of their cultural diversity.

Having a diverse student body is beneficial during college and after graduation. Diversity in college prepares students for working in a global company. Through multicultural experiences in college, you are setting the stage for working and interacting with various individuals worldwide. 

When choosing a school to study in the USA, consider one that sets a cultural diversity example by organizing multicultural events on college campuses, having multicultural centers, or encouraging cultural diversity in the classroom.

Those institutions create an atmosphere where students of all cultural backgrounds can thrive. Students gain a mutual understanding of various national backgrounds and multiple perspectives and develop their social skills. 

The Real Meaning of “Diversity In College”


In recent years, colleges have become obsessed with diversity. Higher education institutions’ goal has long been to serve a more diverse student body, but many don’t know where to begin.

The Department of Education’s mission is to prepare students for a complex, interconnected world. The goal is to reduce stereotypes and biases and help schools fulfill their role of opening doors to students of all backgrounds.

The term diversity in the context of a diverse campus community can be defined in various ways, but there are some things that all of them have in common.

Diversification in its broadest sense is the synthesis of a wide range of cultures, ideas, people, and traditions. The word diversity is often used interchangeably with multiculturalism, where different racial, cultural, social, and economic groups are accepted.

But what does diversity in college or campus community mean? To promote diversity in higher education, colleges must first offer various curricular and co-curricular opportunities that cover topics like ethnicities, races, ages, abilities, gender identities, religions, and classes.

As a result of college diversity, students can also understand how these different identities intersect. University and college students should be allowed to learn how to better talk about and think about diversity and inclusion in a helpful way.

There should be Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion departments or approaches for every university, and perhaps help change perspectives in the professional world.

Students Become Interested in Getting Involved in College Diversity Efforts

Campuses across the country are seeing a rise in student activism in an increasingly diverse world! Like social justice efforts, DEI efforts are eagerly anticipated by students who have ideas about how to support underrepresented groups and historically excluded students on campus. It is more likely that students who feel seen will speak up and feel heard.

Self-expression and engagement are promoted by creating a safe, inclusive campus environment. It raises your chances of success for all students if they break down barriers for traditionally marginalized communities.

Advantages Of Diversity in College Campuses

The demographic makeup of campus populations has changed dramatically over the past few decades as a major impact of the significant change in the realm of racial, gender, and religious diversity. The diverse world that campus diversity offers contributes to a richer campus experience in many ways.

Despite being away from their sheltered upbringings, many students are exposed to the diverse community through the non-homogenous nature of the university population. The multi-ethnic, multicultural campus environment affirms the sense of belonging of students from different countries to a diverse community or student population. Every student learns by navigating the campus’s multicultural fabric.

Here is the benefits college students can earn when attending diverse US colleges. 

  • Encourage students to think globally.

Regardless of your career path, you will be exposed to many different experiences that would significantly change your view. It does not matter what industry, profession, or professional sector you are in; employers, colleagues, clients, and customers will all have different backgrounds. Exposure to diversity in an early stage of life helps develop a global perspective and social skills necessary to interact with individuals of different nationalities and backgrounds.

  • Improves social development of students.

The engagement of a diverse student population, like your classmates or clubmates, creates a broader circle of contacts, rich with people of varying experiences who have their networks to tap into. They learn from you, and you learn from them due to your interactions. In any case, you will improve your socialization skills and knowledge of topics outside of your comfort zone, regardless of whether you like or dislike someone. You’ll be able to handle workplace relationships more effectively once you have these skills.

  • Elevates self-awareness.

College students are often mature but have enough space to improve and influence. You develop a keen sense of self-knowledge when exposed and in close contact with others whose life experiences are opposite yours. Being exposed to opinions, customs, and personal lifestyles contrary to yours increases your understanding of yourself. These allow you to make more informed decisions about your career path.

  • Promotes creativity and forward-thinking.

There are other sources of knowledge in college besides the subjects you enroll in. Studies show that when new material is introduced in the form of new viewpoints, the learning environment becomes more robust. It brings different perspectives and life experiences to the table.

As a result, you will be able to explore ideas and solutions from multiple perspectives or perspectives. By switching to a multi-focus perspective, you can see issues and problems from different perspectives. By doing so, you develop creativity and enhance problem-solving skills.

students of diverse backgrounds

Frequently Asked Questions

Does diversity play any role in college admissions?

Recent years have seen a rise in college admissions competition. The stress of maintaining a high GPA and participating in sports, campus organizations, and volunteering is intense for high school students. Despite all this effort, they worry that their true personalities may not be enough to get admission to their college.

Colleges use affirmative action to evaluate applicants based on race and ethnicity. Although race and ethnicity are just one part of the admissions process, they play an essential role in making applicants unique. Through these efforts, the system is trying to highlight how diverse applicants can provide unique perspectives to higher education.

What are the factors that affect student diversity?

In addition to ethnicity, culture, educational background, gender, geographic location, and socioeconomic status. Cultural homogeneity in student bodies masked this fact in the past due to today’s increasingly diverse student population.

Educators need to respond to diversity in abilities, experiences, and learning strategies to support foreign students to become confident, self-directed, and independent learners.

A typical classroom today includes students from a variety of economic backgrounds. Therefore, some students come from families that can afford the latest digital tools and electronic devices, vacations to exotic places, and visits to art museums, while others come from families that cannot.

Key Takeaways:

Higher education institutions must reflect the changing nature of the nation. Most US babies born today are people of color, and the US will not have a clear racial or ethnic majority by 2050.

Tomorrow’s leaders will come from communities of color, so it makes sense to prepare them well. Despite great strides of communities of color closing education gaps, disparities persist in higher education. However, the list of schools mentioned above holds good value for diverse students represented by many groups.