For many young Americans, college is often the first time they have the chance to meet and socialize with people from other racial, ethnic, or geographic backgrounds. This can provide students with important experience as they begin the next phase of their lives.
Elon University Professor of Communications Dr. Naeemah Clark told 24/7 Wall St. in an interview that bringing in a student body with a wide variety of backgrounds allows students to learn how to “approach real-world problems with more realistic solutions. It just makes the educational experience deeper. It makes us better critical thinkers.” Diversity can also help expose students to new points of view and potentially shape their political preferences going forward.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed U.S. Department of Education data on the chance that two randomly selected students would have a different racial or ethnic background, or different U.S. citizenship status, at four-year American colleges to determine the colleges with the most diverse student bodies. Across all undergraduates nationwide, such a likelihood is about 69.6%. Among the schools on this list, the likelihood ranges 77.9% to 83.2%.
Many of the most diverse schools also happen to be among the hardest to get into. The average American college admits 55.5% of applicants, but most schools on this list admit less than half of applicants. A handful even have admission rates in the single digits. These are the hardest colleges to get into.
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