Special Report

These Colleges Have the Most Diverse Student Bodies

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20. Columbia University
> Located in: New York, NY
> Chance two random students are a different race, ethnicity, or citizenship: 78.3%
> Largest racial/ethnic group: White (43.7% of U.S. students)
> Undergraduate enrollment: 8,216
> Avg. cost of attendance: $71,972

Columbia is one of the most diverse colleges in the country and is located in one of the most diverse parts of the country — New York City. White students comprise the largest racial or ethnic group of American undergraduates, at 43.7%, followed by Asian students at 21.0%, and Hispanic students at 16.3%. Columbia attracts well over 1,000 international students as well.

The Ivy League school is by far the most expensive institution among the most diverse. Its average cost of attendance is nearly $72,000 per year, while no other school on this list costs more than $68,000 per year.

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19. Carnegie Mellon University
> Located in: Pittsburgh, PA
> Chance two random students are a different race, ethnicity, or citizenship: 78.3%
> Largest racial/ethnic group: Asian (38.0% of U.S. students)
> Undergraduate enrollment: 6,589
> Avg. cost of attendance: $67,980

With 38.0% of American students at Carnegie Mellon University identifying as Asian, the school is one of three colleges among the most diverse in which Asian is the largest racial or ethnic group. CMU also has a large international population of more than 1,500 students from dozens of countries. The school has a relatively high share of foreign students, with 18.0% of undergraduates identifying as nonresident aliens when surveyed.

Carnegie Mellon has a Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion, which “supports and connects historically underrepresented students and those who are first in their family to attend college.” This center holds events such as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture Series and an overnight, pre-orientation retreat to create community among minority first-year students.

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18. University of California-Santa Barbara
> Located in: Santa Barbara, CA
> Chance two random students are a different race, ethnicity, or citizenship: 78.3%
> Largest racial/ethnic group: White (35.0% of U.S. students)
> Undergraduate enrollment: 23,070
> Avg. cost of attendance: $34,990

Another large public university located in California, the University of California-Santa Barbara is one of the 20 most diverse colleges in the United States. Public universities tend to be more accessible to a wide variety of Americans due to cost, and UCSB is one of the least expensive schools on this list, costing just under $35,000 per year. There is a 78.3% chance two randomly selected students will have a different racial or ethnic background.

While students identifying as white make up the largest share of American undergraduates at UCSB, nearly 30% of respondents identify as Hispanic, and more than 20% identify as Asian.

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17. Wellesley College
> Located in: Wellesley, MA
> Chance two random students are a different race, ethnicity, or citizenship: 78.4%
> Largest racial/ethnic group: White (42.0% of U.S. students)
> Undergraduate enrollment: 2,534
> Avg. cost of attendance: $65,966

Wellesley College is one of the Seven Sisters colleges, a group of prestigious institutions founded to give female students the same high quality education of Ivy League schools.

The school is very racially, ethnically, and geographically diverse, with a 78.4% chance that two randomly selected students would be of a different race, ethnicity, or U.S. citizenship status. Among respondents, 23.9% identified as Asian, 42.0% as white, 14.5% as Hispanic, 7.2% as black, and 7.0% as multi-racial.

Source: Courtesy of Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences via Facebook

16. MCPHS University
> Located in: Boston, MA
> Chance two random students are a different race, ethnicity, or citizenship: 78.4%
> Largest racial/ethnic group: White (42.8% of U.S. students)
> Undergraduate enrollment: 3,966
> Avg. cost of attendance: $49,645

The Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, or MCPHS University, is one of three schools in Boston to rank among the most diverse. MCPHS has by far the highest admission rate of any school on this list, with 93.5% of applicants earning admission. The school focuses on the health care fields of study.

MCPHS University is one of just five colleges among the most diverse in which black students make up more than 10% of the American undergraduate population, at 10.2%. Among respondents, more than a quarter identify as Asian, and 9.4% identify as Hispanic.

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