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How to Research Campus Diversity

There are many factors that go in to developing a balanced college list including a student’s preferred size, location, and intended major to study. One of the other factors we commonly hear at Campus Bound is that students would like a diverse campus. So what does diversity mean? How do we help students find colleges with strong diversity?

Defining Diversity: There are many factors that make a group of individuals diverse, including but not limited to: culture, heritage, age, socioeconomic status, sexual identity, race, gender identity, political beliefs and more. When a student first tells us they want a diverse campus, we then discuss the type(s) of diversity they are looking for and what makes a campus diverse enough for their liking. We also talk about why a diverse campus is important to them.

Find Statistics: The next thing we do with students is point them in the direction of statistics. College search websites like College Board’s Big Future has some information about diversity on campus. A simple Google search can also answer questions like, “What is the percentage of Hispanic students at Cornell University.” Other kinds of diversity are harder to track down, but your Campus Bound counselor can help you with that.

Admissions Resources: It makes sense to check out a college’s admission website to see what types, if any, of diversity they mention or promote. Also remember that your admission counselor can be a good resource. They generally enjoy responding to student emails and if you ask for the percentage of low-income students, for example, they may have an answer for you.

Anecdotal Evidence: If you get some statistical data, or even if you don’t, anecdotal evidence can be helpful as well. Some colleges have a diversity coordinator on campus who could be a good person to talk to. Current students, professors, tour guides or club leaders can also be good resources on campus.

It’s a great point of personal reflection when a student decides they want a diverse campus. The ultimate goal is for a student to be happy and comfortable at the college they attend. So, students should ask themselves after doing some research, “Does this college have a healthy environment for me where I can thrive?” Because thriving, not just surviving, is what makes a college a good match for you.

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