The 25 Most Diverse Schools

college-rankings-most-diverse-intro-v2

To rank colleges and universities by diversity, we took a broad view of related issues, including ethnicity, geographic origin,  economic status, gender,  and sexual orientation.  We looked at the percentage of the student body that was African-American, Hispanic, or Asian (note: historically black colleges and women's colleges were not considered for this ranking because they are diverse only in a limited sense); the percentage of students from out of state as well as the percentage from outside the U.S.; and the percentage of students receiving Pell Grants from the federal government, since these grants are targeted toward students from low-income families. As an indicator of tolerance of sexual  orientation, we relied on two lists of particularly "gay-friendly" campuses, one published by The Advocate and the other by InsideCollege.com.    
 
About the Rankings:  
Researchers Peter Bernstein and Courtney Kennedy drew dozens of sources to compile these rankings including information from the National Center for Education Statistics, The Washington Monthly, and College Prowler.  A portion of the data they used for this ranking is at the end of this slideshow, but for the full methodologies, see our FAQ here.  And if you're not a rankings fan, take a look at this piece by Colin Diver, the president of Reed College,  about why schools dislike rankings and how students can use them wisely as part of their college decision-making process.

university-penn-ed07 Courtesy of University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania, a private Ivy League college in Philadelphia is on seven of NEWSWEEK's "best of" lists, ranking 13th on our list of most desirable colleges; eighth on the list of most desirable urban colleges; second for most desirable large campus; sixth in schools best for future power brokers; first for gay-friendliness and diversity; and finally, 18th among the 25 best colleges for the super-smart.  
 
Admission is competitive, with just 17 percent of the 22,718 applicants for the class of 2013 receiving acceptance letters. Additionally, 96 percent of the students admitted for the fall 2009 school year were from the top 10 percent of their graduating high-school class and scored an average of 1520 on the SAT. Penn retains 95 percent of its students each year, and data shows that 88 percent of students graduate from the school in four years.  
 
The undergraduate population at the school is 10,337, with 84 percent of students coming from outside Pennsylvania. The campus consists of 51 percent women and minorities make up 39.6 percent: After Caucasians at 37 percent, Asian-Americans are the next populous at 16 percent, followed by African-Americans at 7 percent and Hispanics at 5 percent. The student-to-faculty ratio is 6 to 1.  
 
Tuition for the 2009-2010 school year was $53,250 with 61 percent of students receiving some form of financial aid.

To rank colleges and universities by diversity, we took a broad view of related issues, including ethnicity, geographic origin,  economic status, gender,  and sexual orientation. Read more about our methodology here.

Brown-University-ed07 Courtesy of Brown University

Founded in 1764, stalwart Brown University is still considered one of the nation's elite institutions of higher learning. This Ivy gains several distinctions in NEWSWEEK's rankings, including tenth most desirable school in the country and sixth most desirable urban school.  And with 92 percent of its students coming from the top 10 percent of their high school class, Brown is ranked No. 9 for brainiacs.    
 
Established even before the United States, the school was the first in the nation to accept students regardless of their religious background, and the tradition of diversity carries on today--it's No. 2 on NEWSWEEK's list of diverse schools--as only about 45 percent of the school's students are white, with 16 percent of Asian heritage, 7 percent African-American and 8 percent Latino or Hispanic. The student body is 52 percent female.  Brown is also fourteenth on NEWSWEEK's list of the best gay-friendly schools.  
 
Yet, getting through the doors of this citadel of intellect and broad-mindedness is an elusive quest; only around 14 percent of those who apply are accepted. The school's 6,000 undergrads on average scored a 33 on the ACT and 1540 on the SAT. The Providence, Rhode Island-based school charged about $39,000 for full-time undergraduate tuition and fees during the 2009-2010 academic year, according to U.S. Department of Education estimates.

To rank colleges and universities by diversity, we took a broad view of related issues, including ethnicity, geographic origin,  economic status, gender, and sexual orientation. Read more about our methodology here.

oberlin-ed07 Courtesy of Oberlin College

Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, is a truly unique place, as it combines a selective four-year liberal arts college with an internationally renowned Conservatory of Music. Founded in 1833, it was also the first coeducational college to grant bachelor degrees to women and the first to admit black students on equal footing with white students. It was also a station on the Underground Railroad and is the alma mater of the first black elected to the U.S. Congress.  With such laudable founding principles, it's no surprise that Oberlin is the third most diverse school on NEWSWEEK's list.   
 
With high marks from the Advocate and InsideCollege.com, Oberlin College also takes spot number 3 for gay-friendliness.   
 
Nearly three-quarters of Oberlin's classes enroll fewer than 20 students, with an 11 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio in the College of Arts and Sciences and an impressive 8 to 1 ratio in the conservatory. This commitment to individual attention helps the school land spot No. 19 on NEWSWEEKS's list of most desirable suburban schools. (Cleveland is about 35 miles away.)
 
Of the 2,888 students enrolled in the fall of 2009, 55 percent were women and 20 percent were students of color. While the bulk of Oberlin's students are from within the United States, just 9.1 percent are from Ohio. Tuition for the 2009-2010 school year was $39,686.

To rank colleges and universities by diversity, we took a broad view of related issues, including ethnicity, geographic origin,  economic status, gender,  and sexual orientation. Read more about our methodology here.

Swarthmore College's numerous accolades belie its small size, as the private college, located just outside of Philadelphia, appeared on several of NEWSWEEK's "best of" lists, ranking eighth among small schools, ninth among suburban schools, and fifth among schools for brainiacs.  With women slightly outnumbering men and more than a third of its student body represented by ethnic minorities, Swarthmore is the fourth most diverse school on NEWSWEEK's list. If that weren't enough, the school was also ranked by NEWSWEEK as the 16th on the best of the gay-friendly schools in the country and the 21st most desirable school overall.  
 
It's clear why: For academics, the college claims that 87 percent of its students ranked in the top 10 percent at their high schools, averaging 33 on the ACT and 1520 on the SAT. For those seeking an intimate setting, Swarthmore's 399-acre campus is home to fewer than 1,500 undergrads and its 7:1 student-to-faculty ratio keeps class sizes small.  
 
If that weren't enough to attract students, its $1 billion endowment gives the college the 14th largest per-student endowment among all U.S. colleges and universities, affording Swarthmore the opportunity to admit students regardless of their financial need. No surprise it's a competitive school, accepting only 16 percent of applicants. 

To rank colleges and universities by diversity, we took a broad view of related issues, including ethnicity, geographic origin,  economic status, gender,  and sexual orientation. Read more about our methodology here.

new-york-university-ed07 Courtesy of New York University

Since its inception in 1831--with a student body of just 158 in its first semester--New York University in New York, New York, has grown to include more than 40,000 students, roughly 19,000 of who are undergraduates. That, and its location in a city of more than 8 million people, has landed it on NEWSWEEK's list of most desirable urban schools (No. 23) and most desirable large schools (No. 10).   
 
Internationally known for its ever-expanding Tisch School of the Arts, which offers BFAs in film and theatre, the school attracts a diverse population, landing it at No. 5 on NEWSWEEK's list.  It is also on NEWSWEEK's list of the best gay-friendly schools (No. 4). "When you think of diversity in college, NYU epitomizes the concept," writes one student on CollegeProwler.com, who gave the school an A+ in diversity. In the fall of 2009, the most recent year data was available, African-Americans made up 4 percent of the school, Hispanics 8 percent and Asian-Americans 19 percent, second only to whites at 44 percent. Nine percent of its students came from outside the U.S.  
 
Tuition at NYU was $38,765 in fall 2009. 

To rank colleges and universities by diversity, we took a broad view of related issues, including ethnicity, geographic origin,  economic status, gender,  and sexual orientation. Read more about our methodology here.

american-university-ed07 Jeff Watts / Courtesy of American University

It may be called American University and located in the U.S. capital, but this college is as international as they come. The private, liberal arts school draws about 6 percent of its student body from 139 countries outside the United States and sends many of its students back into the world through robust study-abroad programs. The largest undergraduate program is international studies, with nearly 1,700 of its 6,200 undergrads majoring in that field. Not surprising for a school that was ranked by Princeton Review as No. 1 on its list of schools with "the most politically active students."
 
Though American University is affiliated with the United Methodist Church, the school has 23 faiths represented by student groups, from Buddhist and Hindu to Muslim and Unitarian Universalist. Five percent of its student body is Asian, four percent is African-American, four percent is Hispanic and 62 percent are women. It lands at No. 6 on NEWSWEEK's list of most diverse colleges.
 
With praise from both The Advocate and InsideCollege.com, Newsweek also ranks the school the sixth best gay-friendly in the nation.   
 
AU students averaged a 30 on the ACT and a 1370 on the SAT.

To rank colleges and universities by diversity, we took a broad view of related issues, including ethnicity, geographic origin,  economic status, gender,  and sexual orientation. Read more about our methodology here.

Wesleyan-ed07 Courtesy of Wesleyan University

At Wesleyan, "difference is embraced and not just tolerated," says the University's president, Michael S. Roth. That may help explain why Wesleyan made the top ten on NEWSWEEK's list of most diverse schools. (It's Number 7.) At this private liberal arts college overlooking the Connecticut River, more than 25 percent of students are of color (7 percent African-American, 8 percent Hispanic, and 10 percent Asian). Ten percent of undergraduates hail from outside the U.S., and 12 percent receive Pell Grants, which are targeted toward students from low-income families. The Advocate and InsideCollege.com have also identified the Cardinals as particularly gay-friendly.  
 
With a 9:1 student-to-faculty ratio, Wesleyan offers its roughly 2,700 undergraduates a lot of individual attention. Students can choose from more than 900 courses offered in 40 departments and 47 major fields of study, as well as one-on-one tutorials and private music lessons. Along with Amherst and Williams, Wesleyan is part of the "Little Three," the small-liberal-arts-school version of the "Big Three" that consists of Harvard, Princeton and Yale.  
 
Tuition, fees, residential comprehensive fee, and estimated cost for books, supplies and miscellaneous expenses for 2009-2010 totaled $54,097 (plus a one-time $300 matriculation fee). Wesleyan admits U.S. citizens and permanent residents without knowledge of their financial circumstances; 44 percent of students received scholarship awards (averaging $31,800) in 2009-2010. 

To rank colleges and universities by diversity, we took a broad view of related issues, including ethnicity, geographic origin,  economic status, gender,  and sexual orientation. Read more about our methodology here.

duke-university-ed07 Les Todd / Courtesy of Duke University

Adding to numerous accolades since its founding in 1838, NEWSWEEK counts Duke University as the 22nd most desirable school in the country and the ninth most desirable urban school. NEWSWEEK also ranks Duke among its brainiac schools, at No. 14--its students averaged a 34 on the ACT and a 1540 on the SAT and 90 percent come from the top 10 percent of their high-school class.  
 
With African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asians accounting for nearly 40 percent of its student body and an appearance on The Advocate's gay-friendly list, Duke takes eighth place among the most diverse schools in the nation and 17th among the best gay-friendly schools. Counting billionaires, Fortune 100 CEOs and high-ranking politicians among its alumni ranks makes Duke the seventh best school for future power brokers.
 
Located in Durham, North Carolina, about half of its 14,000-strong student body is comprised of undergraduates, and the school has a student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1.
 
Tuition and fees for the 2009-2010 academic year was nearly $39,000, a nearly 4 percent increase from the previous year, and only about 22 percent of applicants are admitted.

To rank colleges and universities by diversity, we took a broad view of related issues, including ethnicity, geographic origin,  economic status, gender,  and sexual orientation. Read more about our methodology here.

princeton-university-ed07 Courtesy of Princeton University, Office of Communications

Founded in 1746, Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey, is the fourth-oldest college in the United States (Harvard, founded in 1636, is the oldest, followed by the College of William & Mary and Yale, respectively).

The Ivy finds itself on a slew of NEWSWEEK's "best of" lists, ranking among the best schools for diversity (No. 9), best among gay-friendly (No. 10), most desirable overall (No. 4), as well as the second most desirable suburban school in the country. Its output of two presidents, three senators and eight billionaires lands it at No. 5 for future power brokers, and with 20 percent of its student body on varsity teams, Princeton earns 14th place on schools for jocks. 

Princeton admitted just 10.1 percent of students who applied in 2009, 95 percent of whom were in the top 10 percentof their high-school class. No wonder it comes in at No. 4 for brainiacs. The school currently has 5,047 undergraduates and boasts a 5:1 student-to-faculty ratio. American minorities make up roughly 32 percent of the undergraduate student body. Men only have a slight edge over women when it comes to enrollment numbers.

Tuition for the 2009-2010 school year was $50,620. Currently, 58 percent of Princeton's students receive financial aid, with aid grant for the class of 2013 averaging $35,309.

To rank colleges and universities by diversity, we took a broad view of related issues, including ethnicity, geographic origin, economic status, gender, and sexual orientation. Read more about our methodology here.

mit-ed07 Courtesy of Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Internationally known by three simple letters, the Cambridge-based Massachusetts Institute of Technology gains a host of distinctions from NEWSWEEK aside from diversity, including fifth most desirable school in the nation and third most desirable urban school.

It's no surprise that MIT is also seventh for brainiacs (of the only 12 percent of applicants accepted, they averaged a 34 on the ACT and 1560 on the SAT and the school boasts 11 Nobel Prize-winning graduates over the last decade or so) and No. 14 for future power brokers (alumn include four members of the House, four Fortune 100 CEOs and six billionaires). What may be surprising is that NEWSWEEK also places the school at No. 15 for athletes (22 percent of students participate at the varsity level and 53 intramural sports are played).  

MIT is packed with a diverse student body (No. 10 on the list), which is 37 percent white, 25 percent Asian, 8 percent black and 12 percent Hispanic. Though its nearly $38,000 tuition isn't cheap, and even grew close to 4 percent for the most recent academic year, more than 60 percent of MIT students received financial aid. The school has just over 4,000 undergraduates and a student-to-faculty ratio of 8:1.

To rank colleges and universities by diversity, we took a broad view of related issues, including ethnicity, geographic origin, economic status, gender, and sexual orientation. Read more about our methodology here.

berea-college-ed07 Courtesy of Berea College

Founded in 1855 as the first interracial and co-ed school in the South, this Kentucky school named for the town in which it sits, strives to maintain its identity as a diverse college. With ethnic minorities representing nearly a third of its students and a remarkable 83 percent of students receiving Pell Grants (federal grants for students from low-income families), Berea is No. 11 on NEWSWEEK's list of most diverse schools.  

Priding itself on what it calls an "inclusive Christian character," the college offers free tuition to all of its roughly 1,500 students, each of whom, in exchange, work at least 10 hours per week on campus. This, as well as the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in more than 28 fields, positions Berea as the eighth most desirable rural school in the nation and the 16th most desirable small school.

With such accolades, it's no wonder competition is stiff, and only 22 percent of applicants are fortunate enough to be accepted. The school says it admits "only academically promising students," and entrants average a 25 on the ACTs and 1210 on the SATs.

To rank colleges and universities by diversity, we took a broad view of related issues, including ethnicity, geographic origin,  economic status, gender,  and sexual orientation. Read more about our methodology here.

soka-university-ed07 Courtesy of Soka University

Soka University of America may be small, but it's big on diversity. Though the much younger sister school to the Soka University of Japan has only been around about a decade--and enrolls just 378 undergrads, the school has already been noticed in NEWSWEEK's rankings, taking spots on four of our "best of" lists.  It is the 20th most desirable suburban school in the nation and the 24th most desirable small school.

It is also 12th on the list for diversity. This makes sense when you consider the college's mission is founded on Buddhist principles of peace and human rights and the responsibilities of global citizenship.  The college draws over half of its student body from countries outside the United States and includes in its four-year curriculum (and tuition) a semester abroad for every undergraduate.

Located in Aliso Viejo, in Orange County, California, the private liberal arts college occupies 103 acres just miles from the beach, which helps account for its 16th position in the list of schools offering terrific weather with strong academics.

SUA claims a 9:1 student-to-teacher ratio and an average class size of 13 students.

To rank colleges and universities by diversity, we took a broad view of related issues, including ethnicity, geographic origin, economic status, gender, and sexual orientation. Read more about our methodology here.

university-of-chicago-ed07 Jason Smith / Courtesy of University of Chicago

The University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois, finds itself on five of NEWSWEEK's "best of" lists: At No. 12, the private institution is one of the nation's 25 most desirable urban colleges; ten Rhodes scholars and four Nobel Prize winners put it in the top 10 (No. 8) of colleges for the super-smart. The university comes in at the No. 13 spot on the list of most diverse colleges and No. 25 for gay friendliness; and finally, with seven senators and ten billionaires among its alumni, the school is tenth on the list of colleges best for future power brokers.

The university has just over 5,000 undergraduates--99 percent are age 24 or younger. The student body is evenly split between men and women, and 45 percent of those students are Caucasian, 14 percent Asian or Pacific Islander, 9 percent Hispanic, and 6 percent African-American. The school, which sees 92 percent of its students graduate, retains 98 percent of its first-year students.

Tuition for the 2009-2010 school year was $40,188. About 71 percent of students at the University of Chicago receive some form of financial aid.

To rank colleges and universities by diversity, we took a broad view of related issues, including ethnicity, geographic origin, economic status, gender, and sexual orientation. Read more about our methodology here.

george-washington-university-ed07 Courtesy of George Washington University

As the largest university in Washington, D.C., it's no surprise that George Washington University attracts students interested in political science, law and international studies. Chartered by Congress in 1821, the school made good on a hope of George Washington's to open a school in the nation's capital.  It is now the 14th most desirable large school on NEWSWEEK's list.

NEWSWEEK also ranks GW the 14th most diverse school in the nation, with a student body that is ten percent Asian, seven percent African-American, seven percent Hispanic and five percent from outside the United States. Fifty-six percent of George Washington students are women. Though the school has a student population of more than 25,000, less than half are undergrads.

George Washington University accepts just over a third of its applicants and has a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1. Tuition and fees grew by 3 percent for the 2009-2010 academic year to nearly $42,000, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

To rank colleges and universities by diversity, we took a broad view of related issues, including ethnicity, geographic origin, economic status, gender, and sexual orientation. Read more about our methodology here.

marlboro-college-ed07 Jeff Woodward / Courtesy of Marlboro College

With nearly a quarter of its 326 students majoring in the visual or performing arts, Marlboro College in Marlboro, Vermont, is one of the best schools for artists. Founded in 1946 by a World War II vet, the school is situated on two old farms at the edge of the Green Mountains. With nearly a third of its students receiving Pell Grants (federal grants targeted toward students from low-income families) and 94 percent hailing from out of state, Marlboro comes in at No. 15 on NEWSWEEK's Most Diverse Schools list.

"Unfettered by generic course requirements," Marlboro College says each student, along with his or her advisor, develops their own course of study. As a graduation requirement, seniors must design and complete a Plan of Concentration, which is reviewed by an expert in that field. The school's mission is "to teach students to think clearly and to learn independently."

The school accepts about 70 percent of applicants and has a student-to-faculty ratio of 8:1. Tuition and fees for the 2009-2010 academic year was $33,660, a nearly 4 percent increase from the previous academic year.

stanford-university-ed07 Linda A. Cicero / Courtesy of Stanford News Service-Stanford University

Stanford University, already a power player among the nation's top universities, can now add some more accolades to its roster. The private liberal arts Ivy in Stanford, California, which claims fearless inquiry and action as its mission, has landed spots on seven of NEWSWEEK's college ranking roundups: most desirable overall (No. 3), most desirable suburban school (No. 1), most diverse (No. 16), best for power brokers (No. 4), best for brainiacs (No. 6), most gay-friendly (No. 11) and the best schools with the best weather (No. 2).

The school had 30,429 students apply for a spot on "The Farm," a nickname for Stanford's campus, and Stanford admitted just 9 percent of those applicants to the class of 2013, enrolling 1,694 freshmen for fall 2010. Females made up 49 percent of the freshman class. While all 50 states are represented in the class of 2013, nearly 40 percent of students hail from California.

Asian-Americans make up 23 percent of Stanford's diverse student body, followed by Mexican-Americans and other Hispanic (12 percent), African-Americans (10 percent), international students (10 percent) and American Indians or Alaskan Natives (2 percent).

Tuition at Stanford is currently around $37,000 per year, and 80 percent of students in the 2008-2009 school year (the most recent year data was available) received aid. Perhaps a wise investment--27 of its alums are billionaires.

To rank colleges and universities by diversity, we took a broad view of related issues, including ethnicity, geographic origin, economic status, gender, and sexual orientation. Read more about our methodology here.

columbia-university-ed07 Eileen Barroso / Courtesy of Columbia University

Columbia University has sealed its position as a "best value" school, thanks to strong value rankings in US News, Kiplinger, Princeton Review and Forbes, which have praised the school for offering high-quality academics at a reasonable price.  

Located in New York City's Upper West Side, Columbia University was established by royal charter in 1754 as King's College and remains one of the premier schools in the United States. NEWSWEEK plants it at No. 6 on the most desirable schools list as well as the fourth most desirable urban school. Twelfth on NEWSWEEK's schools for brainiacs, the Ivy League school is highly selective, with only 11 percent of applicants admitted as students. The fewer than 8,000 undergrads that enroll enjoy a student-to-faculty ratio of 6:1.  

All that individual attention seems to pay off--third on the list for future power brokers, Columbia produces alums who frequently find themselves in illustrious positions. With a gay-friendly culture (No. 12 on the list) and non-whites representing more than one-third of its students, Columbia is the 17th most diverse school in NEWSWEEK's rankings.   

Though the school's tuition and fees for the 2009-2010 academic year totaled more than $41,000, more than half of Columbia's student population receives financial aid, many of them institutional grants. The school's endowment neared $6 billion in 2009.

To rank colleges and universities by diversity, we took a broad view of related issues, including ethnicity, geographic origin, economic status, gender, and sexual orientation. Read more about our methodology here.

uc-berkley-ed07 Courtesy of University of California, Berkeley

The University of California's Berkeley outpost has landed on quite a few of NEWSWEEK's "best of" lists--five to be exact. The school is among the most desirable urban schools (No. 16), most desirable large schools (No. 5), most diverse (No. 18), most gay-friendly (No. 2) and best schools with the best weather (No. 9).

That the school nabbed the No. 2 spot on NEWSWEEK's gay-friendly list is no surprise to students. "Berkeley is home to a proud LGBTIQQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer and Questioning) community, which has a large presence on campus and makes the environment feel more tolerant," writes one student on CollegeProwler.com.

The public school has an undergraduate enrollment of just over 25,500, 53 percent of whom were women in the fall of 2009. At 42 percent, the Asian-American community makes up the majority of the student body, while Caucasians make up 31 percent, followed by Hispanics at 12 percent and African-Americans at 4 percent. The student-to-faculty ratio is 15 to 1.

Tuition at the University of California, Berkeley for the 2010-2011 school year is $12,461 for in-state students (more than three-quarters of Berkeley's student body hails from California) and $35,340 for out-of-state residents, with 65 percent of all undergraduates receiving some form of aid. What's more, Berkeley claims to educate more economically disadvantaged students than all of the Ivy League universities combined, with 29 percent of its students receiving Pell Grants.

To rank colleges and universities by diversity, we took a broad view of related issues, including ethnicity, geographic origin, economic status, gender, and sexual orientation. Read more about our methodology here.

grinell-college-ed07 Courtesy of Grinnell College

With eight percent of its students Asian, five percent African-American, six percent Hispanic and 11 percent hailing from 50 countries outside of the U.S., Grinnell College--located in a town of the same name in Iowa--is far more diverse than its home state: Iowa is 94 percent white, according to U.S. Census information. That helps place Grinnell College 19th on NEWSWEEK's list of most diverse schools in the country. Its 1,500-strong student body, 8:1 student-to-faculty ratio and academically stringent curricula, meanwhile, put the school among the 25 best small colleges in the country and No. 14 on the most desirable small schools list.

Founded in 1846, the liberal arts college is no stranger to "best of" roundups, having gained praise from U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review in addition to being named the "Best All-Around" college by NEWSWEEK in 2004.

The school accepts 43 percent of its applicants and, on average, students earned a 32 on the ACTs and 1450 on the SATs.

To rank colleges and universities by diversity, we took a broad view of related issues, including ethnicity, geographic origin, economic status, gender, and sexual orientation. Read more about our methodology here.

pomoa-college-students-ed07 Philip Channing / Courtesy of Pomona College

Small in size, Pomona College is big on diversity, bright students and kudos--it has consistently ranked among the top ten American liberal arts colleges by U.S. News & World Report, has similarly been granted high marks from Forbes, and now places 11th among NEWSWEEK's most desirable schools. It's also NEWSWEEK's fourth most desirable suburban school and second most desirable small school.  

The Claremont, California-based private college has only 1,500 undergrads; they major in the arts, humanities, social sciences or natural sciences in a desert setting within an hour of the Pacific Ocean, the Mojave Desert, the San Gabriel Mountains and Los Angeles. Unsurprisingly, Pomona was No. 5 for NEWSWEEK's list of academically rigorous schools with terrific weather. Though its Southern California location is a world away from the ivied East Coast universities its founders emulated, the school prides itself on its 7:1 student-to-faculty ratio, intimate classes and overall academic excellence. Only 16 percent of applicants are accepted (averaging ACT scores of 34 and SAT scores of 1560), which helps explain why Pomona College is No. 15 on the list of schools for brainiacs.  

Its 50/50 gender breakdown, gay-friendly atmosphere, and racially, geographically and socioeconomically mixed student body makes Pomona the 20th most diverse school and the thirteenth among the best gay-friendly schools on NEWSWEEK's lists.

To rank colleges and universities by diversity, we took a broad view of related issues, including ethnicity, geographic origin, economic status, gender, and sexual orientation. Read more about our methodology here.

reed-college-ed07 Courtesy of Reed College

Reed College earns a few distinctions in NEWSWEEK's study, as its Portland, Oregon, location (a city that is often featured on lists of "best places to live in America," including Outside and Money magazines') earned it 22nd place on the list of most desirable urban campuses; its 1,400-strong student body helps make it one of the best small schools and its large minority enrollment contributes to its ranking as the 21st most diverse school in the country.

The nonsectarian school prides itself on its culture, campus and curriculum, offering students what it considers to be one of "the nation's most intellectually rigorous undergraduate experiences, with a highly structured academic program balancing broad distribution requirements and in-depth study in a chosen academic discipline."

The private liberal arts school accepts less than a third of its applicants, and those who do attend earn, on average, a 32 on the ACT and 1470 on SAT.  The school offers a 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio.

To rank colleges and universities by diversity, we took a broad view of related issues, including ethnicity, geographic origin, economic status, gender, and sexual orientation. Read more about our methodology here.

st-johns-nm-college-ed07 Doug Plummer / Courtesy of St. John's College

Though it has two campuses on near opposite ends of the United States--one in Annapolis, Maryland, the other in Santa Fe, New Mexico--St. John's College enrolls well under 500 students each year. Even more surprising, given the small number of students, the Santa Fe campus has landed on NEWSWEEK's list of most diverse schools, at No. 22. (The larger number of Pell Grant recipients insures the school's economic diversity.)

The private liberal arts college is distinct for its "great books" curriculum, where students learn by reading the classics in areas like literature, philosophy and history; the books are read in chronological order from Ancient Greece through current day.

St. John's College offers a student-to-faculty ratio of 8 to 1. Tuition for the 2010-2011 school year is $41,792, and the school says about 65 percent of all students receive some form of aid. Within the student population, the ratio of men to women is 10 to 9.

To rank colleges and universities by diversity, we took a broad view of related issues, including ethnicity, geographic origin, economic status, gender, and sexual orientation. Read more about our methodology here.

georgetown-university-ed07 Courtesy of Georgetown University

Founded in 1789 by a priest, Georgetown University is the oldest Catholic university in the United States. Deemed the 14th most desirable urban school, Georgetown is renowned for its academic excellence. Students posted an average score of 32 on the ACT and 1460 on the SAT, and three-quarters of students graduated in the top 10 of their high school classes. Coming in at no. 16 on NEWSWEEK's list of schools for brainiacs, Georgetown University has produced four Rhodes Scholars and many other distinguished award winners. Gaining eighth place on NEWSWEEK's list of best power-broker colleges, Georgetown alumni include 20 members of the House, two presidents, six senators, one Fortune 100 CEO and one billionaire.

Its melting-pot hometown of Washington, DC, might contribute to the school's all-inclusive atmosphere. Georgetown comes in at No. 23 on NEWSWEEK's list of most diverse schools, and No. 24 on the nation's best gay-friendly colleges.

The school's 7,000 undergraduates make up just less than half of the student body and attend one of four undergraduate schools, spread across three campuses. The school offers an 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio. Students paid on average $39,000 to attend for the 2009-2010 academic year.

To rank colleges and universities by diversity, we took a broad view of related issues, including ethnicity, geographic origin, economic status, gender, and sexual orientation. Read more about our methodology here.

dartmouth-ed07 Joseph Mehling / Courtesy of Dartmouth

Ranking No. 1 on NEWSWEEK's list of most desirable rural schools and the eighth most desirable school in the country, it's no wonder that only about 15 percent of the applicants are invited to matriculate at this sought-after Hanover, New Hampshire, gem. The student population, totaling almost 6,000 students, more than 4,000 of which are undergraduates, is offered a low student-to-faculty ratio of 8:1, contributing to Dartmouth College's No. 1 ranking on U.S. News & World Report's list of schools with a "Strong Commitment to Teaching."

With a student body that is 55 percent white, 14 percent Asian, 8 percent black and 7 percent Hispanic and an ongoing commitment to Native American education (in the past 40 years, more than 700 Native Americans have attended Dartmouth) this Ivy is the 24th most diverse school on Newsweek's list.   

Influential alumns earn Dartmouth 11th place for power brokers. Its nearly 25 percent participation in varsity sports positions the Big Green at No. 13 for athletics, and average student scores of 34 on the ACT and 1550 on the SAT make it 13th for brainiacs.

Taking advantage of these accolades isn't cheap, however. According to U.S. Department of Education estimates, tuition and fees were almost $39,000 for the 2009-2010 academic year, nearly five percent more than the previous year.

To rank colleges and universities by diversity, we took a broad view of related issues, including ethnicity, geographic origin, economic status, gender, and sexual orientation. Read more about our methodology here.

andrews-university-ed07 Martin Lee / Courtesy of Andrews University

With a student body that is 41 percent white, 10 percent Asian, 23 percent black and 11 percent Hispanic, Berrien Springs, Michigan-based Andrews University is among the top 25 most diverse schools in the country.  

The school was founded in 1874 and named after John Nevins Andrews, who the school calls "the biggest thinker in the 19th-century Adventist Church." Maintaining its Adventist roots, Andrews University claims "serious scholarship, quality research and a strong focus on practical Christianity" to be the most important considerations for its students. The school's motto is "Seek knowledge. Affirm faith. Change the world."  

Andrews admits about 56 percent of its applicants, and its student body is composed of nearly 2,000 undergraduates and more than 1,500 post-grads. Health-based fields and business are among the most popular majors. Tuition for the 2009-2010 academic year averaged just over $21,000, a roughly 6 percent increase from the previous year. Nearly one-third of its students receive Pell Grants.

To rank colleges and universities by diversity, we took a broad view of related issues, including ethnicity, geographic origin, economic status, gender, and sexual orientation. Read more about our methodology here.

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