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2017 Most Diverse Colleges Ranking Methodology

The 2017 Most Diverse Colleges ranking is based on key statistics and student reviews using data from the U.S. Department of Education. The ranking compares socio-economic, geographic, and ethnic diversity of students and staff as well as the overall level of tolerance on campus. Learn where our data comes from.

Factors Considered

Student Racial Diversity IndexIndex of Student Racial Diversity.U.S. Dept. of Education25.0%
Percent International StudentsPercent of students who are not legal U.S. residents.U.S. Dept. of Education15.0%
Percent Out-of-State StudentsPercent of students whose primary residence is not in same state as college.U.S. Dept. of Education15.0%
Student Economic Diversity IndexIndex of Student Economic Diversity.U.S. Dept. of Education15.0%
Faculty Diversity IndexAn index of Faculty Racial Diversity.U.S. Dept. of Education10.0%
Student Surveys on DiversityNiche survey responses scored on a 1-5 scale regarding campus diversity at each school.Self-reported by Niche users10.0%
Faculty Gender Ratio (M-F)Ratio of male to female faculty.U.S. Dept. of Education5.0%
Student Gender Ratio (M-F)Ratio of male to female undergraduates.U.S. Dept. of Education5.0%

This ranking assesses 1,673 4-year colleges and universities. The same methodology is used to produce the Niche Diversity Grade for each ranked school as well as additional 4-year colleges, community colleges, trade schools, and other 2-year programs. Statistics obtained from the U.S. Department of Education represent the most recent data available, usually from 2014–2016, as self-reported by the colleges.

For more details about how we calculate our rankings, click here.

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