Emily Arnim, Senior Staff Writer
College students—regardless of their personal backgrounds—broadly support increased student and faculty diversity on campus, according to a study by two Dartmouth College professors.
To help prospective students find campuses where they are more likely to interact across race and class, the Princeton Review asked current students about inclusiveness on campus, as part of the publication's annual survey of 138,000 students representing 384 colleges. The Princeton Review asked survey participants about how frequently they interact with students of different ethnic, racial, and socio-economic backgrounds. Colleges were scored based on whether students reported that different types of students (ex. black/white, rich/poor) "interact frequently and easily."
Also see: The 'business case' for improving diversity in higher ed
According to the Princeton Review, here are the 15 most inclusive colleges of 2019:
1. Rice University*
2. College of William and Mary*
3. United States Military Academy*
4. St. John's College – Santa Fe
5. Drew University
6. St. John's College – Annapolis
7. United States Coast Guard Academy
8. United States Air Force Academy
9. Loyola University New Orleans
10. University of Houston*
11. Angelo State University*
12. Babson College*
13. Wheaton College*
14. St. Bonaventure University*
15. Stephens College
*Editor's note: EAB congratulates our member institutions who made the list. Member institutions listed above are marked with an asterisk.
Building an inclusive campus is partially about recruiting more diverse students and faculty and meeting the needs of minority students, faculty, and staff. But it's also about increasing interaction between students, faculty, and staff from different backgrounds.
In fact, according to the 2014 Gallup-Purdue Index, students who interacted with other students from different backgrounds during college were more likely to say their degree was worth the cost.
To ensure students have a chance to interact with peers from various racial and socio-economic backgrounds, Rice University randomly sorts undergraduate students into 11 different residential colleges before matriculation. Each residential college has its own dining hall, public spaces, and housing. Students keep their affiliation with their residential college until graduation.
"The colleges are enriched by the diversity of their students' backgrounds, academic interests and experiences, talents, and goals," according to the university's website.
Other colleges have found other simple ways to cultivate inclusive relationships among students. For instance, Delaware State University offers themed dining menus to introduce all students to the foods commonly consumed by various ethnic communities. And California State University, Dominguez Hills set up "diversity chats" so that students can come together to discuss topics related to religion, race, and sexual identity (Princeton Review rankings, accessed 3/22; Rice University website, accessed 3/22).
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