The University of Hawaii at Hilo topped this year’s Campus Ethnic Diversity list from U.S. News & World Report.

“Now more than ever, we need to find ways to connect and understand one another,” said Chancellor Bonnie D. Irwin in reaction to the ranking. “The rich diversity of UH Hilo’s campus ‘ohana helps us prepare all of our students for work and life in our increasingly diverse world.”

The diversity index ranges from zero to one. Schools closer to one have a more diverse student population. The University of Hawaii scored the highest index of 0.77.

Most Ethnically Diverse Campuses

Finishing on a tied second place were Andrews University in Michigan and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, who both scored a 0.76. Rutgers University, Newark came in third with a score of 0.75.

In addition, the top 3 colleges in the Liberal Arts category were:

  1. Soka University of America – 0.75
  2. Harvey Mudd College – 0.74
  3. Pine Major College – 0.73

The universities that topped in their respective region were:

  • CUNY Brooklyn College (North)
  • University of North Carolina – Pembroke (South)
  • Mount Mary University (Midwest)
  • California State University – East Bay (West)

And finally, these four colleges ranked highest in their regions:

  • CUNY New York City College of Technology (North)
  • Georgia Gwinnett College (South)
  • Donnelly College (Midwest)
  • Pacific Union College (West)

Why Diversity Matters

The promise of a college degree is no longer enough to attract students. Besides studies, students attend college to expand their worldview. They want to learn from peers who are shaped by a variety of experiences.

It is therefore no surprise that ethnic diversity in colleges has emerged as an important factor for many students in selecting a college. For minority students, still facing challenges in college admissions, an ethnically diverse college is a welcome change.

Colleges too are gradually recognizing the need to focus on diversity. The number of non-white students has increased from 28 to 45 percent between 1997 and 2017. Moreover, the US Census Bureau projects that by 2045 whites will no longer be in majority in America.

Research shows that interactions among racially diverse groups have positive learning outcomes including participation in community work, recognition of racism, and overall wellbeing.