2018 Most Diverse Colleges Methodology

The 2018 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

Factor Description Source Weight
Student Racial Diversity Index Index of Student Racial Diversity. U.S. Dept. of Education 25.0%
Percent International Students Percent of students who are not legal U.S. residents. U.S. Dept. of Education 15.0%
Percent Out-of-State Students Percent of students whose primary residence is not in same state as college. U.S. Dept. of Education 15.0%
Student Economic Diversity Index Index of Student Economic Diversity. U.S. Dept. of Education 15.0%
Faculty Diversity Index An index of Faculty Racial Diversity. U.S. Dept. of Education 10.0%
Student Surveys on Diversity Niche survey responses scored on a 1-5 scale regarding campus diversity at each school. Self-reported by Niche users 10.0%
Faculty Gender Ratio (M-F) Ratio of male to female faculty. U.S. Dept. of Education 5.0%
Student Gender Ratio (M-F) Ratio of male to female undergraduates. U.S. Dept. of Education 5.0%

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 2015–2017, as self-reported by the colleges. Niche also collects data directly from schools via our school data update form. If you work for a school and would like to update your data, please claim your school.

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