Diversity

Location
Amherst, MA
Undergrads
1,817
Tuition
$44,610
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
More statistics . . .
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Reviews

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5 College Sophomore

Diversity: People come from so many backgrounds that it teaches tolerance from everybody's standpoint. You can't judge because you can easily be judged by being different yourself. It is amazing to learn and live in an environment like this.

4 College Sophomore

Diversity: I feel as if there is a gap between the different races and ethnicities on campus. They seem to congeal together and don't venture out of their created friend groups based on their homeland.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Diversity: The diversity is a major plus.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Diversity: I come from a largely homogenous high school, so coming to Amherst was my first chance to ever meet so many people from different ethnicities and backgrounds. It is NOT just white and preppy. Well, it's pretty preppy. But definitely not predominantly white.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Diversity: Amherst College does a phenomenal job at assembling a diverse freshman class each year. In fact, Amherst has the highest percentage of Pell grant recipients of any elite institution. The admissions process is not only need-blind, but actually prefers students from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds. Amherst active alumni and vast financial resources allow this generosity.
However, there are some issues with diversity that the institution should address. Students are quite active in shaping life at the college and are quick to point out ways to improve it. Recently, there has been increased focus on the effects of athletics on the overall student body. There is certainly a divide between athletes and the other students that is apparent in most settings here.

2 people found this useful Report
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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 152nd
    Most Liberal Schools
  • 502nd
    Most Open-Minded Schools
  • 1240th
    Most Conservative Schools

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Lem Atanga McCormick
Hometown
Chicago, IL
Major
Pre-Med (Biology and French)
View all previous student authors

Whether Amherst is diverse enough is one of the most disputed questions among administration and students. Many call for special programs to attract more minorities to the school, which suffers, as all New England private colleges do, from a stigma of being a WASP-only country club for young adults. The truth is, Amherst makes a considerable effort to make itself known to minorities and to make its expensive education more affordable. The College offers a need-blind application process to American citizens, and large percent of students receive financial aid. International students can also apply for financial aid, although this will reduce their chances of admission. Most importantly, the fact that this issue is debated constantly on this campus shows a level of awareness and willingness to formally admit and socially accept eclectic groups of students each year.

Still, many students feel that more should be done to have a more-diverse student body. The current Amherst student body is far from being all white and will probably never be all white. Living in such a diverse community requires a very high level of tolerance, which is present most of the time. It seems people here don’t really allow racial and discriminatory practices, ideas, and words to penetrate everyday life. In this sense, Amherst does feel like a bubble tightly insulated from the outside world.

Facts & Statistics

African American
12%
Asian
11%
Hispanic
12%
International
9%
Native American
0%
White
40%
Unknown
11%
Historically Black College/University?
No
Tribal College?
No
Out-of-State Students
88%
Common States of Residence
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Foreign countries
  • New Jersey
  • New York
Student Age Breakdown
Under 18: 2%
18-19: 48%
20-21: 40%
22-24: 9%
25+: 1%
Female Faculty
43%
Male Faculty
57%
Faculty Diversity
African American: 3%
Asian American: 10%
Hispanic: 5%
International: 4%
Native American: 0%
White: 77%
Unknown: 0%
Gay Pride
The prevailing notion at Amherst is that a person’s sexual orientation is their business. The campus is very accepting of homosexuality. Here are some student organizations concerned with gender issues on campus: the Amherst College Pride Alliance (LBGTQA), Amherst Feminist Alliance, the Women’s Center, Peer Advocates of Sexual Respect.
Political Activity
The campus is mostly very liberal, although the Amherst College Republicans is a very lively and combative organization. Most students don’t live and breathe politics, but those who do are really ardent about it. Many students like to complain about the student government, but the truth is that they have helpful and practical initiatives, such as arranging for free shuttles to the nearest airports on breaks, and purchasing cardboard boxes for students to put their stuff in on breaks.
Economic Status
Most students come from wealthy families, and there is a considerable part of the student body that comes from a lower economic status. In any case, your economic background rarely comes into play at Amherst in any circumstance, social or otherwise.
Most Common Religions
Catholicism, Protestantism, Judaism
Minority Clubs on Campus
There are many organizations, as well as theme houses at Amherst. They hold many fascinating cultural events during the academic year. Examples: AIKYA, the Asian Student Association, the Black Students Union, Chicano Caucus, International Student Association (ISA), Pacific Islander/South East Asian Students (PISEAS). Culture theme houses: Asian Culture House (ACH); African, African American, and African Caribbean House (Drew House); La Casa.

Student Polls

How would you best describe your personal political beliefs?    Based on 13 responses

  • 8% Libertarian
  • 8% Not sure
  • 0% Very conservative
  • 0% Conservative
  • 8% Moderate
  • 54% Liberal
  • 23% Progressive/very liberal

How would you best describe the political beliefs of campus as a whole?    Based on 12 responses

  • 0% Libertarian
  • 0% Very conservative
  • 0% Conservative
  • 17% Moderate
  • 0% Not sure
  • 42% Liberal
  • 42% Progressive/very liberal

How diverse is the student body in the following areas?    Based on 11 responses

Totally homogenous
Extremely diverse
  • Economic status
  • Ethnic heritage
  • National origin (international students)
  • Political affiliation
  • Religious background
  • Sexual orientation

How diverse is your personal circle of friends in the following areas?    Based on 10 responses

Totally homogenous
Extremely diverse
  • Economic status
  • Ethnic heritage
  • National origin (international students)
  • Political affiliation
  • Religious background
  • Sexual orientation

How accepting is the campus community as a whole toward someone who falls into the minority (ethnic, sexual, or religious)?    Based on 13 responses

  • 0% It's hard to be a minority here.
  • 8% The campus is split on its acceptance-not all minority groups are as accepted as others.
  • 15% Most students are accepting, except for a few rare cases of intolerance.
  • 77% Very accepting.
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