Mount Vernon, IA
Admission Difficulty
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3 College Senior

Diversity: The campus is diverse for small-town Iowa, and has a sizeable international student population, and about a 30% minority group population. That said though, this is Iowa, and it's overrun with white people the second you step off campus.

3 College Freshman

Diversity: This school is the definition of diversity. Whether it be sexual orientation, race, or economic status. Whatever type of person you are, you're sure to fit into a certain group here.

3 College Sophomore

Diversity: It's not as diverse ethnically as they'd like you to believe, but most schools aren't. People are for the most part really accepting here. We have many diversity clubs, like Alliance, and OLA and BACO, which are for students of color. Most people here are pretty liberal. Economically wise, I'd say it's pretty diverse thanks to their financial aid. Many students, like myself, don't come from much money, but others are pretty rich. We have a lot of groups for religion as well. Overall, it definitely needs to improve on diversity, but it's welcomed when we have it.

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4 College Sophomore

Diversity: There is a fair amount of diversity going about on campus met with healthy acceptance and also education on the different cultures that thrive on campus. The environment is great and although located in a small town, Cornell really prides itself on being a forward thinking campus. There are a lot of different programs on campus catering to the LGBT&Q community, racial minorities, religious groups, and so on.

1 College Sophomore

Diversity: The majority of students on campus are white, Christian people from the midwest. There are a few people from different ethnicities, religions and the like, but there is still a very big gap between them and the majority. Diversity is more an abstract idea here, not a reality.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 151st
    Most Liberal Schools
  • 1245th
    Most Conservative Schools
  • 1276th
    Most Open-Minded Schools

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Erin McNeill
Foristell, MO
Sociology/Anthropology, English
View all previous student authors

For a small, liberal arts college located in America's heartland, Cornell boasts some great diversity compared to the local landscape. Incoming classes average 20 percent students of color and four percent international students. The number of students from diverse economic backgrounds also adds to the variety of students on campus. Numerous religions are present on campus, as well, from Catholicism to paganism and many things in between. However, religious practice is not a high profile activity for most students. Cornell does not have an extremely visible or active GLBTQ community, primarily because these students are well received within campus culture.

Tolerance, particularly of more liberal viewpoints, is something Cornell students and faculty alike do really well. Conservatives on campus are more likely to be criticized by students for holding right-wing views. Nevertheless, the College Republicans are an active student organization. Isolated incidences of intolerance do occur, but the overwhelming student reaction is an intolerance for intolerance.

Facts & Statistics

African American
Native American
Historically Black College/University?
Tribal College?
Out-of-State Students
Common States of Residence
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Foreign countries
  • Illinois
  • Minnesota
Student Age Breakdown
Under 18: 2%
18-19: 48%
20-21: 44%
22-24: 6%
25+: 1%
Female Faculty
Male Faculty
Faculty Diversity
African American: 1%
Asian American: 3%
Hispanic: 1%
International: 0%
Native American: 2%
White: 90%
Unknown: 2%
Gay Pride
Cornell's campus is predominantly socially liberal and accepting of the GLBTQ community. Students are- successfully-encouraged by various organizations, events, and courses to be open-minded when it comes to people whose lives are different from their own. Alliance, Cornell's student organization for the "empowerment of queer people and allies," is well received on campus. Their "Safe Zone" signs, which indicate an individual who will be understanding, supportive, and trustworthy for a GLBTQ student, can be found throughout both the residence halls and academic buildings.
Political Activity
Cornell's political climate definitely leans to the left, though there are active student organizations for both democrats and republicans. Students are also involved in a wide range of other political issues, including poverty and the global AIDS crisis.
Economic Status
Cornell has a need-blind admissions policy, which means students from a wide variety of economic backgrounds are admitted. A majority of Cornell students receive financial aid of some type, whether it is need- or merit-based. Though many students come from middle-class homes, there are students from almost every walk of life. Additionally, there is no noticeable segregation within the student body based on socioeconomic status.
Most Common Religions
Religious affiliation is not something that is strongly emphasized at Cornell. The college itself is loosely affiliated with the Methodist Church, but the chaplain and office of spiritual life stress spirituality and open-mindedness. Cornell has student organizations with religious affiliations (ranging from Catholic to Jewish to alternative religions) that host events to promote both awareness and education about various religious holidays and practices.
Minority Clubs on Campus
Cornell boasts numerous student organizations focused on issues related to minorities or diversity in general on campus. BACO-Black Awareness Cultural Organization- focuses on awareness and empowerment through community and support. OLA-Organization for Latino Awareness-supports awareness and education about Latino culture on campus. Eyes of the World is an organization which serves as both a support system for international students and an outlet for students wishing to share or experience different cultural traditions and knowledge. These, and many other organizations, host a variety of events throughout the year, including movie screenings and discussions, speakers, and educational events on the OC. The Office of Intercultural Life sponsors an annual diversity conference which provides students an opportunity to showcase academic work and facilitates discussion on issues of race and ethnicity, gender, and class.

Student Polls

How would you best describe your personal political beliefs?    Based on 22 responses

  • 0% Libertarian
  • 14% Not sure
  • 0% Very conservative
  • 0% Conservative
  • 18% Moderate
  • 41% Liberal
  • 27% Progressive/very liberal

How would you best describe the political beliefs of campus as a whole?    Based on 22 responses

  • 0% Libertarian
  • 0% Very conservative
  • 0% Conservative
  • 18% Moderate
  • 18% Not sure
  • 50% Liberal
  • 14% Progressive/very liberal

How diverse is the student body in the following areas?    Based on 21 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 23 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 22 responses

  • 5% It's hard to be a minority here.
  • 14% The campus is split on its acceptance-not all minority groups are as accepted as others.
  • 41% Most students are accepting, except for a few rare cases of intolerance.
  • 41% Very accepting.



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