Saint Peter, MN
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4 College Freshman

Diversity: There are a wide array of diversities at Gustavus, whether it be ethnic, sexual orientation, religion, political beliefs or otherwise. It's also quite open for debate or discussion about differences and very rarely do conversations become hostile or awkward.

4 College Junior

Diversity: This school does have diversity. However, administration does not handle instances of culturally ignorant or inappropriate behavior at all. They do not really celebrate great moments of achievement of students of diversity. They ignore instances of institutional racism. Yes, I do have a diverse friend group, but the school does not do enough to end racism and discrimination.

4 College Freshman

Diversity: Gustavus is fairly diverse for a small school.

4 College Freshman

Diversity: There aren't too many problems to be heard of on race and religion.

5 College Junior

Diversity: Beautiful campus with great organizations that really promotes the diversity of Gustavus. The student body creates awareness around campus with various issues. Great place to be inspired and take actions


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 98th
    Most Liberal Schools
  • 1043rd
    Most Open-Minded Schools
  • 1297th
    Most Conservative Schools

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Steven Olson
Moorhead, MN
History and Scandinavian Studies
Grad Year
View all previous student authors

The issue of diversity can be a contentious one at Gustavus. Admissions tries to get not only economic and ethnic diversity, but also students from outside of Minnesota. Students know that there are organizations and offices to advance religious, ethnic, or political minority awareness, and surprisingly—despite most of the campus being white, middle class, and Protestant—these groups are popular and attract a crowd. The issue of diversity at Gustavus is in the eye of the beholder: For many students who come from small towns, the campus seems diverse. For those hailing from big cities, it’s a complete sea of sameness.

Diversity can be looked at in many ways, but the usual approach is through race or religion. The usual critique is that so many students are white, Minnesotan, and Protestant. Historically, being that Gustavus is an ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) college founded by Swedish immigrants, it makes sense that this is the majority of students. However, Gustavus is quite aware of this criticism and works to attract minorities and support them once they arrive. Whether they're from Senegal, are Jewish, or are the first in their family to attend college, Gustavus takes its responsibility very seriously to help minority students feel comfortable and safe. Gustavus gives them the ability to completely assimilate into the student majority or to embrace their difference and proudly stand out. Don't be surprised if your roommate is gay, atheist, or Vietnamese.

Facts & Statistics

African American
Native American
Historically Black College/University?
Tribal College?
Out-of-State Students
Common States of Residence
  • Foreign countries
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • South Dakota
  • Wisconsin
Student Age Breakdown
Under 18: 1%
18-19: 49%
20-21: 45%
22-24: 5%
25+: 0%
Female Faculty
Male Faculty
Faculty Diversity
African American: 2%
Asian American: 6%
Hispanic: 2%
International: 3%
Native American: 0%
White: 87%
Unknown: 0%
Gay Pride
Each fall, the Diversity Center and Queers & Allies sponsors Coming Out Week, an opportunity to raise queer awareness around campus. Though the week has notable events such as a drag show in the Market Place, the rest of the year the Queers & Allies group maintains educational and awareness-centered events to help remind the community of closeted and open queer individuals.
Political Activity
Gustavus is a politically minded, politically conscious campus. The College Democrats thrive, successfully bringing in politicians, speakers, and activists. The College Republicans are also active; there are plenty of conservatives running around, but most of them just don't like to admit it.
Economic Status
Middle and upper class
Most Common Religions
Lutheran, Catholic, and Protestant are a few popular denominations on campus.
Minority Clubs on Campus
Queer & Allies, Pan Afrikan Student Organization, Asian Cultures Club, Crossroads, Womyn's Awareness Center

Student Polls

How would you best describe your personal political beliefs?    Based on 32 responses

  • 3% Libertarian
  • 16% Not sure
  • 3% Very conservative
  • 3% Conservative
  • 19% Moderate
  • 44% Liberal
  • 12% Progressive/very liberal

How would you best describe the political beliefs of campus as a whole?    Based on 32 responses

  • 0% Libertarian
  • 0% Very conservative
  • 0% Conservative
  • 22% Moderate
  • 3% Not sure
  • 62% Liberal
  • 12% Progressive/very liberal

How diverse is the student body in the following areas?    Based on 30 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 29 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 33 responses

  • 0% It's hard to be a minority here.
  • 3% The campus is split on its acceptance-not all minority groups are as accepted as others.
  • 52% Most students are accepting, except for a few rare cases of intolerance.
  • 45% Very accepting.


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