Harrisonburg, VA
Tuition (in-state)
$17,932 ($4,642)
Admission Difficulty
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3 College Freshman

Diversity: I don't really focus on the diversity.

5 College Freshman

Diversity: Considering JMU is in Virginia, it's pretty diverse. People are very accepting and open.

3 College Freshman

Diversity: Most of the students here are catholic/christian and many of them are from New Jersey or NOVA (northern virginia). A lot of the students are white and from the United States with the exception of sports players. With that said the people here are diverse in other ways besides ethnicity and religion.

2 College Freshman

Diversity: There is not much diversity at JMU, especially from the outside looking in. However, we have many different types of personalities and backgrounds so that it makes the campus an interesting mix.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Diversity: The majority of students are Caucasian, but within that category there are students with a variety of views.

1 person found this useful Report

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 397th
    Most Liberal Schools
  • 998th
    Most Conservative Schools
  • 1182nd
    Most Open-Minded Schools

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Sandra Jolles
Great Falls Virginia
Media Arts and Design
Grad Year
View all previous student authors

Even though JMU comes with a diversity of personalities, this unfortunately does not translate to race, religion, or ethnicity. If JMU were to even have a religion, it would be a staunch Christian. Aside being recognized as one of the largest Christian Inner Varsity Chapters in the United States, JMU does offer alternative religious groups. The JMU Hillel as well as the Free Thinkers have gained traction in the past year, giving students another religious outlet to explore.

In large part, JMU is comprised of Northern Virginia wealth. This means a widespread majority of wealthy white kids. The slice of students that are minorities stick to each other in clumps and blobs. While you’re seeing 50 white students trickling down the JMU path, a large horde of minority students may come slipping by. In regard to sexual orientation, JMU's LGBT club holds Gay Pride events throughout the year, collaborating with Madison Equality. Students, no matter the race or sexual orientation, tend to feel like themselves in an accepting, warm environment.

Facts & Statistics

African American
Native American
Historically Black College/University?
Tribal College?
Out-of-State Students
Common States of Residence
  • Foreign countries
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
Student Age Breakdown
Under 18: 1%
18-19: 41%
20-21: 42%
22-24: 14%
25+: 3%
Female Faculty
Male Faculty
Faculty Diversity
African American: 3%
Asian American: 3%
Hispanic: 2%
International: 3%
Native American: 0%
White: 85%
Unknown: 5%
Gay Pride
Students generally are very accepting of people with different sexual orientations and even participate in the different clubs related to gay pride. Most notably is Madison Equality, whose primary mission is to "promote tolerance and acceptance through education and awareness."
Political Activity
JMU showed its enthusiasm for politics during the political rally in the fall of 2008, when Senator Barack Obama visited the school to encourage young voters to make a difference. Through groups like the JMU College Republicans, the Madison Political Affairs Club, and the JMU College Democrats, a variety of opinions and political affiliations can be found on campus. Even for those uninterested in government politics, the SGA (Student Government Association) deals with letting students' concerns being taken to the JMU administration.
Economic Status
Although JMU students come from various social and economic backgrounds, the majority are from middle-class or upper-middle-class families.
Most Common Religions
The most prominent religions on campus are Protestantism and Catholicism. Religious houses and organizations, such as the Canterbury Episcopalian house and the Catholic Campus Ministry house, can be found in areas surrounding campus and religious services, and groups meet regularly on campus.
Minority Clubs on Campus
Despite the lack of diversity, JMU has committed itself to having a vast number of groups to incorporate students of all backgrounds. One of the broadest and most influential of these organizations is CMISS (Center for Multicultural/International Student Services). A large number of Greek, cultural, and religious organizations have formed under the umbrella of CMISS, including Gamma Sigma Sigma, the African Student Organization, and the Latino Student Alliance.

Student Polls

How would you best describe your personal political beliefs?    Based on 100 responses

  • 14% Libertarian
  • 8% Not sure
  • 3% Very conservative
  • 15% Conservative
  • 29% Moderate
  • 25% Liberal
  • 6% Progressive/very liberal

How would you best describe the political beliefs of campus as a whole?    Based on 100 responses

  • 0% Libertarian
  • 0% Very conservative
  • 10% Conservative
  • 36% Moderate
  • 24% Not sure
  • 26% Liberal
  • 4% Progressive/very liberal

How diverse is the student body in the following areas?    Based on 99 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 99 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 100 responses

  • 5% It's hard to be a minority here.
  • 4% The campus is split on its acceptance-not all minority groups are as accepted as others.
  • 36% Most students are accepting, except for a few rare cases of intolerance.
  • 55% Very accepting.


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