Some are willing to give Pepperdine credit for trying, with its international exchange program and so on, but most students agree that diversity is not a Pepperdine hallmark. There are noticeably few black students, although to say, as many do, that the African American student population is limited to the basketball team is probably to overstate Pepperdine’s diversity deficiency. The student body does get kudos for economic diversity—heiresses and scholarship kids are pretty equally represented. And gender-wise, both sexes are pretty prevalent on campus.
In all seriousness, though, diversity is a real problem in the sense that college applicants looking for a place to branch out culturally after high school will find Pepperdine disappointing. White, Christian Californians clearly dominate the campus scene, and behind them seems to be a glut of white folks from Colorado, Texas, and the Pacific Northwest. Not that there’s anything wrong with white folks or any of these fine locals, but Pepperdine could certainly use more ethnic and cultural variety.