Fredericksburg, VA
Tuition (in-state)
$21,620 ($9,306)
Admission Difficulty
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3 College Senior

Diversity: UMW really tries to be diverse. Tries.

College Sophomore

Diversity: Personally, I don't understand how student diversity can be rated as good or bad for a school; the school is either very diverse or isn't very diverse. I don't understand how a school's diversity can be rated as "it's great" and mean that there is plenty of diversity. Yes, UMW is diverse, but it's not the diversity that makes it a good community. As long as it's accepting of minority groups, I don't see why it "needs" to be so diverse. I feel that a school shouldn't advertise its diversity to attract students. I think the way it should work is that an accepting school will simply attract diverse students, and not that a diverse school will attract accepting students. Acceptance already be present in a community before it can have diversity.

3 College Junior

Diversity: The school is always talking about diversity but it's a little hard to see it sometimes.

4 College Freshman

Diversity: This campus is really gay. If you want a good small college to go and be gay, pick this one. The campus is very progressive and pays a lot of attention to feminism & racial diversity, but we don't actually have a lot of non-white students. However, everyone ranges from open-minded to rabidly liberal, so if you're conservative or don't like PC, I wouldn't go here. The political correctness even gets on my nerves sometimes...

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Diversity: A lot of white girls


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 233rd
    Most Liberal Schools
  • 1163rd
    Most Open-Minded Schools
  • 1167th
    Most Conservative Schools

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Sandy Nicole
Grad Year
View all previous student authors

Some students will claim that UMW is the "University of Mostly White," and by definition, this holds to be true. However, Mary Washington makes a very conscious effort to promote the importance of diversity through its offices, various clubs, organizations, scholarships, and even classes dedicated to a variety of ethnicities, races, religions, and political views.

The first day of freshman seminar begins with a speech on acceptance and James Farmer, a distinguished Civil Rights leader who once taught at Mary Washington. The statistics can be overwhelming to someone who classifies himself as a minority, but overall, the student body is very tolerant and accepting of diversity. There is always an ample chance to mix in with all types of different people through various clubs and organizations. Although the minority may feel intimidated by an overwhelming majority, the minority will always have a pivotal voice at the University of Mary Washington.

Facts & Statistics

African American
Native American
Historically Black College/University?
Tribal College?
Out-of-State Students
Common States of Residence
  • Connecticut
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
Student Age Breakdown
Under 18: 1%
18-19: 40%
20-21: 41%
22-24: 13%
25+: 6%
Female Faculty
Male Faculty
Faculty Diversity
African American: 4%
Asian American: 5%
Hispanic: 3%
International: 2%
Native American: 0%
White: 86%
Unknown: 0%
Gay Pride
Mary Washington thrives in the acceptance and tolerance of its gay and lesbian population. Groups of peers are commonly mixed with different sexual orientations, as generally no one seems to mind different lifestyles. There is a student organization called People for the Rights of Individuals of Sexual Minorities (PRISM), in which the organization promotes a safe and inclusive social setting for people of all sexual orientations.
Political Activity
Political activity is apparent on Mary Washington's campus, from the various student groups to something as simple as seeing "pro-choice" written in chalk on the sidewalk. While the campus tends to lean left, there is still a student club dedicated to Republicans called College Republicans. These political clubs advocate their interests primarily amongst themselves and through fliers, as they attempt to promote the understanding of young people in the political process.
Economic Status
There is an entire spectrum of socioeconomic backgrounds at the University. There is a huge disparity of economic backgrounds on campus, which makes it evident that the school is successful in its attempt at economic-status diversity. The school provides many financial aid opportunities, so there are many students on loans, financial aid, and scholarships.
Most Common Religions
There are a few prominent Christian groups at the University that hold meetings regularly, and because of their popularity, Mary Washington is rumored to have the standard religion of Christianity. However, there are various other clubs that, while smaller and less recognized, are dedicated to several other religions. The University is not associated with a single religious affiliation; students respect each other's thoughts and ideas.
Minority Clubs on Campus
There are plenty of popular minority clubs at Mary Washington, including African Student Union, Asian Student Association (ASA), Black Student Association (BSA), Jewish Student Association/Hillel (JSA), and People for the Rights of Individuals of Sexual Minorities (PRISM). These organizations attempt to create a comfortable environment, as they create places where minorities are able to associate with people from similar backgrounds. The clubs are visible through their various activities on campus.
Did You Know?
The James Farmer sculpture at Mary Washington is dedicated to Civil Rights activist, James Farmer, who once held a position as the Virginia Commonwealth Professor of History at Mary Washington.

Student Polls

How would you best describe your personal political beliefs?    Based on 34 responses

  • 9% Libertarian
  • 6% Not sure
  • 0% Very conservative
  • 9% Conservative
  • 44% Moderate
  • 26% Liberal
  • 6% Progressive/very liberal

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

  • 6% Libertarian
  • 0% Very conservative
  • 6% Conservative
  • 31% Moderate
  • 6% Not sure
  • 38% Liberal
  • 12% Progressive/very liberal

How diverse is the student body in the following areas?    Based on 34 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 33 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

  • 9% 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.
  • 36% Most students are accepting, except for a few rare cases of intolerance.
  • 52% Very accepting.


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