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5 College Sophomore

Diversity: Columbia is one of the most diverse schools in the world

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Diversity: Columbia students are from many different ethnic and religious backgrounds.

5 College Senior

Diversity: People here are the most diverse you can find anywhere.

4 College Junior

Diversity: There are tons of international students, and diversity statistics don't lie. Columbia is very ethnically and religiously diverse (though I have not met all that many extremely devout Christians). Saying that it is liberal is an understatement, and social conservatism (i.e. gay people bad) is not going to fly, while fiscal conservatism (i.e. taxes bad) is more understandable (though certainly not a majority opinion). Economic diversity generally ranges from middle class to really really wealthy, though that would be true of any comparable school, so take that as you may.

6 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Diversity: Compared to the other Ivies, Columbia is more diverse in race. There are many international students and people of varying sexual orientations. Everyone seems to be very accepting and open to those with different upbringings/experiences.

2 people found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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As soon as you step onto Columbia's campus, the diversity of the student population is immediately noticeable. Students at Columbia represent 50 states and 150 countries. Accordingly, Columbia boasts to be the most diverse Ivy League college. Walking through campus, one hears a variety of languages being spoken and can see tons of fliers advertising cultural events and organizations. Despite this diversity, the largest represented ethnicity remains Caucasian. That being said, Columbia is incredibly tolerant of people from all walks of life.

This tolerance likely speaks to the nature of the location of Columbia. With a population of more than 8 million people, New York is one of the most diverse cities on the planet, and Columbia aims to be a microcosm of that.

Facts & Statistics

African American
Native American
Historically Black College/University?
Tribal College?
Out-of-State Students
Common States of Residence
  • California
  • Florida
  • Foreign countries
  • New Jersey
  • Texas
Student Age Breakdown
Under 18: 1%
18-19: 12%
20-21: 14%
22-24: 26%
25+: 48%
Female Faculty
Male Faculty
Faculty Diversity
African American: 6%
Asian American: 14%
Hispanic: 4%
International: 7%
Native American: 0%
White: 69%
Unknown: 0%
Gay Pride
Columbia is extremely open to the gay community, which is perhaps a reflection of the makeup of the student population (a common lament is that there are too few straight men to account for the numbers of straight women on Columbia/Barnard campuses). There are multiple organizations with very visible presences on campus. Additionally, the LGBTQ community and its allies are vocal about school policy and have contributed to the efforts to introduce gender-neutral housing on the Columbia campus.
Political Activity
Columbia has a history of being politically active (for reference, Google "Columbia 1968 Protests"). While there does exist a small number of conservative student organizations, Columbia students are generally quite liberal. Furthermore, politically-minded students are often vocal about their beliefs, and various protests can be seen occupying Low Plaza (a highly visible part of campus) a few times a month, if not more frequently. With the recent Occupy movement taking hold of NYC, these political outpourings became more frequent with student and faculty-led walkouts occurring in late 2011.
Economic Status
As with most other Ivy League schools, a large part of the student population comes from privileged backgrounds (wealthy families, private schools, etc.). That being said, there is a fair amount of socioeconomic diversity on campus due to Columbia's commitment to providing financial aid for students exhibiting need. Students as a whole do not generally divide themselves based on economic status, but it isn't an uncommon phenomenon.
Most Common Religions
While most Columbia students do not actively practice religion, there is certainly a variety of religious backgrounds. Judaism is definitely the most visible religion on campus, with Christianity and Islam groups also having an active presence. It's a safe bet that just about every religious preference has a community either on campus or somewhere in the city.
Minority Clubs on Campus
There are tons of minority clubs on campus, which is a necessary reflection of the incredibly diverse student population. These organizations are often very visible, holding social and cultural events frequently throughout the semester. Additionally, Columbia occasionally offers cultural showcases where students can take in acts ranging from bellydance and Bhangra to Latin sambas and lion dance.
Did You Know?
Columbia's dedication to the creation of a diverse community is embodied by its Multicultural Recruitment Committee (MRC). This committee is made up of student interns who work with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions in order to ensure that talented students from historically underrepresented groups are given a chance to attend Columbia.

Student Polls

Have you changed your political affiliation since you started college?    Based on 9 responses

  • 100% No
  • 0% Yes, Democrat to Republican
  • 0% Yes, Democrat to Independent/Other Party
  • 0% Yes, Republican to Democrat
  • 0% Yes, Republican to Independent/Other Party
  • 0% Yes, Independent/Other Party to Democrat
  • 0% Yes, Independent/Other Party to Republican

How would you best describe your personal political beliefs?    Based on 55 responses

  • 24% Progressive/very liberal
  • 29% Liberal
  • 29% Moderate
  • 4% Conservative
  • 2% Very conservative
  • 9% Libertarian
  • 4% Not sure

How would you best describe the political beliefs of campus as a whole?    Based on 56 responses

  • 21% Progressive/very liberal
  • 55% Liberal
  • 12% Moderate
  • 2% Conservative
  • 0% Very conservative
  • 0% Libertarian
  • 9% Not sure

How diverse is the student body in the following areas?    Based on 56 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 55 responses

Totally homogenous
Extremely diverse
  • Economic status
  • Ethnic heritage
  • National origin (international students)
  • Political affiliation
  • Religious background
  • Sexual orientation

Have you changed your political views since starting college?    Based on 10 responses

  • 70% No
  • 0% Yes, I became a lot more liberal.
  • 30% Yes, I became a little more liberal.
  • 0% Yes, I became a lot more conservative.
  • 0% Yes, I became a little more conservative.

What political party do you associate yourself with?    Based on 10 responses

  • 10% Republican
  • 50% Democratic
  • 30% Independent
  • 0% Other party not mentioned
  • 10% I don't care about politics

Have your religious views changed since you started college?    Based on 9 responses

  • 89% No, my religious views have stayed the same.
  • 11% Yes. I've become more religious, but I'm still affiliated with the same religion.
  • 0% Yes. I've become more religious and have changed my religious affiliation.
  • 0% Yes. I've become less religious, but I'm still affiliated with the same religion.
  • 0% Yes. I've become less religious and have changed my religious affiliation.

How accepted is the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community on campus?    Based on 11 responses

  • 64% Very accepted. LGBT students are treated no differently than non-LGBT students.
  • 36% Accepted. LGBT students are treated fairly, but there are still some people who aren't accepting of them.
  • 0% Somewhat accepted. LGBT students aren't necessarily out and proud on campus, for fear of intolerance.
  • 0% Not accepted. LGBT students generally stay quiet.

How important is religion in your life?    Based on 9 responses

  • 0% Very important. I regularly attend religious services and also participate in related clubs/organizations.
  • 22% Important. I regularly attend religious services.
  • 44% Somewhat important. I sometimes attend religious services.
  • 33% Not important. I don't affiliate with any religion.

How accepting is the campus community as a whole toward someone who falls into the minority (ethnic, sexual, or religious)?    Based on 57 responses

  • 72% Very accepting.
  • 23% Most students are accepting, except for a few rare cases of intolerance.
  • 4% The campus is split on its acceptance-not all minority groups are as accepted as others.
  • 2% It's hard to be a minority here.



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