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Study Ranks Caltech as Nation’s Most Diverse College

Published on Monday, November 15, 2021 | 2:48 pm
Photo courtesy Caltech

The California Institute of Technology has been ranked as the Most Diverse U.S. College by Degree Choices, a company that provides information that’s relevant for prospective college students as they begin to decide what degree or career path to pursue in life.

“Looking at measurements for LGBTQ+ support, gender and ethnic and geographic diversity, Caltech tops the list as the most diverse college in the country, scoring 95.0 out of 100 for this category, narrowly edging out New York University with a score of 92.3,” Degree Choices said in a statement. “Caltech’s commitment to diversity on campus is apparent with a student population of 54.7 percent men and 45.3 percent women. The student body of 2,237 undergraduate and graduate students includes seven racial-ethnic groups.”

Of the 2,237 undergraduate and graduate students, 27 percent are white, the results showed. Overall, seven racial-ethnic groups are represented at Caltech, with Asian and Black students accounting for a total of 53.8 percent of the student population.

On its own website, Caltech says: “We value diversity and actively support student access, equity, and inclusion. We encourage our students to take advantage of the many resources available on campus.”

At the other end of the scale, Caltech scores the lowest for free speech, at just 30 out of 100, according to the Degree Choices study. Dartmouth College (32.5), Williams College (32.6), Swarthmore College (33.0) and Amherst College (35.2) also rank in the five schools with the lowest freedom of speech scores.

Explaining the methodology, Degree Choices said they’ve analyzed a number of sources on diversity, inclusivity, sustainability, freedom of speech, and health and well-being and gave each factor a score out of 100.

The Degree Choices results showed University of California, Berkeley comes in third in the Most Diverse U.S. College ranking, scoring 87.0, with UCLA in fourth place, at 85.3, and Columbia University in fifth at 85.

The statement also included the rankings for the Most Progressive College in the U.S., which Stanford University topped, scoring 74.3 points out of a possible 100. Stanfor also ranked first for sustainability.

Degree Choices said prospective students now pay attention to much more than entry requirements and courses when choosing a college.

“Given that students will spend most of their time at their chosen college for the duration of their course, it’s important that their wider values and culture also align with that of the institution,” the statement continued. “This will help them to feel comfortable and supported in their environment, and give them the best opportunity to thrive.”

Degree Choices makes an assessment of the top 40 universities and colleges across the U.S. based on statistics concerning diversity, inclusivity, sustainability, and freedom of speech. Taking all factors into account, the firm allocates an overall progressivity score to determine who tops the charts.

“We believe that gaining a degree is an investment in your future which should not depend on your race, gender, identity, or socioeconomic background,” the statement said. “While no score should be taken as a definitive conclusion, since institutions may thrive in different areas, we want to shine a light on progressivism in academia to help you make an informed choice about your future.”

To get a detailed view of the various rankings, visit

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