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U.S. News & World Report: UNLV Most Diverse Campus in the Nation

UNLV moves from second to a three-way tie for first in annual rankings for "Best Ethnic Diversity.”
Campus News  |  Sep 12, 2017  |  By UNLV Media Relations
Media Contact: Office of Media Relations (702) 895-3102;
crowd at concert

Students gather for the annual Premier UNLV event to kick off the new school year on Aug. 31, 2017. (Josh Hawkins/UNLV Creative Services)

UNLV has reached the top of U.S. News & World Report’s annual listing of the nation’s most diverse universities for undergraduates.

After two years in second, UNLV is now in a three-way tie for first in the publication’s Best Ethnic Diversity category released today. UNLV has placed in the top 10 for the past seven years.

“The diversity of our student population represents the future of urban public research universities,” said UNLV President Len Jessup. “This ranking is a reflection of the changing demographics of our state and our nation, and we’re proud to be at the forefront of this change.”

The Best Ethnic Diversity category identifies colleges where students are most likely to encounter undergraduates from racial or ethnic groups different from their own. It noted UNLV’s high percentage of Hispanic students, approximately 29 percent.

“Our diverse student body enriches the cultural vitality of our campus, bringing unique perspectives that elevate the college experience for everyone,” said Jessup.

More than half of all undergraduate students at UNLV report being part of a racial or ethnic minority. The U.S. News ranking, which evaluated data from the 2016-17 academic year, calculated a rise in UNLV’s diversity index from 0.74 to 0.75 on a scale of 0.1 to 1.0. UNLV was one of three universities with a 0.75 diversity index, including Andrews University and Rutgers University.

In the spring, UNLV launched The Intersection, a comprehensive academic multicultural center for students, faculty, and staff that provides access and linkages to people, information and services. Located on the first floor of the Student Union, the campus resource helps students, particularly first-generation and students of color, successfully navigate their academic careers.

In 2015, UNLV became the first four-year institution in Nevada to reach Hispanic enrollment of 25 percent, meeting the U.S Department of Education’s definition of an Hispanic Serving Institution. The university also meets Minority Serving Institution requirements as an Asian American, Native-American, and Pacific-Islander-Serving Institution.

The listing considers the overall mix of Black, Hispanic, American Indian, Asian-American Pacific Islander, White and multiracial (two or more races) students. It does not include international students.

The “Best of Ethnic Diversity” ranking was included in U.S. News & World Report’s annual list of Best Colleges. Find a link to the full report at