Updated: Jan 9
College Admissions Diversity and the Universities who Care About it
Numerous institutions express that college admissions diversity is a priority. For example, Harvard University has stated very clearly that they believe in diversity. They have even gone as far as to share that they support the Black Lives Matter movement. The University of Minnesota asserts that their university is “strengthened by our students representing different races, religions, ethnicities, economic backgrounds, geographic origins, genders, sexualities, and beliefs.”
There are many other institutions who value diversity, but what exactly is diversity in the context of college admissions? According to US News, “Diversity often means race,
ethnicity or tribal affiliation, but also extends well beyond those factors to sexual identity and orientation, income level, first-generation status, cultural background and gender.”
Antonio R. Flores, the president and CEO of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, shared an expanded yet brief version of the meaning of diversity, adding that diversity speaks to “unrepresented populations.”
Considering the fight against racial inequality and other forms of injustices in the world, college admissions diversity is a hot topic today.
Why is College Admissions Diversity Important?
College admissions diversity helps to shape individuals, institutions, and our entire society. Jeffrey F. Milem from the University of Maryland has shared that “greater exposure to diversity leads to growth in democracy outcomes. Students who have been exposed to greater diversity are more likely to show increases in racial understanding, cultural awareness and appreciation, engagement with social and political issues, and openness to diversity and challenge.”
1. Diversity makes students better citizens: A diversified university will give you access to an environment that shows you how to lead a meaningful life. Such an environment, according to the University of South Florida, stimulates the pursuit of wisdom, truth, and justice for all of humanity.
2. Diversity improves the employability of students: A large portion of the US workforce is diversified. Bear in mind that this does not necessarily speak to race. Diversity includes people with disabilities, individuals from different religious backgrounds, people who identify as LGBTQ, among other groups. Attending a diverse university prepares you for the workplace.
3. Diversity increases intelligence: According to the University of South Florida, research has shown that individuals are more creative in resolving problems when they have learned from people different from themselves. The exposure you get at an institution that admits people from various backgrounds will give you access to different perspectives.
4. Diversity reminds you that you are a part of a big world: When you attend a university that takes college admissions diversity seriously, your network will expand, you will experience different things, you’ll become familiar with different food, and you’ll learn things that you would not have otherwise learned.
College Admissions Diversity and Strategies for Your College Essay
Colleges that are serious about college admissions diversity will be on the lookout for college essays that highlight diversity. The admissions team of a university will look out for college admissions diversity factors such as race, disability, sexual orientation, etc.
Here are 4 tips on how to address college admissions diversity with your college essay:
1. Highlight Your Differences: When writing your college essay, it is important to remember that college admissions diversity goes beyond your race, religion, sexuality, and socioeconomic status. You can also display your diversity by your choice of hobbies, talents, perspectives, experiences, language, and more.
2. Share a Story: One of the best ways to emphasize your diversity in your college essay is to share an anecdote. Consider starting your college essay with this story. This will establish your diversity in the mind of your reader immediately.
3. Show Instead of Telling: Your college essay can come off as bland if you plainly state that you are diverse and why. Instead, aim for a more creative demonstration. For example, in the case of a person who identifies as LGBTQ, showing could mean sharing a story of discrimination. This will be more compelling and will help the reader to see things from your perspective.
4. Share How Your Diversity Shapes Your Outlook: Discuss how your diversity impacts your outlook on life in your college essay. For example, discuss how your love of swimming has impacted how you view life. Whatever uniqueness you have, it contributes to your individual viewpoint. Express what that means in your personal situation.
Can Wisdem USA help me navigate college admissions diversity?
Absolutely! Here at WisdemUSA, diversity is one of our core strengths and distinguishing factors. As a minority-owned college admissions company, we understand firsthand how important college admissions diversity is. Higher education often unlocks the doors to a promising future. For that reason, we've built our diverse team with the goal of being the preeminent diverse college counselor, helping students from all backgrounds gain admission to selective colleges and universities. No matter what your path, whether you're a first generation college student or a fifth generation legacy applicant, WisdemUSA can help you articulate a compelling college admissions diversity narrative. Contact us to start your journey.