Economic Diversity Among the Top 25 Ranked Schools

National Liberal Arts Colleges

Economic diversity has received growing attention in higher education, particularly at elite schools that haven't traditionally enrolled large numbers of low-income students or students from low-income families. This table shows the percentage of undergraduates receiving federal Pell Grants for low-income students.

The proportion of students on Pell Grants, which are most often given to undergrads with family incomes under $20,000, isn't a perfect measure of an institution's efforts to achieve economic diversity: A college might enroll a large number of students just above the Pell cutoff, for instance, and percentages at public universities may reflect the wide variation from state to state in the number of qualified low-income students.

Still, many experts say that Pell figures are the best available gauge of how many low-income undergrads there are on a given campus. Pell Grant percentages were calculated using 2011-2012 school year data on the number of Pell Grant recipients at each school collected by the U.S. Department of Education and given to U.S. News and fall 2011 total undergraduate enrollment collected from the colleges themselves by U.S. News.

U.S. News rank School Percent of undergraduates receiving Pell Grants:
#20 Overall Score: 83 out of 100. Smith College

Northampton, MA

26%
#13 Overall Score: 87 out of 100. Vassar College

Poughkeepsie, NY

24%
#17 Overall Score: 84 out of 100. Grinnell College

Grinnell, IA

23%
#2 Overall Score: 96 out of 100. Amherst College

Amherst, MA

22%
#25 Overall Score: 80 out of 100. University of Richmond

Univ. of Richmond, VA

22%
#7 Overall Score: 91 out of 100. Wellesley College

Wellesley, MA

20%
#1 Overall Score: 100 out of 100. Williams College

Williamstown, MA

20%
#17 Overall Score: 84 out of 100. Wesleyan University

Middletown, CT

19%
#4 Overall Score: 92 out of 100. Pomona College

Claremont, CA

17%
#25 Overall Score: 80 out of 100. College of the Holy Cross

Worcester, MA

16%

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