11 Most Economically Diverse Colleges

As college tuition becomes a steeper mountain to climb every year, it’s nice to see that some schools value economic diversity. After all, there has to be some place the rest of the 99% can enroll in a higher education.

The US News and World Report created this list of the most economically diverse student bodies by researching the percentage of undergraduates receiving Pell Grants for low-income students. Pell Grants are generally given to undergrads who come from families with incomes under $20,000.

So, it’s not the perfect measure, because, who knows, there may be some schools out there admitting thousands of kids just above the Pell Grant line, but it’s still a pretty good barometer to see how many low-income students are on a given campus.

So here are 11 universities who have made a big commitment to economic diversity:

1. New Mexico State University
Percent of undergraduates receiving Pell grants: 87%
Quick fact: NMSU is the only research-extensive, land-grant, USA-Mexico border institution classified as Hispanic serving by the federal government.

2. Jackson State University
Percent of undergraduates receiving Pell grants: 
81%
Quick fact: A member of the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund, JSU holds an important place in the history of US civil rights.

3. South Carolina State University
Percent of undergraduates receiving Pell grants:
 80%
Quick fact: Quick fact: It is the only state funded, historically black land-grant institution in South Carolina and is a member school of the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund.

4. Texas Southern University
Percent of undergraduates receiving Pell grants:
78%
Quick fact: As a result,  of Heman Marion Sweatt, an African American man, who applied to the University of Texas School of Law but was denied admission because of race,the state founded Texas Southern University under Senate Bill 140 by the Fiftieth Texas Legislature on March 3, 1947 as a state university to be located in Houston and to serve African Americans in Texas.

5. Kent State University 
Percent of undergraduates receiving Pell grants: 77%
Quick fact: During the late 1960s and early 1970s, the university was known internationally for its student activism in opposition to US involvement in the Vietnam war, due mainly to the events of May 4, 1970 where Ohio Army National Guard unit fired at students during an anti-war protest on campus, killing four and wounding nine.

6. Texas A&M University
Percent of undergraduates receiving Pell grants: 73%
Quick fact: The sixth-largest university in the United States, A&M’s enrollment for Fall 2011 was over 50,000 for the first time in school history.

7. Florida Institute of Technology
Percent of undergraduates receiving Pell grants:
69%
Quick fact: Florida Tech’s curriculum is largely focused on engineering and science fields.

8. Tennessee State University
Percent of undergraduates receiving Pell grants:
66%
Quick fact: TSU is the only state-funded historically black university in Tennessee.

9. Our Lady of the Lake University
Percent of undergraduates receiving Pell grants:
61%
Quick fact:
OLLU was founded in 1895 by the Sisters of the Congregation of Divine Providence, a religious order originating in Lorraine, France, during the 18th century.

10. University of Texas – El Paso
Percent of undergraduates receiving Pell grants:
60%
Quick fact: 
UTEP is the largest university in the U.S. with a majority Mexican-American student population (about 75%).

11. North Carolina A&T State University
Percent of undergraduates receiving Pell grants:
56%
Quick fact:
North Carolina A&T athletic teams are referred to as the “Aggies,” which is a diminutive name for “Agriculture” which is the “A” in A&T.

How are you paying for school? Leave a comment or question below.

 

Original Post Date: October 27th, 2011

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