In its annual publication of “Best Colleges,” U.S. News & World Report announced this week that Northeastern Illinois University is one of the most ethnically diverse universities in the nation. Northeastern has held this distinction since 1997, the first year U.S. News & World Report established this category in tis “Best Colleges” rankings.
The data for the diversity rankings were drawn from each institution’s 2012-2013 enrollment numbers. According to U.S. News & World Report, the rankings factored in the proportion of minority students—excluding international students—and the overall mix of groups in each institution’s student body. The groups forming the basis for the calculations were African-American (non-Hispanic), Hispanic, American Indian, Asian-American, Pacific Islander, White (non-Hispanic) and multiracial.
Northeastern’s ethnic diversity reflects the urban environment of Chicago. More than 50 languages are spoken as a first language by Northeastern students.
The largest minority group of students at Northeastern is Latino, and the school is the only four-year public university in the Midwest federally designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution. The 2012 entering freshman class was 52 percent Hispanic.
Sharon Hahs, president of Northeastern Illinois University, said, “The diversity of our community transcends not only what we do, but how we do it. We welcome, accept, respect and embrace our differences because we value learning from others. We support divergent perspectives and expect our community to voice differing views of history, politics and world events—that is how we add value to our educational experiences and grow as individuals.”