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Amherst College Diversity Statistics

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Cheerful multicultural students posing together

Amherst College Diversity Statistics: An In-Depth Overview

Amherst College is a private liberal arts college located in Amherst, Massachusetts. Established in 1821, the college is known for its rigorous academic environment, small class sizes, diversity statistics, and strong emphasis on undergraduate education. With a diverse student body, Amherst offers a wide range of majors across the arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences, allowing students to explore their interests deeply and broadly.

Amherst is also part of the Five Colleges consortium, which includes Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, Hampshire College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. This consortium enables Amherst students to take classes at these neighboring institutions, broadening their academic opportunities and experiences.

The college’s picturesque campus, close-knit community, and dedicated faculty contribute to a supportive and enriching educational environment, preparing students for successful careers and lives of meaningful contribution.

How many students attend Amherst College?

During the academic year 2022-2023, Amherst College welcomed around 1,898 undergraduate students to its campus. 

Apart from its notable diversity statistics, this institution is recognized for its intimate learning environment, bolstered by a faculty-student ratio of 1 to 7. This low ratio ensures that classes are not just lectures but dynamic discussions that spark curiosity and deep understanding, led by faculty who are experts in their fields and passionate about teaching.

At Amherst, education is not just about absorbing information or impressive diversity statistics; it’s about engaging deeply with the material through hands-on research. Students have access to advanced equipment and facilities, which support their exploration and discovery in various fields of study.

One of the standout features of Amherst College is its open curriculum. This unique approach to education allows students the freedom to design their own academic journey without the constraints of traditional distribution requirements. With guidance from faculty advisors, students can choose from over 800 courses to tailor an educational path that matches their interests and goals. This flexibility encourages a highly personalized and enriching learning experience.

Amherst places a high value on in-depth scholarship and independent thought. Honors programs are available and actively encouraged, with nearly half of each graduating class engaging in honors work in recent years. This emphasis on advanced study showcases Amherst’s commitment to academic excellence and fostering intellectual growth among its students.

Group of multiracial friends taking selfie picture with a smartphone outside

Amherst College Undergraduate Population

Amherst College, with a vibrant undergraduate community of 1,898 students, is distinguished by its selective admissions process and diverse student body, as reported in its diversity statistics. 

For students applying to Amherst, the SAT scores typically range from 1370 to 1550, indicating a highly competitive admissions landscape. Specifically, the 25th percentile of admitted students score around 1450 on the SAT, while the 75th percentile reaches up to 1550. For those preferring the ACT, the middle 50% of admitted students have scores between 32 and 35.

According to the Amherst diversity statistics, the college stands out for its low student-to-faculty ratio of 7:1 and its commitment to small class sizes, with 85% of classes having fewer than 30 students. The college offers 41 majors across various fields, including the arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences.

Each term, students can choose from over 400 courses at Amherst, with access to more than 6,000 courses through the Five College Consortium. This consortium significantly broadens the academic opportunities available to Amherst students.

Admission to Amherst is highly competitive, with an acceptance rate of 7% for the Class of 2026. The college is committed to supporting students from different socioeconomic backgrounds, with 22% of the admitted students eligible for Pell Grants and 16% being first-generation college students according to their diversity statistics. A significant majority, 92%, of incoming students were in the top 10% of their high school class, underscoring the academic excellence Amherst seeks in its students.

Amherst’s alumni network is both prestigious and active, with about 23,000 members contributing significantly across various fields. Notable alumni include U.S. President Calvin Coolidge, five Nobel laureates, 11 MacArthur Fellows, numerous Pulitzer Prize winners, and a chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The college’s alumni are known for their high level of engagement, with nearly half contributing to Amherst annually, one of the highest rates of alumni giving in the country.

Celebrating its Bicentennial in 2021, Amherst College continues to uphold its tradition of excellence in liberal arts education, preparing students not only for professional success but also for meaningful contributions to society.

Amherst College Graduate Population

Amherst College is dedicated solely to undergraduate education, meaning it does not offer graduate programs or have a graduate student population.

This focus ensures that all resources are concentrated on providing a rich and comprehensive educational experience for its undergraduate students, apart from having diversity in the school’s overall statistics.

The college is known for its strong track record of student success, highlighted by a graduation rate of 92% within six years of enrollment. This statistic reflects Amherst’s commitment to supporting its students through their academic and personal development journeys.

Financial outcomes for Amherst College alumni demonstrate the value of an Amherst education across various fields of study. On average, alumni who are six years out from enrollment earn about $49,300 annually.

This figure increases with time, as those who are ten years out from their graduation date report average earnings of $82,000 a year. These numbers suggest that an Amherst education pays off in the long term, with graduates seeing substantial growth in their earning potential as they gain experience in their careers.

Salaries can vary significantly depending on one’s major and field of work. For example, economics majors from Amherst start their careers with a median salary of $69,800, indicating a strong demand for their skills.

Mathematics majors also fare well, with a starting salary of around $61,000, while political science and government majors begin with a median income of $49,500. These figures underline the college’s ability to prepare students for successful careers in a variety of industries and roles.

smiling woman while sitting at desk.

Amherst College International Student Population

Amherst College hosts 178 international students on its campus, according to its diversity statistics report. 

Amherst College places a strong emphasis on providing its students with a global perspective on education, evidenced by the fact that nearly half of its students, 45%, participate in study abroad programs. This commitment to international experiences highlights the college’s dedication to improving its diversity statistics, broad understanding of cultures, and global issues.

The college is notable for its diverse statistics and welcoming community, attracting students from across the United States—including all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico—as well as from more than 70 countries around the world. This mix enriches the campus with a wide range of perspectives and backgrounds. The residential nature of the college, where 97% of students live on campus, contributes to a vibrant, tightly-knit community where students can engage deeply with each other.

Diversity statistics at Amherst extends beyond geography. Nearly half of the domestic students, 48%, identify as students of color, which adds to the student body’s composition. International students represent 11% of the total student population, further enhancing the cultural diversity statistics on campus. 9% of students hold dual citizenship and have lived or studied outside the United States, bringing unique international experiences and perspectives to the college community.

This blend of domestic and international students, coupled with the college’s focus on global education, creates a dynamic and inclusive environment where students from various backgrounds can learn from one another, fostering a greater diversity of statistics, understanding, and appreciation of different cultures and viewpoints.

Amherst College Gender Distribution

Amherst College features a gender distribution that is nearly balanced, with the student body comprised of slightly more women, at 52%, than men, who represent 48%.

Amherst Student Population

No. of Students

Percentage

Male

957 48%
Female 1,014

52%

This balanced representation is notable when compared to other liberal arts colleges, where the gender split can sometimes lean more significantly towards one gender. The nearly equal gender ratio at Amherst College contributes to its diversity statistics and inclusive campus atmosphere, reflecting the college’s commitment to providing an equitable educational environment for all students.

university students researching information on computer for their studies

Amherst College Age Distribution

Amherst College showcases a notable range in the ages of its students, with particular strength in attracting those within the traditional college-going age. The college has an age diversity score of 47.05 out of 100. This score reflects Amherst College’s ability to draw students from various age groups, although it primarily serves younger individuals.

Age Range

Percentage

Under 18

1.27%
18-19

41.91%

20-21

43.38%
22-24

12.02%

25-29

0.71%
30-34

0.36%

35-39

0.30%
40-49

0%

50-64

0.05%
Over 64

0%

A significant majority of the student body, 88.24%, are traditional college-aged students, defined as being between 18 to 21 years old. This percentage is notably higher than the national average, which stands at 60%. This statistic highlights Amherst College’s appeal to young adults who are seeking a college education immediately after high school.

The presence of such a large portion of traditional college-aged students indicates that Amherst College is particularly successful in creating an environment and offering programs that are attractive to this age group. Despite this, the college also welcomes students outside this age range, contributing to a diverse and dynamic campus life.

Group of students on their way to class walking through campus

Amherst College Diversity Statistics and Racial/Ethnic Demographics

Amherst College is recognized for its diverse student body, drawing individuals from across the United States and over 50 countries around the world according to its diversity statistics. An impressive portion of the college’s U.S. students, nearly half, identify as students of color, making up 48% of the domestic student population. Furthermore, the college is home to an international student population that accounts for 11% of its total enrollment, contributing to the global diversity of the campus.

Breaking down the racial and ethnic composition reveals that 38.76% of students identify as White, followed by significant representations of Asian (15.17%) and Hispanic (15.42%) students.

Black or African American students make up 10.30% of the population, while American Indian/Native American and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander students represent smaller fractions, at 0.25% and 0.20%, respectively. Students identifying with two or more races account for 7.41%, and 2.03% of the student body’s race or ethnicity is unknown.

Race/Ethnicity

Percentage

White

38.76%
Asian

15.17%

Hispanic

15.42%
Black/African American

10.30%

American Indian/Native American

0.25%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander

0.20%

Two or more

7.41%
Unknown

2.03%

The demographic landscape at Amherst College has seen considerable changes over the years, especially in its racial and ethnic diversity. For instance, in 1968, only 2% of the class identified as Black. Fast forward to 2021, the incoming class boasted that 50.2% of its domestic students were nonwhite. As of that year, 58% of Amherst College students were identified as minorities or people of color (BIPOC), highlighting a significant and ongoing evolution towards greater diversity and inclusion within the college community.

A man holding his thing

Amherst College Racial/Ethnic Diversity Among Faculty

Amherst College employs 209 full-time instructors, with the composition of the faculty showing that 79% are White, 5% are Asian, 4% are Black or African American, and 1% identify as Multi-Ethnic. Understanding the importance of having a diverse faculty, the college has initiated several significant steps to enhance the variety of backgrounds and perspectives among its teaching staff.

Amherst College has received support through a grant from the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) program, specifically the Mellon Grant, which is aimed at cultivating a more diverse faculty group. This initiative reflects the college’s strategic approach to enriching the racial and ethnic diversity of its instructors.

Faculty Race/Ethnicity

Percentage

White

79.00%
Asian

5.00%

Black or African American

4.00%
Multi-Ethnic

1.00%

The college is actively engaged in anti-racist efforts designed to create a more inclusive and equitable community for all members. This commitment involves implementing strategies that ensure everyone has equal opportunities for success and feels valued and included within the college environment.

To further enhance its diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) goals, Amherst College is addressing concerns related to the service expectations placed on faculty members. The college is also increasing awareness about biases within its community. These efforts are part of a broader strategy to acknowledge and mitigate biases, ensuring that the faculty can contribute to a supportive and inclusive academic atmosphere.

Amherst College Geographic Diversity

Amherst College is celebrated for its wide geographic diversity, welcoming students from across all 50 U.S. states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and 70 countries around the globe. Approximately 11% of its student body consists of international students who hold non-U.S. citizenship, enhancing the global perspective within the campus community.

9% of students have dual citizenship and have experienced living or studying outside the U.S., contributing to the rich diversity of experiences and backgrounds at the college.

Nearly half (48%) of Amherst students identify as domestic students of color according to federal reporting guidelines. This includes 16% identifying as Hispanic/Latinx, 14% as Asian American, 11% as African American, and 7.5% as Bi-Racial or Multi-Racial, showcasing a vibrant and diverse student population.

Socioeconomic diversity is also a key aspect of Amherst’s inclusive environment, supported by a need-blind admission policy and comprehensive need-based financial aid. Amherst is committed to ensuring access for students from a wide range of financial backgrounds.

The college meets 100% of the calculated financial need for all admitted students, with the average financial aid offer for the academic year 2022-23 being around $66,000. Additionally, 21% of students in the Class of 2026 qualify for federal Pell Grants, indicating a significant representation of students from low-income families.

Beyond these demographics, Amherst students are known for their academic and extracurricular engagement. They excel in a variety of disciplines, from the sciences to the humanities, and contribute their talents in areas such as the arts, sports, community service, and political activism.

Regarding geographic diversity, 89.33% of Amherst students hail from states outside Massachusetts, and 8.49% come from countries outside the U.S., ranking Amherst 55th among 2,183 institutions in geographic diversity.

The student location diversity score is impressively high at 97 out of 100. The top five states represented at Amherst include New York, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Illinois, further illustrating the college’s ability to attract students from across the country and around the world.

University students on their way to class

Amherst College Financial Diversity

Amherst College is committed to ensuring a diverse and inclusive student body, which includes supporting students from underrepresented backgrounds financially. To this end, the college has established various initiatives and programs aimed at increasing accessibility and providing substantial financial aid.

Amherst has implemented strategies like the Diversity Outreach Programs to help underrepresented students navigate the admissions and financial aid processes more effectively. The college offers Resource Centers that offer guidance and support, and the Access to Amherst (A2A) program specifically aids these students during the application process, making higher education more accessible to them.

Amherst College provides a wide range of financial aid options to ensure students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds can afford to attend. This includes institutional scholarships and grants, need-based grants, federal grants, and income-based assistance.

The college is committed to meeting 100% of the demonstrated financial need for all admitted undergraduate students, emphasizing grants and scholarships over loans to reduce the financial burden on students. The average financial aid package for new full-time students is approximately $68,191 annually, underscoring the college’s commitment to making education affordable.

Amherst employs a need-blind admission policy, which extends to international students, ensuring that a student’s financial situation does not affect their admission prospects. The college has also discontinued legacy admissions to prioritize merit and diversity in its admissions process. These policies highlight Amherst’s dedication to fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community.

Financial aid offerings significantly benefit underrepresented students, with an average financial aid offer of $57,918 for incoming freshmen. A majority of first-year students receive grants and scholarships, indicating the college’s substantial support for reducing financial barriers to education. Around 24% of freshmen receive federal grants, further assisting students from lower-income families.

The college is focused efforts on improving its diversity statistics, equity, and inclusion, through both financial aid and supportive programs, demonstrating its dedication to making high-quality education accessible to students from all backgrounds, including those from underrepresented groups.

How diverse and inclusive is Amherst College?

Amherst College is recognized for its commitment to diversity and inclusivity, creating an environment that values and supports students from a wide range of backgrounds. The college’s student body is geographically diverse, drawing students from all 50 U.S. states and over 70 countries globally.

This international presence enriches the campus culture with a variety of perspectives and experiences. Racial and ethnic diversity is also a key aspect of Amherst’s community, with nearly half of the domestic students identifying as students of color, including Hispanic/Latinx, Asian American, African American, and Bi-Racial or Multi-Racial individuals, according to federal reporting guidelines.

Amherst’s commitment to inclusivity extends beyond racial and ethnic diversity. The college supports socioeconomic diversity through its need-blind admission policy and generous need-based financial aid programs, ensuring that students from various financial backgrounds have access to an Amherst education.

The average financial aid package significantly reduces the financial barrier for underrepresented students, further emphasizing the college’s dedication to making higher education accessible to all.

Amherst College has implemented various initiatives aimed at fostering a supportive and inclusive campus environment. These include outreach programs to assist underrepresented students in the admissions process, resource centers that provide guidance and support, and a wide range of financial aid options designed to meet the needs of students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. By focusing on creating an equitable and welcoming environment, Amherst College stands as a model of diversity and inclusion in higher education.

Happy female student wearing glasses

Is diversity important at Amherst College?

At Amherst College, diversity is not just a goal; it is a foundational element that is woven into the fabric of the institution. The establishment of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI) in 2016 marked a significant step in the college’s commitment to diversity. Before the Office’s inception, Amherst focused on enrolling a diverse student body and supporting student affinity groups.

Since then, the college has broadened its efforts to include faculty and staff development opportunities, engaging alumni of color, addressing student equity in and out of the classroom, and utilizing data-driven approaches in planning and program design. These efforts underscore the college’s dedication to creating a more inclusive and equitable community.

Amherst’s commitment to diversity is also evident in its admissions policies. The college is among the few institutions in the nation that are truly need-blind, meaning students are admitted without consideration of their financial situation.

This policy ensures that all admitted students receive financial aid packages that meet their demonstrated financial need, making Amherst’s education accessible to a broad range of students from different socioeconomic backgrounds. The college’s financial aid packages are among the most substantial in the country, reflecting its commitment to removing financial barriers to higher education.

The college’s academic environment is another area where diversity is crucial. Amherst offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in 41 majors, facilitated by a low faculty-student ratio that promotes lively discussions and close interactions between students and faculty.

The open curriculum allows students to explore a wide range of subjects, encouraging a diversity of thoughts and perspectives. This academic flexibility, combined with opportunities for research and honors work, attracts students with diverse talents, interests, and commitments, further enriching the campus culture.

Specific initiatives, such as Access to Amherst (A2A) and the Early Opportunity on Native Studies (EONS), aim to introduce prospective students from varied backgrounds to the college, demonstrating Amherst’s proactive approach to building a diverse community.

The Diversity Outreach Interns, who are current students, play a vital role in connecting with prospective students from different cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds, providing insights into the inclusive environment at Amherst.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are not just integral to Amherst College’s mission; they are actively pursued and celebrated. Through its various programs, policies, and initiatives, Amherst College is steadfast in its commitment to fostering a community that values and benefits from a multitude of perspectives and life experiences.

Female and male students thumb up in the camera.

Clubs at Amherst College that promote diversity

At Amherst College, a variety of clubs and organizations are dedicated to improving their diversity statistics and inclusivity within the campus community. Among these groups are:

Multicultural Resource Center (MRC)

The Multicultural Resource Center (MRC) at Amherst College offers space to embrace their students’ cultural identities and build a strong community. Originating from student-led efforts, the MRC focuses on assisting students of color by addressing and questioning the status quo.

It offers various resources for education and advocacy, alongside creating a welcoming space for students to meet, study, and engage in meaningful conversations about race, racism, and racial identity. The center emphasizes the importance of intersectionality, striving to ensure inclusiveness and empower students within the Amherst College community.

Diversity Outreach Programs

The Diversity Outreach Programs at Amherst College are key in making connections with future students, especially those from underrepresented groups. These programs aim to inform, provide unique insights, and offer support throughout the admission and financial aid processes, emphasizing the importance of creating a diverse, inclusive, and equitable campus environment.

Current students at Amherst, known as Diversity Outreach Interns, play an active role with the Admission Office in reaching out to potential students and sharing their own experiences of college life. Initiatives such as Access to Amherst (A2A) offer informative sessions about selective college admission, the value of a liberal arts education, college affordability, and strategies for success in higher education.

These efforts collectively support prospective students as they navigate the path to college, reinforcing Amherst’s commitment to diversity and inclusion in its community.

people having fun outdoor laughing together

Black Student Union (BSU)

The Black Student Union (BSU) at Amherst College plays a pivotal role in supporting the holistic growth of Black students. Originally founded as the Afro-American Society in 1968 by Harold Wade Jr. from the class of ’68, the BSU has evolved to become a cornerstone for Black students seeking to navigate their social, political, cultural, and intellectual spheres within the college. The organization focuses on creating a shared understanding and dialogue around the challenges and experiences unique to the Black community both on campus and globally.

The BSU’s activities and efforts are wide-ranging and impactful, catering to the diverse needs and interests of Black students at Amherst. This includes the formation of the Black Men’s Group (BMG) and Black Women’s Group (BWG), which hold events such as brunches and appreciation dinners that celebrate their members and foster a sense of belonging and community.

BSU extends its collaborative efforts by partnering with other affinity groups like the African & Caribbean Students’ Union (ACSU) and the Asian and Pacific American Action Committee (APAAC), reinforcing the college’s broader goals of diversity and inclusion.

BSU leverages social media platforms, such as Twitter, to maintain an active and engaging presence. Through these platforms, the BSU disseminates information, shares upcoming events, and highlights matters of importance to the Black community at Amherst. This digital engagement amplifies their voice and serves as a bridge connecting members and the wider college community, ensuring continuous dialogue and awareness.

La Causa

La Causa at Amherst College is a student-led group that has been at the forefront of championing Latinx activism, fostering a sense of community, and celebrating cultural identity for over half a century.

Established in the early 1970s, La Causa has been a key player in ensuring that Latinx students find a nurturing environment at Amherst where they can excel academically and embrace their cultural heritage. The organization’s contributions have been vast, ranging from advocating for a more diverse admission process to highlighting Latinx culture through events such as “Pa’lante,” an annual Latinx talent show, and advocating for the inclusion of Latinx studies in the college’s academic offerings.

La Causa also acts as a support network for Latinx students, offering a space for sharing experiences and fostering a tight-knit community. This sense of belonging has helped create a more welcoming and inclusive atmosphere on campus, where Latinx students can feel fully part of the college community without having to compromise their cultural identities.

La Causa’s efforts in outreach and recruitment have been instrumental in attracting Hispanic and Latinx students from working-class backgrounds, significantly enriching Amherst’s student diversity statistics and ensuring that the campus reflects a broader spectrum of voices and experiences.

An Asian woman looking for her university

Asian Students Association (ASA)

The Asian Students Association (ASA) at Amherst College is a vibrant student-led group dedicated to serving students across the Asian identity spectrum, including those of East Asian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, Central Asian, and mixed Asian heritage.

ASA’s mission centers around fostering a sense of community and engaging in political activism, creating a supportive environment where Asian and Asian American students can gather to exchange experiences and bolster one another. The association is integral to enhancing cultural understanding, championing diversity, and advancing inclusivity on campus.

Council of Amherst College Student-Athletes of Color (CACSAC) 

The Council of Amherst College Student-Athletes of Color (CACSAC) serves as a pivotal organization within the college, primarily focusing on uniting student-athletes of color. This council offers a platform for these athletes to connect over shared experiences, aiming to foster unity, strive for excellence, and ensure a welcoming environment through its various activities and discussions.

CACSAC’s mission is to cultivate a sense of solidarity and support among student-athletes of color, providing a space where they can freely discuss their experiences, challenges, and achievements within the realm of college athletics and beyond.

A significant aspect of the council’s work involves organizing open and honest dialogues, where members can discuss their unique experiences as athletes of color at Amherst College. These conversations are vital for community building, as they help establish a supportive network where student-athletes can find mutual understanding and encouragement.

CACSAC has made a public call to athletes, allies, and the broader college community, urging them to show their support and stand in solidarity with student-athletes of color. This call to action highlights the council’s proactive stance on promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within the athletic community and the college at large.

CACSAC collaborates with the Multicultural Resource Center (MRC) at Amherst College, an entity dedicated to supporting students of color by challenging systemic oppression and advocating for social justice. This partnership underscores the council’s broader commitment to addressing issues of diversity and inclusion within the college.

Through its mission, discussions, community-building efforts, and collaborations, the CACSAC significantly contributes to enhancing the collegiate experience for student-athletes of color. By advocating for a more inclusive and supportive environment, the council plays an essential role in advancing their diversity statistics and inclusivity within the Amherst College community.

A teacher teaches his students

Is Amherst College The Right Fit For You?

When determining whether Amherst College aligns with your educational goals and personal values, it’s important to consider various aspects that make it unique.

A Global and Diverse Community

Amherst stands out for its commitment to diversity and inclusivity. The college hosts students from across the United States, as well as from over 70 different countries, making its campus a melting pot of cultures and perspectives. Nearly half of Amherst’s domestic students identify as people of color, underscoring the college’s effort to create a multicultural learning environment.

Flexible and Rigorous Academic Curriculum

Amherst College is renowned for its innovative open curriculum, a hallmark of its academic program that sets it apart from many other institutions, aside from its impressive diversity statistics. This unique educational model offers students the freedom to explore more than 800 courses across a wide range of disciplines, from the arts and humanities to the sciences and social sciences, without being bound by traditional core curriculum requirements. This means that students are not required to take predetermined courses in various subjects but can instead choose classes that align with their personal interests and academic goals.

The flexibility of Amherst’s curriculum allows students to dive deeply into their chosen areas of study while also encouraging them to cross disciplinary boundaries and engage with new and challenging ideas outside their major. For example, a student majoring in Physics might also take courses in Philosophy, Environmental Studies, or Digital Arts, fostering a well-rounded education and promoting intellectual curiosity and critical thinking skills.

Academic Opportunities

Amherst College’s participation in the Five Colleges consortium dramatically enhances the educational opportunities available to its students. This unique collaboration includes four other prestigious institutions: Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, Hampshire College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Together, these colleges offer Amherst students the unparalleled benefit of cross-registration, allowing them to take courses at any of the member institutions. This effectively expands the course offerings available to Amherst students to include thousands of additional classes, covering subjects and disciplines not available at their home institution.

For example, an Amherst student interested in a specialized area of study, such as Ethnomusicology or Urban Studies, which might not be offered in-depth at Amherst, can take relevant courses at Hampshire College or UMass Amherst. This arrangement fosters a richly diverse academic environment that encourages students to pursue their interests beyond the confines of a single campus.

Beyond academics, the Five Colleges consortium also enriches the social fabric of student life. It facilitates a broader community for students to engage with, offering access to a wider array of clubs, organizations, and events across the campuses. From joint musical performances and art exhibitions to collaborative research conferences and sports leagues, the consortium cultivates a vibrant and interconnected collegiate experience.

Amherst’s own campus is a hub for hands-on research and intellectual exploration. The college supports undergraduate research across all disciplines, providing students with the opportunity to work closely with faculty on original research projects.

These projects often lead to publication in academic journals or presentations at national and international conferences. Students in the sciences might conduct laboratory research using Amherst’s state-of-the-art facilities, while those in the humanities and social sciences might undertake archival research or fieldwork.

Amherst also encourages students to explore interdisciplinary studies, blending insights from different fields to address complex questions. This approach is exemplified by the college’s commitment to fostering a collaborative academic community, where students are encouraged to think critically, challenge assumptions, and engage in meaningful dialogue across differences.

students looking out into the university

Financial Accessibility

Amherst College’s dedication to financial accessibility is a core part of its mission, making it a leader among institutions of higher education in providing support to students from all financial backgrounds to enhance its diversity statistics. The college’s need-blind admission policy means that a student’s financial situation is not considered during the admissions process.

This policy applies equally to domestic and international applicants, ensuring that the most talented students from around the globe have the opportunity to attend Amherst, irrespective of their financial means.

Once admitted, students find that Amherst’s commitment to affordability extends to meeting 100% of the demonstrated financial need for every student. The college achieves this through its substantial financial aid packages, which in recent years have averaged about $68,191 per year. These packages are primarily composed of grants and scholarships, which do not need to be repaid, significantly reducing the debt burden on students and their families upon graduation.

Students from low-income families might find that their financial aid package covers the full cost of tuition, room, board, and additional expenses such as books and travel. Middle-income families also benefit from Amherst’s generous financial aid, with packages often significantly reducing the cost of attendance. Even families with higher incomes may qualify for assistance, reflecting the college’s nuanced understanding of financial need that goes beyond simple income brackets.

Amherst’s financial aid program is designed with the flexibility to accommodate a wide range of financial situations. Special circumstances, such as unexpected medical bills or the financial impact of natural disasters on a family’s income, are considered in the financial aid calculation, ensuring that aid packages accurately reflect each family’s financial reality.

Amherst’s commitment to financial accessibility is reflected in its initiatives to reduce additional costs associated with college life. The college provides funding for textbooks to students receiving financial aid and offers stipends for unpaid internships, ensuring that all students have access to the full Amherst experience, including educational and career development opportunities outside the classroom.

Vibrant Campus Life

Amherst College’s campus life is rich and varied, offering students countless opportunities to engage with the community, pursue their passions, and develop as leaders, as emphasized in their diversity statistics report. The college boasts over 100 student-run clubs and organizations, catering to a wide array of interests and causes. This diversity in groups ensures that every student can find a community where they feel they belong, from cultural and religious organizations to academic clubs, sports teams, and social justice initiatives.

The Amherst College Outing Club allows nature enthusiasts to explore the great outdoors together, organizing hiking, climbing, and camping trips in the picturesque landscapes surrounding the campus. Meanwhile, the Amherst Political Union fosters debate and discussion on current events and political issues, providing a platform for students to express their opinions and learn from others.

Cultural and identity-based groups play a significant role in enriching campus life and diversity statistics at Amherst. Organizations such as the Black Student Union, La Causa for Latinx students, and the Asian Students Association offer supportive spaces for students to celebrate their heritage and promote cultural awareness across campus. These groups organize events, workshops, and celebrations that highlight the richness of diverse cultures and experiences.

Amherst’s commitment to diversity statistics, equity, and inclusion is also evident in initiatives like the Queer Resource Center and the Women’s and Gender Center, which provide resources, advocacy, and community for LGBTQ+ students and those exploring gender identity issues.

Leadership development is another key aspect of campus life at Amherst. Many students take on leadership roles within student organizations, gaining valuable skills in management, communication, and collaboration. The college supports these endeavors through leadership workshops and training sessions offered by the Office of Student Affairs.

The college’s programming includes a wide range of events, from lectures by visiting scholars and professionals to performances by musicians, comedians, and theater groups. These events provide students with opportunities to learn, be entertained, and engage with the broader intellectual and cultural community.

Amherst College might be the perfect choice if you’re looking for an academically challenging environment that values freedom in education, champions diversity statistics and inclusion, offers substantial financial support and nurtures a vibrant community life. If these aspects resonate with your aspirations and values, Amherst College could very well be the right fit for you.

Students smiling at the camera

Final Thoughts

Amherst College’s commitment to diversity statistics, equity, and inclusion is deeply embedded in its academic, social, and organizational fabric. The diversity statistics and examples highlighted throughout this blog post showcase the college’s dedicated efforts to cultivate a campus environment that celebrates and supports a wide spectrum of identities, and backgrounds.

From its need-blind admission policy and generous financial aid packages to the vibrant array of student-led organizations and initiatives aimed at promoting cultural awareness and fostering inclusivity, Amherst stands as a model for how institutions of higher education can actively work towards creating a more inclusive community and diversity statistics.

This dedication to diversity statistics and inclusion not only enriches the student experience at Amherst but also prepares graduates to contribute to a diverse and ever-changing world, making Amherst College a truly exceptional place to learn, grow, and belong.

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