U.S. News and World Report has ranked Indiana University Northwest at the top in terms of ethnic and economic diversity among master’s-level universities in Indiana, according to the magazine’s latest annual ranking of the nation’s colleges.
U.S. News gave IU Northwest a diversity-index rating of .53 on a 1.0 scale, the best of any master’s-level institution in Indiana. In terms of economic diversity, IU Northwest tied with the University of Indianapolis for best in the state among master’s-level schools.
Overall, IU Northwest ranked fourth on the list of ethnically diverse, master’s level institutions in the Midwest. The Gary campus of Indiana University, where the student body is 22 percent African-American and 11 percent Latino, finished just behind Roosevelt University in Illinois (.57) and just ahead of Lincoln University in Missouri (.52). By comparison, the top-ranked school for ethnic diversity on the list of Midwestern master’s-level institutions was Northeastern Illinois University, with a diversity-index rating of .66. Park University in Missouri placed second with a .59 rating.
IU Northwest also rated highly among its Midwestern peers in economic diversity, a category that is becoming increasingly important in terms of measuring low-income students’ access to higher education, according to U.S. News. The magazine gauges this category based on the percentage of each school’s students that receives federal Pell Grant assistance. Pell Grants generally are awarded to students whose families earn less than $40,000 annually.
Thirty-six percent of IU Northwest students received Pell Grants during the 2004-05 academic year. This tied the school with the University of Indianapolis and three other institutions for 24th on the list of 130 Midwestern master’s-level schools.
“These impressive diversity rankings in U.S. News and World Report’s analysis of the country’s best colleges and universities show that IU Northwest is fulfilling its commitment to provide high-quality, affordable education to Northwest Indiana students from all ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds,” IU Northwest Chancellor Bruce Bergland stated. “Such diversity is essential to our mission of higher education. We will continue to strengthen the academic, social and cultural fabric of our campus by extending educational opportunities to quality students from all backgrounds and walks of life.”