Top 25 Geographically Diverse Colleges | 2023 Rankings

Most Geographically Diverse Colleges 2023.If you are a student looking to go to a college far, far away from home, this Top 25 Geographically Diverse College rankings list is for you. This list is based on colleges and universities with a higher level of geographical diversity. That means the schools have students who come from a wider variety of places. Students who are planning to attend colleges outside of their local area may want to find a campus with higher geographical diversity.

Topping the geographically diverse colleges list are Notre Dame, Grinnell, and Vanderbilt. Make sure to scroll the whole list! There are definitely a few on this list you probably haven’t heard of.

See the best geographically diverse colleges right here!

Top 25 Geographically Diverse Colleges

Edward Sorin founded the University of Notre Dame in 1842 as a private Catholic research University. Their motto is, “Vita Dulcedo Spes” or “Life, Sweetness, Hope” – referencing the Virgin Mary. The school’s teams are known as the Fighting Irish and wear the colors blue and gold. Their mascot is the very iconic leprechaun. Currently, just over 12,800 students attend.
Location Notre Dame, IN
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 12,809
The two most popular majors at Grinnell College are Computer Science or Biology/Biological Sciences. Part of the Midwest Conference and NCAA Division III, the Pioneers, wearing scarlet and black, have a wide variety of sports to choose from including football, swimming, diving, golf, and soccer. They currently have just under 400 athletes and their unofficial mascot is a squirrel.
Location Grinnell, IA
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 1,493
Vanderbilt University has over 13,500 students. Many students major in Economics and Social Sciences. Other common majors are Computer Science, Neuroscience, and Engineering Science. The university was named in honor of Cornelius Vanderbilt, a shipping and rail magnate, due to his gift of $1 million. Their sports teams are known as the Commodores.
Location Nashville, TN
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 13,537
A private Ivy League research university, Dartmouth was founded before the Declaration of Independence was signed. Three famous alumni were Daniel Webster, Robert Frost, and Thaddeus Stevens. The school also graduated several members of the Senate and House of Representatives in the United States, Nobel Prize laureates, and more.
Location Hanover, NH
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 6,292
Emory University receives over 28,000 applications annually and has an acceptance rate of just over 19%. It has a 93% first year retention rate, 82% four-year graduation rate, and a 9:1 student-to-faculty ratio. There are nine academic divisions in this school including Emory College of Arts and Sciences, Laney Graduate School, Rollins School of Public Health, and others.
Location Atlanta, GA
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 13,997
Oberlin College is the oldest coeducational liberal arts college in the country, and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music is also the oldest operating conservatory within the United States. They accept only about 35% of students. 77% will graduate within 4 years (86% within 6). Oberlin College’s motto is “Learning and Labor.”
Location Oberlin, OH
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 2,658
Yale University got its start in 1701 under the name Collegiate School, getting its current name in 1718. Their motto, “lux et veritas,” means “light and truth” in Latin. The university is made up of fourteen schools including the undergraduate college, twelve professional schools, and the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Students have a 6.5% chance of getting accepted to Yale.
Location New Haven, CT
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 12,060
Wellesley College is a private women’s liberal arts college going back to 1870. It is the largest out of all women’s colleges and has seen famous alumni including Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright, and Katharine Lee Bates. Economics is the most commonly chosen major, but other popular choices include Biology, Computer and Information Sciences, and Research and Experimental Psychology.
Location Wellesley, MA
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 2,280
A private Jesuit research university, Georgetown University was founded as the Georgetown College in 1789 by Bishop John Carroll. It’s the oldest Catholic institution of higher education in the country and offers 48 different programs. Past graduates include Bill Clinton, Lyndon B. Johnson, senators, representatives, and other leading politicians.
Location Washington, DC
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 19,371
Located on the southern tip of Florida among white sandy beaches lies Eckerd College. Students get a cozy 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio. Environmental Studies is the school’s most popular major. Other often-pursued majors include Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography, Eckerd College has an 80% first year retention rate and 65% six-year graduation rate.
Location Saint Petersburg, FL
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 1,822
George Washington University, also referred to as GW, has turned out some incredible alumni, including Kerry Washington, Elizabeth Warren, Colin Powell, and Harry Reid. A highly competitive school, GW’s acceptance rate is about 43%. International Relations and Affairs is the by far the most popular major, with Registered Nursing and Political Science and Government not far behind.
Location Washington, DC
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 27,017
With just over 1,400 undergraduate students, Swarthmore College is a smaller school. It was one of the first coeducational colleges in the country. The college is associated with the University of Pennsylvania through the Quaker Consortium, which means students can take classes at the four schools within the arrangement.
Location Swarthmore, PA
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 1,437
Gallaudet University was originally founded in 1864 as a grammar school for deaf and blind students. Today, Gallaudet is an official bilingual institution, and the only university in the world where all students who attend live and learn using American Sign Language and English. A small number of hearing students at the graduate and undergraduate level are accepted each year, however, they must be proficient in American Sign Language. The top three majors at Gallaudet are Sign Language Interpretation and Translation, Speech Communication and Rhetoric, and Social Work.
Location Washington, DC
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 1,451
Bryn Mawr is a highly selective school, with an acceptance rate of about 38%. A distinguished women’s college, Bryn Mawr is part of the Seven Sisters college consortium, expanding students’ academic opportunities. With over 1,600 students enrolled, Bryn Mawr has an 8:1 student-to-faculty ratio.
Location Bryn Mawr, PA
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 1,634
Exclusively for undergraduates, Macalester College has an acceptance rate of around 38%. They have a relatively low student to faculty ratio (10:1) and a 90% first year retention rate. Although the school is located in Minnesota, many students also come from California, Wisconsin, and Illinois. Macalester’s campus is located near the mighty Mississippi River.
Location St. Paul, MN
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 2,049
Johns Hopkins University was founded in 1876 and named for its first benefactor. Known as the first research university in the country, its motto in Latin is, “veritas vos liberabit,” or “the truth will set you free.” The Blue Jays men’s lacrosse team plays in the Big Ten Conference and has 44 national titles. The two most popular majors are General Public Health and Neuroscience.
Location Baltimore, MD
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 28,890
American University receives about 20,000 applications a year and accepts 39% of students. Today, just over 14,000 students attend, 57% of which are undergraduates. AU has turned out some amazing alumni including heads of state, Fulbright Scholars, Academy award winners, Olympic Athletes, and more.
Location Washington, DC
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 14,001
Washington University in St. Louis was named after George Washington and founded in 1853. A private research university, the school receives just under 28,000 applications a year and accepts around 4,500 students. Commonly chosen majors are Computer Science, Biology, and Experimental Psychology. Top sports on campus include track, football, and soccer.
Location Saint Louis, MO
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 15,449
Originally named the Academy of Salem, Salem University was founded in 1888. With over 800 undergraduates and just under 200 graduate students, the university has a 20 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio. Salem University is a member of the NCAA in Division II. Athletes are called the Tigers and they wear green and white.
Location Salem, WV
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 1,008
Originally known as the Augusta Academy and established in 1749, it would later be named after George Washington and Robert E. Lee, the latter of which was the president of the school for five years. With blue and white colors, students and athletes go by the nickname “The Generals.”
Location Lexington, VA
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 2,183
“Veritas et Utilitas,” or “Excellence in Truth and Service,” is the motto of Howard University. The university boasts an impressive 90% first year retention rate. Offering undergraduate, graduate, professional, and joint degree programs which span over 120 areas of study, the university’s most popular major is Biology, followed by Political Science and Government, Public Relations Advertising and Applied Communication, and Communication and Journalism.
Location Washington, DC
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 10,859
Maharishi International University was founded in 1973 by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Considered to be the home of consciousness-based education, the university strives to promote commitment to personal inner-growth, wellness, sustainability, and positive values. By far, the most popular major at Maharishi International University is Business Administration and Management.
Location Fairfield, IA
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 2,015
Founded in 1837 by Mary Lyon, Mount Holyoke College was originally known as Mount Holyoke Female Seminary and is now a member of the Seven Sisters consortium. Out of the 2,040 students enrolled at Mount Holyoke college, 94% are undergraduate students and 6% are graduate students. The most popular major is Experimental Psychology, followed by Biology, English Language and Literature, and Computer Science.
Location South Hadley, MA
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 2,040
Tulane University of Louisiana got its start in 1834 as a public medical college, then known as the Medical College of Louisiana. It became a full university in 1847 and went private in 1884. Today it is the 15th oldest medical school in the country. Tulane University is very selective, accepting about 11% of students who apply.
Location New Orleans, LA
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 13,927
Popular majors at Brown University include Computer Science, Biology, Applied Mathematics, and Econometrics and Quantitative Economics. Founded in 1764, it was the first school in North America that accepted students regardless of their religion. Their women’s institution, Pembroke College, was merged into Brown in 1971. Alumni have gone on to create famous companies including ZipRecruiter, Cards Against Humanity, and CNN.
Location Providence, RI
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 9,948

Interested in any of these schools? Check out College Raptor’s free match tool to see if they’re a good fit for you!


Colleges are ranked based on a combination of factors, including graduation rates, campus diversity, endowment per student, and other data as reported via the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) for the most recently-available enrollment year. Some colleges may have been excluded from rankings based on certain criteria, including specialization and classification. Learn about our full methodology.

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