Amherst College is proud of its efforts to achieve and sustain diversity in our community. Across many dimensions of diversity—geographic, racial/ethnic, socioeconomic, academic, extra-curricular—Amherst has assembled an exceptionally vibrant student body and is one of the most diverse of all liberal arts colleges in the country.
Dimensions of Diversity
- Geographic Diversity: Our students come from 48 states, plus Washington D.C, Puerto Rico and 54 countries around the world. Approximately 9% of our students are international students with non-U.S. citizenship. Another 5% hold dual citizenship with the U.S. and another country and have lived or studied outside the U.S.
- Racial & Ethnic Diversity: 45% of our U.S. students self-identify as students of color: Hispanic/Latino, 14%; Asian-American 14%; African-American, 12%; Bi-Racial or Multi-Racial, 5%.
- Socioeconomic Diversity: Amherst's need-blind admission policy and generous need-based financial aid supports expanded access for students from families with modest financial resources. 55% of Amherst students receive financial aid from the College and the average financial aid package in 2016-17 was $51,775. And 22% of students in the class of 2020 are eligible for federal Pell Grants designated for students from low-income families.
- Academic & Extracurricular Diversity: All our students are bright and engaged young scholars, committed to their academic and intellectual development in disciplines from physics to philosophy, mathematics to music, but they also bring talents and passions in many areas—our students are accomplished artists, musicians, scientists, athletes, community organizers and political activists.
Of course, the value of diversity at Amherst is best revealed not simply in the numbers, but in the students behind the numbers and what they bring to our community—the qualitative, not just quantitative aspects of diversity. No matter where you’re from, no matter what your background, at Amherst you’ll meet some people who are like you and some who are not like you. This exposure to students from many different backgrounds, with unique experiences and perspectives, enriches education and personal development in our classrooms, our residence halls and our students organizations.
You can learn more about Diversity at Amherst in “The Amherst Story” section of the college website.
To support our goal of bringing together a diverse and inclusive community of students, the Office of Admission sponsors several special programs, including our Diversity Open Houses and our Diversity Internships.
Diversity Open Houses
As part of Amherst College's commitment to diversity, the Office of Admission hosts two weekend Diversity Open Houses (DIVOH) in the fall in an effort to introduce prospective applicants to Amherst's campus, student body, faculty, classes and residence halls.
Diversity Interns are current Amherst students who work with the Office of Admission to reach out to prospective students from different cultural, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. The Diversity Interns can provide information and personal perspectives on what the Amherst College community has to offer. Meet these students, learn more about their work and contact them with questions through our Diversity Interns page.
For more information about Amherst's Diversity Programs and our partnerships with Community-Based Organizations, please contact Mandy Hart, Associate Dean of Admission and Coordinator of Diversity Outreach.