Diversity

Amherst is one of the most diverse liberal arts colleges in the country. Our dedication to the centrality of inclusiveness helps us ensure that the college is a place to which all students feel they belong.

A Community that Looks Like the World

Diversity is a natural condition of the modern world. And, not coincidentally, it is a foundational part of an Amherst education. We believe that a great intellectual community should look like the world, and with every incoming student, that community comes to life here.

Diverse by Many Measures

  • Geographic Diversity: Our students come from 49 states, plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and 54 countries around the world. Approximately 10 percent of our students are international, with non-U.S. citizenship. Another 5 percent hold dual citizenship with the United States and another country and have lived or studied outside the United States.
  • Racial and Ethnic Diversity: Forty-four percent of our U.S. students identify as students of color (Hispanic/Latino, 13 percent; Asian-American, 14 percent; African-American, 12 percent; biracial or multiracial, 5 percent).
  • Socioeconomic Diversity:  At Amherst, 58 percent of students receive need-based financial aid, 23 percent receive Pell Grants and 17 percent are the first members of their families to attend college. The average annual financial aid package is more than $50,000.

Diversity Programs for Prospective Students

Amherst is proud of its work to recruit, admit and enroll a diverse student body. As part of these efforts, the Office of Admission hosts two weekend Diversity Open Houses 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. Diversity Interns 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.

President Biddy Martin

Biddy Martin on Diversity

“I came here for many of the same reasons you did...
I came because of [Amherst’s] commitment to a student body that reflects the rich diversity of the country, indeed the world. I came, as you did, to contribute in some way to making Amherst even better, and to figuring out what it might mean, here as elsewhere, to take full advantage of the diversity you represent.”

—President Biddy Martin, Commencement Speech 2013

From the Board of Trustees

“We will continue to give special importance to the inclusion within our student body, our faculty and our staff of talented persons from groups that have experienced prejudice and disadvantage. We do so for the simplest, but most urgent, of reasons: because the best and the brightest people are found in many places, not few; because our classrooms and residence halls are places of dialogue, not monologue; because teaching and learning at their best are conversations with persons other than ourselves about ideas other than our own.”

—From the Amherst College Trustees’ Statement on Diversity