Donnelly College in Kansas City, Kansas, tops the U.S. News and World Report list of the most ethnically diverse colleges in the Midwest.
“We are proud to receive this national recognition highlighting one of our strongest assets – our diverse student body,” Donnelly President Monsignor Stuart Swetland said in a statement Wednesday.
“Students come to Donnelly for many reasons – our affordability, our urban location, our nurturing campus environment, and especially our academic programs.”
Donnelly, a small, private Catholic college, is the region’s only federally designated Minority-Serving and Hispanic Serving Institution. For the last five years the U.S. Department of Education has included Donnelly among its list of the 100 most affordable private, not-for-profit four-years schools.
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“It is rare to find a college that has a majority of minority students, especially in this region,” Swetland said.
Last year 84 percent of the Donnelly student body were students of color representing 33 countries. Of those students 41 percent were Hispanic, 29 percent were African American and 16 percent were Caucasian. The remaining 14 percent were a combination of mixed race, Asian and other.
In the 2017 graduating class, 92 percent were students of color and nearly 80 percent were the first in their families to graduate from college. Overall numbers for the 2017-2018 academic year are not available yet.
“The richness of our campus experience has always been due in large part to the diversity of our student body,” Swetland said.
“The world is increasingly interconnected and our nation is seeing racial tensions that we have not witnessed in generations. More than ever, this requires higher education to foster a global perspective and an understanding of individuals different than one’s self.”