UNLV regains top spot for diversity in annual rankings

By: - September 13, 2021 3:08 pm
UNLV empty campus

The annual report also found UNLV making gains in the social mobility category. (Photo by Lonnie Timmons III/UNLV Photo Services)

U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 edition of its “Best Colleges” rankings once again names the University of Nevada, Las Vegas among the most diverse universities in the country.

The publication’s annual rankings also found UNLV making gains in social mobility. cracking the top 100.

In the report released Monday, UNLV was placed in a four-way tie as the most diverse institution in the nation along with the University of Hawaii-Hilo, Stanford, and the University of San Francisco.

The report noted UNLV’s high percentage of Latino students, at 32 percent. More than 65 percent of UNLV’s undergraduates identify as part of a racial or ethnic minority.

“At UNLV, our incredible student diversity is one of our biggest assets, as it brings multiple perspectives to classroom and policy discussions, research labs, co-curricular activities and community conversations,” said UNLV President Keith Whitfield. “In places where there’s more diversity, I believe there’s better learning. As one of the nation’s most diverse universities and one that continues to rise as a top public research university, we work hard every day to improve the social mobility of our graduates and to provide opportunities and support for all of our students, staff, and faculty.”

UNLV has long been known as an inclusive university, ranking second in diversity 2021 and fourth in 2020, after topping the category in 2018 and 2019. 

UNLV also cracked the top 100 among universities for social mobility in this year’s report, which recognizes the university’s strength at enrolling economically disadvantaged students and graduating them into well-paying jobs. More than a third of UNLV’s students are the first in their families to attend college, according to the university.

The social mobility rankings are calculated by assessing the six-year graduation rates of students who received federal Pell Grants compared with the graduation rate of other students. Those grant recipients generally come from households with annual incomes under $50,000.

A recent study from the Brookings Mountain Institute noted that UNLV has increased its enrollment of in-state students in recent years, bucking a nationwide trend. Nationwide, public flagship universities are “admitting more out-of-state students and relatively fewer of their own in-state students.”

The implications of the report are that students are leaving school with more student debt after paying heftier out-of-state costs and leaving low-income students, particularly Latino students, with greater roadblocks to education and student loans.

UNLV moved up nine slots overall to the 249th school nationally among all public and private universities in the country, tying with 13 other universities. Among top public schools UNLV ranks 123. 

The University of Nevada, Reno ranked 227th among all public and private universities and 112th in top public schools.

In other rankings news, UNLV’s School of Nursing debuted at 43rd in a  new category of best undergraduate nursing programs.

U.S. News & World Report’s national report ranked 392 institutions, including 209 public, 179 private and four for-profits offering undergraduate majors as well as master’s and doctoral degrees.

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Jeniffer Solis
Jeniffer Solis

Reporter | Jeniffer was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada where she attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas before graduating in 2017 with a B.A in Journalism and Media Studies. While at UNLV she was a senior staff writer for the student newspaper, the UNLV Scarlet and Gray Free Press, and a news reporter for KUNV 91.5 FM, covering everything from the Route 91 shooting to UNLV housing. She has also contributed to the UNLV News Center and worked as a production engineer for several KUNV broadcasts before joining the Nevada Current. She’s an Aries.