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January 19, 2019

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UNLV ranks among most ethnically diverse schools in the nation

UNLV 2014 Graduation

Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

A UNLV student smiles during commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 17, 2014.

UNLV is tied for second as the most ethnically diverse campus in the nation, according to the latest rankings from U.S. News and World Report.

The school, with its large number of Hispanic and Asian students, moved up from sixth place in last year’s rankings.

UNLV is in a four-way tie for second place with the University of Houston, St. John’s University in New York and Andrews University in Michigan. Both St. John’s and Andrews are private colleges with only a few thousand students.

The country’s most diverse school, according to the report, is the Newark, N.J., campus of Rutgers University.

But behind the University of Houston, UNLV is the largest state university to place so high on the list.

Of UNLV’s roughly 24,000 students, about 36 percent are white, 25 percent are Hispanic or Latino and 15 percent are Asian. Black students make up about 8 percent of the student body.

Stanford University is just behind UNLV, followed by the University of San Francisco, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Hawaii, Manoa.

The ranking is determined by calculating the probability that any two randomly selected students at a college will belong to different races. The higher the school places on the list, the greater the chance a student will encounter other students of a different race.

“This recognition is a reflection of our determined efforts to make UNLV an open and inclusive environment for students,” UNLV Chief Diversity Officer Rainier Spencer said in a statement. “As UNLV emerges as a top-tier national university, we need to be even more intentional in our focus on ensuring that these diverse students all experience the kind of success they are seeking by coming here,” Spencer said.

Earlier this year, UNLV became the state’s first four-year college to be designated a Hispanic-serving institution for achieving a Hispanic enrollment of 25 percent.