Gauge a School's Commitment to Diversity Before Enrolling

Theme dorms are one way colleges create racially mixed environments.

The number of Pell Grant recipients at a school can help reveal its commitment to diversity.

The number of Pell Grant recipients at a school can help reveal its commitment to diversity.

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Reading up on a school's economic makeup can also be revealing, says Kahlenberg of The Century Foundation.

"Prospective students can do that by looking at the percentage of students who receive Pell Grants, which is public information," he says, referring to the federal grant program open to undergraduate students.

"There are a lot of universities that are nicely diverse by race but almost everyone is wealthy," says Kahlenberg. "To my mind, that's not a full, complete sense of diversity."

Kahlenberg, who once taught law at George Washington University, says the benefits of diversity efforts have a broad reach.

"When students come with different sets of life experience, that can help enrich the discussion and the learning in the classroom in a way that benefits everyone," he says.

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