University of Chicago Diversity Statistics: An In-Depth Look

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Nestled in multicultural Chicago, the University of Chicago is no stranger to diversity. As a school that values novel thought, this institution recognizes that surrounding students with a wide-ranging population of scholars allows for engagement with countless unique perspectives. In addition, diverse populations provide opportunities to traditionally underrepresented and underserved groups. 

 

In this post, we’ll delve into UChicago’s diversity statistics, exploring the school’s representation of various racial, ethnic, cultural, geographical, financial, political, and LGBT+ communities. Breaking down the school’s commitment to a well-rounded student body will help you best understand the UChicago community and experience.

 

Overview of UChicago Diversity Statistics 

 

Ethnic Diversity

 

With a white undergraduate population of 47%, UChicago is diverse

 

Undergraduate Student Ethnicity

Ethnicity Percentage

Asian and Pacific Islander

22%

Black

6%

Hispanic

15%

Native American

0%

Other

10%

White

47%

 

Faculty diversity is an important factor to consider as well, as educators from varied backgrounds may provide unique and enriching perspectives. With a white population of 64.6%, UChicago’s faculty is moderately diverse

 

Faculty Ethnicity

Ethnicity Percentage

White

64.6%

Asian

14.9%

International

5.4%

Black or African American

3.7%

Hispanic/Latino

3.6%

American Indian or Alaska Native

0.0%

Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander

0.0%

Unknown

7.8%

 

UChicago’s Faculty Development Program works to create an inclusive educational environment through the Diversity and Inclusion Initiative. In addition, the Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellows Program grants up to two years of funding to high-achieving junior scholars from underrepresented backgrounds who show potential for becoming faculty members.

 

Financial Diversity

 

The New York Times published a study in 2017 detailing the economic breakdown of students at UChicago and 2,136 other schools. Here’s UChicago’s:

 

Share of students from the…

%

Top .1%

<1%

Top 1%

10%

Top 5%

32%

Top 10%

44%

Top 20%

58%

Bottom 20%

5.5%

Data from the New York Times

 

The average UChicago student’s family earns within the 76th income percentile, and their median family income is $134,500. About 1.9% of UChicago students come from poor families but grow into rich adults. 

 

UChicago is need-blind, meaning the applicant’s ability to pay isn’t considered in admissions. In many cases, the school’s financial aid grant is so generous that it’s actually cheaper for students to go there than their state school. UChicago admissions are need-sensitive for international students, but if admitted, they still have their full financial need met.

 

UChicago meets 100% of demonstrated need and is no-loan, meaning that those who apply for aid and are assessed as having financial need will have it fully met without being required to take out loans. 

 

UChicago’s average need-based scholarship is over $55,458 and 39% of students received need-based aid in 2020. Aid is awarded as a grant, which does not need to be repaid. 

 

The school’s No Barriers commitment to equitable educational and career opportunity access includes the following perks:

 

  • Families who apply for financial aid do not have to pay an application fee.
  • Families earning under $125,000 per year (with typical assets) will receive sufficient financial aid to cover their whole tuition.
  • Families earning under $60,000 per year (with typical assets) will receive sufficient financial aid to cover their tuition, fees, room, and board.
  • The school has practiced test-optional admissions since 2018 to lessen the barrier for those who may have otherwise struggled to score highly on standardized testing due to limited opportunities.
  • UChicago funds study-abroad and career exploration opportunities as well as over 2,800 internships each year. The school guarantees paid summer internships for first-generation students. 
  • UChicago provides students personal career advising to aid them in professional development.

 

Geographic Diversity

 

UChicago’s undergraduate population represents students from every region in the U.S.

 

13% of the undergraduate population are international students, with origins in over 100 countries. The admissions process for international students is need-sensitive, but all admitted students have their full financial need met regardless of geographic origin. 

 

Cultural Resources at UChicago 

 

UChicago graduate schools host diversity outreach program Discover UChicago, an all-expenses-paid fly-in program providing students from underrepresented backgrounds the opportunity to check out the school’s graduate programs. The undergraduate community, however, offers no similar programs.  

 

Still, accepted students from various backgrounds will have ample opportunity to engage with their communities. UChicago hosts the following student resources with ethnic, cultural, and religious emphases:

 

Multicultural Student Advisory Committee

 

MSAC is a council of students who collaborate to support diversity on campus. They work with the Admissions Office on diversity initiatives created with prospective students in mind.

 

Office of Multicultural Student Affairs

 

This office works to support students of color and their academic success within the University. It is located within the Center of Diversity and Inclusion, where opportunities such as support services, panel discussions, film screenings, and performances are provided. In addition, the office serves as a study and meeting space for campus groups.

 

International House

 

The House is a cultural center for diversity-focused programs. Enriching academic discussions, artistic performances, and community outreach all take place here in an effort to promote cross-cultural understanding and respect.

 

Student-led Organizations

 

Cultural Organizations

 

 

Religious or Spiritual Organizations

 

 

Dance Organizations

 

 

Music

 

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Plans to Improve Diversity at UChicago 

 

While there is no singular plan to improve diversity at the University of Chicago, the school maintains an ongoing commitment to diversity through frequent workshops and pedagogical discussions. Plenty of resources for understanding diversity and its importance are available on UChicago’s Diversity and Inclusion website.

 

LGBTQ+ Inclusivity at UChicago

 

In 2017, the University of Chicago Medicine was named “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation for the third year in a row.

 

The Office of LGBTQ Student life works to hold the rest of the school to a similar standard. The Office functions as a Safe Space for LGBTQ+ students and allies, and trains willing participants with the knowledge and history necessary to help them become stronger, more inclusive community members. Their Mentorship Program connects LGBTQ+ students with openly LGBTQ+ faculty and graduate mentors to build guidance and support. Additionally, the (U)Chicago Queer Compass guides LGBTQ+ students in navigating the school, which is home to dozens of gender-inclusive single-use restrooms. 

 

LGBTQIA+ Student Organizations

 

 

UChicago’s Non-discrimination Statement and Harrassment Policy outlines its stance against unlawful discrimination and harassment, which students may report as needed. Policy personnel must complete 8 hours of training which, in part, teaches them to identify cases of discrimination and harassment. 

 

How Diverse and Inclusive is Chicago, IL?

 

With non-Hispanic white people making up 33.3% of Chicago’s population, the city is diverse.

 

Population Ethnicity

Ethnicity Percentage

Black or African American

29.6

American Indian or Alaska Native

0.3

Asian

6.6

Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander

0.0

Two or More Races

2.8

Hispanic or Latino

28.8

White

50

White, Not Hispanic or Latino

33.3

Census.gov

 

Chicago’s commercial culture is highly inclusive of all regions in the world. Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Asian, and Eastern European restaurants are wildly popular in the area, as are furnishing, supply, and clothing stores. Indian shops are particularly plentiful.

 

Chicago leans strongly left and is one of the most LGBT+-friendly cities in the United States. It earned a perfect 100 in LGBT+ inclusivity in the Municipality Equality Index due to its actively anti-discriminatory laws, law enforcement practices, and local government stances. Chicago and the state of Illinois as a whole has an extensive LGBTQ+ activist history and houses the United State’s first gay neighborhood. Nowadays, it’s home to a vibrant array of LGBT+-owned businesses.

 

Is UChicago the Right Fit for You?

 

Of course, diversity is just one of many factors you’ll consider in building your school list. Location, student culture, and academic offerings will all come into play, to name a few. 

 

Our UChicago profile page showcases these factors and more to provide a clearer picture of the educational experience it offers. If you’re curious about your chances of getting in, you may be interested in our chancing engine. Unlike other solely stats-based chancing calculators, ours looks at your profile holistically, including both your quantitative stats and qualitative extracurriculars.

 

If you’d like to expand your school list, you may like our easy-to-use school search tool to sift through dozens of universities. Simply specify your preferences regarding location, class size, testing policies, and more, and we’ll find the best fits for you within our extensive database.

 

UChicago or not, we hope you end up at a school that embodies diversity in the truest sense of the world, filling your college years with a vast variety of perspectives and a sense of home.

Michelle Foley
Essay Breakdown Writer

Short Bio
Michelle Foley is currently taking a gap year before starting at Yale College in Fall '21, where she is considering majoring in Art, English, or Cognitive Studies while earning her Spanish certificate. In her free time, she likes to paint, run, and read!

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