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Why Diverse Student Populations Matter

When students attend college, they gain exposure to a slew of ideas and research efforts that expand their perceptions, global awareness and ability to work with others. Colleges serve as cultural hubs in our society, and campus administrators recognize the strong need for diverse student populations. Inclusive campuses also honor the histories of various civil rights movements in the U.S.; academic access can serve to empower and advance minority groups.

Greater campus inclusion and student diversity enhance the college experience. Students who surround themselves with new and different ideas will have an easier time adjusting to the various environments they’ll encounter beyond the classroom.

Diversity and Inclusion Resources

Additional Learning

To the extent you feel comfortable, have conversations with your teammates and peers. Share resources with them. Consider reviewing the following links and resources shared by our teammates to educate yourself — these are just a start:

Student Assistance

Student Resources

National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC): Nine African American sororities and fraternities are collected within this single organization. Some member groups are over a century old, such as Alpha Phi Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi and Omega Psi Phi. These social organizations provide students with the opportunity to network, volunteer in local communities, receive leadership training, access member-exclusive career boards and participate in professional training. To join these organizations, visit their respective websites and review the literature for prospective members. Student fees can range based on the Greek organization and your current enrollment year in college.

National Black Graduate Student Association (NBGSA): This nonprofit, interdisciplinary student organization is dedicated to the recognition and academic success of black graduate students. The annual membership fee for current graduate students is $25. Members gain access to a variety of benefits, including the NBGSA newsletters and article submission processes, career digests, scholarship opportunities and discounts for national conferences.


American Indian

National Indian Education Association (NIEA): This group, founded in 1970, is dedicated to research, advocacy and professional advancement for Native peoples in the U.S. Students can become NIEA members and gain access to benefits such as career resources, webinars and academic publications. Student memberships cost $50 annually. Some NIEA scholarship listings can be accessed for free online.

American Indian College Fund: This organization provides funding resources to 34 accredited tribal academic institutions in the U.S., raising over $5.3 million in the 2012-2013 school year alone. In five years, this college fund has used 79% of donations to create over 6,000 annual scholarships for American Indian students. Undergraduate and graduate students attending both tribal and non-tribal colleges can apply for scholarship opportunities online at the American Indian College Fund website.

Alpha Pi Omega: This sorority has the honor of being the oldest Greek social organization dedicated to Native American interests in the nation. Alpha Pi Omega began in 1994 at the University of North Carolina and has since grown to encompass 17 chapters across the U.S. This sorority hosts annual award ceremonies to recognize the academic and civil service accomplishments of their members.

Asian

Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund: This organization has granted $90 million in scholarships to Asian and Pacific Islander students, with 58% of recipients who live in households at or below the poverty line. 56% of the recipients are also the first in their families to attend college. Students can visit the APIASF website to apply to the scholarship fund and to the Gates Millennium Scholars Program.

US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation (USPAACC): This professional nonprofit advocacy group was founded in 1984; it has since partnered with a number of government agencies and Fortune 1000 corporations to build strong in-roads for Asian American representation in business and academia. Each year, the USPAACC posts a free guide of up to 20 different scholarships.

National APIA Panhellenic Association (NAPA): This is a coalition of 14 national Asian and Pacific Islander sororities and fraternities. Every Greek social organization listed here must be at least a decade old before they can join NAPA. Student membership fees vary across member organizations.

Hispanic

Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF): HSF has distributed over $470 million in scholarships, granting 5,100 awards each year. The scholarship application period begins on January 1 every year. The awards, which range from $1,000 to $15,000, are granted in collaboration with several other organizations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Coca-Cola and AT&T.

National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO): This umbrella coalition oversees twenty Latino fraternities and sororities based at universities across the nation. Phi Iota Alpha is one of the oldest NALFO members, founded in 1931. Student fees vary between these Greek organizations.

BestColleges.com’s Scholarships and Resources for Women: Women searching for scholarship opportunities based on their field of study, demographics or organization can find dozens of resources in our own dynamic list of funding opportunities. Each scholarship listing is accompanied with important details, such as award amount, eligibility requirements and application links. Students can also consult this guide for career counseling resources, which are aimed at helping women succeed professionally after graduation.

American Association of University Women (AAUW): This national student organization coalition is dedicated to women’s legal advocacy, academic opportunities and representation in STEM fields. Students attending AAUW partner universities and colleges can gain free membership, while students at non-partner schools pay $17 to $49 annually based on their student status. Members gain access to AAUW networking events, leadership training and exclusive publications.

LGBTQIA Students

Campus Pride

The Campus Pride Index ranks U.S. colleges based on how LGBT friendly they are. They score each college based on eight LGBT factors: policy inclusion, campus safety, student life, academic life, counseling and health, recruitment and retention, institutional commitment and housing. The Campus Pride college database can be an instrumental resource for prospective students searching for LGBT-friendly campuses.

Point Foundation

This advocacy organization offers multiple free benefits to LGBTQ communities, including mentorship opportunities, scholarship awards, civil service training and leadership development. Both undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to become Point Scholars and earn academic funding. Awards are granted after an exhaustive five-step process, which includes two application rounds, a supplemental material section, a telephone interview and a committee interview.

Lavender Graduation

Dozens of campuses across the U.S. celebrate Lavender Graduation ceremonies, which are held to honor LGBTQIA students as they graduate from college. Students can check the Lavender Graduation college listings to see if their institution participates in this tradition. Lavender Graduation ceremonies are held one week before a college’s general graduation commencement.

GLAAD

With a national focus on leading conversations about equality for the LGBTQ community and informing the media narrative, this organization works with news and entertainment media of all formats and communications and digital strategy outlets to ensure the public is provided with powerful stories about the LGBTQ community that advocates for greater equality.

Gay & Lesbian International Sport Association

With an international reach, GLISA brings together international sports federations, human rights organizations, associations representing sport teams, clubs from major regions, and other stakeholders to facilitate partnerships for building bridges between sports and the LGBTQ community.

Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network

GLSEN’s mission is simple: to ensure every member of school communities feel respected, regardless of their sexual orientation. This is accomplished through educating teachers, students and the public about the common pressures faced by LGBTQ students and working to remove barriers to success.

Get Equal

GE focuses on equipping the LGBTQ community and their allies to fight against inequalities and to push for progressive change. Whether organizing direct action efforts, hosting local community meetings, training members in tactics of direct action or providing professional consulting, the organization is committed to continuously fighting for equality.

Human Rights Campaign

HRC is the largest organization fighting for the civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. The organization currently has over 1.5 million members, all focused on making true equality for all possible. The organization has a number of research publications outlining equality indexes on areas such as healthcare, employers, states and corporations.

Matthew Shepard Foundation

By erasing hate and building compassionate and accepting communities, the Matthew Shepard Foundation hopes to empower LGBTQ individuals to challenge and address discriminatory behavior in their schools, neighborhoods and homes.

National Center for Transgender Equality

Identifying as America’s premier social justice advocacy organization for transgender individuals, NCTE works at the federal, state and local levels to leverage political capital and change laws encouraging discriminatory behavior. The organization has a particularly helpful “Know Your Rights” section of their website with information on housing, healthcare, employment, and more.

National Gay & Lesbian Task Force

Since 1973, NGLTF has focused on building the political capital of the LGBTQ community through activist training, advancing pro-LGBT legislation and raising the profile of LGBTQ interests and causes. The organization is also an excellent resource for learning about the beliefs and platforms of those running for public office in regards to LGBTQ interests.

PFLAG

Through support, education and advocacy efforts, PFLAG seeks to unite the LGBTQ community with friends, families and allies. By doing so, the organization hopes to further equality efforts and lessen discriminatory practices. Currently, there are more than 350 chapters and over 200,000 members.

TransYouth Family Allies

TYFA is focused on supporting children and families to create support systems offering encouragement and acceptance regardless of sexual orientation. Main areas of work include educating the public about discrimination, working to eliminate oppression and violence, and forming alliances to ensure support services are in place for LGBTQ individuals.The organization has a number of outreach initiatives and resources to accomplish this mission.