The Princeton Review recently ranked UM fifth in the nation for its “great college towns” division and sixth for “most students from different backgrounds interact” categories in a nation-wide ranking of colleges. UM was the only Florida school to be ranked in those categories.
That’s no surprise, since the majority of students interviewed by the First Impression sited diversity and location as their top reasons for choosing UM.
“The University of Miami is indeed a diverse institution with students hailing from more than 110 countries,” Dr. Pat Whitely, vice president for student affairs, said. “Through a variety of activities both in and out of the classroom, diversity is celebrated and recognized as one of the important values of the University of Miami.”
For the location category, schools were judged by size of the city, beauty of the campus and surrounding areas, climate, and resources available to students.
“The moment I stepped on campus, I was sold,” Aimee Garcia, sophomore, said. “I knew as soon as I saw the palm trees painted across the clear blue sky that this was the school for me.”
In fact, UM has a lush, tropical campus that represents plantlife from hundreds of different areas throughout the world. Students can often be found studying under trees and eating lunch on grassy areas throughout campus.
Needless to say, sunbathing is also a popular pastime at UM.
For the diversity category, schools were judged on the percentage of non-white students enrolled and on how students from different backgrounds interact with one another.
“This campus boasts significant ethnic diversity and, in a nutshell, students say they are part of a receptive and diverse group,” the review said.
According to the report, students at UM describe themselves as “high-energy, fun-loving, friendly, and outgoing” but also feel “fiercely competitive” with one another.
Although some students believe that the diversity of UM is a result of location, most find that UM strives to recruit diverse groups of people from different parts of the U.S. and in many countries throughout the world.
“Yeah, it’s diverse all right,” Jennifer Wright, a sophomore who is from Kentucky, said. “I mean, my roommate is from Hong Kong.”
Many students take pride in the level of diversity on campus.
“I didn’t come here for the diversity, but I appreciate it now that I’ve experienced it,” Shelly Steele, junior, said.
“There are so many opportunities for everyone, no matter what race they are,” Camille Linton, a Jamaican-American student and member of the Union of Black Students, said.
Next year, UM students are looking forward to improving the University’s ranking in the diversity and location categories as well as in other categories.
“I can’t believe that UM wasn’t even mentioned in the school spirit category this year,” Kendrick Ribeiro, a sophomore at Florida Atlantic University, said. “All you have to do is turn on the T.V. during a UM football game or walk around the parking lots on campus-everyone has a UM logo somewhere on their car!”
For a complete listing of the categories and rankings of the Princeton Review, visit www.princetonreview.com/college.
Jacklyn Lisenby and Leigha Taber contributed to this article.