Donnelly Named Most Diverse in the Midwest and is Among the Most Affordable in the U.S.

For the third year in a row, Donnelly College has been named the most diverse college in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report. Donnelly also continues to hold another important ranking – the College Affordability and Transparency Center’s Top 100 list for most affordable private, not-for-profit, four-year colleges according to U.S. Department of Education data.


Donnelly’s diversity ranking reflects the college’s status as the region’s only federally-designated Minority-Serving Institution and Hispanic-Serving Institution. The diversity found at Donnelly represents the institution’s commitment to serving the urban core since its founding in 1949.


Donnelly’s affordability ranking reflects the college’s commitment to keeping tuition low in order to minimize student debt and to offer a private, 4-year, faith-based higher education accessible to all – an opportunity that too often is unaffordable for many students, especially many low-income students who live in the urban core of Kansas City, Kansas where Donnelly College is located. 


Donnelly College President, Monsignor Stuart Swetland says, “Our national rankings reflect the affordable, high quality educational experience available at Donnelly College. The Church and the workforce of the twenty-first century is happily, wonderfully diverse. Because of our diversity, we are better preparing the next generation of scholars, leaders, workers, and saints for the greater Kansas City area and beyond. This great honor affirms our mission and vision to be the most accessible and transformative Catholic college in the United States. Why is diversity so important? Because God intends diversity. In creating a visible and invisible world of diverse beings, God pre-ordained that in the Body of Christ there would be many parts. We need each other. We learn from each other. We grow together or not at all. A diversity of people means a diversity of viewpoints and experiences that enriches the pedagogical environment and helps all of us learn to live and work productively together.”


U.S. News & World Report uses data drawn from each college’s 2018 fall semester to indicate the proportion of minority students, excluding international students.


For the 2017-2018 academic year, Donnelly’s student body was 83 percent students of color, representing 25 countries of birth (36 percent Hispanic, 32 percent African-American, 17 percent Caucasian, seven percent Two or more races, five percent Asian and two percent Other).


Of the top ten most diverse colleges in the Midwest, five institutions are in the state of Kansas. The full list can be found here. 


To learn more about Donnelly, please visit



U.S. News & World Report annually ranks colleges and universities on campus ethnic diversity. Donnelly attained a diversity index of 0.73. The closer the number is to 1, the more diverse the student population is. 


Although U.S. News & World Report recognizes Donnelly as the most diverse college in the Midwest, Donnelly is not included in U.S. News & World Report’s overall higher education rankings because Donnelly maintains an open admissions policy to ensure that all students can access higher education. Use of ACT and/or SAT scores in admissions decisions is a key criterion for inclusion in U.S. New & World Report’s overall rankings, as well as other national and regional rankings and lists. Since Donnelly College does not require the ACT or SAT for admission, the institution is not included in the overall ranking of colleges and universities in the Midwest or nationally.