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Diversity at Carleton

We care about your unique perspective, and we want our college to be a place where everyone feels welcome — especially people who come from backgrounds that are underrepresented in higher education.

We care about your unique perspective, and we want our college to be a place where everyone feels welcome — especially people who come from backgrounds that are underrepresented in higher education.


We believe in the power of diversity to enhance our academic and residential life and to enrich our understanding of the world. We engage our most rigorous thinking when we interact with people whose perspectives differ from our own.

We honor all differences among our students: ethnicity and race, religion, sexuality, socio-economic background, life experiences, academic passions, and more. Our community is stronger because of the rich experiences our students and faculty and staff members bring to campus.

We also recognize the diversity within each person: for example, the linguistics major who runs the Black Student Alliance, studies abroad in Guatemala, and makes amazing homemade bread. The first-year student who falls in love with economics, then German, then geology — all while playing on the tennis team and hosting a radio show on Cuban hip hop. The math major who attends Shabbat service every Friday, works on the campus farm, and plays softball on an intramural team.

What binds our students together is an exuberant attitude toward learning, a desire to have fun, and a genuine interest in the passions, hopes, and ideas of their peers.

Diversity & Cultural Student Organizations

Among Carleton’s 200 active student groups are dozens of diverse cultural organizations. Students in these groups celebrate the richness of their cultures and share them with the campus through a wide array of activities.

Campus Resources

Carleton students are ambitious, and they aren’t afraid to ask for help. Across our campus, you’ll find people and programs in place to support your success as a scholar, and as a whole person. Some of these efforts include one-on-one mentoring, while others focus on bringing groups of people together. Here’s a sampling of the various resources we hope you’ll explore:

During my visit, I really loved the culture of the campus. Despite being serious about academics, everyone was jovial. All the students I met were warm and friendly. Everyone was busy, but busy with a sense of joy and purpose.
Jorge Banuelos, Jr.
Wichita, Kan.
Carleton is an institution that celebrates diversity and equality. It’s a place where the many facets of my personality won’t be met with judgmental indifference, but rather with opened arms. They will be encouraged by peers and faculty who are just as eager as I am about essentially everything.
Polycarpe Bagereka
Houston, Texas
Taste of Carleton provided me a different kind of college experience than my previous college visits. Carleton is a place of higher level thinking and knowledge, without the snobbery I have experienced on other campuses. More importantly, I saw a place where I can gather tools to reach my dreams.
Kellen Dorchen
Greenville, S.C.
During Taste of Carleton, I went to a comedy show. Cheering students packed the theater, and I could feel their genuine excitement for each other. I hope to attend a school where the students sing and laugh together, and where they support each other.
Abby Euyang
Seattle, Wash.

The Admissions Process

Our Admissions Office — and our broader community — is committed to supporting the needs of students from underrepresented backgrounds. Our application review takes a holistic view of your talents and strengths, as well as your background. We’re eager to understand the experiences that have shaped your education and your life. And our financial aid program is designed to meet 100% of your family’s financial need.

When we read your application, we want to learn about your academic achievements and personal strengths. We take into consideration your academic preparation, looking closely at the classes you’ve taken and the grades you’ve earned. We also pay close attention to the context of your school, and the resources available to you. Although we require standardized test scores (SAT or ACT), we look at those in the context of the rest of your application.

Our application review also includes thoughtful consideration of your strengths and experiences outside of the classroom. We want to know how you have been active in your school and community. Every student’s involvements and commitments are different, and there’s not one particular type of student we’re looking for. Throughout your application, we’ll get a sense of the ways you might contribute to Carleton — and how we might play a part in your growth, too.

Applying to Carleton

Affording Carleton

Chances are, you have questions about Carleton’s affordability. We are committed to meeting every admitted student’s demonstrated need, while minimizing your loans and the hours you spend in your work-study job.

  • The average financial aid package is $62,659 for families with an income less than $40,000.
  • We limit your on-campus job to 10 hours/week. Plenty of time to study (and have fun!).
  • Small classes mean you’ll get personal attention from faculty, making Carleton a worthwhile investment.
  • Our Career Center helps prepare you for a lifetime of success.

Try a Financial Aid Estimator

Visit Campus

A rendering of a map of the continental United States with travel lines coming toward Minnesota

We hope you’ll consider a visit to campus to see this place for yourself. The Taste of Carleton (TOC) program offers students a chance to get just that — a taste of Carleton College! This all-expenses-paid fly-in program brings roughly 60 students to campus for three days and two nights. TOC is open to all prospective high school seniors. But the selection committee will give priority to students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds. We particularly encourage students of color, first-generation college students, and low-income students to apply.

We also have a significant amount of funding to support campus visits for students who are unable to attend Taste of Carleton. We encourage high school seniors to apply for a travel subsidy.

The Carleton Liberal Arts Experience (CLAE) program is another all-expenses-paid program for college-bound students. CLAE brings 52 high school students to Carleton for a week-long summer program. Courses are offered in science, art, social sciences, and technology. These classes introduce students to the strengths of a liberal arts education. Applicants must be high school students who are current sophomores. Students of African American descent or students who have an interest in African American culture are encouraged to apply.

In addition to these programs, we also partner with many organizations. Our national partners include QuestBridge, College Horizons, Posse, Ron Brown Scholars , and Venture Scholars. We also partner with international organizations like EducationUSA, Sutton Trust, and the Grew Bancroft Foundation.

Contact Us

We imagine you have questions. Whatever’s on your mind, please connect with us.