Founded in 1764, stalwart Brown University is still considered one of the nation's elite institutions of higher learning. This Ivy gains several distinctions in NEWSWEEK's rankings, including tenth most desirable school in the country and sixth most desirable urban school. And with 92 percent of its students coming from the top 10 percent of their high school class, Brown is ranked No. 9 for brainiacs.
Established even before the United States, the school was the first in the nation to accept students regardless of their religious background, and the tradition of diversity carries on today--it's No. 2 on NEWSWEEK's list of diverse schools--as only about 45 percent of the school's students are white, with 16 percent of Asian heritage, 7 percent African-American and 8 percent Latino or Hispanic. The student body is 52 percent female. Brown is also fourteenth on NEWSWEEK's list of the best gay-friendly schools.
Yet, getting through the doors of this citadel of intellect and broad-mindedness is an elusive quest; only around 14 percent of those who apply are accepted. The school's 6,000 undergrads on average scored a 33 on the ACT and 1540 on the SAT. The Providence, Rhode Island-based school charged about $39,000 for full-time undergraduate tuition and fees during the 2009-2010 academic year, according to U.S. Department of Education estimates.
To rank colleges and universities by diversity, we took a broad view of related issues, including ethnicity, geographic origin, economic status, gender, and sexual orientation. Read more about our methodology here.