Colleges with the Highest Asian Population – 2024

February 5, 2024

colleges with the highest Asian population

A few years back, the immediate college enrollment rate for Asian students was 84% – higher than the rates for White (64%), Black (58%) and Hispanic (57%) students.[i] To be Asian is to be part of an impactful category of identity within college and beyond. If being Asian is part of your identity, you may already be wondering: which colleges with the highest Asian population might be a good fit for me? Being Asian, just like being Black, Hispanic, or White, is to have an identity that is both socially constructed and very real – while much of race and ethnicity is based in cultural ideals, performances and conventions, these categories are also rooted in our ideas of politics, class, and even our own bodies.

In other words, race and ethnicity can have very legitimate consequences.[ii] As such, if you are an Asian student, choosing colleges with a high Asian population may be an important factor as you consider your college experience and your future career, salary, and networking connections.[iii]

College with the Highest Asian Population (Continued)

Below, we’ve compiled a list of the most Asian colleges in the U.S. by population. But before we dive into the rankings, let’s explore why applying to colleges with a high Asian population might be the right choice for you. It’s also important to recognize that it is impossible to clearly define what “Asian” means when this designation intersects with other important aspects of our identity like nationality. While many generalize the term “Asian,” the Asian population in the United States is comprised of more than twenty ethnic groups who speak over 50 different languages.[iv] Additionally, when other aspects of one’s background (like gender or religion) are considered, it’s clear that one Asian student’s experience and identity might be wildly different from another’s.

Why choose colleges with the highest Asian population?

Depending on your intended major, globally-minded campuses can be attractive for students seeking international networking opportunities, internships abroad, and wider-reaching extracurriculars to add to your résumé and promote your future career. If it’s your first time away from home, you may long for a campus community that embraces your family’s cultural values and traditions. If you happen to be a non-native English speaker, colleges with a high Asian population often provide more robust language-learning services in the form of writing centers and multilingual tutors. You may have heard about the biases against Asian college applicants and are seeking a university that accepts a larger pool of Asian students.[v],[vi] You may simply know that colleges with the highest Asian population that embrace diversity also tend to foster social justice and more connected communities through extracurriculars and affinity groups.[vii]

Campus Culture in Colleges with the Highest Asian Population

Of course, many students think of college as a means to an end: “I need this degree so I can pursue my career goals!” But it’s also important to consider what your daily life will look like for the years you actually spend in college. Around 93% of Asian students are first- or second-generation Americans, meaning that many Asian students will still have strong cultural and familial ties to their countries of origin.[viii]  For this reason, you may choose a college with a high Asian population so you can take advantage of on-campus extracurriculars and affinity groups that support and promote your heritage and familiar cultural traditions.

Many of the most Asian colleges are nationally or regionally affiliated with Asian and Asian-American social groups, like the Alpha Kappa Delta Phi sorority and the Omega Phi Gamma fraternity at the University of Texas, Austin, which boasts a population of almost 24% Asian students.

College with the Highest Asian Population (Continued)

Language may be another important factor to consider when reviewing your top college choices. Whether you are still studying or you have already aced your TOEFL exam, if English is your second, third or twelfth language, you may find yourself seeking support for essay drafting, presentations in English, and U.S. academic writing conventions. Colleges with the highest Asian population are highly likely to provide services for Non-Native English speakers. Carnegie Mellon University, for instance, which has an Asian student population of 32%, offers all students free tutoring with certified International Teaching Assistants at their Student Academic Success Center.

As you begin to narrow your list of prospective schools, a deciding factor for you may also lie in location. Cities tend to have higher levels of diversity than small towns. You may find that a college nestled inside a city with a vibrant Asian community will offer more options in terms of Asian food, shopping, entertainment and culture when you’re off campus. And just because a college has a high Asian population, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will be in a city with one. Aside from Honolulu, HI, most of the U.S. cities with the highest Asian populations can be found in California. However, the top twenty-five U.S. cities with the highest Asian populations additionally include: Seattle, New York, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Boston, Houston, Dallas, Minneapolis, Chicago, Austin, Atlanta, Raleigh, Philadelphia and Baltimore.

Opportunities and Financial Assistance in Colleges with the Highest Asian Population

You probably already know that many schools provide financial aid based on merit and household income. Colleges with a high Asian population additionally often provide demographic-specific scholarships. As you begin your search for schools to which you’ll apply, be sure to click around each college’s scholarships webpages. Princeton, for example, which has a population of 28% of Asian and Asian-American students, boasts an entire list of fellowships in Asia.

Be specific in your searches as well – many scholarships are reserved for Asian and Asian-American students of particular nationalities, like the Endowment for South Asian Students of Indian Descent Scholarship or the Banatao Family Filipino American Education Fund Scholarship.  There are also many national scholarships available for students of Asian descent (though some are specific to state and major, like the Endowment for South Asian Students of Indian Descent Scholarship, which is available for Pennsylvania medical students from PA and New Jersey). Earning one of these can provide both financial relief and a reputable line on your C.V.

Applying for scholarships can be an involved process, but it shouldn’t be an intimidating one! For more specific tips on scholarships, check out our page on finding college scholarships.

Top Seventy-Five Colleges with the Highest Asian Population

The list below includes the top seventy-five colleges with the highest Asian population by percentage, though we’ve also included the estimated actual number of Asian students in each school so you can gauge the differences between larger and smaller colleges. It’s important to remember that while considering the list below of the most Asian colleges, these schools are all high caliber. While one student may value a university that provides the largest scholarships for Asian students, another may be more interested in the location of their selected school. No matter your focus and desires, this list can get you started!

1) The University of Texas at Dallas

  • 41%
  • 8,863 approximate students
  • Total population: 21,617

2) San Jose State University

  • 39%
  • 10,477 approximate students
  • Total population: 26,863

3) University of California-San Diego

  • 39%
  • 12,907 approximate students
  • Total population: 33,096

4) University of California-Riverside

  • 37%
  • 8,474 approximate students
  • Total population: 22,903

5) CUNY Bernard M. Baruch College

  • 36%
  • 5,723 approximate students
  • Total population: 15,896

College with the Highest Asian Population (Continued)

6) University of California-Berkeley

  • 35%
  • 11,491 approximate students
  • Total population: 32,831

7) California Institute of Technology

  • 34%
  • 334 approximate students
  • Total population: 982

8) Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • 34%
  • 1,583 approximate students
  • Total population: 4,657

9) Stony Brook University

  • 34%
  • 5,953 approximate students
  • Total population: 17,509

10) University of Washington-Bothell Campus

  • 34 percent
  • 1,772 approximate students
  • Total population: 5,212

College with the Highest Asian Population (Continued)

Institution % Asian Population Total Undergraduate Enrollment Appx. # Asian Students
11 Rutgers University-New Brunswick 33% 36344 11,994
12 Carnegie Mellon University 32% 7509 2,403
13 CUNY Hunter College 32% 17256 5,522
14 Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art 31% 899 279
15 University of California-Davis 31% 31532 9,775
16 Georgia Institute of Technology 30% 18415 5,525
17 Rice University 29% 4494 1,303
18 University of California-Los Angeles 29% 32423 9,403
19 University of Pennsylvania 28% 9760 2,733
20 Johns Hopkins University 27% 6044 1,632
21 University of California-Irvine 27% 28661 7,738
22 University of Washington-Seattle 27% 36872 9,955
23 Stanford University 26% 8049 2,093
24 University of San Francisco 26% 6018 1,565
25 Case Western Reserve University 25% 6017 1,504
26 Seattle University 25% 4099 1,025
27 University of Southern California 25% 20699 5,175
28 Emory University 24% 7101 1,704
29 Princeton University 24% 5604 1,345
30 The University of Texas at Austin 24% 41309 9,914
31 University of Houston 24% 37943 9,106
32 California State Polytechnic University-Pomona 23% 25181 5,792
33 Cornell University 23% 15735 3,619
34 Drexel University 23% 12482 2,871
35 George Mason University 23% 27014 6,213
36 Harvard University 23% 7240 1,665
37 Rhode Island School of Design 23% 2108 485
38 University of California-Santa Cruz 23% 17502 4,025
39 University of Maryland-Baltimore County 23% 10625 2,444
40 University of Maryland-College Park 23% 30353 6,981
41 Wellesley College 23% 2447 563
42 California State University-Fullerton 22% 35239 7,753
43 Harvey Mudd College 22% 906 199
44 New Jersey Institute of Technology 22% 9019 1,984
45 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 22% 35120 7,726
46 Yale University 22% 6645 1,462
47 California State University-Long Beach 21% 32711 6,869
48 Duke University 21% 6640 1,394
49 Franklin W Olin College of Engineering 21% 386 81
50 Northwestern University 21% 8659 1,818
51 Santa Clara University 21% 6115 1,284
52 University of California-Merced 21% 8344 1,752
53 University of Illinois at Chicago 21% 21807 4,579
54 Barnard College 20% 3442 688
55 Boston University 20% 18459 3,692
56 New York University 20% 29401 5,880
57 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 20% 5895 1,179
58 University of California-Santa Barbara 20% 23460 4,692
59 University of Chicago 20% 7470 1,494
60 University of Portland 20% 3374 675
61 Washington University in St Louis 20% 8132 1,626
62 Brown University 19% 7639 1,451
63 Northeastern University 19% 20980 3,986
64 Stevens Institute of Technology 19% 3988 758
65 Pomona College 18% 1791 322
66 Rutgers University-Newark 18% 7511 1,352
67 Swarthmore College 18% 1625 293
68 University at Buffalo 18% 20761 3,737
69 University of Michigan 18% 32695 5,885
70 University of Virginia 18% 17496 3,149
71 Binghamton University 17% 14402 2,448
72 Brandeis University 17% 3687 627
73 Columbia University in the City of New York 17% 6668 1,134
74 Illinois Institute of Technology 17% 3125 531
75 Vanderbilt University 17% 7151 1,216

College with the Highest Asian Population – Works Cited