A Diverse Community
The aim of the education offered by St. John’s College is the liberation of the human intellect. This is an education for all, regardless of a person’s race, sex, national or ethnic origin, age, religion, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. By reading great books and struggling together with the fundamental questions that they raise, students and their teachers learn from their differences and discover more deeply their shared humanity. In this and other ways, a diversity of background and experience enriches our community of learning.
What does it mean to be an “education for all”?
St. John’s College is committed to providing our unique education to any student who seeks it out, regardless of who they are, who their family is, or where they live.
We welcome students from all backgrounds to our Annapolis and Santa Fe campuses, including undocumented students. In recent years, our international student population has grown to comprise 20 percent of our student body. Across our entire student body, 35 percent identify as students of color.
Our students also come from a wide variety of socioeconomic backgrounds, especially compared to many other top liberal arts colleges. About 20 percent of students are Pell recipients, and more than 15 percent are the first in their families to attend college. St. John’s is ranked a “best value” among liberal arts colleges due to our affordability, which is made possible through a combination of our $36,040 tuition, need-based financial aid, and merit scholarships.
In summer 2020, St. John’s College launched the inaugural Pritzker Promise Bridge Program. Taking place on both campuses, the program aims to prepare new Johnnies from all backgrounds develop successful academic skills and study habits, access free guidance and support, and build strong relationships with faculty and peers prior to the opening seminar.
St. John’s has students of all genders, and has an active LGBTQ+ community, earning the college a #20 ranking by the Princeton Review for being LGBTQ-friendly.
St. John’s students come from various thought, religious, faith, and no faith backgrounds across a wide spectrum. The college prides itself as a home for students who engage in civil discourse—in and out of the classroom—despite their differences.
And because St. John’s breaks the educational mold, we attract students from different educational backgrounds as well. Some Johnnies come to campus having attended public, private, and parochial high schools. Others have gone to high schools overseas, been in the military, or earned their GEDs. More than 8 percent were homeschooled.
You can view the current freshman class profile here.
Clubs, Organizations, and Resources
Though Johnnies on both campuses follow the same Program of study, their interests, backgrounds, and beliefs are anything but homogenous. This diversity is reflected in all clubs and organizations, but many groups specifically focus on culture, background, sexual orientation, and religion. If there’s an activity or organization that doesn’t yet exist at the college, students may launch their own with a group of likeminded students.
A few of the many types of student-led groups include:
- Government & Politics: In addition to joining governing student bodies like the Student Polity Council and the Student Committee on Instruction, there are also organizations like Amnesty International, the Sustainability Club, Habitat for Humanity, and the Voter Registration Club which reflect a wide range of causes and positions.
- Culture & Affinity: The St. John’s College community is bound together by our shared humanity and commitment to learning and inquiry. This includes a community which celebrates and learns from our differences, as well. Some of the student-led organizations which focus on culture and belonging include the Black Student Union, Pink Triangle, Johnnie Community Board, and the International Student Association.
- Religions & Spirituality: Although St. John’s College has no religious affiliation, we have many students, staff, and faculty from multiple faith traditions who form religious and spiritual clubs and fellowships. Some example clubs and fellowships include the Orthodox Christian Fellowship, Shammai, and Men’s and Women’s Christian Fellowships. Recent study groups include the C. S. Lewis Study Group, the Eastern Classics Study Group, and the Quran Discussion Group.
Pritzker Promise Bridge Program
In summer 2020, St. John’s College launched the inaugural Pritzker Promise Bridge Program. Taking place on both campuses, the program aims to prepare new Johnnies from all backgrounds develop successful academic skills and study habits, access free guidance and support, and build strong relationships with faculty and peers prior to the opening seminar.Read more about the Pritzker Promise Program
Task Forces on Diversity and History
The Board of Visitors and Governors of St. John’s College has formed two Task Forces to ensure the college reaches its community and educational ideals, in which students from all backgrounds feel welcome and supported at St. John’s.Learn more the Task Forces
First-Gen Forward Designation
In 2021, St. John’s became the first New Mexico institution to be given the First-gen Forward designation, a recognition of our commitment to improving college experiences and academic outcomes for first-generation students.Read more about the First-gen Forward designation
A Tribute to Joan E. Cole, Class of 1957
Joan Cole made history as one of the first Black women to enroll at St. John’s College. Cole was among the college’s “Magnificent Seven,” a self-described cohort of Black students who enrolled at St. John’s before the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education decision that state laws establishing separate public schools for students of different races were unconstitutional.Read more about Joan E. Cole
As an institution of higher education, St. John’s College is committed to providing programs, activities, and an educational environment that is free from all sex-based discrimination.Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Policies
Religious and Spiritual Life
St. John’s College has no religious affiliation, but it is a community that welcomes and includes students of all religious and spiritual backgrounds.Spiritual Life in Annapolis Spiritual Life in Santa Fe
The college offers many co-curricular opportunities to hear from and study diverse thinkers, scholars, and authors. These include our Dean’s Lecture Series, preceptorials, study groups, and more.Watch Dean's Lecture by Roosevelt Montás
Du Bois Commemoration
In 1952, W. E. B. Du Bois delivered an historic lecture at the Annapolis campus, the only author in the college’s reading list to have spoken at St. John’s College. Both campuses commemorated the 70th anniversary of this important event by holding all-college seminars on the speech that he gave.Watch a video about Du Bois’s lecture