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IPEDS Ethnicity Reporting Rules

The ethnicities presented throughout the Institutional Research website conform to IPEDS standards.  These were developed in 1997 by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that are used to describe groups to which individuals belong, identify with, or belong in the eyes of the community. The categories do not denote scientific definitions of anthropological origins. The designations are used to categorize U.S. citizens, resident aliens, and other eligible non-citizens. 

In Oct 2007, the Federal Register published Final Guidance on Maintaining, Collecting, and Reporting Racial and Ethnic Data to the U.S. Department of Education, which mandated changes in both the collection and reporting of race/ethnic data for all campus populations (undergraduates, graduates, staff, and faculty). Under this guidance, the requirements for collection are distinct from those for reporting. In particular, educational institutions are required to collect racial and ethnic data using a two-part question which permits respondents to identify with multiple race/ethnic categories, yet must report data to the Dept. of Education (IPEDS) such that individuals are assigned to a single race/ethnic category. This method of collecting race/ethnicity data, commonly referred to as "IPEDS Ethnicity" became mandatory for higher educational institutions in 2010.

Individuals are asked to designate an ethnicity

  • Hispanic or Latino or
  • Not Hispanic or Latino

Individuals are asked to indicate one or more races that apply

  • American Indian or Alaska Native
  • Asian
  • Black or African American
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
  • White

IPEDS 'trumping rules' require that all persons who identify as Hispanic or Latino be reported as Hispanic or Latino independent of any other race self-identification. Those who do not identify as Hispanic or Latino but select two or more race categories are reported as 'two or more races', otherwise persons are reported in the single race/ethnic category provided as a response.


IPEDS Race & Ethnicity Category Definitions

IPEDS Collection & Reporting