Serving statewide coordinating and governing boards in developing and sustaining excellent systems of higher education.
Race & Ethnicity reporting

We are pleased to present resources and information on changes in the reporting of race and ethnicity groups to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). These changes conform to the revisions of the standards for classification of federal data on race and ethnicity promulgated by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in October 1997.


implementation of the new race and ethnicity standards

Implications of the change in Race & Ethnicity reporting standards

Postsecondary Institutions
State postsecondary data coordinators
data implications

Frequently asked Questions

Online resources

Implications of the Change in Race & Ethnicity Reporting Standards

Postsecondary Institutions

  • All demographic forms must be changed, both paper and web-based. This includes student admissions and staff/faculty demographic forms.
  • The manner in which data is entered and stored will need to be updated. Institutions will need to work with their student information systems vendors to make sure changes are aligned with the new requirements.
  • Crosswalks from the old legacy coding to the new race and ethnicity coding will need to be developed.
  • Affirmative action plans may need to be recomputed using the new race and ethnicity categories.
  • Reporting forms, particularly to external groups such as state higher education agencies, will need to be modified.

State Postsecondary Data Coordinators

  • All institutions must comply, but the timeline for phase-in may differ from institution to institution.
  • It is critical that you understand the timeframe under which each postsecondary institution in your state will be phasing-in the new standards as well as whether or not each institution will be mapping and/or resurveying students and faculty and the timeframe for such implementation.
  • A decision at the state-level will need to be made on whether or not the state-level postsecondary database (if one exists) will be changed to reflect the new standards or if the state will require institutions to report in the current format. If changes are made to the state-level database, crosswalks from the old legacy coding to the new race and ethnicity coding will need to be developed. Such crosswalks will need to be coordinated with the state’s postsecondary institutions to ensure accuracy and consistency.
  • State reports, particularly those showing trends across years, will need to be footnoted to explain the changing of standards and its impact on specific ethnicity and race counts.

Data Implications

  • Trend data will be difficult, and counts may change for some groups.
  • Anyone who answers “Hispanic or Latino” will be reported that way regardless of how he/she answers the race question. This new reporting methodology may cause the count for Hispanics to increase compared to previous years. This also may cause some racial groups to show lower counts than in previous years.
  • Anyone who answers two or more races, and does not answer "Yes" to the Hispanic/Latino question, will be reported as "Two or more races. "