Federal Guidelines

How is data on race/ethnicity collected?

  1. Institutions are required to use a two-part question when collecting racial/ethnic information, similar to how the Census collects data:
    Question 1. Select ethnicity: Hispanic or Latino (yes or no)
    Question 2. Check one or more racial categories
  2. The racial categories have been expanded from 4 to 5 races, separating the current category Asian/Pacific Islander" into two categories of "Asian" and "Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander".
  3. Institutions are required to maintain detailed information on student and employee responses for at least 3 years (or until completion of any legal action involving these records).

How is data on race/ethnicity reported?

  1. For official reporting to the federal and the State Education Departments, institutions are required to report aggregate data using nine categories, where race will only be reported for individuals of non-Hispanic origin.
  2. For official reporting, the reporting of two or more races are allowed (prior to 2010, these individuals had to be reported in the "unknown" category.)
  3. Institutions have the option to summarize the information differently for internal purpose.

Note that in October 2007, the U.S. Department of Education issued new guidelines for the collection, documentation and reporting of data on race and ethnicity, effective for all reporting by fall 2010.

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