Data and Analysis

The Data Digest, pages 1-32, provides annual trend data for various student statistics, many of which are broken down by gender and race/ethnicity.

Other APIR resources that present diversity-related information include:

Policy Issues Related to Reporting Student Race/Ethnicity

All colleges and universities in the U.S. are required to collect and report student race/ethnicity according to federal Department of Education guidelines. This briefing paper describes the requirements for collection and reporting of student race/ethnicity that have been in effect since December 2007.

The federal requirements for reporting student race/ethnicity can make it difficult to identify the total number of students who identify in a particular race/ethnic category. For example, in fall 2019, the total number of UW-Madison students who identified as African American was 1,448. However, based on the federal reporting categories, the number of African Americans reported was 920. This apparent discrepancy is because the federal methodology counts all students who identify as Hispanic (regardless of any racial identities) as Hispanic and counts non-Hispanic students who identify more than one race as “2 or more races”.

This document compares the federal methodology explained in the briefing paper to the “count all” methodology. The latter is a better source when the underlying issue is an interest in counting all students in each of their identified race/ethnic categories.