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Managing an Identity Crisis: Forum Guide to Implementing New Federal Race and Ethnicity Categories
NFES 2008-802
October 2008

5.3 Data Reporting

  • The Final Guidance requires education institutions to report data in seven aggregate racial and ethnic categories:
    • Hispanic/Latino of any race; and for individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only
    • American Indian or Alaska Native
    • Asian
    • Black or African American
    • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
    • White
    • Two or more races
    These aggregate categories are consistent with staff data collected by EEOC.
  • The Final Guidance lists the following examples that may be helpful in understanding how the reporting will work:

    Scenario Ethnicity Race(s) Federal Reporting Category
    For Hispanic and any one race, report as “Hispanic”
    Hispanic/Latino Asian Hispanic/Latino of any race
    For Hispanic and any combination of races, report as “Hispanic”
  • Asian
  • Black or African American
  • Hispanic/Latino of any race
    For Non-Hispanic and any one race, list that race
    Not Hispanic/Latino Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
    For Non-Hispanic and any combination of races, report as “two or more races”
    Not Hispanic/Latino
  • American Indian or Alaska Native
  • White
  • Two or more races

    ED does not require aggregate reporting of race(s) for the Hispanic population due to burden and cost concerns. However, the two-part question format is still required. ED will require agencies to keep the original individual responses using the two-part question from staff and students for the length of time indicated in the instructions to each ED data collection. This will allow ED access to important information when needed for civil rights purposes.
  • If ED determines that additional information is needed to perform its functions effectively in a specific instance, ED will request this information from agencies.
  • The Final Guidance allows postsecondary institutions, but not elementary and secondary schools, to report “race and ethnicity unknown.” Experience has shown that a substantial number of college students refuse to identify a race and there is rarely a mechanism for college administrators to use observer identification. At the elementary and secondary school level, parents or guardians typically identify the race and ethnicity of their children and observer identification is required; therefore, “race or ethnicity unknown” or “missing data” cannot be used for federal reporting at those levels.


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