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Indicator 23: Hate Crime Incidents at Postsecondary Institutions
(Last Updated: May 2017)

Out of the 804 total hate crimes reported on college campuses in 2014, the most common type of hate crime was intimidation (343 incidents), followed by destruction, damage, and vandalism (327 incidents), and simple assault (61 incidents). Race and sexual orientation were the categories of motivating bias most frequently associated with hate crimes.

A 2008 amendment to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security and Campus Crime Statistics Act (see Criminal Incidents at Postsecondary Institutions; Indicator 22) requires postsecondary institutions to report hate crime incidents. A hate crime is a criminal offense that is motivated, in whole or in part, by the perpetrator’s bias against the victim(s) based on their race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability. In addition to reporting data on hate-related incidents for the existing seven types of crimes (criminal homicide, including murder and negligent manslaughter; sex offenses, forcible and nonforcible; robbery; aggravated assault; burglary; motor vehicle theft; and arson), the 2008 amendment to the Clery Act requires campuses to report hate- related incidents on four additional types of crimes: simple assault; larceny; intimidation; and destruction, damage, and vandalism.

In 2014, there were 804 criminal incidents classified as hate crimes that occurred on the campuses of public and private 2-year and 4-year postsecondary institutions that were reported to police and security agencies (table 23.1). The most common type of hate crime reported by institutions was intimidation (343 incidents), followed by destruction, damage, and vandalism (327 incidents; hereafter referred to as “vandalism” in this indicator), simple assault (61 incidents), burglary (28 incidents), larceny (18 incidents), aggravated assault (16 incidents), forcible sex offenses (8 incidents), robbery (2 incidents), and arson (1 incident; table 23.1 and figure 23.1). For several other types of on-campus crimes—murder, nonforcible sex offenses, and motor vehicle theft—there were no incidents classified as hate crimes in 2014.


Figure 23.1. Number of on-campus hate crimes at degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by selected types of crime: 2010 through 2014

Figure 23.1. Number of on-campus hate crimes at degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by selected types of crime: 2010 through 2014

1 Willfully or maliciously destroying, damaging, defacing, or otherwise injuring real or personal property without the consent of the owner or the person having custody or control of it.
2 Placing another person in reasonable fear of bodily harm through the use of threatening words and/or other conduct, but without displaying a weapon or subjecting the victim to actual physical attack.
3 A physical attack by one person upon another where neither the offender displays a weapon, nor the victim suffers obvious severe or aggravated bodily injury involving apparent broken bones, loss of teeth, possible internal injury, severe laceration, or loss of consciousness.
4 The unlawful taking, carrying, leading, or riding away of property from the possession of another.
5 Any sexual act directed against another person forcibly and/or against that person’s will.
6 Attack upon a person for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury.
7 Unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or theft.
8 Taking or attempting to take anything of value using actual or threatened force or violence.
NOTE: Data are for degree-granting institutions, which are institutions that grant associate’s or higher degrees and participate in Title IV federal financial aid programs. Some institutions that report Clery Act data—specifically, non-degree-granting institutions and institutions outside of the 50 states and the District of Columbia—are excluded. A hate crime is a criminal offense that is motivated, in whole or in part, by the perpetrator’s bias against a group of people based on their race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability. Includes on-campus incidents involving students, staff, and on-campus guests. Excludes off-campus crimes and arrests even if they involve college students or staff. Arson is not shown in the figure; there was 1 hate-related arson incident reported in 2011 and 1 reported in 2014.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, Campus Safety and Security Reporting System, 2010 through 2014.


The distribution of reported on-campus hate crimes in 2014 was similar to the distributions in previous years. Vandalism, intimidation, and simple assault constituted the three most common types of hate crimes reported by institutions in every year from 2010 to 2014. For example, of the 778 hate crimes in 2013, there were 357 vandalisms, 296 intimidations, and 91 simple assaults. Also similar to 2014, there were no reported incidents of murder, nonforcible sex offenses, or motor vehicle theft classified as hate crimes in any year from 2010 to 2013.

Three out of five of the total reported on-campus hate crimes in 2014 were motivated by either race or sexual orientation. Race was the reported motivating bias in 35 percent of hate crimes (280 incidents), while sexual orientation was the reported motivating bias in 25 percent of hate crimes (200 incidents). The other two out of five hate crimes were motivated by religion (112 incidents), gender (102 incidents), ethnicity (76 incidents), gender identity (24 incidents), and disability (10 incidents).

Similar to the overall pattern, the most frequent categories of motivating bias associated with the three most common types of hate crimes reported in 2014—intimidation, vandalism, and simple assault—were race and sexual orientation. Race- related hate crimes were the most frequent categories of motivating bias associated with intimidation and vandalism, accounting for 33 percent of reported intimidations classified as hate crimes (112 incidents), and 36 percent of reported vandalisms (118 incidents; figure 23.2 and table 23.1). The most frequent category of bias associated with simple assault was sexual orientation, which was reported as the motivating bias for 38 percent of these crimes (23 incidents). Sexual orientation was the second most frequent motivating bias reported for intimidations (23 percent; 78 incidents) and vandalism (27 percent; 88 incidents).


Figure 23.2. Number of on-campus hate crimes at degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by selected types of crime and category of bias motivating the crime: 2014

Figure 23.2. Number of on-campus hate crimes at degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by selected types of crime and category of bias motivating the crime: 2014

1 Placing another person in reasonable fear of bodily harm through the use of threatening words and/or other conduct, but without displaying a weapon or subjecting the victim to actual physical attack.
2 Willfully or maliciously destroying, damaging, defacing, or otherwise injuring real or personal property without the consent of the owner or the person having custody or control of it.
3 A physical attack by one person upon another where neither the offender displays a weapon, nor the victim suffers obvious severe or aggravated bodily injury involving apparent broken bones, loss of teeth, possible internal injury, severe laceration, or loss of consciousness.
NOTE: Data are for degree-granting institutions, which are institutions that grant associate’s or higher degrees and participate in Title IV federal financial aid programs. Some institutions that report Clery Act data—specifically, non-degree-granting institutions and institutions outside of the 50 states and the District of Columbia—are excluded. A hate crime is a criminal offense that is motivated, in whole or in part, by the perpetrator’s bias against a group of people based on their race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability. Includes on-campus incidents involving students, staff, and on-campus guests. Excludes off-campus crimes and arrests even if they involve college students or staff.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, Campus Safety and Security Reporting System, 2014.


While the number of hate crimes reported in 2014 was highest at 4-year public and 4-year private nonprofit postsecondary institutions (307 and 300 total incidents, respectively), these institutions also enroll the largest numbers of students and had the largest number of students living on campus. Public 2-year institutions, which also enroll a large number of students, had the third highest number of reported hate crimes (164 incidents). The frequency of crimes and the most commonly reported categories of bias were similar across these types of postsecondary institutions.


This indicator has been updated to include 2014 data. For more information: Table 23.1, and http://ope.ed.gov/security/.