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Indicator 19: Undergraduate and Postbaccalaureate Enrollment
(Last Updated: July 2017)

In 2014, a greater percentage of undergraduates were female than male across all racial/ethnic groups. The gap between female and male enrollment was widest for Black students (62 vs. 38 percent) and American Indian/Alaska Native students (60 vs. 40 percent). The gap was narrowest for Asian students (52 vs. 48 percent).

This indicator examines the differences in total enrollment, enrollment by sex,1 and enrollment by institution type among different races/ethnicities for undergraduate and postbaccalaureate students enrolled in degree-granting postsecondary institutions.


Figure 19.1. Undergraduate student enrollment in degree-granting institutions, by race/ethnicity: Selected years, 2000 through 2014

Figure 19.1. Undergraduate student enrollment in degree-granting institutions, by race/ethnicity: Selected years, 2000 through 2014


NOTE: Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Prior to 2010, separate data on Asian students, Pacific Islander students, and students of Two or more races were not available. Degree-granting institutions grant associate's or higher degrees and participate in Title IV federal financial aid programs.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS),"Fall Enrollment Survey" (IPEDS-EF:90); and IPEDS Spring 2001 through Spring 2015, Enrollment component. See Digest of Education Statistics 2015, table 306.10.


Of the 17.3 million undergraduate students in fall 2014, about 9.6 million were White, 3.0 million were Hispanic, 2.4 million were Black, 1.0 million were Asian, 0.6 million were of Two or more races, 0.1 million were American Indian/Alaska Native, and 0.1 million were Pacific Islander. Between 2000 and 2014, Hispanic enrollment more than doubled (a 119 percent increase from 1.4 million to 3.0 million students), Black enrollment increased by 57 percent (from 1.5 million to 2.4 million students), and White enrollment increased by 7 percent (from 9.0 million to 9.6 million students). Despite the overall increases since 2000, the number of undergraduate students was lower in 2014 than in 2010 for most groups; the exceptions were Hispanic students and students of Two or more races, whose enrollment increased during this period.


Figure 19.2. Percentage distribution of total undergraduate student enrollment in degree-granting institutions, by race/ethnicity: Selected years, 2000 through 2014

Figure 19.2. Percentage distribution of total undergraduate student enrollment in degree-granting institutions, by race/ ethnicity: Selected years, 2000 through 2014


—Not available
# Rounds to zero
NOTE: Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Prior to 2010, separate data on Asian students, Pacific Islander students, and students of Two or more races were not available. Degree-granting institutions grant associate's or higher degrees and participate in Title IV federal financial aid programs. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding. Although rounded numbers are displayed, the figures are based on unrounded estimates.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS),"Fall Enrollment Survey" (IPEDS-EF:90); and IPEDS Spring 2001 through Spring 2015, Enrollment component. See Digest of Education Statistics 2015, table 306.10.


Between 2000 and 2014, undergraduate enrollment of some groups grew faster than other groups, changing the racial/ethnic distribution of students. Hispanic enrollment as a percentage of total enrollment increased from 10 to 18 percent between 2000 and 2014. Black enrollment as a percentage of total enrollment increased during this time as well, although Black enrollment as a percentage of total enrollment was slightly lower in 2014 than it was in 2010 (15 vs. 14 percent). White enrollment as a percentage of total enrollment decreased between 2000 and 2014 (from 70 to 57 percent). American Indian/Alaska Native enrollment also decreased slightly during this time.

Data on undergraduate enrollment for Asian students, Pacific Islander students, and students of Two or more races became available in 2010. Since 2010, the enrollment of Asian students and Pacific Islander students as a percentage of total enrollment has remained relatively steady (at around 6 percent and less than one-half of one percent, respectively). The enrollment of students of Two or more races as a percentage of total enrollment increased during this time (from 2 percent in 2010 to 3 percent in 2014).


Figure 19.3. Percentage of male and female undergraduate student fall enrollment in degree-granting institutions, by race/ethnicity: 2014

Figure 19.3. Percentage of male and female undergraduate student fall enrollment in degree-granting institutions, by race/ethnicity: 2014


NOTE: Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Degree-granting institutions grant associate's or higher degrees and participate in Title IV federal financial aid programs. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS),"Fall Enrollment Survey" (IPEDS-EF:90); and IPEDS Spring 2015, Enrollment component. See Digest of Education Statistics 2015, table 306.10.


In 2014, a greater percentage of undergraduates were female than male across all racial/ethnic groups. The gap between female and male enrollment was widest for Black students (62 vs. 38 percent) and American Indian/Alaska Native students (60 vs. 40 percent). The gap was narrowest for Asian students (52 vs. 48 percent).


19.4. Percentage distribution of undergraduate student enrollment in degree-granting institutions, by race/ethnicity of student and control of institution: 2014

19.4. Percentage distribution of undergraduate student enrollment in degree-granting institutions, by race/ ethnicity of student and control of institution: 2014


NOTE: Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Degree-granting institutions grant associate's or higher degrees and participate in Title IV federal financial aid programs. Details may not sum to totals because of rounding.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), Spring 2015, Enrollment component. See Digest of Education Statistics 2015, table 306.50.


In 2014, some 77 percent of undergraduate students attended public institutions, 16 percent attended private nonprofit institutions, and 7 percent attended private for-profit institutions. The percentages of students attending public institutions were above average for students who were Hispanic (83 percent), Asian (81 percent), and American Indian/Alaska Native (80 percent); the percentages for all other racial/ethnic groups were lower than the average. The percentage of White students attending private nonprofit institutions (18 percent) was greater than the average for all students; the percentages were lower than the average for students from all other racial/ethnic groups. The percentages of students attending private for-profit institutions were higher than the average for students who were Pacific Islander (18 percent), Black (15 percent), of Two or more races (12 percent), and American Indian/Alaska Native (9 percent).


Figure 19.5. Postbaccalaureate student enrollment in degree-granting institutions, by race/ethnicity: 2000 through 2014

Figure 19.5. Postbaccalaureate student enrollment in degree-granting institutions, by race/ethnicity: 2000 through 2014


NOTE: Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Prior to 2010, separate data on Asian students, Pacific Islander students, and students of Two or more races were not available. Degree-granting institutions grant associate's or higher degrees and participate in Title IV federal financial aid programs.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS),"Fall Enrollment Survey" (IPEDS-EF:90); and IPEDS Spring 2001 through Spring 2015, Enrollment component. See Digest of Education Statistics 2015, table 306.10.


Of the 2.9 million postbaccalaureate students enrolled in fall 2014, some 1.7 million were White, 366,000 were Black, 230,000 were Hispanic, 191,000 were Asian, 63,000 were of Two or more races, 14,000 were American Indian/Alaska Native, and 7,000 were Pacific Islander. Between 2000 and 2014, both Black and Hispanic enrollment more than doubled, with Black enrollment increasing from 181,000 to 366,000 students and Hispanic enrollment increasing from 111,000 to 230,000 students. White enrollment was 12 percent higher in 2014 than in 2000 (1.7 million vs. 1.5 million students) and American Indian/Alaska Native enrollment was 13 percent higher (14,000 vs. 13,000 students). More recently, the number of postbaccalaureate students was higher in 2014 than in 2010 for most groups; the exceptions were White and American Indian/Alaska Native students, whose enrollment decreased during this period.


Figure 19.6. Percentage distribution of total postbaccalaureate student enrollment in degree-granting institutions, by race/ethnicity: Selected years, 2000 through 2014

Figure 19.6. Percentage distribution of total postbaccalaureate student enrollment in degree-granting institutions, by race/ethnicity: Selected years, 2000 through 2014


—Not available.
# Rounds to zero.
NOTE: Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Prior to 2010, separate data on Asian students, Pacific Islander students, and students of Two or more races were not available. Degree-granting institutions grant associate's or higher degrees and participate in Title IV federal financial aid programs. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding. Although rounded numbers are displayed, the figures are based on unrounded estimates.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS),"Fall Enrollment Survey" (IPEDS-EF:90); and IPEDS Spring 2001 through Spring 2015, Enrollment component. See Digest of Education Statistics 2015, table 306.10.


Between 2000 and 2014, postbaccalaureate enrollment of some groups grew faster than other groups, changing the racial/ethnic distribution of students. Black enrollment as a percentage of total enrollment increased from 9 to 14 percent during this time, and Hispanic enrollment increased from 6 to 9 percent. Conversely, White enrollment as a percentage of total enrollment decreased from 77 to 66 percent between 2000 and 2014. American Indian/Alaska Native also decreased slightly during this time. Since 2010, the enrollment of Pacific Islander students as a percentage of total enrollment has remained relatively steady (at around one-half of one percent). The enrollment of Asian students as a percentage of total enrollment increased from 7 to 8 percent during this time, and enrollment of students of Two or more races increased from 1 to 2 percent.


Figure 19.7. Percentage distribution of male and female postbaccalaureate student enrollment in degree-granting institutions, by race/ethnicity: 2014

Figure 19.7. Percentage distribution of male and female postbaccalaureate student enrollment in degree-granting institutions, by race/ethnicity: 2014


NOTE: Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Degree-granting institutions grant associate's or higher degrees and participate in Title IV federal financial aid programs. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS),"Fall Enrollment Survey" (IPEDS-EF:90); and IPEDS Spring 2015, Enrollment component. See Digest of Education Statistics 2015, table 306.10.


In 2014, a greater percentage of postbaccalaureate students were female than male across all racial/ethnic groups. The gap between female and male enrollment was widest for Black students (70 vs. 30 percent) and narrowest for Asian students (56 vs. 44 percent).


Figure 19.8. Percentage distribution of postbaccalaureate student enrollment in degree-granting institutions, by race/ethnicity of student and control of institution: 2014

Figure 19.8. Percentage distribution of postbaccalaureate student enrollment in degree-granting institutions, by race/ ethnicity of student and control of institution: 2014


NOTE: Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Degree-granting institutions grant associate's or higher degrees and participate in Title IV federal financial aid programs. Details may not sum to totals because of rounding.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), Spring 2015, Enrollment component. See Digest of Education Statistics 2015, table 306.50.


In 2014, about 48 percent of postbaccalaureate students attended public institutions, 42 percent attended private nonprofit institutions, and 10 percent attended private for-profit institutions. The percentages of students attending public institutions were above average for American Indian/Alaska Native (51 percent) and White (50 percent) students; the percentages for all other racial/ethnic groups were lower than the average. The percentages of Asian (49 percent) and White (43 percent) students attending private nonprofit institutions were greater than the average for all students; the percentages were lower than the average for students from all other racial/ethnic groups. The percentages of students attending private for-profit institutions were above average for students who were Pacific Islander (28 percent), Black (27 percent), American Indian/Alaska Native (16 percent), of Two or more races (14 percent), and Hispanic (11 percent).

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1 Total enrollment and overall enrollment for males and females include nonresident aliens, who are not included in the totals by race/ethnicity. A nonresident alien is a person who is not a citizen or national of the United States and who is in this country on a visa or temporary basis and does not have the right to remain indefinitely.