Skip to Content

Office of Institutional Research, Assessment, and Analytics


DESCRIPTOR: Race/Ethnicity

DEFINITION: Categories of student and faculty race or ethnic origin as defined by the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES).  Racial/Ethnic designations as they are used here do not denote scientific definitions of anthropological origins. If a student classifies himself/herself in more than one racial category, the institution must report only one of the classifications. Resident aliens, who are not citizens or nationals of the United States and who have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence (and who hold alien registration receipt cards - Form 1-551/155), are to be reported in the appropriate racial/ethnic categories along with United States citizens.


  • 1 = Non-Resident Alien
    2 = Black/African American
    3 = American Indian/Alaskan Native
    4 = Asian or Pacific Islander
    5 = Hispanic
    6 = White/Non-Hispanic
    7 = Unknown



  • Non-Resident Alien: A person who is not a citizen or national of the United States, who is in this country on a visa or temporary basis and does not have the right to remain indefinitely.

    Black/African American: A person having origins in any black racial groups of Africa (except those of Hispanic origin).

    American Indian or Alaskan Native: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North America, or who maintains cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community recognition.

    Asian or Pacific Islander: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, or Pacific Islands. This includes people from China, Japan, Korea, the Philippine Islands, Samoa, India, and Vietnam.

    Hispanic: A person of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.

    White, Non-Hispanic: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, North Africa, or the Middle East (except those of Hispanic origin).

    Unknown: This category is used ONLY if a student did not select a racial/ethnic designation, and the postsecondary institution finds it impossible to place the student in one of the aforementioned categories during established enrollment/employment procedures, or any post-enrollment/employment identification or verification process.

SOURCE: CHE Enrollment, Completions, and Faculty Files

EXAMPLE: To select students or faculty who are Hispanic, type RACE='5' in the WHERE clause.