Welcome! Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education provides a data-informed foundation for those working to close persistent equity gaps by providing a glimpse into the educational pathways of today’s college students and the educators who serve them.

Explore the Report's Findings

This report examines data across 11 chapters that provide a foundation from which the higher education community and its many stakeholders can draw insights, raise new questions, and make the case for why race and ethnicity still matter in American higher education. Download the Report >

Featured Content

Essays Illuminate Complexities around Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education

The data presented in Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education: A Status Report provides a comprehensive review of race and ethnicity in higher education. The report also includes four invited scholarly essays which explore key issues in higher education beyond what the data alone can show. In their essay, Walter Allen, Chantal Jones, and Channel McLewis provide insight into the problematic nature of racial and ethnic categories in higher education. Cecilia Rios-Aguilar and Regina Deil-Amen examine the role of community colleges in serving students of color. Sandy Baum unpacks the unique circumstances of student debt for African Americans. Kimberly Griffin explores the efforts that institutions can undertake to affect faculty diversity. Building upon the data presented in this report, these essays give further insight into race and ethnicity in higher education.

Featured Data

Racial and Ethnic Diversity Among College Faculty, Staff, and Administrators Still Doesn’t Reflect That of Today’s College Students

People of color make up a larger share of postsecondary students than ever before. In 2016, 45.2 percent of undergraduate students and 32.0 percent of graduate students were people of color. Even so, college faculty, staff, and administrators remain predominantly White. In 2016, people of color held only 21.1 percent of full-time faculty positions, and faculty of color were less likely than White faculty to hold full professorships. Among college and university administrators, chief student affairs and student life officers were the most diverse positions on campus, with a little more than one-quarter of individuals in these positions identifying as a racial or ethnic group other than White. Although the non-White share of college and university presidents more than doubled between 1986 and 2016, people of color still held only 16.8 percent of all presidencies in 2016. Women of color held only 5.1 percent of all presidencies.


of full-time faculty
were people of color


of college and
university presidents
were women of color

View the Data Sources

This report utilizes data from 11 principal sources, including the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau, and non-federal organizations.

Learn More About the Report

This report examines over 200 indicators, looking at who gains access to a host of educational environments and experiences, and how trajectories differ, by race and ethnicity.

ACE Unveils 'Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education: A Status Report'

Lorelle Espinosa, ACE vice president of research, and Jonathan Turk, ACE associate director of research, explain why ACE’s report on the state of race and ethnicity in higher education today is critical for those working to close persistent equity gaps – and make the case for why race still matters in American higher education.