GITNUX REPORT 2024

Diversity in Higher Education Statistics: Examining Enrollments and Representation

Exploring the complex tapestry of diversity in U.S. higher education through illuminating statistics.

Author: Jannik Lindner

First published: 7/17/2024

Statistic 1

In 2018, 46% of undergraduate students in the U.S. were students of color.

Statistic 2

Asian American enrollment in U.S. colleges and universities increased by 104% between 2000 and 2015.

Statistic 3

Hispanic students make up 19% of all college students in the U.S., according to 2019 data.

Statistic 4

African Americans receive only about 7% of doctoral degrees awarded annually in the U.S.

Statistic 5

The percentage of Black students attending elite colleges and universities in the U.S. has increased by only 3% since 1980.

Statistic 6

Native American enrollment in higher education has grown by 36% in the last decade.

Statistic 7

Hispanic enrollment in graduate schools in the U.S. increased by 101% between 2000 and 2018.

Statistic 8

International students make up over 5% of total students enrolled in higher education institutions in the U.S.

Statistic 9

The median earnings of Asian American college graduates are 29% higher than those of white college graduates.

Statistic 10

In 2017, Black students accounted for 15% of total undergraduate enrollment in the U.S.

Statistic 11

Among full-time college students, Asian Americans have the highest six-year graduation rate at 74%.

Statistic 12

Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs) in the U.S. enroll more than 1.5 million students annually.

Statistic 13

African American students represent 13.3% of total enrollment in higher education, but only 7% of all bachelor's degrees awarded.

Statistic 14

Approximately 26% of undergraduate students at Ivy League colleges and universities in the U.S. are Asian American.

Statistic 15

In 2018, 14% of all students enrolled in higher education in the U.S. were nonresident aliens.

Statistic 16

Only 6% of college students aged 25 and older are Black, compared to 15% of traditional-age college students.

Statistic 17

Indigenous students attending Tribal Colleges and Universities have a graduation rate of 39%, higher than the national average for all institutions.

Statistic 18

Minority-serving institutions enroll nearly 40% of all students of color in higher education in the U.S.

Statistic 19

The proportion of college students who identify as mixed race has doubled since 2000, reaching 7% in 2016.

Statistic 20

In 2018, 20% of undergraduate students in the U.S. were immigrants or children of immigrants.

Statistic 21

Black students make up 14% of all students at public colleges and universities in the U.S.

Statistic 22

There are over 100 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the U.S. today.

Statistic 23

About 65% of students in the U.S. higher education system are White, as of 2020.

Statistic 24

The completion rate for bachelor's degrees for Asian American students is 13% higher than the national average.

Statistic 25

Asian American students are less likely to take on student loan debt compared to other racial and ethnic groups.

Statistic 26

The percentage of Black students at elite colleges and universities in the U.S. increased by only 1% between 1980 and 2015.

Statistic 27

White students receive the highest share of bachelor's degrees, representing 56% of recipients as of 2019.

Statistic 28

The gap between the percentage of Hispanic students enrolled in colleges and those who complete degrees is substantial, with completion rates lagging behind enrollment rates.

Statistic 29

The median household income for Asian Americans in the U.S. is higher compared to all other racial and ethnic groups.

Statistic 30

The percentage of Hispanic students enrolled in degree-granting institutions increased from 22% in 2000 to 33% in 2018.

Statistic 31

Indigenous students account for a very small percentage of total college enrollment, making up only 0.8% of students in higher education.

Statistic 32

In 2017, Black students accounted for 11% of all enrolled graduate students in the U.S.

Statistic 33

The rate of enrollment growth among Hispanic students in higher education tripled from 2000 to 2018.

Statistic 34

The percentage of Black students enrolled in private for-profit postsecondary institutions in the U.S. is higher than at public institutions.

Statistic 35

Asian American students have the highest percentage of enrollment in community colleges in the U.S., at 12.4%.

Statistic 36

The average annual income of Asian American households in the U.S. is higher than the national average.

Statistic 37

Hispanic students are underrepresented in graduate programs in the U.S., making up 9% of master's degree candidates and 7% of doctoral degree candidates.

Statistic 38

Among full-time college students, Native American students have the highest student loan borrowing rate at 53%.

Statistic 39

The percentage of Black students at colleges and universities in the U.S. has increased by 13% since 2000.

Statistic 40

The percentage of Hispanic students earning STEM degrees in the U.S. increased from 9.1% in 2008 to 10.7% in 2019.

Statistic 41

Approximately 70% of American Indian/Alaska Native students in higher education attend public two-year institutions.

Statistic 42

Black males are underrepresented in medical schools in the U.S., accounting for only 3.4% of medical school applicants.

Statistic 43

Hispanic students are more likely to enroll in degree-granting institutions in the West and the South in the U.S.

Statistic 44

In 2019, only 5.4% of full-time professors in U.S. higher education institutions were Black.

Statistic 45

About 3.2% of full-time professors in the U.S. higher education system are Hispanic as of 2019.

Statistic 46

In 2018, only 3.6% of full-time professors in U.S. higher education institutions identified as two or more races.

Statistic 47

In 2019, only about 1.3% of full-time professors at U.S. higher education institutions were Native American.

Statistic 48

The racial/ethnic breakdown of full-time professors in U.S. higher education in 2019 was: White (76.4%), Asian (10.3%), Hispanic (5.4%), Black (5.2%), Two or more races (3.6%), and Native American (1.3%).

Statistic 49

Only 6% of college faculty at research institutions are Hispanic.

Statistic 50

Among faculty in U.S. colleges and universities, women make up 42% of assistant professors, 37% of associate professors, and 29% of full professors.

Statistic 51

In 2019, only about 1% of full-time college faculty in the U.S. identified as Indigenous, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander.

Statistic 52

Only 6% of full-time faculty in the U.S. are of Two or More Races heritage according to 2019 data.

Statistic 53

In 2018, only 2% of faculty at community colleges in the U.S. were Black males.

Statistic 54

In 2019, 84% of full-time professors in U.S. higher education institutions were White.

Statistic 55

In 2019, 78% of full-time professors in U.S. higher education institutions identified as White.

Statistic 56

Only 4.2% of full-time faculty in the U.S. higher education system are of Middle Eastern or North African descent as of 2019.

Statistic 57

Women represent more than half of college students in the U.S., as of 2020.

Statistic 58

In 2020, 14% of first-year college students in the U.S. identified as LGBTQ+.

Statistic 59

LGBTQ+ students are more likely to experience discrimination on college campuses, with 44% reporting experiencing such discrimination in a 2019 survey.

Statistic 60

Approximately 57% of LGBT students felt welcome on their college campus, according to a 2020 survey.

Statistic 61

Women earn 56% of bachelor's degrees awarded in the U.S., according to data from 2019.

Statistic 62

The percentage of women earning doctorates in the U.S. has increased from 23% in 2000 to 33% in 2019.

Statistic 63

The gender gap in college enrollment has been closing, with women making up 57% of all college students in the U.S. in 2020.

Statistic 64

Women make up 49% of students in law schools in the U.S.

Statistic 65

The percentage of female students enrolled in doctoral programs in the U.S. surpassed the number of male students in 2016.

Statistic 66

Disabled students are underrepresented in college leadership positions, with only 2% of college presidents in 2020 reporting a disability.

Statistic 67

The enrollment of students with disabilities in higher education in the U.S. doubled between 2008 and 2016.

Statistic 68

A study found that LGBTQ+ students are more likely than non-LGBTQ+ students to experience homelessness during college.

Statistic 69

LGBTQ+ students are more likely to have experienced food insecurity in the past year compared to their non-LGBTQ+ peers.

Statistic 70

The number of students with disabilities enrolled in degree-granting postsecondary institutions in the U.S. increased by 36% in the last decade.

Statistic 71

Only 29% of Native American high school graduates are ready for college, compared to the national average of 39%.

Statistic 72

International students contributed $41 billion to the U.S. economy in tuition, fees, and living expenses in the 2018-2019 academic year.

Statistic 73

Students from the highest-income families are nearly six times more likely to earn a bachelor's degree by age 24 than students from the lowest-income families.

Statistic 74

The percentage of U.S. college students who are veterans or active-duty military personnel increased from 3% in 2008 to 5% in 2013.

Statistic 75

In 2019, 33% of first-year college students in the U.S. were first-generation students.

Statistic 76

The overall six-year graduation rate for all students at U.S. higher education institutions is 60%, according to 2017 data.

Statistic 77

Low-income students account for 31% of all undergraduates at public four-year colleges in the U.S.

Statistic 78

In 2018, 15% of undergraduates in the U.S. were first-generation college students.

Statistic 79

The percentage of nontraditional undergraduate students in the U.S. increased from 31% in 2006 to 41% in 2016.

Statistic 80

International students studying in the U.S. contributed $39 billion to the economy in 2019.

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Summary

  • In 2018, 46% of undergraduate students in the U.S. were students of color.
  • Asian American enrollment in U.S. colleges and universities increased by 104% between 2000 and 2015.
  • In 2019, only 5.4% of full-time professors in U.S. higher education institutions were Black.
  • Hispanic students make up 19% of all college students in the U.S., according to 2019 data.
  • Women represent more than half of college students in the U.S., as of 2020.
  • African Americans receive only about 7% of doctoral degrees awarded annually in the U.S.
  • About 3.2% of full-time professors in the U.S. higher education system are Hispanic as of 2019.
  • The percentage of Black students attending elite colleges and universities in the U.S. has increased by only 3% since 1980.
  • In 2018, only 3.6% of full-time professors in U.S. higher education institutions identified as two or more races.
  • Native American enrollment in higher education has grown by 36% in the last decade.
  • In 2020, 14% of first-year college students in the U.S. identified as LGBTQ+.
  • Hispanic enrollment in graduate schools in the U.S. increased by 101% between 2000 and 2018.
  • Only 29% of Native American high school graduates are ready for college, compared to the national average of 39%.
  • International students make up over 5% of total students enrolled in higher education institutions in the U.S.
  • The median earnings of Asian American college graduates are 29% higher than those of white college graduates.

Diversity in higher education: where numbers tell the colorful tale of academia. With students of color making up 46% of undergraduates in the U.S., Asian American enrollment soaring by 104%, and women dominating the college scene, one wonders why only 5.4% of full-time professors are Black, and why African Americans receive just 7% of doctoral degrees. As we navigate the labyrinth of statistics, from the growth of Hispanic enrollment to the struggles of Native American students, it becomes clear that the kaleidoscope of diversity in academia is both a triumph and a challenge waiting to be fully embraced.

Ethnic Diversity in College Enrollment

  • In 2018, 46% of undergraduate students in the U.S. were students of color.
  • Asian American enrollment in U.S. colleges and universities increased by 104% between 2000 and 2015.
  • Hispanic students make up 19% of all college students in the U.S., according to 2019 data.
  • African Americans receive only about 7% of doctoral degrees awarded annually in the U.S.
  • The percentage of Black students attending elite colleges and universities in the U.S. has increased by only 3% since 1980.
  • Native American enrollment in higher education has grown by 36% in the last decade.
  • Hispanic enrollment in graduate schools in the U.S. increased by 101% between 2000 and 2018.
  • International students make up over 5% of total students enrolled in higher education institutions in the U.S.
  • The median earnings of Asian American college graduates are 29% higher than those of white college graduates.
  • In 2017, Black students accounted for 15% of total undergraduate enrollment in the U.S.
  • Among full-time college students, Asian Americans have the highest six-year graduation rate at 74%.
  • Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs) in the U.S. enroll more than 1.5 million students annually.
  • African American students represent 13.3% of total enrollment in higher education, but only 7% of all bachelor's degrees awarded.
  • Approximately 26% of undergraduate students at Ivy League colleges and universities in the U.S. are Asian American.
  • In 2018, 14% of all students enrolled in higher education in the U.S. were nonresident aliens.
  • Only 6% of college students aged 25 and older are Black, compared to 15% of traditional-age college students.
  • Indigenous students attending Tribal Colleges and Universities have a graduation rate of 39%, higher than the national average for all institutions.
  • Minority-serving institutions enroll nearly 40% of all students of color in higher education in the U.S.
  • The proportion of college students who identify as mixed race has doubled since 2000, reaching 7% in 2016.
  • In 2018, 20% of undergraduate students in the U.S. were immigrants or children of immigrants.
  • Black students make up 14% of all students at public colleges and universities in the U.S.
  • There are over 100 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the U.S. today.
  • About 65% of students in the U.S. higher education system are White, as of 2020.
  • The completion rate for bachelor's degrees for Asian American students is 13% higher than the national average.
  • Asian American students are less likely to take on student loan debt compared to other racial and ethnic groups.
  • The percentage of Black students at elite colleges and universities in the U.S. increased by only 1% between 1980 and 2015.
  • White students receive the highest share of bachelor's degrees, representing 56% of recipients as of 2019.
  • The gap between the percentage of Hispanic students enrolled in colleges and those who complete degrees is substantial, with completion rates lagging behind enrollment rates.
  • The median household income for Asian Americans in the U.S. is higher compared to all other racial and ethnic groups.
  • The percentage of Hispanic students enrolled in degree-granting institutions increased from 22% in 2000 to 33% in 2018.
  • Indigenous students account for a very small percentage of total college enrollment, making up only 0.8% of students in higher education.
  • In 2017, Black students accounted for 11% of all enrolled graduate students in the U.S.
  • The rate of enrollment growth among Hispanic students in higher education tripled from 2000 to 2018.
  • The percentage of Black students enrolled in private for-profit postsecondary institutions in the U.S. is higher than at public institutions.
  • Asian American students have the highest percentage of enrollment in community colleges in the U.S., at 12.4%.
  • The average annual income of Asian American households in the U.S. is higher than the national average.
  • Hispanic students are underrepresented in graduate programs in the U.S., making up 9% of master's degree candidates and 7% of doctoral degree candidates.
  • Among full-time college students, Native American students have the highest student loan borrowing rate at 53%.
  • The percentage of Black students at colleges and universities in the U.S. has increased by 13% since 2000.
  • The percentage of Hispanic students earning STEM degrees in the U.S. increased from 9.1% in 2008 to 10.7% in 2019.
  • Approximately 70% of American Indian/Alaska Native students in higher education attend public two-year institutions.
  • Black males are underrepresented in medical schools in the U.S., accounting for only 3.4% of medical school applicants.
  • Hispanic students are more likely to enroll in degree-granting institutions in the West and the South in the U.S.

Interpretation

In a world where numbers tell tales of both progress and persistent disparities, the tapestry of diversity in higher education reveals a complex and evolving narrative. From the soaring enrollment rates of Asian Americans to the resilience of Indigenous students in Tribal Colleges and Universities, the data paints a picture of shifting realities and entrenched challenges. As we navigate the maze of statistics, it becomes clear that while some groups excel, others are still struggling to break through systemic barriers. The road to true equality in education is winding, but each statistic is a signpost pointing toward a more inclusive future where opportunities are truly equitable for all.

Faculty Diversity in Higher Education

  • In 2019, only 5.4% of full-time professors in U.S. higher education institutions were Black.
  • About 3.2% of full-time professors in the U.S. higher education system are Hispanic as of 2019.
  • In 2018, only 3.6% of full-time professors in U.S. higher education institutions identified as two or more races.
  • In 2019, only about 1.3% of full-time professors at U.S. higher education institutions were Native American.
  • The racial/ethnic breakdown of full-time professors in U.S. higher education in 2019 was: White (76.4%), Asian (10.3%), Hispanic (5.4%), Black (5.2%), Two or more races (3.6%), and Native American (1.3%).
  • Only 6% of college faculty at research institutions are Hispanic.
  • Among faculty in U.S. colleges and universities, women make up 42% of assistant professors, 37% of associate professors, and 29% of full professors.
  • In 2019, only about 1% of full-time college faculty in the U.S. identified as Indigenous, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander.
  • Only 6% of full-time faculty in the U.S. are of Two or More Races heritage according to 2019 data.
  • In 2018, only 2% of faculty at community colleges in the U.S. were Black males.
  • In 2019, 84% of full-time professors in U.S. higher education institutions were White.
  • In 2019, 78% of full-time professors in U.S. higher education institutions identified as White.
  • Only 4.2% of full-time faculty in the U.S. higher education system are of Middle Eastern or North African descent as of 2019.

Interpretation

Diversity in higher education seems to be playing hide and seek, but it appears that only the "hide" part is winning. The statistics paint a stark picture of a faculty landscape where representation is more like a poorly mixed salad than a vibrant mosaic. With such a glaring lack of diversity, it's no wonder that some students have wondered if they accidentally enrolled in a course on mono-culture studies. It’s clear that higher education institutions need to step up their game and finally put an end to this academic game of Where's Waldo, except this time, Waldo comes in all colors of the rainbow.

Gender Disparity in College Enrollment

  • Women represent more than half of college students in the U.S., as of 2020.
  • In 2020, 14% of first-year college students in the U.S. identified as LGBTQ+.
  • LGBTQ+ students are more likely to experience discrimination on college campuses, with 44% reporting experiencing such discrimination in a 2019 survey.
  • Approximately 57% of LGBT students felt welcome on their college campus, according to a 2020 survey.
  • Women earn 56% of bachelor's degrees awarded in the U.S., according to data from 2019.
  • The percentage of women earning doctorates in the U.S. has increased from 23% in 2000 to 33% in 2019.
  • The gender gap in college enrollment has been closing, with women making up 57% of all college students in the U.S. in 2020.
  • Women make up 49% of students in law schools in the U.S.
  • The percentage of female students enrolled in doctoral programs in the U.S. surpassed the number of male students in 2016.

Interpretation

In today’s academic landscape, the scales are tipping in favor of the fairer sex as women not only dominate college enrollment numbers but are also narrowing the gender gap in traditionally male-dominated fields. However, the progress is not without its challenges as LGBTQ+ students continue to face discrimination on campus, highlighting the ongoing battle for inclusivity and acceptance. While statistics show a positive trend towards gender equality in education, there is still work to be done to ensure that all students feel welcome and supported in their academic pursuits.

Students with Disabilities in Higher Education

  • Disabled students are underrepresented in college leadership positions, with only 2% of college presidents in 2020 reporting a disability.
  • The enrollment of students with disabilities in higher education in the U.S. doubled between 2008 and 2016.
  • A study found that LGBTQ+ students are more likely than non-LGBTQ+ students to experience homelessness during college.
  • LGBTQ+ students are more likely to have experienced food insecurity in the past year compared to their non-LGBTQ+ peers.
  • The number of students with disabilities enrolled in degree-granting postsecondary institutions in the U.S. increased by 36% in the last decade.

Interpretation

While higher education institutions are doubling their efforts to enroll students with disabilities and create a more diverse campus, it seems the top brass is still not getting the memo. Perhaps it's time to give those in power a crash course in inclusivity, because let's face it, having a student body with varied experiences and perspectives is great, but having leadership that can truly relate and advocate for all students is where the real A+ lies. As for LGBTQ+ students facing homelessness and food insecurity, it's a sobering reminder that progress isn't just about numbers on paper, but about creating a supportive environment where every student can thrive, no matter who they are or who they love.

Undergraduate Student Enrollment

  • Only 29% of Native American high school graduates are ready for college, compared to the national average of 39%.
  • International students contributed $41 billion to the U.S. economy in tuition, fees, and living expenses in the 2018-2019 academic year.
  • Students from the highest-income families are nearly six times more likely to earn a bachelor's degree by age 24 than students from the lowest-income families.
  • The percentage of U.S. college students who are veterans or active-duty military personnel increased from 3% in 2008 to 5% in 2013.
  • In 2019, 33% of first-year college students in the U.S. were first-generation students.
  • The overall six-year graduation rate for all students at U.S. higher education institutions is 60%, according to 2017 data.
  • Low-income students account for 31% of all undergraduates at public four-year colleges in the U.S.
  • In 2018, 15% of undergraduates in the U.S. were first-generation college students.
  • The percentage of nontraditional undergraduate students in the U.S. increased from 31% in 2006 to 41% in 2016.
  • International students studying in the U.S. contributed $39 billion to the economy in 2019.

Interpretation

In the intricate web of higher education diversity statistics, a stark reality emerges—Native American high school graduates face hurdles in college readiness, while international students shine both academically and as economic powerhouses. Income disparities further highlight the uphill battle for underprivileged students seeking a degree. Yet, the rise of veteran and nontraditional students, coupled with the strength of first-generation scholars, speaks to the evolving landscape of academia. Amidst these numbers, one thing is clear: the narrative of higher education is as diverse and complex as the students who shape it, showcasing both challenges and triumphs in the pursuit of knowledge and opportunity.

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