A new study by the James Irvine Foundation’s Campus Diversity Initiative takes a first step at answering the “who they are” question. The report, ” ‘Unknown’ Students on College Campuses: An Exploratory Analysis,” examines undergraduates at three private colleges in California and finds that a “sizable” number of those who declined to identify their race were white. That means that on the three campuses, the study found, the proportion of enrolled students who were white rose by anywhere from 10 to nearly 30 percent.Horrors!
“As many campuses report progress toward compositional diversity by touting the presence of either underrepresented minority students or students of color generally, our findings suggest that the racial/ethnic composition can be distorted when there is a large unknown population,” the authors write. “Even if a relatively small portion of this group is white, it will change the demographic diversity of a campus and have repercussions in terms of the handling of this category in data reporting.”
Jan 5, 2006
Racial unknowns at colleges
Are likely mostly white, study finds.