Princeton University enrollment by race

Consider the entire U.S. population by race. At a large university like Princeton, we would expect to see a racial makeup that’s roughly the same as the U.S. population as a whole.

That is, if we live in a society with racial equality, and everyone, regardless of race, has the same shot at getting an Ivy League education.

This is not the case at Princeton, as the two tables below show.

The first table shows the data as reflected by the Department of Education. In this table, we can see that Black, Hispanic and White students are under-represented as compared to the overall U.S. population. Hispanic students are the most under-represented of these groups as compared to the overall U.S. population, followed by Black students, then White students.

Meanwhile, Asian students are over-represented as compared to the overall population, by a factor of more than three. Multi-race students are also more prevalent in the Princeton student body than in the general population.

The first table is somewhat misleading though, as there is a considerable percentage of students that are foreign students and for whom race/ethnicity is unknown. These are captured in the outsized “Other” group. In the second table, those two groups are removed.

The second table is a better comparison to the U.S. population as a whole, but doesn’t change the general picture. That is, that Hispanic and Black students are under-represented by a notable degree, while White students are also marginally under-represented. After adjusting, the percentage of Asian students at Princeton is roughly four times the representation in the overall population.

Princeton University undergraduate enrollment by race, fall 2018

Black 8.0%
White 41.0%
Asian 21.0%
Hispanic 10.0%
Multiple races 5.0%
Other 15.0%
Source: Department of Education
https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?q=princeton&s=all&id=186131#enrolmt

Princeton University undergraduate enrollment by race, fall 2018 (adjusted)

Black 9.3%
White 47.7%
Asian 24.4%
Hispanic 11.6%
Multiple races 5.8%
Other 1.2%
Source: Department of Education. Adjustment calculations made by author to remove foreign students and students for whom race/ethnicity is unknown.
https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?q=princeton&s=all&id=186131#enrolmt

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