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  • Writer's pictureTeam Acacia

Campus Pride Joins 36 Organizations To Urge Incorporation of Nonbinary Students Into Data System

Updated: Jun 7, 2022

Letter Calls on National Center for Education Statistics to Value Inclusivity

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Today, Campus Pride along with 36 other national/regional organizations requested that the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) incorporate nonbinary students into all categories of the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

A letter from Campus Pride on behalf of the signatories was sent to the U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE) who has oversight of NCES. A separate request for comment was also filed with the DOE online in the public request for comments.

The organizations are recommending that NCES add a “nonbinary gender identity” category to all tables. As colleges are becoming more detailed in identifying the gender identities of their students, NCES should consider including additional gender options, such as agender, gender fluid, genderqueer, questioning, trans man, and trans woman. These would allow for a more comprehensive understanding of their students across gender identities.

The letter states: “While we appreciate that the NCES is proposing to add a single question to IPEDS that asks colleges about the number of students at their institutions who identify as other than female or male, this change is not enough. Nonbinary students need to be included in all gender breakdowns so that their experiences, which are often very different from female and male students, can be recognized and fully accounted for in order to ensure a safe, inclusive learning environment. The value of nonbinary inclusion should outweigh any added reporting burden on colleges.”

According to the American College Health Association’s National College Health Assessment (NCHA), the number of students identifying as trans or nonbinary has nearly tripled in the last five years, with most of this increase because of the growth in respondents identifying as nonbinary.

The Common Application, the Coalition Application, and the Universal College Application, which manage the admissions applications for more than 1,200 colleges and universities, enable students to identify their gender identity and include a “nonbinary” option. In addition, “nonbinary” is a category for “legal sex” in 24 states, where individuals can have an “x” as their gender marker on their driver’s license and/or birth certificates.

Signatories include:

ACPA - College Student Educators International

Advocates for Youth

American Association of Colleges and Universities

American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers

American Association of State Colleges and Universities

Association of College and University Housing Officers - International

Athlete Ally

Campus Pride

Center for LGBTQ Economic Advancement & Research (CLEAR)

CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers

Common App

Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals

Equality Federation



interACT: Advocates for Intersex Youth

Mazzoni Center

Modern Military Association of America

Movement Advancement Project

NASPA - Student Affairs Administrators for Higher Education

National Association for College Admissions Counseling

National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO)

National Black Justice Coalition

National Center for Transgender Equality

National LGBT Cancer Network

National LGBTQ+ Bar Association

National Women’s Law Center

Oasis Legal Services

Oklahomans for Equality

PFLAG National

Phoenix Pride

PowerOn, a program of LGBT Technology Institute

Resource Center

Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico

URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity

Woodhull Freedom Foundation


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