According to a survey, white first-years come from wealthier backgrounds than first-years of color.

Earlier this week, The Chronicle released survey data on the Class of 2022. The survey, which was taken by more than 250 first-years, asked participants questions about their backgrounds, interests and plans at Duke. 

There were stark differences between white first-years and first-years of color. It should be noted that only two Native American students took the survey, so statistically the results within that category will look extreme.

One area of difference was family income. Although more than 43 percent of white first-years reported a family income greater than $250,000, only about 24 percent of Asian students, 9 percent of black or African American students and 16 percent of Hispanic students reported that level of income or higher.

Similarly, there was contrast regarding majors of interest. 

Almost 40 percent of the white students who took the survey indicated being interested in an engineering major compared to about 25 percent of Asian students and 29 percent of Hispanic students. Almost 36 percent of black or African American students reported interest in biology, but only 14 percent of Hispanic students and 17 percent of white students chose biology.

According to survey results, Hispanic students showed the most interest in Greek life and selective living groups—40 percent indicated that they were "very" or "extremely" interested in both. 

Interest in Greek life by race/ethnicity

By contrast, black or African American students showed the least interest in Greek life and SLGs—almost 42 percent said they were "not at all" interested in Greek life and about 30 percent said the same about SLGs.

Interest in SLGs by race/ethnicity

Religious beliefs are another area where students differed based on race. The religious beliefs with the highest proportion of Asian first-years was agnostics and atheists. Also, Christianity was very popular among white and Hispanic students.