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College Degree Gender Gap Widens for Gen X

College Degree Gender Gap Widens for Gen X

Why do more women go to (and complete) college than men?

Elizabeth Hoyt

April 08, 2014

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women have long outpaced men in their pursuits of higher education.

A recent study, however, shows that the trend is accelerating at an alarming rate amongst those from Generation X.

Within a long-term Bureau of Labor Statistics study, entitled the “National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997,” researchers tracked 9,000 students from ages 12-17 (beginning in 1997) through 15 interviews, ending when the students were anywhere from 26-32 years old.

Ultimately, the study’s conclusion was that “women were more likely than men to have received a bachelor’s degree.”

The study found that 32 percent of women have earned a bachelor’s degree by age 27. Comparatively, only 24 percent of men had earned a bachelor’s degree by the time they were the same age.

Additionally, the study found that out of enrolled students, women are more likely to complete their college degree.

Out of the 70 percent of women enrolled in college, 46 percent completed their bachelor’s degree program by age 27. Out of the 61 percent of their male counterparts attending college, only 39 percent completed their bachelor’s degree program by age 27.

To put that in perspective, the study found that, “In total, 70 percent of women had either attended some college or received a bachelor’s degree, compared to 61 percent of men.”

All statistics used were given within the “National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 results summary.

Americans within Generation X were born between 1965 through 1984, however, the study had a sharpened focused on the years 1980 through 1984.

The numbers are clear, but the question remains. Why do more women go to (and complete) college than men?

When asked by FoxNews.com, Ohio State University sociologist, Claudia Buchmann attributed the rise in societal changes.

Buchmann’s logic spells out that the opportunities for women have excelled within society.

Plainly stated, now that women have the opportunity to get a degree, they go for it. Since men have always had the opportunity, the numbers of men who gain college degrees has not changed due to societal factors, thus, their numbers are not rising.



Why do you think more women complete college than men?


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