Campus Gender Gap Grows

More women in the US are attending college and attaining degrees than men, according to research conducted by Northeastern University’s Center for Labor Market Studies (CLMS). Since 1978 when attendance was equal between the sexes, the gaps have grown on campuses nationwide. Last year, women were awarded 57 percent of all bachelor degrees. The National Center for Education Statistics, estimates that by 2010, women will receive 142 BAs for every 100 men earn.

The report entitled, “The Growing Gender Gaps in College Enrollment and Degree Attainment in the US and Their Potential Economic and Social Consequences,” and commissioned by the Business Roundtable (BRT) found the widest college enrollment gap in Maine (154 women per 100 men) and the smallest in Utah (98-100)–the only state where more men are enrolled than women, according to BRT’s press release.

Women continue to lag behind men in obtaining professional degrees, but the gap is closing quickly. In 1976-77, only 23 women for every 100 men obtained a professional degree, while in 1999-2000 the ratio had risen to 79-100. This gap is especially pronounced among minorities, whose numbers have risen dramatically, due in part to affirmative action programs. According to the Observer-Dispatch, women comprise the majority of minority students, so increasing minority enrollment has also boosted women’s attendance. In 2001, women accounted for 57 percent of white students, 66 percent of black students, and 63 percent of Hispanic students.


Observer-Dispatch 8/4/03, PR Newswire 6/10/03, The Journal News 8/4/03, The Post and Courier 6/22/03, The Chronicle of Higher Education 6/20/03; The Business Roundtable 6/10/03

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