Closing the Higher Education Gender Gap in Utah

Some 26 percent of adult women in Utah are college educated, compared to 32 percent of adult men. This is the largest gap in the nation in favor of men.

The Utah Women’s College Task Force recently presented recommendations to the governor on ways to close the gender gap in higher education. The commission urged an increase in counseling services for women, creating flexible course offerings and schedules, and increasing mentoring programs.

Women in the state of Utah, on average, start having children at a younger age than women in any other state. So providing on-campus childcare options for students with children and maintaining college credits for women who go through long gaps in their educational experiences due to child care responsibilities would probably help to close the gender gap in higher education. Other steps to accommodate students who are mothers could also be helpful. For example, at the Utah Valley University library in Orem, a glass-enclosed child play area has been set up for the convenience of student parents.

Another problem is cost. Financial aid is often unavailable for part-time students and many women in Utah can only attend college part-time because they must care for their children.

Filed Under: Degree AttainmentsEnrollmentsGender Gap


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