New Report From The College Board Examines the Gender Gap in Educational Attainment and Earnings

The latest report in the Education Pays series released every three years by The College Board finds that students who enroll and graduate from college have recouped the cost of tuition and the lost wages they incurred by not being in the workforce by the age of 34.

The report also offers a wealth of statistics on gender differences relating to educational attainment. The report notes that in 2015, 43 percent of all women in the 18-to-24 age group had enrolled in college. This was up from 35 percent 20 years earlier in 1995. For men the figure in 2015 was 37 percent. Some 71 percent of women who graduated from high school in 2015 enrolled in postsecondary education compared to 64 percent of male high schools graduates.

The data shows that in 1995, the percentage of both Black and White women ages 25 to 29 who held a four-year college degree was equal to the percentage of Black and White men in this age group. But by 2015, White women had a 45 to 38 percentage point lead over White men in degree attainments. Black women held a 24 to 19 percentage point edge over Black men in attaining four-year college degrees.

Despite gains for women in college enrollments and degree attainments, the gender gap in earnings prevails at all educational attainment levels. Men with a graduate degree had median earnings of $67,400 in 2015 compared to $55,800 for women with a graduate degree. If we look at men and women who held professional degrees, the median income for men in 2015 was $131,200 compared to $82,500 for women. For those with only a bachelor’s degree, men held a $55,600 to $45,800 advantage over women.

The full report Education Pays 2016: The Benefits of Higher Education for Individuals and Society, may be downloaded by clicking here.

Filed Under: Degree AttainmentsGender GapResearch/Study

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