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Posted at 9:30 AM ET, 03/ 9/2010

Higher ed gender gap seems stable--except for Hispanics

By Valerie Strauss

A new study shows that the gender gap in higher education--females outnumber males--may have stabilized.

According to the report by the American Council on Education’s Center for Policy Analysis, the distribution of enrollment and undergraduate degrees by gender has remained consistent since about 2000.

Ten years ago males represented 43 percent of enrollment in higher education--and earned 43 percent of the bachelor’s degrees, according to the report, “Gender Equity in Higher Education: 2010.”

This remains true for traditional-age undergraduates in all racial and ethnic groups except one: Hispanics.

The percentage of male Hispanic undergraduates aged 24 or younger fell from 45 percent in 1999–2000 to 42 percent in 2007–08. Their attainment rate for bachelor’s degrees--10 percent--is lower than for any major racial ethnic group, and it has not changed much since the mid-1990s.

A key factor in the educational performance among Hispanics is immigration: 51 percent of Hispanic young adults born outside the United States complete high school, compared with 81 percent of U.S.-born Hispanics, the report says. Among male immigrants--who make up one of every three young Hispanic males--only 6 percent have earned a bachelor’s degree.

The percentage of U.S.-born Hispanic women who now earn bachelor’s degrees is the same rate as for African-American women--18 percent.

Other findings--made by analyzing data from the Education Department and the U.S. Census Bureau--include:

*Men aged 25 or older represent just 14 percent of all undergraduates and are outnumbered two to one by women in the same age group.
African Americans still have the largest gender gap in enrollment; 63 percent of all African American undergraduates are women.

*Among traditional-age students who are financially dependent on their parents, multiple years of data consistently show that for each racial/ethnic group, the gender gap in enrollment disappears as family income rises.

*Women’s share of graduate enrollment continues to increase, now reaching 60 percent overall, with tremendous variation by race/ethnicity, degree program and field of study.

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By Valerie Strauss  | March 9, 2010; 9:30 AM ET
Categories:  Higher Education  | Tags:  gender gap, higher ed and gender  
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Comments

You said "A key factor in the educational performance among Hispanics is immigration".

How many of those "immigrants" are really illegal aliens?

Posted by: postisarag | March 9, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

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