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The College Gender Gap is Growing Wider

The gap is growing as more women are attending and finishing college.

New data shows that across almost all demographics, females are schooling their male counterparts when it comes to higher education.

In 2015, 72.5 percent of females who recently graduated high school were enrolled at a college, compared to 65.8 percent of males. The gender gap of college education is hardly new, as women have been increasing their college enrollment since the 1970s while men’s enrollment has mostly remained steady over that time. However, seeing that the gap is continuing to widen raises many questions about the decline of educated men, as a college education becomes an increasingly essential factor in long-term career success.

Women from low income and minority families are seeing a similar disparity compared to men from low income and minority families. According to data from the Atlantic, only “12.4 percent of men from low-income families who were high-school sophomores in 2002 had received a bachelor’s degree by 2013, compared to 17.6 percent of women.” In 2016, 22 percent of Hispanic women ages 25-29 had a bachelor’s degree, compared to just 16 percent of Hispanic men in the same age range.

And women aren’t just attending college more than men, they are also doing better once they reach higher education. Women are far more likely to finish college and receive a degree than men. In 2015, 39 percent of 25 to 29-year-old women had completed their bachelor’s degree, with just 32 percent of 25 to 29-year-old men doing the same. Women are still behind on subjects like science and math but even those gaps are slowly but surely starting to shrink.

The significance of this gap is obvious to anyone but it’s especially startling once you realize how important a college education is for finding a job. Of the 11.6 million jobs created in the aftermath of the recession, a staggering 8.4 million went to applicants who at least had a bachelor’s degree.