A report says that gaps between men and women in the nation’s colleges and universities have stopped growing in key areas, including enrollment and attainment of bachelor’s degrees.
Men account for 43 percent of overall college enrollment and earn 43 percent of bachelor’s degrees—figures that have remained consistent since the early 2000s.
However, the analysis by the Washington-based American Council on Education shows that the disparity lies largely in the fact that men are much less likely than women to go to college—or return to college—later in life. Undergraduate men age 25 or older are outnumbered by women in the same age group by a ratio of 2-to-1.
“Traditional” students who head directly to college from high school are split between the genders. Men still lead in the number of Ph.D. and M.D. degrees awarded, while the genders are about even in graduate programs in law and business administration.
One notable exception to the leveling-off trend is among young Hispanic men especially new immigrants who are falling further behind Hispanic women.
A version of this article appeared in the February 03, 2010 edition of Education Week as College Gender Gaps