Women Value College More Than Men, Survey Shows

Women, who outnumber men both in college enrollment and completion, seem to value degrees more than their male counterparts, writes citytowninfo.com.

According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, of its 2,142 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, when asked about the value of the country’s higher education system, half of all female college graduates gave the country’s higher education system excellent or good marks.

Just 37 percent of male graduates, on the other hand, gave U.S. higher education good marks.

Women were also more likely than men to say that college helped them grow intellectually (81 percent of women versus 67 percent of men) and personally (73 percent versus 64 percent).

The Washington Post reported that while both men and women think a college education is useful, 77 percent said it was a more important factor for a woman’s success, while 68 percent said the same for men.

“The public has mixed views about this,” said Kimberly C. Parker, associate director of the Pew Social and Demographic Trends Project and a co-author of a report on the survey, to The Chronicle of Higher Education.

“They’re supportive of all the accomplishments of women in this regard, but they don’t want to see that success come at the expense of men.”

Race and ethnicity seemed to factor in to attitudes about the value of higher education. Less than half of the African American respondents viewed higher enrollment and completion rates for women favorably. Fifty four percent of whites, on the other hand, said it was a good thing; as did 59 percent of Hispanics.

Women seemed to be more concerned about the rising cost of college education than men. Just 14 percent of female college grads said that most people could afford a college education, compared to 26 percent of men.

However, 40 percent of female grads reported that their parents covered the cost of their education, while just 29 percent of men said the same.

Could the results of the survey have anything to do with the fact that society tends to think women need their education more than men do? asks Cassandra Garrison at the Metro.

“While a majority of Americans believe that a college education is necessary in order to get ahead in life these days, the public is somewhat more inclined to see this credential as a necessity for a woman than for a man. Some 77 percent of respondents say this about women, while just 68 percent say it about men,” researchers reported.

A majority of respondents said it was a good thing that more women than men are completing college. However, when the same question was rephrased, respondents said that it was a bad thing that fewer men than women are graduating from college.

Matthew Tabor

Matthew Tabor

Matthew is a prolific, independent voice in the national education debate. He is a tireless advocate for high academic standards from pre-K through graduate school, fiscal sense and personal responsibility. He values parents’ and families’ rights and believes in accountability for teachers, administrators, politicians and all taxpayer-funded education entities. With a unique background that includes work in higher education, executive recruiting, professional sport and government, Matthew has consulted on new media and communication strategies for a broad range of clients. He writes the blog “Education for the Aughts” at www.matthewktabor.com , has contributed to National Journal’s ‘Expert’ blog for Education , and interacts with the education community on Twitter and Google+.