More Females than Males Earned College Degrees in 2008, According to NCES Report

A new report on racial and ethnic group education trends from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), and co-authored by AIR experts, has found that in 2008, U.S. females earned more college degrees than males within each racial/ethnic group, and Black females received more than twice as many degrees as Black males. The report, “Status and Trends in the Education of Racial and Ethnic Groups,” was released in July 2010 and is part of a series of reports produced by NCES that focus on specific racial/ethnic groups.
AIR experts played a major role in developing the indicators found in the report; researching, analyzing, and writing findings; and producing the report. The report uses statistics to examine, by racial/ethnic group, current conditions and changes over time in education activities and outcomes in the United States. It examines the educational progress and challenges of students in the United States and demonstrates that traditionally disadvantaged racial/ethnic groups have made strides in educational achievement over the past few decades, but gaps still persist.

Highlighted report findings include:

  • From 2000-01 to 2007-08, the proportion of public school enrollment composed of White students decreased from 61 to 56 percent. During the same period, Hispanic student school enrollment increased from 17 to 21 percent of the total enrollment and Asian/Pacific Islander enrollment increased from 4 to 5 percent of the total. The percent of Black students (17 percent), and the American Indian/ Alaska Native (1 percent) students remained unchanged. (Indicator 7.1).
  • From 1999 to 2008, the total number of Black and Hispanic students taking an Advanced Placement (AP) exam more than tripled, from 94,000 to 318,000 students. In 2008, Asians had the highest mean AP exam score (3.08) across all exams, while Blacks had the lowest (1.91). (Indicator 14)
  • In 2007, parents of Asian high school students reported that their children spent the most hours per week on homework (10 hours, on average). Of the students ages 16 years and older who were employed, higher percentages of Black and Hispanic students reported that they worked more than 20 hours per week (50 and 54 percent, respectively) than White students (35 percent), although the percentage of White students who worked was higher than that of Black and Hispanic students. (Indicator 19)
  • Between1991 and 2005, birth rates for 15 to 19-year-old females decreased for all racial/ethnic groups. However, the teen birth rates increased between 2005 and 2007 for Whites, Blacks, American Indians, and Alaska Natives. (Indicator 21)
  • In 2008, the unemployment rate was higher for Hispanics (8 percent), Blacks (9 percent), American Indians/ Alaska Natives (10 percent) than it was for Whites and Asians (4 percent each). In general, lower unemployment rates were associated with higher levels of education for each racial/ethnic group. The unemployment rate for Blacks without a high school diploma or equivalent was 22 percent, compared with 11 percent of those with a high school credential and 4 percent for those with at least a bachelor’s degree. (Indicator 28)