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Posted at 09:22 AM ET, 08/18/2011

Women enjoy college more than men, survey says

Not only do women now attend college in greater numbers than men: according to a new survey, they also enjoy college more and have a better attitude about attending.

Women are more satisfied with college than men, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Half of female graduates surveyed - - but only 37 percent of men - - rated American higher education as excellent or good in terms of value. Women were also more likely to say college had helped them grow personally and intellectually.

Americans actually see college as more useful for women than men: 77 of survey respondents said they think a college credential is necessary for a woman, but only 68 percent said so about men. The survey reached a representative sample of 2,142 adults.

Women once trailed men in higher education attainment. But they surpassed men in college attendance around 1990, and a wide gender gap has opened. As of 2010, 36 percent of women ages 25 to 29 had attained a bachelor’s degree, as compared with 28 percent of men. Men are more likely than women to be drawn into manual labor, incarcerated in prison, enlisted in military service or delayed in completing high school.

Other findings:

• Women are more pessimistic (or realistic?) than men in assessing the affordability of college. Fourteen percent of women surveyed agreed with the statement that most people can afford college today, compared with 26 percent of men.

• Women apparently get more help from their parents than men these days in paying for college. Forty percent of women, but only 29 percent of men, reported that their parents had paid for college.

In typically schizophrenic fashion, survey respondents overwhelmingly opined that it was a good thing more women than men are graduating from college. But when asked whether it was also a good thing that fewer men than women are finishing college — the same question, rearranged — they emphatically disagreed.

By  |  09:22 AM ET, 08/18/2011

Categories:  Access, Attainment, Research

 
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