A new study by the Pew Research Center shows that for recent high school graduates, college participation rates of women far outpace those of men. The gender differences are particularly pronounced for African Americans.
According to the data, in 2012, 71 percent of women high school graduates of all races had enrolled in some type of postsecondary education program by October of that year. But only 61 percent of male 2012 high school graduates enrolled in higher education.
But the gender gap is even wider for African Americans. In 2012, 69 percent of African American women high school graduates enrolled in college by October of that year. For Black male high school graduates, the college participation rate was 57 percent.
The historical trend is troublesome. For African Americans, in 1994, men were nine percentage points more likely than women to enroll in college immediately after high school graduation. Now, Black women hold a 12 percentage-point advantage. This is a swing of 21 percentage points in 18 years.