The Large Gender Gap in Awards of Degrees and Certificates to African Americans

A new report from the U.S. Department of Education offers information on the number of degrees and certificates awarded by colleges and universities in the United States during the 2016-17 academic year. The data is broken down by gender and racial and ethnic groups.

The data shows that in the 2016-17 academic year, African American men earned 197,737 degrees and certificates from Title IV educational institutions. These are institutions that qualify to participate in federal student financial assistance programs. Black women earned 371,596 degrees and certificates from these institutions. Thus, Black women earned 65.3 percent of all awards from these institutions.

Black women earned 83,642 associate’s degrees compared to 41,436 for Black men. Thus, women earned 66.9 percent of all associate’s degrees awarded to African Americans.

Black women received 64.1 percent of all bachelor’s degrees and 70.1 percent of all master’s degrees awarded to African Americans.

Black women earned 3,904 research doctorates in the 2016-17 academic year. This was 68 percent of all such degrees awarded to African Americans. In contrast, women earned 53 percent of all research doctorates awarded to White Americans.

Black women earned 64.4 percent of all professional practice doctorates awarded to African Americans. These include doctoral degrees in medicine, law, nursing practice, veterinary medicine and other professional fields.

The full report, Postsecondary Institutions and Cost of Attendance in 2017-18; Degrees and Other Awards Conferred: 2016-17; and 12-Month Enrollment: 2016-17: First Look, may be downloaded by clicking here.

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