Among 2004 high school seniors, there were differences by race/ethnicity and sex in the percentages of students who had applied for college admission and financial aid by 2006. A higher percentage of females than males had applied to college (87 vs. 79 percent), and a higher percentage of Black college applicants had applied for financial aid than Whites, Hispanics, and those of two or more races.
By 2006, some 83 percent of students who were high school seniors in 2004 had applied to college. A lower percentage of males applied to college than females (79 vs. 87 percent)—a pattern that held for Whites (81 vs. 88 percent), Blacks (77 vs. 85 percent), and Hispanics (73 vs. 82 percent). Racial/ethnic differences were also found overall. For example, a lower percentage of Blacks (81 percent) and Hispanics (78 percent) had applied to college by 2006 than Whites (85 percent), Asians (91 percent), and Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders (91 percent).
Among these college applicants, 73 percent had also applied for financial aid by 2006, with a lower percentage of male than female aid applicants (69 vs. 76 percent). Similarly, there was a lower percentage of male than female aid applicants among Whites (68 vs. 76 percent), Blacks (77 vs. 84 percent), Asians (72 vs. 80 percent), and American Indians/Alaska Natives (46 vs. 83 percent). No measurable differences were found between Hispanic males and females or between males and females of two or more races. Overall racial/ethnic group differences were also found. For example, a higher percentage of Blacks (81 percent) applied for aid than did Whites (72 percent), Hispanics (70 percent), or those of two or more races (72 percent).
College applicants who did not apply for financial aid cited various reasons for not doing so, including the ability to pay for education without financial aid (55 percent), the perception that they would not qualify for aid (40 percent), being offered aid without applying (11 percent), the difficulty of the aid application process (10 percent), an inability to repay loans (9 percent), a desire not to report financial information (5 percent), and other reasons (24 percent).
Among male and female college applicants who did not apply for financial aid, no measurable difference was found between the percentages of males and females who reported not applying for aid because of an inability to repay loans. While similar percentages were also observed for males and females of various racial/ethnic groups, overall differences by race/ethnicity were found. For example, the percentage of White college applicants citing an inability to repay loans as a reason for not applying for aid was lower than the percentages of Blacks and Hispanics citing this reason (6 percent vs. 18 and 19 percent). In addition, compared with Blacks, higher percentages of Whites and Asians did not apply for financial aid because they thought they would not qualify for aid and because they did not need aid to pay for their college education.
Figure 31-1 Percentage of 2004 high school seniors who had applied to college by 2006, by race/ethnicity and sex: 2006
Figure 31-2 Among 2004 high school seniors who had applied to college by 2006, percentage who applied for financial aid, by race/ethnicity and sex: 2006
Table E-31-1 Among 2004 high school seniors who had applied to college by 2006, percentage who applied for financial aid, and among those who did not apply, percentage who reported various reasons for not doing so, by sex and race/ethnicity: 2006