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Chapter 6: Postsecondary Education

Indicator 37: Persistence and Attainment

Of students beginning postsecondary education in 200304, a lower percentage of males than females had obtained a degree by June 2009 (46 vs. 52 percent). A higher percentage of males than females had no degree and were no longer enrolled in a postsecondary institution (37 vs. 35 percent).

Approximately 49 percent of 200304 beginning postsecondary students had attained some type of postsecondary degree (i.e., certificate, associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree) by June 2009. About 31 percent of these students had attained bachelor’s degrees, and 9 percent each had attained either a certificate or an associate’s degree. Among the remaining 51 percent who had not attained a postsecondary degree as of June 2009, about 15 percent were still enrolled in a postsecondary institution, and 36 percent were no longer enrolled.

Overall, a lower percentage of 200304 beginning postsecondary male students than female students had attained some type of postsecondary degree (i.e., certificate, associate’s, or bachelor’s) by June 2009 (46 vs. 52 percent). Although this pattern was also observed for White males and females (51 vs. 57 percent) and Asian males and females (48 vs. 68 percent), no measurable differences by sex were found for other racial/ethnic groups. The overall percentages of males and females who had attained bachelor’s degrees were similar; however, a lower percentage of Asian males than Asian females had attained a bachelor’s degree by June 2009 (39 vs. 53 percent). No other measurable differences were found between females and males across racial/ ethnic groups in bachelor’s degree attainment.

The percentages of students who had attained a bachelor’s degree or who had attained any postsecondary degree by June 2009 varied across racial/ethnic groups. The percentages of Black (17 percent), Hispanic (17 percent), and American Indian/Alaska Native students (14 percent) and students of two or more races (28 percent) who attained bachelor’s degrees were lower than the percentages of White (36 percent) and Asian students (46 percent) who attained a bachelor’s degree. The patterns of bachelor’s degree attainment that were observed among racial/ethnic groups were also observed among racial/ethnic groups in the attainment of any type of postsecondary degree (i.e., certificate, associate’s, or bachelor’s).

Among males, the percentages of Black (17 percent) and Hispanic (16 percent) students who attained bachelor’s degrees were lower than the percentages of White students (35 percent), Asian students (39 percent), and students of two or more races (27 percent) who attained bachelor’s degrees. The percentages of American Indian/Alaska Native students (20 percent) and students of two or more races attaining bachelor’s degrees were also lower than the percentage of Asian students attaining bachelor’s degrees. In terms of overall degree attainment among males, the percentages of Black (35 percent) and Hispanic (38 percent) males attaining any postsecondary degree were lower than the percentages of White (51 percent) and Asian (48 percent) males attaining any postsecondary degree. The racial/ethnic patterns of differences in the attainment of any postsecondary degree that were observed among males were also observed among females.

Overall, the percentage of 200304 beginning postsecondary male students who did not persist in their education (i.e., had no degree and were no longer enrolled in a postsecondary institution by June 2009) was higher than that of their female peers (37 vs. 35 percent). This pattern was also observed between White males and White females. However, no measurable differences were observed between males and females of any other racial/ ethnic group.

The percentages of students who did not persist in postsecondary education through June 2009 varied across racial/ethnic groups. Some 23 percent of Asian students did not persist in postsecondary education, which was lower than the percentages of nonpersisting Black (43 percent), American Indian/Alaska Native (43 percent), Hispanic (42 percent), and White students (33 percent) and of nonpersisting students of two or more races (34 percent). The percentages of White students and students of two or more races who did not persist were also lower than the percentages of Black and Hispanic students. No other measurable differences in the percentages of students who did not persist in postsecondary education were observed across racial/ ethnic groups.

Among males, 24 percent of Asian students did not persist in postsecondary education, which was lower than the percentages of nonpersisting males who were Black (45 percent), Hispanic (44 percent), White (35 percent), and of two or more races (41 percent). A lower percentage of White males than of Black and Hispanic males did not persist in postsecondary education. The overall male patterns of differences in postsecondary persistence among racial/ethnic groups were similar for females. In addition, the percentage of nonpersisting females was lower for those of two or more races (29 percent) than for Black females (42 percent) and lower for Asian females (22 percent) than for American Indian/Alaska Native females (50 percent).

For the subgroup of 200304 full-time beginning postsecondary students who first attended a 4-year institution, a lower percentage of males than females had attained a bachelor’s degree by June 2009 (64 vs. 72 percent). Across racial/ethnic groups, the percentages of Black (51 percent) and Hispanic (52 percent) full-time students at 4-year institutions who attained bachelor’s degrees were lower than the percentages of students of two or more races (66 percent), White students (73 percent), and Asian students (76 percent) who attained bachelor’s degrees. The same patterns of attainment across race/ ethnicity were observed among both males and females, with a few exceptions. The percentages of Black males and males of two or more races attaining bachelor’s degrees were not measurably different, and the percentages of Black and Hispanic females who attained bachelor’s degrees were not measurably different from the percentage of females of two or more races who attained bachelor’s degrees.

Technical Notes

Estimates include students enrolled in Title IV eligible postsecondary institutions in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

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Figure 37-1 Percentage of 200304 full-time, beginning postsecondary students who first attended a 4-year institution and attained a bachelor's degree by June 2009, by race/ethnicity and sex: 2009

Table E-37-1 Percentage distribution of persistence and attainment by June 2009 of 200304 beginning postsecondary students by highest degree attained, sex, and race/ethnicity: 2009

Table E-37-2 Percentage of 200304 full-time, beginning postsecondary students who first attended a 4-year institution and percentage distribution of their persistence and attainment status by June 2009, by sex and race/ethnicity: 2009


  
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