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Degrees conferred by race and sex

Question:
What is the percentage of degrees conferred by race and sex?

Response:

Between academic years 200304 and 201314, the total number of postsecondary degrees awarded increased at all degree levels: certificates by 41 percent (from 688,000 to 969,000), associate's degrees by 51 percent (from 665,000 to 1.0 million), bachelor's degrees by 34 percent (from 1.4 million to 1.9 million), master's degrees by 34 percent (from 564,000 to 754,000), and doctor's degrees by 41 percent (from 126,000 to 178,000). Reflecting the overall increase in the number of postsecondary degrees awarded at each level, the number of postsecondary degrees awarded generally increased for racial/ethnic groups at each level between 200304 and 201314.

The number of postsecondary certificates below the baccalaureate level awarded to Hispanic students increased by 73 percent (from 107,200 to 185,600) between academic years 200304 and 201314. During this period, the number of certificates awarded increased by 37 percent for Black students (from 129,900 to 177,900), by 33 percent for Asian/Pacific Islander students (from 32,800 to 43,800), by 30 percent for White students (from 403,000 to 523,200), and by 29 percent for American Indian/Alaska Native students (from 8,400 to 10,800). As a result of these changes, the share of all certificates awarded to Hispanic students increased from 16 percent in 200304 to 19 percent in 201314. In contrast, the share of certificates earned by White students decreased from 59 to 54 percent during this period. The shares of certificates earned were similar in 200304 and 201314 for Black students (19 percent), Asian/Pacific Islander students (5 percent), and American Indian/Alaska Native students (1 percent).

At the associate's degree level, the number of degrees awarded to Hispanic students more than doubled between academic years 200304 and 201314 (a 131 percent increase, from 72,300 to 167,100), and the number of degrees earned by Black students increased by 66 percent (from 81,200 to 134,500). During this period, the number of associate's degrees awarded increased by 52 percent for Asian/Pacific Islander students (from 33,100 to 50,300), by 32 percent for White students (from 456,000 to 601,400), and by 27 percent by American Indian/Alaska Native students (from 8,100 to 10,300). As a result of the changes over this period, the share of all associate's degrees awarded to Hispanic students increased from 11 to 17 percent, and the share earned by Black students increased from 12 to 14 percent. In contrast, the share of associate's degrees earned by White students over the same period decreased from 70 to 61 percent. In both 200304 and 201314, the share of associate's degrees earned by Asian/Pacific Islander students was 5 percent, and the share earned by American Indian/Alaska Native was 1 percent.

Across racial/ethnic groups, larger shares of undergraduate degrees and certificates were awarded to female students than to male students in academic year 201314. For example, the shares of bachelor's degrees earned by female students were 64 percent for Black students, 61 percent for American Indian/Alaska Native students, 60 percent for Hispanic students and students of Two or more races,1 56 percent for White students, and 55 percent for Asian/Pacific Islander students.

1 Separate data on students of Two or more races were not collected until 201011.


Percentage distribution of associate's degrees and bachelor's degrees awarded by degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by race/ethnicity and sex: Academic year 201314

The data in this figure is described in the surrounding text.

NOTE: Degree-granting institutions grant associate's or higher degrees and participate in Title IV federal financial aid programs. Data include only U.S. citizens. Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2017). Status and Trends in the Education of Racial and Ethnic Groups 2017 (NCES 2017-051), Degrees Awarded.

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