Department of Sociology
Understanding Changing Perceptions of College Value
In the United States, women have made significant gains in education over a time period in which men’s educational gains have stagnated. These trends have contributed to the decline and subsequent reversal of the longstanding gender gap in education. Due to a combination of factors, as early as the 1980s women began to earn more bachelor’s degrees than men, a trend that has continued to the present. In 1960, roughly 15 percent of men ages twenty-six to twenty-eight had earned bachelor’s degrees compared to only 8 percent of women. By 2010, women had surpassed men’s college completion rate by over eight percentage points. In this follow-up project, I examine the mechanisms behind perceptions of the changing value of the college degree in the labor market.