Race and sex differences in degree attainment and major field distributions from 1975-76 to 1980-81

William T. Trent

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingTechnical report


Baccalaureate degree attainment for Blacks, Hispanics, and Whites for 1975-1976 and 1980-1981 are compared by major field and sex, based on data from the Higher Education General Information Survey (HEGIS). Attention is directed to degree distributions overall, by major field, and for blacks graduating from predominantly black and from predominantly white institutions. Findings include the following: the nonwhite or minority share of all bachelor degrees increased only slightly--by about one percent from 1975-1976 to 1980-1981; females have made considerable gains in their share of bachelor degrees during this period; the male share of bachelor degrees declined by 4.4 percent, and predominantly black institutions continue to play a very substantial role in the production of black baccalaureate degree holders. Comparisons are made using two bases of parity--the college-age cohort or population base and the availability pool of minorities entering college. It is concluded that equity in degree attainment was not much closer in 1980-1981 than 1975-1976 for minorities, despite the progress of females during this period. It is suggested that strategies to encourage women's and minorities' interest in science and math should be initiated early in their school careers.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Place of PublicationBaltimore
PublisherCenter for Social Organization of Schools, Johns Hopkins University
Number of pages37
StatePublished - Jun 1983

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