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Female college student? You’re in big company

The male-to-female ratio in higher education has steadily moved in favor of females ever since the 1970s, according to Forbes magazine.

Among all college graduates ages 25-29 in 2010, 55 percent were women and 45 percent were men, according to a Pew Research Center Survey.

This national trend holds true at ORU.

“Typically the gender-to-gender ration is 60 percent females to 40 percent males,” said Vice President for Enrollment Management Dr. Nancy Brainard.

“This is not unique to ORU,” Brainard added.

“More young women are pursuing higher education, and the trend continues beyond the undergraduate level as women pursue doctoral and other higher degrees.”

The ORU student enrollment for fall 2012 was 3,335 with 1,898 (57 percent) women and 1,437 (43 percent) men. Current statistics for this academic year will not be released until later this month with the official census on Sept. 20.

Statistics show that women are more academically ambitious than men, but why is this?

Some hypothesize that boys are not performing well early on in primary school and thus fall behind when it comes to making higher education decisions in high school.

According to the Pew Research Survey, 40 percent of women say their parents paid for most of their college expenses, compared to 29 percent of men.

The Pew Research Survey also showed that, 50 percent of all women college graduates gave the U.S. higher education system excellent rating for the cost, while only 37 percent of male graduates agreed.

All of these statistics concerning women-to-men college attendance ratios seem to contradict the success rates among genders in the work force.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, women comprise 47 percent of the total U.S. labor force.

Is it more difficult for women without college degrees to obtain jobs than men?

77 percent of respondents believe that a college education is necessary in order for women to get ahead in life, while 68 percent say this of men, according to the Pew Research Survey.

Where this belief derives from is unknown. Perhaps it is because men are more capable of laborious work, or because society has viewed men as the breadwinners for centuries.

U.S. Department of Education data shows that despite having earned higher college GPAs, young women will make on average across all professions, just 80 percent of what their male colleagues do.

Despite popular belief, ORU is not unique in its male-to-female headcount of the student body.

“From the time that I was a student in the early 90s, I have seen the ratio of women to men increase,” Dean of Men, Matthew Olsen said.

Across the nation, the gap in gender statistics widens as more women strive for higher education and equal success in the workforce.

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