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women and minorities
Introduction Chapter 1: Precollege Education Chapter 3: Undergraduate Degrees Chapter 4: Graduate Enrollment Chapter 5: Graduate Degrees Chapter 6: Employment Technical Notes Appendix Tables
Chapter Contents:
Enrollment rates
Enrollment status
Two-year institutions
Four-year institutions
Field choice
Engineering enrollment
Financial aid
Appendix Tables
List of Figures
Presentation Slides

Undergraduate Enrollment


Students with disabilities

Women  top of page

A majority of undergraduate students were women (56 percent) in 1997. Female undergraduates were older, on average, than male undergraduates and were more likely than their male counterparts to be married and to have dependents. Thirty percent of female undergraduates were 30 or older in 1996, compared with 23 percent of male undergraduates. (See appendix table 2-4.)

Minorities  top of page

About 29 percent of U.S. citizen and permanent resident undergraduate students in 1997 were nonwhite: 11 percent were black, 10 percent Hispanic, 6 percent Asian, and 1 percent American Indian. (See appendix table 2-2.) Black, Hispanic, and American Indian students were more likely than members of other racial/ethnic groups to be single parents and to come from families with low incomes. Among dependent undergraduates (i.e., students dependent on their parents for financial support), about 12 percent of white students came from families with annual incomes below $20,000, compared with 40 percent of black, 38 percent of Hispanic, 37 percent of American Indian, and 29 percent of Asian students. Black and American Indian students were also older on average than students from other racial/ethnic groups. (See appendix table 2-4.) Hispanic and black students were more likely than those from other racial/ethnic groups to be first-generation college students (U.S. ED/NCES 2000a).

Students with disabilities  top of page

On average, undergraduate students with disabilities[5] are older than those without and are more likely to have dependents. In academic year 1995/96, students with disabilities were more likely than those without disabilities to be male (50 percent versus 44 percent); they were also more likely to be white (81 percent versus 71 percent). (See appendix table 2-5.)


[5]  In the National Center for Education Statistics 1995/96 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, students with disabilities were identified on the basis of their response to the question "Do you have any disabilities, such as hearing, speech, mobility impairment, or vision problems that can't be corrected with glasses?" See appendix A for question wording.

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