Enrollment Rates by Gender, 1970–2008

In 2000, 60% of males and 66% of females who had completed high school in the past year were enrolled in college. By 2008, those percentages had increased to 66% and 72%, respectively.

Figure 2.3a: Postsecondary Enrollment Rates of Recent High School Graduates and of All 18- to 24-Year-Old High School Graduates by Gender, 1970–2008

Figure 2.3a: Enrollment Rates by Gender, 1970–2008

Notes & Sources 

Note: “Recent high school graduates” completed high school during the 12 months preceding postsecondary enrollment. “Postsecondary enrollment” includes both undergraduate and graduate students. Some 18- to 24-year-olds have completed college and are no longer enrolled. They are not included in enrollment rates.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 1970–2008.

  • College enrollment rates for all 18- to 24-year-olds are lower than rates for recent high school graduates because many students are enrolled for only a fraction of this six-year period in their lives. In 2008, 44% of males and 49% of females between the ages of 18 and 24 were enrolled in college.
  • The decline in the male college enrollment rate in the late 1960s and early 1970s is at least partly attributable to the end of college deferments from the military draft, which ended in 1973.