ERIC Number: ED223169
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Trends in Racial, Sexual, and Class Inequality in Access to American Higher Education: 1940-1980. [Report from the] Project on Politics and Inequality in American Higher Education.
Karabel, James; And Others
Changes in access to higher education with regard to sex, race, and social class of college students during 1940-1980, a period of expansion in higher education, are analyzed. Seven hypotheses concerning access to higher education are examined, based on statistical data from various sources. It is hypothesized that race, sex, and class differentials in access to higher education have narrowed during this period. It is also hypothesized that financial factors affect where people go to college and that stratification within higher education has become greater over time. It is concluded that since at least 1965, there has been an increase in college access among those of lower socioeconomic origins. While in 1940, men and women 25-29 years old had completed at least some college in about equal proportions, by 1960, men had a 50 percent advantage. In the last decade, women have almost reached parity with men in terms of college attendance, but in terms of retention, institutions have been more successful with men than with women. Race differentials in access to higher education have also narrowed between 1940 and the present, though most of the narrowing has been due to the increased rates of high school graduation among minorities. It is suggested that recognition as legitimate pressure groups has enabled blacks and women to make greater inroads into the better higher education institutions, while those from lower social origins have not achieved significant political mobilization and have tended to be more skewed toward the lower end of the higher education hierarchy. Problems involved in attempting to reconstruct data on college access from diverse sources are addressed. (SW)
Descriptors: Access to Education, College Attendance, College Choice, Comparative Analysis, Economic Factors, Enrollment Trends, Equal Education, Females, Higher Education, Males, Minority Groups, Political Influences, Reputation, Sex, Social Class, Social Stratification, Socioeconomic Status, Student Characteristics
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Huron Inst., Cambridge, MA.