A new study traces the growing gender gap in college enrollment to choices girls and boys make about which high school to attend.
The research findings, published in a recent issue of the journal Educational Researcher, look at the high school and college-enrollment patterns of 537,000 students in Florida public high schools from 2002 to 2006.
Overall, 65 percent of high school graduates in Florida immediately went on to a 2-year or 4-year college, but 70 percent of females enrolled and just 59 percent of males—more than a 10 percent gap.
The authors, Dylan Conger, associate professor of public policy at George Washingon University, and Mark Long, associate professor of public affairs and economics at the University of Washington, analyzed why these gender gaps exist and examined where students attended high school. In Florida, parents and students often have school choice at the secondary level and the study discovered different enrollment patterns by gender, particularly among minorities.
The evidence of gender sorting across high schools was beyond what would occur if students were randomly assigned to schools. <Read more.>