Graduating to a Pay Gap: The Earnings of Women and Men One Year after College Graduation

October 24, 2012

Graduating to a Pay Gap: The Earnings of Women and Men One Year after College Graduation explores the earnings difference between female and male college graduates who are working full time one year after graduation. The report provides an “apples to apples” comparison by looking at the gender pay gap after controlling for various factors known to affect earnings, such as occupation, college major, and hours worked. It also examines one immediate effect of the pay gap on many women: high levels of student loan debt burden. Graduating to a Pay Gap uses the latest nationally representative data available on women and men one year after college graduation.

This report was made possible by generous contributions from AAUW members and donors to the Eleanor Roosevelt Fund and the Mooneen Lecce Giving Circle.

Methodology

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This report uses descriptive statistics and regression analysis to describe pay differences between women and men one year after college graduation. Statistics in this report were calculated using data from the 2008–09 Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study, conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics at the U.S. Department of Education, unless otherwise noted. This most recent Baccalaureate and Beyond cohort was chosen from 2007–08 bachelor’s degree earners who were interviewed in 2009. This nationally representative sample represents all individuals who earned their first bachelor’s degree between July 1, 2007, and June 30, 2008, by age 35 or younger at institutions eligible for federal financial aid (Title IV-eligible institutions) in the United States and Puerto Rico.

Report Authors

Christianne Corbett is a senior researcher at AAUW, where she writes about gender equity in education and the workplace. She is a co-author of a number of AAUW reports including AAUW’s Graduating to a Pay Gap: The Earnings of Women and Men One Year after College Graduation (2012) and Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (2010). Christianne is a regular spokesperson for AAUW on the subject of the underrepresentation of girls and women in STEM as well as the gender pay gap. She has been interviewed and quoted by many media outlets including the New York Times and the Washington Post and has appeared on CNN and MSNBC.  Before coming to AAUW, she worked as a legislative aide on Capitol Hill and as a mechanical design engineer in the aerospace industry. Corbett holds a master’s degree in cultural anthropology from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and bachelor’s degrees in aerospace engineering and government from the University of Notre Dame.

Catherine Hill is the Director of Research at the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and an author or co-author of many AAUW reports including Graduating to a Pay Gap: The Earnings of Women and Men One Year after College Graduation (2012); Crossing the Line: Sexual Harassment at School (2011); Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (2010) and Where the Girls Are: the Facts about Gender Equity in Education (2008).  Before coming to AAUW, Dr. Hill was a Study Director at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research and an assistant professor at the University of Virginia.  She has a bachelor and master’s degree from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in policy development from Rutgers University.

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By:   |   October 24, 2012