The Negative Effects of Privilege on Educational Attainment: Gender, Race, Class, and the Bachelor’s Degree*
To show that in the contemporary United States, traditionally privileged categories of people—men, whites, and the super‐rich—complete four‐year college degrees at rates lower than their nonprivileged counterparts—women, nonwhites, and the “99 percent.”
Logistic regression and an educational transitions method are used on the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Waves 1 and 4) to predict, given college entrance, who completes a bachelor’s degree.
Women, the lower 99 percent of the income distribution, and when economic resources are present, nonwhites all complete college at higher rates than men, the richest 1 percent, and whites, respectively. In a final model, rich white men as a single category are shown to complete college less than everyone else.
As previously excluded categories of people have gained access to higher education, the privileged are shifting their reproduction strategies away from schooling.