According to a TIME report, women have surpassed men “in terms of college enrollment and competition,” but according to a new Pew Center Research survey, they are also “more likely than men to say college is a valuable experience.”
The survey results, released August 17, show that when asked to rate the job the U.S. higher education system is doing in terms of providing value for the money spent by students and their families, 50% of women who graduated from college say the experience was money well spent, while only 37% of men feel the same.
In addition to the divergent opinions over the value of college, the survey found more women than men reported feeling positively about their personal growth while enrolled. Seventy-three percent of women said college helped them grow and mature as a person, while 64% of men said the same.
The nationwide study also uncovered opinions about college affordability and intellectual growth.
Eighty-one percent of college-educated women say college was “very useful” in increasing their knowledge and helping them grow intellectually compared to 67% of men. One of the only areas where men topped women was in terms of college affordability: 14% of women agreed with the statement that most people can afford college today, compared with 26% of men.
The study surveyed 2,142 adults ages 18 and older between March 15 and March 29 of 2011. A year earlier, Pew also reported that a record 36% of women ages 25 to 29 had a bachelor’s degree, compared to 28% of men in the same age group.