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November 29, 2005
For Women, College Degree No Guarantee

If you're a young female college grad, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) has some good news and some bad news for you. The good news: College-educated women typically earn about 80 percent more than women who have only completed high school. The bad news: The fact that you have a college degree still doesn't mean you can expect to earn as much as your male classmates.

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In fact, according to Gains in Learning, Gaps in Earnings, an online report released recently by the AAUW in partnership with the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR), college-educated women earn only 72 percent as much as college-educated men--a wage gap of $17,600 a year.

"In every state," comments Elena Silva, director of research for the AAUW Educational Foundation, "a persistent and significant gap exists between the earnings of college-educated, full-time working women and college-educated, full-time working men." The largest gender-based earnings gaps can be found in Utah, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Puerto Rico. In contrast, the gap was smallest in Nevada, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, New York, and Alaska. "This report sends a strong message,"

AAUW Educational Foundation President Mary Ellen Smyth says. "It is time to look at these glaring inequities and examine the ways we can make change and effectively close this gap through education, legislation, and grassroots outreach."

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