A bachelor’s degree can give many workers an edge when it comes to job hunting and their salary, so why don’t millions of women — 76 million to be exact — have one?
Because of numerous life factors, a new study from The American Women’s College at Bay Path University in Longmeadow, Massachusetts, found. The study, which was conducted by Research Now, surveyed 2,000 women between the ages of 25 and 44.
While more than half of respondents said they attempted but never finished a degree, a staggering 82 percent said they didn’t complete their education because they put other priorities such as family, work and finances first. Fifty-seven percent said financial obstacles halted their studies, while 54 percent cited family commitments.
"This study gave us a deeper look at the obstacles adult women learners face toward obtaining their degree, and at the same time revealed what kind of assistance they need to get back on — and stay on — the path toward graduation," Dr. Carol A. Leary, president of Bay Path University told Metro. "The results reinforced that The American Women’s College offers the flexibility, affordability and support that our students require for success.”
A majority of the women surveyed said their schools did not offer the type of flexibility they needed to continue their studies, which included available online learning, supportive faculty and access to financial assistance.
Though 66 percent said they were disappointed that they didn’t obtain their degree, most relayed that they are determined to finish their studies — and 94 percent said they’d feel better about themselves if they received their bachelor’s degree.
The last statistic was most surprising to Leary, who said it "reinforces how education builds confidence and allows the student to achieve her career and life aspirations."
Ninety-six percent of women surveyed said that going back to school would give them employment opportunities, but 69 percent said they were nervous about returning to school. Fifty-eight percent found the thought overwhelming, but 70 percent said they think going back to school would show their children how important education is.
“Adult women students are not the only ones to gain from a college degree,” Leary said. “Generations for decades to come will benefit. Educate the woman, and you educate her children.”
Bay Path University was founded in 1897, and its American Women’s College is the nation’s first all-women accredited online institution. For more info, visit baypath.edu.