Elite College Women Earn Much Less Than Elite College Men

CAMBRIDGE, MA - JUNE 5: Graduating Harvard University Law School students stand and wave gavels in celebration at commencement ceremonies June 5, 2008, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. J.K. Rowling, who wrote the popular Harry Potter books, was the commencement speaker. (Photo by Robert Spencer/Getty Images)
Robert Spencer/Getty

Maybe Harvard should give women a discount.

By the time they are 34 years old, women who graduate from Harvard make just 73 cents for every dollar earned by male graduates, a strikingly large gender gap for an elite American institution.

Yet the same gap applies to Yale graduates and graduates of Brown University. Across the country, at California’s Stanford, women graduates earn just 72 cents for each dollar earned by their male peers. New York City’s Columbia graduates women who earn 70 percent of what their male peers do, and the same gap exists for upstate New York’s Cornell University graduates.

That means that the gender gap for graduates of elite universities tends to be much higher than that for the broader American workforce. Full time employed women in the United States typically are paid around 80 percent of what men are paid, while the elite university gap is around 11 percent higher.

The details of these gaps in the pay of elite college graduates come from a Breitbart News analysis of data collected as part of a recent study that linked tens of millions of tax filings with tuition records from almost every college in the country. The studies authors—Raj Chetty, John Friedman, Emmanuel Saez, Nicholas Turner, and Danny Yagan—analyzed how well or poorly colleges have built an economically diverse student population.

The underlying data provided by the authors also includes data about the median income in 2014 of those who attended colleges between the ages 19 and 22 in the early 2000s.

That data is further divided by the sex, enabling Breitbart News to derive each school’s gender gap.

The largest elite university gender gap is among graduates of Duke University—its grads earn just 67 percent of what men do. Princeton women earn 69 percent of Princeton men’s income. The same gap applies to graduates of the University of Pennsylvania. Dartmouth women earn 70 cents for every dollar a Darthmouth man earns.

The smallest gap among the ultra-elite colleges is at the University of Chicago, whose women grads earn 79 cents for every dollar its men do. That is followed by M.I.T., where the gender gap has women at 74 percent of men’s income.

On average, the gender gap among the Ivy League and ultra-elite university’s is around 29 cents—meaning women earn 71 cents for every dollar earned by a man.

There may be some consolation in these numbers. While these elite universities may be failing to live up to their progressive, liberal ideals, their graduates tend to do very well financially. And at some of the schools where the gender gap is the widest, women graduates earn significantly more than schools where the gap is narrower.

The median income of women from Duke, where the gap is the largest, is nearly 25 percent more than women from the University of Chicago, where the gap is the smallest. Princeton women and Penn women have median incomes higher than $75,000, around 12 percent more than Yale women and 7 percent more than Harvard women. The highest median income for women, not surprisingly, is earned by graduates of M.I.T., whose median income was $82,500.


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