The Educational Attainment of Veterans: 2007 Kelly Ann Holder

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1 The Educational Attainment of Veterans: 2007 Kelly Ann Holder Housing and Household Economic Statistics Division Industry and Occupation Statistics Branch 1

2 Background In 1944, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the original GI Bill into law. The legislation was meant to ensure that returning combat veterans would be able to afford an education. The success of the 1944 GI Bill prompted the government to offer similar programs to later generations of veterans. These programs include the Veteran s Adjustment Act of 1952, the Veteran s Readjustment Benefits Act of 1966, the Veteran s Educational Assistance Program, and the Montgomery GI Bill. A new GI Bill was signed into law in June This new benefit will cover the full cost of education at any public school in the country and many private schools. The benefits under the new GI Bill will go into effect on August 1, With the passage of a new GI Bill, an analysis of the current school enrollment and educational attainment of veterans is not only timely, but also relevant as a baseline for future studies of the impact of such legislation. This short visual essay bar charts, maps, and text will include comparisons of veterans and nonveterans as well as comparisons of male and female veterans. 2

3 About the Data Data Source : 2007 American Community Survey (ACS) The universe for this analysis is the civilian population 18 years and older. Active-duty military members are excluded. A veteran is defined as a man or woman who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces. A nonveteran has never served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces. The ACS collects detailed person-level data from a national sample of 3 million households each year. Data for the ACS are collected continuously throughout the year. The 2007 sample includes the household population as well as the population living in group quarters. Descriptive statistics only are used in this analysis. All comparative figures and statements have undergone statistical testing at the 90- percent confidence level. The following graphs show the percent distributions of veterans and nonveterans, unless otherwise indicated. 3

4 Table of Contents for Graphics Total Population Graphics Veterans only graphics Comparisons between veterans and nonveterans: Educational Attainment of the Population 25 Years and Older Educational Attainment by Age of the Population 18 Years and Older College Enrollment of the Population 18 Years and Older School Type and Level of the Enrolled Population 18 Years and Older Type of School of the Enrolled Population 18 to 24 Years Old All Veterans: Educational Attainment of Veterans 25 Years and Older by State Educational Attainment by Period of Military Service of Veterans 18 Years and Older Comparisons between male and female veterans: Educational Attainment of Veterans 25 Years and Older College Enrollment of Veterans 18 Years and Older School Type and Level of Enrolled Veterans 18 Years and Older Type of School of Enrolled Veterans 18 to 24 Years Old 4

5 Total population The following slides show educational characteristics of the total civilian population by veteran status. 5

6 Educational Attainment of the Population 25 Years and Older One-third of veterans 25 years and older had completed some college or received an associate s degree as their highest level of educational attainment. However, more nonveterans than veterans had completed a Bachelor s degree. Less than high school graduate 9.8 * 16.3 High school graduate * Some college * Bachelor's degree 15.3 * 17.6 Veterans Nonveterans Advanced degree An asterisk (*) in a graph denotes a statistically significant difference between groups. 6

7 Educational Attainment by Age of the Population 18 Years and Older Twenty-seven percent of veterans 65 years and older had completed at least a Bachelor s degree, compared with 17 percent of nonveterans the same age. With the exception of individuals 65 years and older, veterans of all ages lagged behind nonveterans for completion of an advanced degree. 0.4* 3.3* 45.8* 3.5* 13.9* Veterans 8.0* 14.8* 11.4* * 15.1* Nonveterans * 41.0* 35.4* 24.3* Advanced degree Bachelor's degree Advanced degree Bachelor's degree Some College Some College High school or less High school or less * 36.3* 36.4* 32.7* to 24 years 25 to 34 years 35 to 54 years 55 to 64 years 65 years and over 18 to 24 years 25 to 34 years 35 to 54 years 55 to 64 years 65 years and over An asterisk (*) in a graph denotes a statistically significant difference between groups. 7

8 College Enrollment of the Population 18 Years and Older Veterans, an older population in general, tend to be enrolled in college at older ages more often than nonveterans. Twenty percent of veterans 25 to 34 years old were enrolled in college in 2007, compared with 11 percent of nonveterans the same age (Percent enrolled in college) Veterans Nonveterans 27.4 * 19.5 * Median age of veterans: 61 years * Median age of nonveterans: 44 years * * to 24 years 25 to 34 years 35 to 54 years 55 years and older An asterisk (*) in a graph denotes a statistically significant difference between groups. 8

9 School Type and Level of the Enrolled Population 18 Years and Older Among those enrolled in college, a higher proportion of veterans than nonveterans 18 years and older was enrolled in graduate school. Veterans were enrolled in college at older ages more often than nonveterans. Percent of total in private college: Undergraduate Level 78.9 * * 23.4 Graduate Level 21.1 * Veterans Nonveterans Median age of enrolled veterans: 36 years * Median age of enrolled nonveterans: 23 years An asterisk (*) in a graph denotes a statistically significant difference between groups. 9

10 Type of School of the Enrolled Population 18 to 24 Years Old Among adults in the traditional college ages of 18 to 24 years, a higher percentage of veterans who were currently enrolled were attending public schools compared with nonveterans. Enrolled in public school * Enrolled in private school 18.5 * 25.1 Veterans Nonveterans An asterisk (*) in a graph denotes a statistically significant difference between groups. 10

11 Veterans Only The following slides show educational characteristics of veterans only. 11

12 Educational Attainment of Veterans 25 Years and Older by State In 7 states and the District of Columbia (colored in dark blue), the percentage of veterans with a Bachelor s degree or higher was statistically higher than the national average of 27.4 percent. DC National Average: 27.4% Below national average Legend Not statistically 16.9 to different 26.2 from national average 26.3 to 29.9 Above national average 30.0 to

13 Educational Attainment by Period of Military Service of Veterans 18 Years and Older Among veterans 18 years and older, those who served in multiple war periods had the highest levels of educational attainment. This could be attributable to their age (median age of 54 years) or possibly their lengthy military careers Note: The following comparisons are not statistically different: GWI and Peacetime with advanced degree; GWII and GWI with some college; Korean War and WWII with Bachelor s degree; GWI and Vietnam Era with Bachelor s degree; GWI and multiple war periods with Bachelor s degree Advanced degree Bachelor's degree Some College High school or less Gulf War II only Gulf War I only Vietnam Era only Korean War only World War II only Multiple war periods Peacetime only Median age:

14 Educational Attainment of Veterans 25 Years and Older Female veterans 25 years and older were more likely to have attended some college and to have completed a Bachelor s degree or higher than male veterans. High school or less * Some college 32.7 * 44.4 Bachelor's degree 15.1 * 18.6 Advanced degree 9.9 * 11.5 Males Females An asterisk (*) in a graph denotes a statistically significant difference between groups. 14

15 College Enrollment of Veterans 18 years and Older A higher percentage of female veterans was enrolled in college compared with male veterans for all age groups. Female veterans, in general, are younger than male veterans * 32.8 (Percent enrolled in college) 29.6 Males Females 17.4 * Median age of males: 61 years * Median age of females: 47 years * 0.6 * to 24 years 25 to 34 years 35 to 54 years 55 years and older An asterisk (*) in a graph denotes a statistically significant difference between groups. 15

16 School Type and Level of Enrolled Veterans 18 Years and Older Among those enrolled in college, male and female veterans 18 years and older were enrolled in undergraduate and graduate level programs at similar rates. A higher proportion of males than females at the graduate level were enrolled in private colleges. Public College Private College Undergraduate Level * * 21.1 Male veterans Female veterans Graduate Level Median age of enrolled males: 36 years * Median age of enrolled females: 33 years An asterisk (*) in a graph denotes a statistically significant difference between groups. 16

17 Type of School of Enrolled Veterans 18 to 24 Years Old Among the population of veterans 18 to 24 years old who were enrolled in college, males and females attended public and private schools at similar rates. Enrolled in public school Enrolled in private school Males Females An asterisk (*) in a graph denotes a statistically significant difference between groups. 17

18 Contact Information Kelly Ann Holder U.S. Census Bureau Housing and Household Economic Statistics Division Industry and Occupation Statistics Branch

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