What Does It Mean to Lose 6 Percent of Your Paycheck?

May 20, 2013

One year after college graduation, women are already paid less than the men with whom they graduated. Some of this difference is explained by factors known to affect earnings, such as occupation, college major, and hours worked. But according to our report Graduating to Pay Gap: The Earnings of Women and Men One Year after College Graduation, one-third of the gap between women’s and men’s paychecks is unexplained. After accounting for all the factors that affect earnings, we found that women one year out of college are still paid 6.6 percent less than their male counterparts.

Image by Wikimedia Commons

Do you think 6.6 percent sounds small? Not much to worry about? If you do the math, you’ll find that 6.6 percent of an average man’s earnings one year out of college comes to just over $2,800. That amount of money could buy you

And what about student loan payments? We know most students will be facing those after graduation, and women are actually more likely than men to borrow money for college. Graduating to a Pay Gap reports that the median monthly student loan payment for both women and men one year after graduation was just over $200. With the income from the unexplained 6.6 percent, a woman could make all of her student loan payments for the year.

If these numbers bother you, then take a stand against the pay gap. Visit our fair pay site to learn more about the pay gap, hear personal testimonies, and take action for fair pay.

AAUW Salary Calculator: What is your college major worth?

By:   |   May 20, 2013


  1. […] college, when workers are virtually equal in age, education, and family responsibilities, a gap of almost 7 percent already exists between women’s and men’s wages in the same occupation. This gap exists after […]

  2. […] to face the wage gap, which hits the average women one year out of college with a paycheck that is 7 percent smaller than her male […]

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