Even though they attain the same degree, graduates born into more privileged backgrounds achieve greater financial success than their contemporaries from less well-off circumstances immediately after leaving university.
New figures on graduate earnings released by the government, while not only showing a widening wage gap between male and female students, show a disparity between graduates who were eligible for free school meals while in lower education and those who weren’t.
Pupils on free school meals throughout early education are likely to earn £3,000 less five years after graduating than those who didn’t receive them. Graduate earnings are continuing to raise year on year but the gaps prevail and are expanding, the report shows.
Gender wage gap
The wage gap between male and female graduates has been growing steadily over the past three years too, the figures suggest, with a £3,600 wage difference between them five years after graduating. But the gap between ethnic and social backgrounds is now being investigated.
Students withA-level (or equivalent) resultsof three As or more are likely to earn £5,000 more a year after graduation that those who were graded B and Cs and £7,000 more than those with three Cs or less.
Anna Vignoles, professor at the University of Cambridge said in a 2014 study that:“The raw differences are large: we find that, 3.5 years after leaving university, graduates who attended private schools earn 17 per cent more per year, on average, than those who attended state schools.