The narrowing social distance between high school graduates and those with "some college" is offset by the widening social distance between those with "some college" and college graduates.So write Christine Schwartz and Robert Mare. Mare is a long-time researcher in "educational assortive marriage" or how much educational birds of a feather flock together.
Two generations ago, couples made up of a college graduate and a spouse with "some college" were common. Barbara Bush, for example, dropped out of Smith to marry George H. W. Bush. Now, though, couples with one college graduate are increasingly likely to include another. One generation ago, for example, George H. W. Bush and Laura Bush married when both were not only college graduates, but had completed graduate degrees, as well.
This is the trend in the United States of the percent of married couples in which husband and wife are both college graduates:
One of the reasons for the increase in double-college couples is that men and women are waiting longer to marry, by which time they have usually had time to complete college degrees. Even if a couple meets in college, they are likely to graduate before marriage – both husband and wife.
Just as interesting as the consolidation in "educational homogamy" above the college-graduate line, is the increasing mixing of high school graduates and those with some college. The college/not-college line has been the main class divider in America for some time. In the past generation, though, the bar has been raised: the great class divide begins at Commencement.