Traditionally it has been (women) who generally place a higher importance on marrying a man with a certain educational or socioeconomic background. Most men do not require a woman to have the same amount of education, earn a certain dollar amount, or drive a certain car....etc. Beauty, commonsense/intelligence, class, no drama, and no "baggage" is enough.
The reality is most people in the U.S. do NOT have a 4 year degree and never have. A census report from two years ago stated the following:
"More than 30 percent of American adults hold bachelor’s degrees, a first in the nation’s history, and (women are on the brink of surpassing men) in educational attainment, the Census Bureau reported".
With regard to women getting more college degrees than men it is even higher among minorities. In 2009 the Census Bureau reported black women accounted for 58% of all African Americans with four year degrees.
California State Universities broke down their degrees by race and gender in an article from February 2014.
Of the four races discussed in the study, Latinos showed the largest percentage difference with 47 percent of women graduating compared to 39 percent of men. White women graduate at the highest rate at 61 percent, while only 55 percent of white men graduate.
The report also found that for every 100 Black women who graduate from a CSU, only 45 Black men do the same. Also, for every 100 Latina women that graduate, only 51 Latino men receive a degree.
Clearly at the pace we are going if a college educated woman has being married to a college educated man as a "must" on her shopping list she may have to revise her list unless she is willing to have a "global approach" to dating and marriage. The numbers simply won't be there for every woman with a degree to marry a man with a degree. Expect more women to date and "marry down" or degreed men will be in high demand and have their pick of women.
Another factor regarding getting a college degree these days is the high cost of an education. Many people have degrees and can't seem to find a job in their field. They're taking $10-$15hr jobs and have $75k-100k+ student loan debt.
The student loan "business" is skyrocketing with high interest rates, defaults, and the government doesn't allow impoverished people to claim their (student loans) for bankruptcy filings.
If 30% is an all time high percentage of people with degrees that means historically we've always had more than 70 -80% without them. These people are going to date and marry someone.