The “higher education gap” is widening in the U.S. between men and women, and increasing to record levels with no end in sight, The Wall Street Journal reported last Tuesday.
Women now outnumber men as college students, at 59.5 percent vs. 40.5 percent, for the 2020-21 academic year.
Overall, as we have been reporting, there’s also been a drop-off in college enrollment, with 1.5 million fewer students than five years ago, and men are largely responsible for that decline as well.
The gap continues at graduation. As projected by the National Student Clearinghouse, over the next few years two women will earn a college degree for every man who does so.
This gap has even led some private universities, the WSJ tells us, to employ a sort of “affirmative action” policy, extending a higher percentage of offers to males than to females.
And the imbalance cuts across race, geography and economic background, although enrollment of white men, once the predominant group on U.S. campuses, is often lower than that of minority men in the same income category.
Also blamed for the gap are factors labeled as “distractions and obstacles,” such as video games, pornography, fatherlessness and “over diagnosis of boyhood restlessness and related medications.”
Men interviewed said they quit school or didn’t enroll because they failed to see the value of a college degree weighed against the effort and expense (including long-term debt) required (this is hardly new; see “IS COLLEGE REALLY WORTH IT?” 11 August 2014). Many find opportunities to make decent money with no degree needed, but others report having no plan and “feeling lost.”
Women are also dominating leadership roles in student organizations. They benefit from an ongoing support infrastructure that was created to assist women when they were clearly a minority on campuses. Plans to offer help and encouragement to men have been shot down by women who feel that men are already over privileged.
An official at Junior Achievement commented that what he sees among college-age men is a “hope deficit.”
TREND FORECAST: As we said when the COVID War began and colleges started closing down in February 2020, there would be a college bust and many small college towns would become the new rust belts.
Thus, according to the Journal, the virus is also responsible in part for the decline in total enrollments (down by 700,000) and in the enrollment of men (down by 71 percent). This is ascribed to the impact on family finances of women who would otherwise be employed staying home to care for children whose schools had been shut down and of young men quitting school in order to work (see “COLLEGE DAYS DYING,” 9 June 2020).