New Data Shows Decline In Male College Enrollment

According to Pew Research, college enrollment in America has been declining for more than a decade. The majority of that decline is due to fewer males pursuing a college education.

In 2011, total college enrollment reached its peak in America, but by 2022 enrollment decreased significantly.

“Most of the decline is due to fewer young men pursuing college. About 1 million fewer young men are in college but only 0.2 million fewer young women,” Pew reported. “As a result, men make up 44% of young college students today, down from 47% in 2011, according to newly released U.S. Census Bureau data.”

The same data shows that even as high school graduation percentages increase, the number of those graduates who enroll in college continues to decline.

According to a 2021 Pew Research study, “Men are more likely than women to point to factors that have more to do with personal choice. Roughly a third (34%) of men without a bachelor’s degree say a major reason they didn’t complete college is that they just didn’t want to. Only one-in-four women say the same.”

Men are also more likely to say a major reason they are not enrolled in college is because they did not need additional education for the job they wanted. Cost was also a major factor for both men and women when deciding to attend school.

The “gender gap” found in the Pew Research poll is very similar to the gap that was present in 1972 when Title IX was passed to help improve gender equality on college campuses. At the time, men were 13% more likely to get an undergraduate degree than women.

Today, according to CBS News, women are now 15% more likely than men to receive an undergraduate degree.

“We have a bigger gender gap today than we did when we passed laws to help women and girls; it’s just flipped,” said Richard Reeves, of the Brookings Institute. “If you look at high school GPA, and those who are getting the best grades in high school, two-thirds of them are girls. Those with the lowest grades, two-thirds of them are boys.”

The question now is what, if anything, should be done about the new gender gap found in today’s educational system in America.