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Men abandon higher education in droves, trail female student enrollment by record levels

‘In the next few years, two women will earn a college degree for every man’

The number of men enrolled at colleges has fallen behind women by record levels, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The article, headlined “A Generation of American Men Give Up on College: ‘I Just Feel Lost,'” reports that there is a “widening education gap across the U.S.” at two- and four-year colleges and universities:

At the close of the 2020-21 academic year, women made up 59.5% of college students, an all-time high, and men 40.5%, according to enrollment data from the National Student Clearinghouse, a nonprofit research group. U.S. colleges and universities had 1.5 million fewer students compared with five years ago, and men accounted for 71% of the decline.

This education gap, which holds at both two- and four-year colleges, has been slowly widening for 40 years. The divergence increases at graduation: After six years of college, 65% of women in the U.S. who started a four-year university in 2012 received diplomas by 2018 compared with 59% of men during the same period, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

In the next few years, two women will earn a college degree for every man, if the trend continues, said Douglas Shapiro, executive director of the research center at the National Student Clearinghouse. No reversal is in sight.

Read the full Wall Street Journal report here.

MORE: Colleges now dominated by women, creating ‘education gap’ afflicting men

MORE: Toxic masculinity blamed for pretty much everything on campus

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About the Author
Fix Editor
Jennifer Kabbany is editor-in-chief of The College Fix.