American Men are Increasingly Opting Out of College

One of the most positive developments taking place in America is the decline of male participation in higher education. 

In a piece titled, “A Generation of American Men Give Up on College: ‘I Just Feel Lost’”, Douglas Belkin detailed how “men are abandoning higher education in such numbers that they now trail female college students by record levels.”

At the end of the 2020-2021 academic year, women constitute 59.5% of college students, a record high. On the other hand, men make up 40.5%. This data, which came from the National Student Clearing house, also revealed that U.S. colleges and universities had 1.5 million fewer students enrolled compared with 2016. More striking, men accounted for 71% of the decline in university attendance.

The education gap in question, which is present in two- and four-year colleges, has been gradually widening for 40 years. These divergences take place at graduation. After spending 6 years in the university, 65% of American women who entered a four-year university in 2012 obtained diplomas by 2018. By contrast, the U.S. Department of Education reported that 59% of men received diplomas in this same time period. 

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Belkin touched on what this sex gap could look in the near future:

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.

3,805,978 women and 2,815,810 men applied to universities for the 2021-2022 school year. According to the Census Bureau, women make up 49% of America’s college-age population.

“Men are falling behind remarkably fast,” observed Thomas Mortenson, a senior scholar at the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education.

The disparity in enrollment for the sexes is strongest among nonprofit colleges. Similarly, this disparity is widest at private four-year schools, as far as non-profit colleges are concerned. The percentage of women enrolled during the 2020-21 school year increased to an average of 61%, per data from Clearinghouse. 

This college gender gap goes across racial, geographical, and economical lines. According to this WSJ report, white men no longer enjoy an advantage when it comes to enrollment rates. Per the Pell Institute for the Journal, “enrollment rates for poor and working-class white men are lower than those of young Black, Latino and Asian men from the same economic backgrounds.”

The Wuhan virus pandemic has accelerated this trend. Roughly, 700,000 fewer students were enrolled in institutions of higher learning in spring 2021 compared with the spring of 2019. There were 78% fewer men at this data point. 

The decrease in male enrollment that took place during the 2020-2021 academic year was most striking at two-year community colleges. The pandemic environment has greatly impacted college enrollment rates as well. The economic upheaval lockdowns have generated have forced many people to opt out or forgo college due to the new economic burdens they face.

The decline in white males attending college could potentially have massive political implications further down the line. Colleges these days have become indoctrination centers for the Left, by either producing radical social justice advocates or compliant cogs in the managerial machine. There’s not much in the way of entrepreneurship or innovation being taught in these institutions. 

In fact, the Right should encourage as many people to opt out of the college system as possible. Then, they can direct people to the online marketing space and other forms of self-education where people can not only learn new skills, but most importantly, apply them in real time. That’s how we can create a new class of entrepreneurs who provide real value and whose minds have not been corrupted by the education industrial complex. 

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