Fewer Men Are Attending College Than A Decade Ago

(HorizonPost.com) – According to a report from Pew Research, college enrollment has been dropping gradually over the last decade, in large part due to fewer young men attending college.

In 2022, the overall enrollment among 18- to 24-year-olds had fallen by 1.2 million from the peak in 2011, with 1 million fewer men enrolling in college compared with only 0.2 million fewer women.

By 2022, men made up only 44 percent of all young people enrolled in college, a 3 percent drop from 2011, according to data released by the US Census Bureau.

Today, men aged 18 to 24 attending 4-year schools represent only 42 percent of young students, a 4 percent drop from the peak in 2011.

At 2-year schools like community colleges, the enrollment among men and women is similar with men accounting for 49 percent of students ages 18-24 in 2-year colleges, a slight increase from 2011.

The drop in enrollment is not due to a drop in the number of high school graduates, however, as the number of high school graduates has increased slightly since 2011.

At the same time, of the young men who graduate from high school, only 39 percent are enrolling in college, an 8-point drop from 2011. Enrollment among female high school graduates has also fallen but not as dramatically, with 48 percent of female high school graduates enrolling in college compared to 52 percent in 2011.

According to Pew, the college gender gap is most notable among white high school graduates, with white female graduates leading white male graduates in college enrollment by 10 points. In 2011, white female graduates out-paced white male graduates by only 4 points.

A 2021 Pew survey on why people are not enrolling in college found that the reasons differed depending on gender.

Among adults without a college degree who were not enrolled in college, men were more likely to say they were not attending college because they didn’t need a degree to pursue the career they wanted.

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