By Tiger Shi
Web Content Contributor
My stomach growled as I waited in line to buy a mini pizza from the Pizza Hut at LBJ Student Center. I purchased my food and went to George’s to eat lunch. As I ate, I noticed how I was one of the few guys sitting in there. Surrounding me were tables of female Bobcats.
This is a trend that many universities are seeing in enrollment: more women than men.
It wasn’t only in the dining areas where I noticed this trend. I also have seen it in other parts of campus, from the library to the classroom, female students outnumber male students.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem with this, I just find it to be an interesting statistic. This is especially important for those analyzing, researching or studying America’s academia.
There are a number of reasons why there appears to be a rising number of men who don’t attend college after high school. As a disclaimer, the following reasons are told in my own opinion from my own experiences as a male in college.
I have several high school friends who joined the Marine Corps after graduation. Most of them were male. They all have enlisted in boot camp, meaning they started at the lowest rank of private. To become an officer, one must attend college because a rank like second lieutenant requires a college degree.
To work straight for an officer rank, some of my friends enrolled in institutions made for it, like the U.S. Naval Academy.
Some people just couldn’t afford tuition. It is definitely more expensive to spend four years at university than at a two year community college. On average, men and women have just about the same amount of student loan debt. That is the financial debt after college, but before college, males opt out because they felt that there are more alternatives than going to university for four years.
Lack of Motivation
I grew up with this friend. We were close until high school, specifically the upperclassmen years. A few months after high school was over, I started to attend Texas State University. He did not know what to do with his life. He was actually pretty lazy, playing video games at night and working minimum wage during the day. It wasn’t until my sophomore year when I heard that he started to take classes at a community college.
Some might find college to be a waste of time and money. This mindset prevails amongst those who wanted to become a musician, an entrepreneur, real estate agent or anything that simply requires a high school diploma or talent.
As the saying goes, “College is not for everyone.” Success can come in a variety of ways besides the university path. It seems like a “rite of passage” for some people to attend college while some men seem to abandon that ship.
This is where things tend to get controversial. “The War on Boys,” told by author Cristina Hoff Sommers, make points in the video that more or less prove my points in the declining enrollment of male students in college. She discusses education (going as far back to preschool) in regards to the behavior between male and female students that would shape college enrollment.
I believe that college attendance nowadays depends on the specific goals of the person. Regardless of gender, it’s up to the individual to decide to go or not.
It just so happens to be an overwhelming number of females going to college and males skipping out. For those who do go to college, men and women major in vastly different fields. There are more female students in nursing compared to predominantly male students in computer science.
But whether a college degree has been earned or not, everyone can achieve success.
Featured image by Tiger Shi.