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Decline In Men Attending College

A male student talks during a class at Ohio State University.
Ohio State University
A male student talks during a class at Ohio State University.

This episode originally aired on September 22, 2021.

The COVID-19 pandemic lead to 603,000 fewer students attending college this spring compared to the year before, according to the National Student Clearinghouse. Men accounted for two-thirds of that decline, which further widening the gender-enrollment gap at colleges.

More women than men have attended college in the U.S. every year since 1979 but put the pandemic has pushed the gap to record levels. Today, the split is nearly 60-40 in favor of women.

Several factors have contributed to the imbalance including how boys are socialized, the cost of higher education, a lack of support for men in college and most recently the pandemic.

But a college degree still matters. Graduates still tend to earn more and are less vulnerable when the economy goes south.

Today on All Sides with Ann Fisher, we explore why men are disappearing from the halls of colleges and why it matters.


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