Women students now represent the majority of the student population at colleges in the United States, according to spring 2021 enrollment estimates from the nonprofit organization, the National Student Clearinghouse.
Data show that 59.5 percent of college students in the United States were women in spring 2021, while 40.5 percent were men. Overall, US universities and colleges saw 1.5 million fewer students compared to five years ago, with men decreasing by 71 percent.
While there were 200,000 fewer women students between 2021 and 2020, statistics show that the number of men students has in particular drastically dropped, with 400,000 fewer men students recorded in 2021 compared to a year earlier.
Following the study findings, college enrollment consultant, Jennifer Delahunty, described the efforts to correct the balance as “higher education’s dirty little secret,“ the Wall Street Journal reported.
“This trend is especially visible in the community college sector, with male enrollment dropping by 14.4 percent compared to a 6 percent decline in female enrollment. Also, the increase of 44,000 female students (+1%) is contrasted with a drop of 90,000 male students (-2.7%) in the public four-year institution sector,” the report by the National Student Clearinghouse reads.
Moreover, data from the National Student Clearinghouse pointed out that a total of 3,805,978 women applied to college for the 2021/22 academic year compared to only 2,815,810 men applicants.
The report further reveals that over the past five years, colleges have seen a decrease in student enrollments, but a more notable decrease has been marked this year, with male enrollments decreasing from 7.2 million students in spring 2020 to 6.8 million in spring 2021, a 5.5 percent drop, whereas number of women enrolled at colleges dropped from 10.2 million to 10 million within the same period.
Men students at US colleges declined from 42 percent of all enrollments in spring 2019 to 41,4 percent in 2020, and to 40.5 percent in 2021. On the other hand, women students who in 2019 accounted for 58 percent of the student body, increased to 58.6 in 2020 and finally reached the highest rate in 2021, accounting for 59.5 percent.
The Executive director of the research center at the National Student Clearinghouse, Douglas Shapiro, told the Wall Street Journal that if this trend continues in the upcoming years, two women will get a college degree for every man.
Similarly, within the European Union, more young men left education and training early than women, whereas the number of men leaving school early in 2019 was also the same as in 2020, Eurostat data revealed.
While presenting its data on female leadership of its 850 members, the European University Association (EUA) revealed that there had been a 70 percent increase of women rectors worldwide since 2014; nevertheless, women continue to be underrepresented at universities in many countries.