It’s a well known fact at this point that colleges are made up of more women than men, but a new study indicates that out of high school students interviewed, women are also more likely to want to go to college! According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, 96% of female high school seniors wanted to go to college, and only 90% of men said they did. In addition, 80% of female high school seniors spent time researching the college of their choice, while only 68% of male students indicated the same. In all racial and ethnic groups, women were also more likely to graduate college.
The reasons behind this data are unclear, but it has certainly generated some discussion on the comments board. One individual pointed out that it’s been proven time and time again that women mature at a faster rate than men. Women may just be more interested in jumping back into the books immediately after high school and setting forth on the roads that take them to their careers, where men may not be so hasty.
Another idea was that education as a whole is feminine, noting that K-12 education has predominantly been taught by women, and that until there’s a noticeable increase in male teachers, the education system will be a turn-off to men. Men simply don’t have enough positive male role models in school growing up to keep them around. This is an interesting point. For hundreds of years, colleges remained male-only institutions. Can thirteen years of being taught predominantly by women really be enough to feminize something that had been masculine for so long?
Another individual pointed out that with college no longer guaranteeing a job, and with thousands of dollars being placed in student debt, men can’t really justify going to college anymore. This has become a more popular mindset in the past few years as the economy struggles, but it’s arguable as to whether men in particular are more likely to have this point of view.
The article also mentions that women are more likely to receive financial aid. This brought up questions of male discrimination in higher education.
While it has not been mentioned in the discussion, it’s safe to say that women have more pressure than ever to succeed. Women studies often point out that in addition to the old stereotypes that called for women to take pride in their appearance, their families, and their household, women now have to live up to the men’s stereotypes of being independent and financially successful as well. This leads to a whole generation of high school and college women who see their perfect future as fitting in a size 2, with a loving family, beautiful house, and a wicked-awesome job that scores them the big bucks! It’s a lot to live up to, and could contribute to why so many women are so invested in their academic futures.