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Increase in female college attendance, graduation

Adriana Loya

Since 2003, 57 percent of all students enrolled in degree-granting institutions were women and 43 percent were men. This is in comparison to 1970, when men occupied 59 percent of college campuses and only 41 percent were women, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Even though women dominate college attendance, men still hold the majority in obtaining the best paying jobs.

“Most guys don’t go to school because they don’t have the financial means to, or they think they can get through it for sports purposes” said Desiree Olvera, MCC student. “Others have a family run business and don’t need to know what they have been taught throughout life.”

The biggest issue in attending college is having the resources to pay for it. Nowadays, college isn’t easy to pay for, especially with tuition expenses increasing every year. The Pew Research Center demonstrated that “more men than women report paying for their own college education: 40 percent of women say their parents paid for most of their expenses while only 29 percent of men said the same.”

According to the Pew Research Center’s study, men are able to obtain jobs “more easily than women with no college degree and grow within their company in contrast to women. 77 percent of Americans said it’s a necessity for women to obtain a college degree, while 68 percent said the same about men.”

Not only do women surpass men in enrollment, but also in completion. In the Pew Research survey, a record of 36 percent of women ages 25-29, had obtained a bachelor’s degree in 2010, compared to 28 percent of men in the same age group.

In 2004, women received 58 percent of all bachelor’s degrees in the US, compared to 35 percent in 1960.

“Since the 70’s, the changes in financial aid have included more opportunities for women toget credit and debt on their own” said Dr. Deborah R. Hull, advisement and registration services director at MCC. “By showing an increased cost of attendance, females have been able to get more aid on their own without having to go through parents or filing with a spouse”

“Opportunities in child care increased for those who have small children, giving them more time to focus on school.”

Increased crime and mortality rates statistically show decreased  chances of men climbing the education ladder. “Where you live and social status could make part of it also” mentioned Olvera.

Traditionally, low-income families require that men work straight out of high school to help support their family, prioritizing work over education and the potential of a degree to raise their earning power. Not all men attended or finished college such as Mark Zuckerberg, who dropped out of Harvard to start Facebook, Bill Gates to start Microsoft, and Steve Jobs left college to start Apple. This gives a small glimpse into why men make up a low ratio in college enrollment.

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These are archived stories from Mesa Legend editions before Fall 2018. See article for corresponding author.

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