A generation of young men are turning their backs on colleges, universities and the associated degrees — either dropping out or never considering it a viable option, the Denver Post reported.
Although college enrollment has increased, the ratio of male to female students is nearly 1:2 – a stark difference from 1960, when there were 1.6 males for every female graduating from a U.S. four-year college, and 1.55 males for every female undergraduate, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the Post reported.
Women currently hold almost 60 percent of all bachelor degrees, and account for almost half of students in law, medical, and business graduate programs, the Post reported.
The decline in male college students has become a "silent epidemic," education consultant and blogger Daniel Riseman told the Post.
According to Riseman, over the past decade, about 30 percent of male college students have dropped out during their freshman year.
"For two decades, I have helped hundreds of young men and women navigate college admissions," Riseman said, the Post reported. "While none of my female students have dropped out, several male students return home without degrees and often with a sense of disappointment and despair."
Some are shunning campus because they do not want to take on a massive student-loan debt, the Post reported.
"If you don't want to go to college, you can go to a trade school and come away with something and not be on the hook for $150,000," 28-year-old Adam Stark, who dropped out of college and is now in the music business in Denver, told the Post.
Others say the campus environment has become testy, even hostile, toward men, the Post reported.
"You definitely get the sense you are the problem," community college dropout John Maxwell, 24, told the Post. "One woman once told me that she could use statistics to determine how many of my friends were rapists."
Riseman believes many young men think they can hit the jackpot without a college degree.
"As a result, they enter college with little sense of purpose and end up failing out," he told the Post. "While these dropouts imagine they can succeed without a degree, successful start-ups are rare."
Kim Hunter Reed, the executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education, says the issue of males shunning college needs to be more closely examined.
"This is very concerning to me," Hunter Reed told the newspaper. "The most successful have a sense of place in college."
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