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September 10, 2021

White Males Are Bailing on College

And why wouldn’t they? They are Public Enemy Number One on most campuses.

In the future, a young man might come home from the factory, grab a beer, and watch the classic frat house comedy “Animal House,” wondering to himself, “I thought college was just for women.”

That’s an exaggeration, but the numbers don’t lie: Fewer men are attending colleges and universities, pushing aside opportunities to stroll across the campus green in favor of trade schools or good old-fashioned work.

“At the close of the 2020-21 academic year,” The Wall Street Journal reports, “women made up 59.5% of college students, an all-time high, and men 40.5%, according to enrollment data from the National Student Clearinghouse, a nonprofit research group. U.S. colleges and universities had 1.5 million fewer students compared with five years ago, and men accounted for 71% of the decline.”

The Journal mentions a range of factors for the decrease in male enrollment, but political analyst Steven Hayward alleges the Journal is “too chicken to investigate what may be the leading cause of this trend.” That is, colleges focus on attracting, supporting, and retaining just about every demographic group except white men. Apparently, colleges and universities fear reaching out to white men in order to avoid charges of racism, so they don’t make any effort to bring them onto campus or keep those already there.

Those white males who decide it’s still worth it to earn a college degree find themselves Enemy Number One from the moment they register for classes, and for the next four years they’re told by professors, administrators, and classmates that white men are the oppressors responsible for the plight of everyone else. Outside of class, they find an array of support programs and facilities for every demographic group under the sun, but there’s no one supporting men.

“Colleges are trying to literally throw prominent dead white male alumni off campus, taking their names off buildings or even removing statutes,” writes economics professor Richard Vedder. “A group at Washington and Lee tried (unsuccessfully) to even take the name of a white male (Lee) out of the university’s name.”

Vedder adds: “Assumed in all of this: our male ancestors, especially white ones, did lots of evil things that the present, more morally upright and sensitive generation needs to correct. Our largely male dominated past is not a good one. The diversity and inclusion bureaucracy on campuses are mainly preoccupied by racial issues, but also go out of their way to promote women as well. Men may be increasingly viewed by incoming college administrators as necessary evils, cash cows to help pay the bills.”

Of course, there are more factors at play here. These include the prospect of debt turning off young men who probably figure they can earn 150 grand in four years rather than going 150 grand into debt. Considering that many high-paying jobs now require master’s degrees, college is an expensive commitment. And we can’t dismiss the reality that men learn differently than women, making it more likely that men won’t feel like the female-centered college classroom is the right place.

Meanwhile, trade schools are a viable option for many men. Bestcolleges.com reports: “Trade schools also offer a shorter timeline to a real paycheck than most educational paths. Bachelor’s degrees take four years or more to earn — a long time to wait if making a decent wage is your primary goal. By contrast, many vocational certificates can be earned in two years, while others take a year or less.”

There’s no doubt that women are interested in making as much money as men, but some industries attract more men than women, so it makes sense that women aren’t gravitating toward trade schools nearly as much as men.

In the long run, maybe this is for the best. After all, our society needs plumbers, electricians, carpenters, and other tradesmen. Maybe we’ve made a mistake in convincing generations of young men that their path to success was dependent upon a college degree.

And now that academia is more interested in churning out left-wing activists than well-rounded scholars, men might think twice about the financial, personal, and societal costs of going to college.

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