Maggie: Colleges often work to recruit certain students for things like grades, athletics, the arts. But what about for things like being a certain gender? Demetrius Pipkin checks out the latest group of students that colleges are after.
Demetrius: Walk around most college campuses in the country and you will notice something very quickly about the students there.
Anthony Elam: There are literally no dudes in here.
Demetrius: During the 1960s, a push was made to recruit greater numbers of women into higher education. And in the early ‘90s, female enrollment began to exceed male enrollment. That gap has continued to grow over the past twenty years. Today, the average student body across the country is 58% female. For African-American and Latino students, that gap is even wider; about 2:1 female to male. Here at Cal State, Long Beach, female students outnumber their male classmates by more than 15%. So the school is now reaching out to boys before they even enter high school.
Brett Waterfield: We encourage our guys that are here to bring their little brothers to campus, their nephews, their next door neighbors and let them spend a day on a college campus so they can begin to see themselves in years to come in that same role.
Demetrius: Some people blame the downturn of the economy for this growing trend as families – particularly those in low-income households – struggled to make ends meet, the male was often expected to work to help support the family while others say that more and more women are enrolling in college to try to even the playing field in a workforce where women are still only making about 77 cents for every dollar a male makes.
Cal State, Long Beach says once they get males to enroll, getting them to graduate is also a challenge, especially among minorities. To help, they are offering counseling to help them transition from their childhood communities to college life.
Siboney Ordaz: My guy cousins kind of went to school and just dropped out and decided to get a job. And they feel like, ‘Oh, working is better than going to school.’
Demetrius: But graduating doesn’t seem to be a problem for women. In fact, they are more likely to go on and get advanced degrees as well. Some say they feel more comfortable at higher learning institutions where there are more girls.
Isela Moreila: I feel more comfortable speaking up, I guess for the fact because I grew up with majority of guys being in the classroom. I felt like I couldn’t speak my own opinion.
Demetrius: Demetrius Pipkin, Channel One News.
Maggie: Even though the percentage of male college students compared to females is down, the total number of men graduating college is up from two decades ago.