I got into a little slapfight on a blog this week with someone who claimed, among other things, that, “We do know that rates of young men entering college these days is in the toilet”. There were no citations, of course, because that isn’t the point of a slapfight, but it made me curious. So as long as I was avoiding some particularly tedious work this weekend, I thought I’d find out.
Answer: um, no.
Sure, enrollment rates among males aren’t growing as quickly as among females, and achievement among females has finally caught up. There was perhaps reason for concern when male enrollment dropped from 1970 to 1980, although there were extra incentives for young men to be in college in 1970 that didn’t apply in 1980. All in all, though, it’s a bit much to be calling record-high levels of enrollment and achievement “in the toilet.”
Next time, I’ll tell him so.
U.S. Census Table A-1. Years of School Completed by People 25 Years and Over, by Age and Sex: Selected Years 1940 to 2007
U.S. Census Table A-6. Age Distribution of College Students 14 Years Old and Over, by Sex: October 1947 to 2005
U.S. Census population data by age and sex