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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Class of ’22:  Fewer males aim for college

After two pandemic years, the college-going gender gap is widening, reports YouthTruth’s Class of 2022 survey.

Compared to the class of 2019, the percentage of males with college aspirations has dropped by 7 percentage points to 67 percent, while 82 percent of their female classmates want to attend college.

While 74 percent of students want to attend college, only 66 percent expect to enroll in a two- or four-year institution, the survey found.

Fifty-four percent of young women in the class of 2022 expect to enroll at a four-year college or university, compared to just 40 percent of young men, reflecting a widening gender gap.

Girls do significantly better than boys in K-12 classes, so they’re better prepared for college success.

“Twenty-eight percent of this year’s seniors “say the pandemic has altered their future plans,” reports YouthTruth. That number is higher for Black and Hispanic students, and for those who say they were personally affected by the pandemic.

In particular, fewer seniors plan to enroll in a two-year college compared to two years ago.

When asked, “After you finish high school, what do you expect to do next?” the majority of seniors in the class of 2022 report that they expect to attend a four-year college (47 percent) or two-year college (19 percent). About one in 10 (11 percent) are still not sure, eight percent plan to work a full-time job, six percent plan to do something other than the options listed, five percent plan to attend a trade or technical school, and four percent plan to join the military.

“Fewer seniors in the class of 2022 report participating in career counseling and college financial counseling than in 2019,” with significant drops for male, Hispanic, rural and multi-racial students.

Taking community college classes would be a smart and low-cost move for some of these young men, especially if they focus on acquiring job skills. I still don’t understand why community college enrollment has taken such a big hit.

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