The pandemic is speeding up the mass disappearance of men from college

Jon Marcus:

When he and his male classmates talk about going to college, said Debrin Adon, it always comes down to one thing.

“We’re more focused on money,” said Adon, 17, a senior at a public high school here. “Like, getting that paycheck, you know?” Whereas, “if I go to college, I’ve got to pay this much and take on all this debt.”

That’s among the many reasons the number of men who go to college has for years been badly trailing the number of women who go. And the Covid-19 pandemic has abruptly thrown the ratio even more off balance.

While enrollment in higher education overall fell 2.5 percent in the fall, or by more than 461,000 students compared to the fall of 2019, the decline among men was more than seven times as steep as the decline among women, according to an analysis of figures from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.