Studies have shown that women are performing better than men in terms of acquiring college education. Unlike in the past, when men dominated the sphere of college education, research demonstrates that women outnumber men in admission to college. For years, college campuses were dominated by men but this is currently not the case as more and more female students enroll every year. Furthermore, it is evident that more women are working hard and putting more effort towards attainment of their graduate and master’s degrees (Lewin). Male students are only taking simple courses that will enable them to complete their college education. Conversely, women are specializing in courses that increase their chances of earning a master’s degree within the same period as those students graduating with a bachelor’s degree. In terms of enrollment, hard work, and grades in college, it is evident that women perform better than men.
For over three decades since female students became the majority group in colleges, male students have been trailing behind them in several other issues in addition to enrolment. Generally, 42% of college students across the country are male, while 58% are female (Lewin). In higher education, men perform poorer than women and this trend is experienced across OECD countries. The widening gap is due to the huge number of women who enroll and participate, and not just a decline in the participation rates among male students. The number of male students joining higher education in OECD countries has increased, but the increase in female participation has been much stronger (Severiens & Dam 453). Female students also study at a rapid rate, and this has seen the number of women in college exceeding that of men.
It is, therefore, evident that on average, female students outnumber male students and end up becoming more successful in college education. The most important issue is finding the reason why this has taken place in the last two decades and why women are motivated to persist, while men drop out before completing their education. As women enrolment surpasses the 50% and job discrimination based on gender continues to fade, men are being leapfrogged to the academic finish. Even as the number of female students enrolling in higher education continued to increase in the 1990s, officials focused their attention on the plight of the girl child. A good example is the report published in 1992 by the American Association of University Women that was entitled “How Schools Shortchange Girls" (Lewin). However, even as the rate of female enrolment in higher education increases, evidence still shows that men dominate the science-mathematics axis, earn better salaries, and hold more power compared to their female colleagues.
What is already evident is that the college landscape has transformed drastically, with women constituting over 58% of the number of students who enroll in higher education. This applies to both four and two year colleges, as well as most of the professional and graduate schools. Apart from engineering schools, most if not all institutions of higher learning tend to report a higher rate of female students enrolments. Furthermore, several small liberal arts colleges as well as major public universities range from a ratio of 60% to 40% in terms of female and male enrollment respectively (Lewin). It is also expected that even elite institutions, such as Harvard, that were for several years considered to be male bastions will start to be accepting towards female students.
Studies have shown that most male students select the easiest subjects or courses that will simply allow them to graduate at the end of the learning session. They are not motivated to take challenging subjects that would influence them to think critically and become multifaceted analysts in the future. For instance, although 24-year-old Kohn is passionate about economics, he is indifferent towards education and does not express much interest in other classes (Lewin). Female students care about their GPA, while male students do not care whether they get an A or a B since it does not prevent them from proceeding to the next class.
Studies have also revealed that the attrition rates of male students are much higher compared to those of female students. This implies that more men are likely to drop out of college before they graduate in comparison to female students. This is mostly attributed to poor performance (Severiens & Dam 454). Nevertheless, these observations do not apply to all programs that are offered in college. An important issue that needs to be addressed is why female students excel in programs that are dominated by men, while male students perform poorly in programs that are female-dominated. Basically, these issues can be rounded up to the amount of hard work that male and female students put in school. Females have been found to put more efforts in their academic programs, while male students focus more on social activities. There is very little opportunity for a student to be successful in college if they fail to put hard work in their performance.
There are several examples that show that female student work harder in class compared to male students. For instance, Jen Smyers was admitted to the American University in Washington where she spent three years. During this time, she managed to get the dean’s scholarship, three jobs, and four internships. Every term she made it to the dean’s list, and she was the leader of the women initiative that was setup by the campus (Lewin). Furthermore, as the rest of her colleagues graduated with a bachelor’s degree, she was honored with a master’s degree. When Smyers was interviewed, she said that female students were motivated to work hard and achieve better results in comparison to their male colleagues.
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Statistics from the Department of Education shows that male students irrespective of their socioeconomic status or race are less likely to attain a bachelor’s degree. Among those who succeed, very few graduate within four or five years, implying that they have to take extra time in school to complete their education. Male students also attain worse grades than female students. Two nationwide studies revealed that male students in college socialized more and studied less compared to their female colleagues (Lewin). Therefore, it is not a surprise that elite institutions such as Harvard, big universities like UCLA, and liberal arts colleges such as Dickinson have a disproportionately huge number of women graduating with honors degrees. However, different variations in data have been found depending on the nature and number of women participating in certain programs.
For instance, men and women have been found to have similar academic performance in programs where the number of males exceeds that of females. In courses where women are a minority, they often perform poorer and may have a higher dropout rate compared to their male colleagues. This implies that there are special cases where women tend to have poorer grades than men, and they tend to make a huge progress in programs that have a huge percentage of women (Severiens & Dam 454). At Harvard University, 55% of female students graduated with honors while the rate of male graduate barely reached 50%. Moreover, a public university known as Florida Atlantic University saw 64% of the total number of graduates being female, with 75% graduating with honors degrees and 79% - with the highest honors, also known as summa cum laude (Lewin). However, this does not imply that there are no male students who perform well. Across the country, there are male students who graduate at the top of their class, particularly in fields such as engineering, computer science, and physics, which are mostly dominated by male students. Studies basically suggest that although the number of male students who enroll in high school education has increased, the rate of increase of female enrolment has been even higher. This is one of the reasons why the number of women who join college has increased drastically.
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This paper has critically analyzed why women have overtaken men in terms of enrolment and performance in college education. It is evident that women have for the past two decades outpaced men in terms of enrolling in higher education, as more men continue to drop out before they complete their college education. Further, female students tend to work harder than their male counterparts who usually concentrate on social networking. Studies have also shown that female student tend to work harder in order to earn higher grades than male students who take simple subjects that will simply enable them to proceed to the next class. From the above analysis, it can be argued that years of hard work as well as dedication among the female student has contributed to their success in higher education. This has resulted in situations where women excel in male-dominated courses while males continue to flop in courses that are usually dominated by female students.