Male enrollment declines locally, nationally


Dan Elson

Fewer male students than females have been registering for classes at AACC, mirroring a national trend.

Dan Elson, Editor-in-Chief

The number of male students who have enrolled at AACC over the past eight years has declined by 29.7%, part of a nationwide trend.

Over the same time, enrollment of female students at AACC has declined by 21.7%, according to the college.

“We’re still seeing decreases in women’s enrollment,” Vice President for Learning Tanya Millner said. “But we’ve seen smaller numbers of male students.”

More than 9,000 students enrolled at AACC this semester, according to the Office of Strategic Communications. Among them, 39.1%–slightly more than 3,500–of those students are men.

According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, men made up 40.5% of the student body at community colleges nationwide, an all-time low.

According to Millner, college may not be as big a priority as finding a job and taking care of elderly loved ones.

Millner said male enrollment also could be declining because more men want to pursue jobs after high school. 

“Men [historically] had greater job opportunities than women [after high school],” Millner said. “Men did not necessarily need higher education at the same rates as women. Politically, women probably needed more credentials to do the same jobs as men.”

Doug Shapiro, executive director of the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, said in a press release that many undergraduate students sat out during COVID-19.

“Without a dramatic re-engagement in their education, the potential loss to these students’ earnings and futures is significant,” Shapiro said. “[This] will greatly impact the nation as a whole in years to come.”

Donnell Foote was a first-year creative writing student when he dropped out of AACC in 2020 because, he said, he wanted to pursue creative writing opportunities. 

“I’m a good enough writer,” Foote said. “As people see my talents, I work hard on making stories every day. I didn’t have to come here and take a bunch of classes that I personally don’t believe in doing.”

Jake Myer, who graduated from Broadneck High School in 2021, would have been a first-year student last semester, but he decided not to enroll in college.

“I’m working full time currently and making money,” Myer said. “It’s not enough to [pay] to go to college and save up for a car. So, I just couldn’t go financially.”

Evan DeHaven, former AACC history student, dropped out in 2019.

“I couldn’t make up my mind at the time,” DeHaven said. “I wanted to teach and then after that, I moved into business for other reasons and then some personal events happened in my life [and then] I slowly just stopped going and dropped out.”