It's been pretty clear for awhile that more females were going to college, but now the gender gap is getting wider
, leading some to wonder if there should be affirmative action to get more males onto campus.
In May, the Minnesota Office of Higher Education posted the inevitable culmination of a trend: Last year for the first time, women earned more than half the degrees granted statewide in every category, be it associate, bachelor, master, doctoral or professional.
Cause for celebration � or for concern?
Before you answer, consider the perspective of Jim McCorkell, founder of Admission Possible, a St. Paul program to help low-income high school kids prepare for college. Last year, 30% of the students were boys. This fall, that has inched up to 34%, but only because "we actually did a little affirmative action," McCorkell says. "If we had a tie (between a male and a female applicant), we gave it to a boy."
It's hardly a surprise that female students are more numerous, given the general observation from econometric studies that the rate of return on higher education for females is 2% higher than for males. (There's a summary table of research in this paper
as Table 1.) But it is interesting to see how colleges are handling this problem
. My curiosity -- do female students prefer to have gender balance or do they prefer a majority of female students around them?