Good Question  Should modern men skip college The…

Good Question: Should modern men skip college?

The most striking trend in recent years has been that increasing numbers of men are declining the chance to go to university. In 2014, 376,860 women applied for a place at university, compared to only 282,170 men – and the gap is growing all the time.

It’s a matter for debate whether the gender divide reflects a greater hesitancy among men to shell out the £9,000 per year tuition fees, or simply corresponds to an education system in which women regularly outperform men. But whichever way you look at it, the male student is a dwindling species.

This is all the more puzzling when you consider that men on the whole do pretty well out of a spell at university. Over a working lifetime, a male graduate will earn £168,000 more than someone with A-levels but no degree. Interestingly, a female graduate nets £252,000 more than someone with A-levels but no degree.

Not puzzling at all. There’s all that debt to pay off. And the risk of legal bills and false rape charges. And anti-male bigotry at many colleges.

There are lots of good personal and professional reasons for a young man to get an education, but the stakes of getting that degree are just higher now. My advice to our son, who’ll soon be collecting his G.I Bill at the end of his Army service, is:

  • Be extremely careful about the college he chooses. 
  • Steer clear of co-ed/alcohol events on campus.
  • Consider going to work right away and complete his degree online.

We took a similarly-focused approach with our daughters, both in college now. Found a small, economical Christian liberal arts university with a good reputation for academic excellence (and some southern old school policies like curfews and separate men’s/women’s dorms).