Blogs > Liberty and Power > Black, White, and _Brown_ II: "With No Deliberate Speed"

Jun 28, 2006 10:31 pm

Black, White, and _Brown_ II: "With No Deliberate Speed"

I did some fact checking on Hunter College's graduation rates overall and by race and gender. The problem of low graduation rates is across the board at Hunter, at my institution (Southern Illinois) and nationwide. Women, who now make up a majority of college students, also have higher graduation rates. Hunter seems to be much more female-dominated than most schools, however, with 70 percent of students women.

Here are the numbers for Hunter College (available from and based on government's IPEDs six-year graduation rates; every school in the country is required to report this data -- look up your own school to see for yourself). Graduation rates are over six-years:

Overall: 39%

White Female: 48%
White Male: 27%

Black Female: 37%
Black Male: 28% (actually higher than the white male figure).

Women have much higher graduation rates across other ethnicities as well. These numbers are very close to my institution's (SIU).

Clearly, there is a "male" crisis that is not limited by race. What is at the bottom of this? Christina Hoff Sommers has a book on the topic but it's on my "to read when I finally get time" list.


Jonathan Bean

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M.D. Fulwiler - 7/2/2006

Is it really a "crisis" that a lot of men are not getting college degrees these days? Very few people, male or female, had college degrees 100 years ago, but I don't know if anyone considered that a "crises." I think it's important that people are educated and have useful skills, but it's not necessary to spend $150,000 at a fancy college for that. I'm glad I got a college degree, but I'm still poor and just have a mediocre job.

Bill Woolsey - 6/29/2006

While futher research would be helpful, the issue in the U.S. is probably not that men cannot obtain places in universtities. (If fees were low and entry very limited, then teaching techniques and IQ might be key issues.) While some schools are very competitive, there are plenty of universities that require only minimal academic qualifications. And, of course, university is very expensive.

My guess is that men apply to go to university less frequently than women. Why? Lots of possibilities. A greater willingness to rebel against parents' wishes, greater interest in a blue collar lifestyle in the short run, perhaps greater hope of a high income blue collar career in the long run, less interest in meeting a good long term mate in college, more interest in meeting the kind of young women who find your muscle car overwhelmingly appealing--a car one can finance with ones current job but not at college.....

There are also differences in incarceration and military service to take into account.

I wonder to what degree this will be reversed with additional formal training by men in the future. How long to find out if the issue isn't simply postponement of further education?

Max Schwing - 6/29/2006

Well, at first, I'd ask what kind of courses you have at colleges in the US. Then, I'd have to put forth that education has been focusing on female learning techniques and so put men on a disadvantage. Most of all, men understand the necessity of learning later (at least in the observations I have done).
Also, most topics (especially in the social and human sciences) are often centered on female-friendly themes.

On the other hand, there is a distinction between men and women that plays into this. While women I.Q. is mostly distributed close to the average, the male I.Q. is more diverse with either very bright or not-suited-for-higher-ed.

All those factors could play into it and define that gap.

At last, we shouldn't neglect that subjects that are mathematical or in the sciences are still dominated by men. (If I look into my classroom, I'd say 90% male and 10 % female (at top!))