Study: Men less likely to graduate

Elise Franco

Recently it seems college-aged females have surpassed their male counterparts in more than just enrollment at Kent State.

According to a recent The New York Times article, “The New Gender Divide,” women have been performing better in college. The article stated men are less likely to earn a bachelor’s degree than women.

At Kent State, this seems to hold true.

Sally Kandel, associate vice president of research, planning and institutional effectiveness, said retention is the telltale sign of the widening gender gap, although it might not be evident in the early years of college.

“If you look at the retention rate of returning first year students, you don’t really see a huge difference,” she said. “For males it is a 71.1 percent return rate, and for females it is 72.4 percent.

“You need the graduation rates, which are calculated every six years.”

Kandel said in the most recent figures from 1999, females had a 49.1 percent graduation rate, but only 40.7 percent of males received their diplomas.

“There is a certain socialization women bring to the classroom,” said Clare Stacey, assistant professor in the department of sociology.

She said it’s not necessarily that females are working harder and males are slacking off, but at every level of education, females tend to follow rules, listen in class and take notes better, whereas males tend to be more outspoken and not as fully engaged in the classroom.

Different attitudes between men and women may also play a role in the divide.

Kim Vitolo, freshman exploratory major, said her main purpose at Kent State is to achieve good grades. To do so, she studies at least one hour every night.

“I’ve always strived to do well and get good grades,” she said. “Partying doesn’t matter to me. I have plenty of time to do that. I am here to get an education.”

Sophomore architecture major Brendon Hanks’ view on college is slightly different.

“I am a transfer student,” He said, “I concentrated on getting good grades at Baldwin-Wallace, and I really missed out on the social aspect of college because of that. I’m trying to be more social now.”

But Hanks said he doesn’t deny the importance of his education.

“I do what I need to do. I still go to class, and I do homework assignments,” he said.

Stacey said it all comes back to the original point that from a young age, females are taught certain skills and excel in different areas than males, such as English, writing and grammar.

“These patterns and attitudes are learned in grade school,” she said. “Females bring these specific behaviors and skills to college with them, and I think that is what has helped them excel.”

However, not all male students at Kent State are less focused on their studies, including freshman English major Samuel Mendez.

“I want to get good grades now,” he said. “I can always party later, but I need a good education to get a good job.”

Contact general assignment reporter Elise Franco at [email protected].