The numbers don’t lie. When it comes to enrollment over the years at Eastern Kentucky University, females have outdone males in every major category.
When Race and ethnicity trends are broken down, females still dominate the enrollment numbers over men.
The fall and spring semesters reflected this from 2013-2021.
According to the EKU Office of Institutional Research, the fall of 2019 had 6,119 males enrolled compared to 8,861 females. The spring numbers from the same year showed 5,927 males and 8,777 females.
Universities nationwide are experiencing more women enrolling into their school than men.
The director of the EKU Office of Institutional Research Chad Adkins spoke on why he believes enrollment with females at EKU is so different when compared to males.
“The economy has been doing well for some time now and I think there are more blue collar jobs available now that do not require a degree. Males are more likely to do that kind of work,” Adkins said.
The difference between enrollment for both genders may be cause for concern, but moreso, another worry is that both male and female enrollment numbers have dropped from “2013-2020”.
Adkins believes the recent drop is due in some part to recent politics.
“Some of the drop as a whole could be attributed to politics. There seems to be an attack on education over the last five years. A college degree being a more liberal path seems to have pushed some of those on the right side of the aisle to shy away from education and seek out more blue collar work,” Adkins said.
Enrollment at EKU has seen some positive trends, such as the Latino/Hispanic enrollment. Since 2013, the Latino/Hsipanic population of men and women enrolling at EKU has risen every year, hitting an all time high in 2021.
The EKU Office Of Institutional Research shows that the Latino population has risen from 156 to 260 from 2014 to 2021, while the Latina population rose from 177 to 354 in the same years.
Socorro Zaragoza is a professor at EKU who works in the department of Language & Cultural studies, Anthropology, and Sociology teaching Spanish classes.
Zaragoza, who is involved in initiatives to bring more Latino students to campus, pinpointed areas that contributed to the rise in Latino/Hispanic students enrolling at EKU.
“Professors in the Department of Languages, Cultures, Anthropology and Humanities collaborate with the admissions office in their recruiting efforts, and the hiring of Lilliana Gomez shows the commitment to continue with those efforts of bringing Latino students to EKU,” said Zaragoza.
Zaragoza also talked about campus events and camps that show EKU’s dedication to Latino/Hispanic students.
“During the summer, we have the Latino Experience and Leadership Camp for high school students in collaboration with BCTC. This camp in collaboration with BCTC was a model for EKU’s Camino Camp, which we have now. Camino Camp is specifically for EKU Students. The camp is another initiative that the university shows for recruitment of Latino students to EKU,” said Zaragoza.
A similar trend in the Hispanic/Latino enrollment showed that female enrollment is higher than male enrollment, although both are still rising.
Zaragoza noted a reason for the difference between Latino/Hispanic gender enrollment at universities nationwide, including EKU.
“There is a pressure for Latino males to be the provider for their families. The males are expected to enter the workforce sooner than females,” said Zaragoza.
Zaragoza noted that the numerous events EKU has for Latino/Hispanic students shows how dedicated the university is to attracting new students from this ethnic background.
“EKU has a month-long celebration called Latino Heritage Month. There are many events that Latino/Hispanic students recognize. They can see how EKU values their culture and heritage,” said Zaragoza.