SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. (WDVM) — College campuses are being dominated by women — a trend emerging from the pandemic shows women are on track to graduate from college over the next few years at twice the rate of men.

The latest figures show that women are running circles around men in college academics. It’s a gender gap for sure. Jilliane Leo is from Williamstown, West Virginia, and said she senses a difference on campus.

“I feel like more of the women like to prove themselves more than the men do, so they have more of a competition between each other. I feel like the men don’t really care as much about their grades, like academics,” Leo said.

The data show the gender gap cuts across race, geographical and economic backgrounds. Peyton Parker is a Shepherd student from nearby Berkeley County and is assigned to an honors dorm. He said that the women in that select living quarters far outnumber the men.

“Yes, I am definitely outnumbered by women in Martin Hall, the honors dorm,” said Parker.

A possible explanation for the trend is that millions of women left the job market during the pandemic to be with young children whose older brothers quit, or deferred school, to work. How about among Parker’s friends?

“It’s a fear factor of not knowing,” Parker said. “They don’t want to get into something and not know for sure what they want to do.”

The data also show that women are running circles around men in the classroom when it comes to grades. Eighty percent of honors graduates last year in arts and sciences are women.

“Women are more competitive than men,” said Leo. “I think it’s because they care more about their education and men are more laid back.”

The nationwide trend is for women to dominate student government boards on campus. It’s possible this trend may just be a sign of the times during the pandemic. The data also show that while 55% of men are graduating in four years, 70% of women are.