Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster PA began as Franklin College, the first coeducational college, in 1787.
Its first class had 78 male and 36 female students. The school ran into financial problems, and women students were shut out for 182 years.
Women remained the minority in colleges and universities for many years. Now 56% of American higher education students are women, and the percentage has been rising.
Traditionally, men were the family breadwinners, and college was the path to higher salaries. During the feminist movement of the 1970s, more girls sought careers, and enrolled in college. By 1981, more women than men were attending.
There has been an unexpected and unexplained drop in the number of boys applying to college. Researchers have a number of theories. More boys than girls drop out or are expelled from high school. Boys are three times more likely than girls to be in special education programs. (info from PBS and other sources)