Yet skyrocketing education costs have made college more risky today than for past generations, potentially saddling graduates in lower-paying careers—as well as those who drop out—with student loans they can’t repay.
In spite of rising education costs the general trend has been towards a greater rate of degree completion. It is a factor influencing decisions but it's not like the rate of degree completion has dropped. We can't view covid-19 as indicative of overall trends. Check:
In the year 1950, fewer than 10% of the American population aged 25-29 years had completed college. These were 3-1 men. (1949–50 Total 432,058 Men 328,841 Women 103,217) This is what The Feminine Mystique is all about. Obviously women were going to catch up. The cost of college has done nothing but balloon dramatically but the total percentage of completion has only increased in a straight line.
I mean check, more women than men were awarded Bachelor's degrees by 1981. By 1989-1990 it was 13% more women than men. In 2016-2017 it was 49.5% more. This seems coincident with broader social change, i.e. feminism, not high schools suddenly becoming punishing towards the male ethic. 
323.1 million (2016) 707,000 (male degrees awarded, 2016-2017) 0.218% male degrees awarded per people, that year.
249.6 million (1990) 491,696 (male degrees awarded,1989-1990) 0.197% male degrees awarded per people that year. 
Problems with my crappy model, 51% of babies are female, international students, inexact figure for U.S. population. Doesn't account for graduate degrees. I haven't even gone into income distribution.
1991 High school graduate $52,293
2019 High school graduate $48,708
1991 Bachelor's degree $89,407
2019 Bachelor's degree $100,164
in inflation adjusted 2019 U.S. dollars.
So the relative median income. for going to college has increased dramatically compared to high school despite more degrees in the market. Except college is way more expensive now. 
So more male degrees are being awarded as a percentage of the overall population. More men are finishing college over time. In spite of ballooning costs and ramped up admission requirements. The only issue is that even more women are finishing. That sounds different than "A Generation of American Men Give Up on College."
The ultimate question is whether or not women have gained as a percentage due to men being disadvantaged, women being unfairly favoured, or simply women are participating in greater numbers, period.
When these debates come up, there is an inevitable finger pointing towards some sort of "boy crisis" that plagues the youth due to what are perceived as some type of inevitably feminized educational process sucking the joy of life out of them. But these rigid chronologies have always existed. Is the strap better than the office calling home when you're late for class or being watched on CCTV camera? What about cell phones in class?
I have this theory that success is based on sheer tenacity. Certain kids, often from more privileged backgrounds will say "yes my high school is stupid and I hate the administration but I'm just going to plow through this and hope college is better and I have a better time." Similar hope can be achieved by transferring institutions or believing graduate school or a job will be better. The system always sucks, that's the nature of the mortal body. The advantage rich kids have however is they are given more opportunities to fuck up, they have parents that demand good grades, they are forced to surrender their misgivings with the system until they inevitably make it through and can make their own decisions as to whether or not they felt it was worth it. Most of them seem to once the cheques inevitably start rolling in but that takes forever.
The conventional view on campuses, she said, is that “men make more money, men hold higher positions, why should we give them a little shove from high school to college?”
Men make substantially more money than women if they go to college. Because men tend to be concentrated in STEM majors, they also tend to be making more money. You're also probably more likely to succeed in law or politics if you're male, you can work longer hours, you need worry less about child-rearing, etc. Plus we need a real man in charge! Rawrrr!
Data in the last twenty years shows the general trend of girls outperforming boys in academic achievement in terms of class grades across all subjects and college graduation rates, but boys score higher on standardized tests and are better represented in higher-paying and more prestigious STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math).
Median individual income, 2018, Bachelor's degree holders. That's 39% more money.
Female $49,011 
Social science researchers cite distractions and obstacles to education that weigh more on boys and young men, including videogames, pornography, increased fatherlessness and cases of overdiagnosis of boyhood restlessness and related medications.
Hhhwhat? These articles always have to connect this back to single mothers or some form of moral degeneracy. I was going to send the transcript to the university but oh.. oh Lord... oh Lord... i'M GONNA COOM!
Men in interviews around the U.S. said they quit school or didn’t enroll because they didn’t see enough value in a college degree for all the effort and expense required to earn one. Many said they wanted to make money after high school.
This is another issue. You need to have some type of vision for what your 20s are going to look like and if your vision is just "I just wanna make money and ball out and be a high class roller" you're just gonna default to vegging out. And college is A LOT OF WORK. Why bother if you hate those people anyway? They're better dressed, they're snobby, they got richy rich parents, they probably picked on you in high school. The reason you bother is because you see something worthwhile in it, and sometimes that goes beyond immediate gratification.
Many young men who dropped out of college said they worried about their future but nonetheless quit school with no plan in mind. “I would say I feel hazy,” said 23-year-old Jay Wells, who quit Defiance College in Ohio after a semester. He lives with his mother and delivers pallets of soda for Coca-Cola Co. in Toledo for $20 an hour.
Rent is due, folks.
The young men who enroll lag behind. Among University of Vermont undergraduates, about 55% of male students graduate in four years compared with 70% of women. “I see a lot of guys that are here for four years to drink beer, smoke weed, hang out and get a degree,” said Luke Weiss, a civil engineering student and fraternity president of Pi Kappa Alpha at the campus.
I will also make the side point that while women seem to get better grades, sometimes men can get away with having worse grades and still rise to the top. That's another point not mentioned in the educational gap. But you still have to try. All sorts of uber-successful people were involved in serious BS back in the day.
Young women appear eager to take leadership roles, making up 59% of student body presidents in the 2019-20 academic year and 74% of student body vice presidents, according to W.H. “Butch” Oxendine, Jr., executive director of the American Student Government Association.
As was the case on my university campus, women run the student council, men run the country.
Keith E. Smith, a mental-health counselor and men’s outreach coordinator at the University of Vermont, said that when he started working at the school in 2006 he found that men were much more likely to face consequences for the trouble they caused under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
We want to help groups of white men falling through the cracks but the fact women tend to not destroy property under the influence of drugs and alcohol.. how do we equalize that without "feminizing" men or eliminating consequences for said behavior?
 Degrees conferred by degree-granting institutions, by level of degree and sex of student: Selected years, 1869-70 through 2016-17. National Census Bureau. https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d07/tables/dt07_258.asp
 Kafir, Krista (April 2007). "Taking the Boy Crisis in Education Seriously: How School Choice can Boost Achievement Among Boys and Girls." Independent Women's Forum.
 U.S. Census Bureau 2020. https://www2.census.gov/programs-surveys/cps/tables/time-series/historical-income-households/h13.xlsx
 U.S. Census Bureau 2018 https://www.census.gov/data/tables/time-series/demo/income-poverty/cps-pinc/pinc-03.html#par_textimage_32