There is a gender gap in college admissions, as an article in “The Washington Post” penned by Nick Anderson points out today. In his piece entitled “The gender factor in college admissions: Do men or women have an edge?,” Anderson points out that more women have been applying to — and attending — American universities for quite a while now. In fact, over the course of the last decade, females account for 57% of degree earners at American universities, as reported by Anderson. It’s not as though this is a new trend either. More women have been graduating from American universities since 1979. That’s a long-running streak.
But do men have an edge in the highly selective college admissions process if they’re the minority gender? According to the article in “The Washington Post” in which the newspaper analyzed federal data at 128 universities, “At 16 of these schools, men and women were admitted at equal rates. That included Dartmouth College and Harvard, Princeton, Johns Hopkins, Duke and Emory universities. At 48 schools, women were admitted at a higher rate than men. The female edge was notable at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (eight percentage points), California Institute of Technology (10 points), Carnegie Mellon University (10 points) and Harvey Mudd College (24 points). At those four schools, men outnumbered women significantly.” One need not analyze the data to know that women have an edge in the admissions process at universities like MIT and Caltech. But the other analyses are quite interesting.
Highly selective universities always want as close to a balance of men and women as possible in their incoming classes. So if more women are in the applicant pool — and these women are highly qualified for admission — they will have a slightly more difficult time of it than equally qualified male applicants. It’s the very nature of the statistics. If this surprises you, we’re curious to hear why. Let us know your thoughts on the gender gap in college admissions by posting a Comment below. We look forward to hearing from you.
And, while you’re here, we were previously quoted in an article on the gender gap in highly selective college admissions so be sure to check it out.