The Role of Gender in Admissions

Last September, the New York Times ran an article about Tulane University’s efforts to rebalance its gender ratio in admissions by targeting more male applicants. This prompted our team to investigate what, if any, role gender plays in admissions. Our review of the Common Data Set from the large research universities, top-ranked technological institutions, and small liberal arts colleges our clients consider revealed that male and female students share roughly the same rate of acceptance. A few institutions, including New York University, Amherst, Tufts, and Loyola Marymount University, admit female and male students almost at an identical rate despite a 20-30% higher prevalence of female applicants.

However, there were a few outliers. Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Purdue University, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and California Polytechnic Institute-San Luis Obispo accepted a higher proportion of female applicants than male ones. Despite this, the percentage of women who actually enrolled in these institutions remains similar to or significantly trailed their male counterparts.

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