Admissions game

It is harder for women to get into elite U.S. universities

Harvard Business School's class of 2013. Katherine Taylor/The New York Times

Private colleges and universities’ admission processes are exempt from Title IX’s ban on sex discrimination. According to Jon Birger at the Washington Post, elite colleges have exploited this loophole to discriminate against female applicants. As examples, he offers up 2014 admission rates from including Brown University (11% of men were accepted, versus 7% of women), Vassar College (34% of men were accepted versus 19% of women) and Columbia University (8% of men versus 6% of women). Those numbers are questionable when you consider that girls generally outperform boys in high school, and that at the country’s top public universities, women are admitted at higher rates than men. The explanation, according to Birger: such schools are trying to “hold the line against a 60:40 ratio of women to men.” He posits that admission officers are flooded with applications from more qualified women than men but are eager to maintain the gender balance out of a fear that a college with 60% of women or more would scare off the most sought-after applicants, “who generally want gender balance for social reasons.”

Read the full story at The Washington Post.

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