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Are there any colleges where men do as well as women?

collegehelpcollegehelp Registered User Posts: 6,590 Senior Member
I have heard that women enroll in college at a higher rate than men. I have also heard that women outperform men in college. Women graduate at a higher rate and have higher gpas.

I came across the following information about a particular university.

average gpa for women was .16 higher than the average gpa for men.

graduation rate for women was 9% higher than the graduation rate for men.

I wondered whether this was due to the concentration of men in technical subjects like engineering and comp sci which typically have lower gpa and grad rates.

in engineering, the gpa for women was .11 higher
in comp sci, the gpa for women was .14 higher

in engineering, the grad rate for women was 14% higher
in comp sci, the grad rate for women was also 14% higher

The above is true despite higher SAT scores for men.

Is this typical? Are there colleges where men do as well as women? Why are men lagging? What is wrong with the guys? What happens to them when they get to college?

My hunch is that men have more problems with drinking and drugs.
Post edited by collegehelp on
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Replies to: Are there any colleges where men do as well as women?

  • HannaHanna Registered User Posts: 14,805 Senior Member
    This is not typical at most of the ultraselective schools discussed on this site. Graduation rates at places like HYPS often vary significantly by race (a separate problem), but rarely by gender.

    There are different demographic factors at work at different kinds of colleges -- we'd have to know roughly what school you're talking about even to make a reliable guess about what's at work there.
  • collegehelpcollegehelp Registered User Posts: 6,590 Senior Member
    Hanna- I would describe this college as second-tier. It is not known as a party school. It is a relatively serious place. In your post, did you intend to say "not typical" instead of "typical"?

    Maybe it isn't the partying but the lack of partying that is driving the men away. I can't understand it.
  • HannaHanna Registered User Posts: 14,805 Senior Member
    Yes, I did. Thank you. I'll edit. :)

    This IS typical of less selective schools. Nationwide, though, the gap is almost entirely accounted for by the gender gap among nonwhite students. White men and women attend and graduate from college at roughly the same rate. But among Hispanics and African-Americans, women are so much more likely to attend and graduate (at some schools there is a threefold difference) that the effect shows in the general population. There are many competing explanations for this, and I sure don't know if they're right. They range from the fact that men are more likely than women to find a good-paying job with just a high school diploma to theories about high schools shortchanging boys.

    Re: women's graduation edge in engineering being even greater than the general edge, I wonder if only the most dedicated and determined women study engineering -- it is rarely a "default" major for them.
  • collegehelpcollegehelp Registered User Posts: 6,590 Senior Member
    Hanna-
    The NCAA says that women graduate at a 5% higher rate in colleges that are Div I or Div IA (not just athletes but all students)

    The gender difference in the Ivies is smaller but still there. There is quite a gender gap at Swarthmore. The gender gap among the publics is quite large.

    When you focus on caucasians, the gender gap is smaller but is is still there.

    The gender gap at the Techs is not much different.

    graduation rates
    caucasian rates are in parenthesis for selected colleges
    college men (caucasian men) women (caucasian women)

    Harvard 98 98
    Yale 96 96
    Princeton 96 97
    U Penn 92 92
    Brown 96 96
    Cornell 91 93
    Columbia 90 (91) 94 (93)
    Stanford 93 (94) 96 (96)

    MIT 91 94
    Caltech 89 86
    CMU 80 83

    U Michigan 83 (87) 87 (90)
    U Wisconsin 73 (78) 78 (80)
    UC Berkeley 82 (86) 88 (88)
    Michigan State 67 (70) 71 (74)
    SUNY Albany 63 (66) 69 (70)
    U Colorado Boulder 66 (68) 70 (72)

    Swarthmore 87 (88) 96 (99)
    Amherst 95 (96) 99 (98)
    Williams 96 95
    Middlebury 90 93
    Grinnell 85 85
    Wheaton 81 82

    Notre Dame 94 96
    Boston U 72 (74) 78 (79)
    Syracuse 79 (83) 83 (85)

    data is 2003 from:
    http://www.institutiondata.com/
  • librarymomlibrarymom Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    Interesting data. Just wondering why there is such a gender gap at Swarthmore? Any ideas?
  • Spetsnaz OpSpetsnaz Op Registered User Posts: 870 Member
    I've heard that women are more likely to choose easier majors like English or Psychology as opposed to men - of course the fact that engineering schools are mostly men is the most likely reason for this GPA imbalance.
  • collegehelpcollegehelp Registered User Posts: 6,590 Senior Member
    spetznaz-
    In the original post, women exceeded men in both gpa and graduation rates in both engineering and computer science. Women have higher graduation rates at MIT and CMU, two "tech" colleges.
  • collegehelpcollegehelp Registered User Posts: 6,590 Senior Member
    The biggest gender diparity I've found so far is at the University of Southern Mississippi. Men=36% gradrate, women 52% ...a 16% gap.

    I guess we answered part of the question...yes there are colleges where men do as well as women- Harvard, Yale, Penn, Brown, Caltech, Grinnell. At most other colleges I checked, women excel.

    Hanna-the possible explanations you suggested for the gender gap made sense to me. I think you are probably correct about women engineers and computer scientists; they must determined and focused.

    My fear is that there is something about male culture and psyche that interferes with their success. Too many distractions and temptations, perhaps, that divert them from the business of learning.
  • ecapeecape Registered User Posts: 1,189 Senior Member
    Just to throw this out there (i'm bsing and possibly have no clue), but do those graduation rates at Swat include transfers? B/c when I was talking to students at Swat about Swat, I got rave reviews from females but not always males. Perhaps females prefer the unusually close-knit environment, whereas males would like to, i dunno, mess around more or something, so their transfer-outs are primarily males?
  • DRabDRab Registered User Posts: 6,104 Senior Member
    Perhaps girls are praised and encouraged more than boys, causing better performance and causing them to go to higher education, continuing their better performance.
  • collegehelpcollegehelp Registered User Posts: 6,590 Senior Member
    ecape- I believe the graduation rates at all the colleges including Swat treat students who transfer out as drop-outs from the college. That's the way these rates are usually reported.

    DRAb-Your theory sounds plausible...girls attract more attention and praise for their work in middle school and high school. Maybe not enough male role models in the schools...teaching is still a primarily female profession. Just speculating. Its great for the girls; they should be encouraged. But nobody should be overlooked. This might be part of it.

    But I think the main thing is that women simply have better work habits in college. Maybe too they are better able to sustain their attention for intellectual discussions whereas men would prefer an action/adventure experience. Again, I am just speculating.
  • DRabDRab Registered User Posts: 6,104 Senior Member
    That's possible. My speculation comes from experience, though.

    Do girls attract more attention and praise? Perhaps, but even if they do not, it was given to them. Girls were deliberately praised more in pre K to middle school. In high school it seemed to even out. These were all regular, public schools in CA. I do not think that it is a lack of male role models, although that might be the case, but I do think that it is overemphasis towards having women “succeed." It is some sort of counter to the past when men outnumbered females in higher education, and the best schools were inaccessible to women. Sure, it’s great for the girls, but not at the cost of men. That is unfair, regardless of history.

    If women do have better work habits (which I agree with), do women inherently have better work habits (as in they are born with them), or does it result from various factors, perhaps including anything from an “I will prove to the world that women are better and more capable than men” mindset, the foundation of praise from teachers (of which men get less, in my experience), to who knows what else?
  • Spetsnaz OpSpetsnaz Op Registered User Posts: 870 Member
    spetznaz-
    In the original post, women exceeded men in both gpa and graduation rates in both engineering and computer science. Women have higher graduation rates at MIT and CMU, two "tech" colleges.

    This may be true but the difference in quantity far overshadows this - and also arguably corrupts any direct comparisons due to lack of sample. It might be interesting to see what happens around recruiting time - because it appears that men seem to make more (slightly? I'm not sure) on average then women. Glass ceiling? Perhaps, perhaps not. I guess we'll wait and see what happens as these women penetrate the work force.

    Also your CMU comparison is laughable considering their huge drama and arts school. You can't compare grad rates there and say men aren't doing as well because the drama school graduates a larger percentage of people then say engi. Carnegie Mellon is hardly a tech school - more like a good tech school + a kickass drama program + good business and arts.
  • ecapeecape Registered User Posts: 1,189 Senior Member
    Studies show that in both chimpanzees and humans young to adolescent females have better attention spans than males, and therefore learn certain tasks more quickly. That being said, it used to be that females had lower graduation rates from college than males b/c male profs favored male students. Perhaps all else being equal but biological factors, females should have a much higher grad rate than males -but who knows?
  • collegehelpcollegehelp Registered User Posts: 6,590 Senior Member
    Spetsnaz-Compared to Visual and Performing Arts, Carnegie Mellon graduates over 4 times as many bachelors degrees in engineering, comp sci, and science/math. Check the IPEDS COOL website.

    http://nces.ed.gov/IPEDS/cool/index.asp
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