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Boy/Girl Ratios

SherieAmourSherieAmour 21 replies2 threads Junior Member
Has any of your daughters complained about the high girl to boy ratio at their colleges? Many of the colleges my daughter is looking at have way more girls than boys and this concerns her.
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Replies to: Boy/Girl Ratios

  • happy1happy1 24605 replies2490 threads Super Moderator
    My D did not like the schools that felt out of whack in terms of the Male/Female ratio (a couple of formerly all-women's LACs) -- those colleges did not make the final cut of her application list for more than that one reason. She ended up at a LAC that was pretty much 50/50.
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 6937 replies2 threads Senior Member
    Both daughters attended (or still attend) universities with more women than men, and are in majors with a LOT more women that men. Neither have complained about it, and both have boyfriends and are in very good (as far as I can tell) long term relationships.

    Both have however been happy to date very smart, responsible, kind, and slightly nerdy guys who are majoring in engineering or high tech. This might help their chances. Both did attend schools that have reasonable programs in CS, physics, math, or similar fields (these are not their majors, but do cause men to attend the same university).

    Other than the military academies and a few tech-heavy schools I do not think that your daughter has much choice regarding this specific issue.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 85067 replies758 threads Senior Member
    About 56% of undergraduate students in the US are female ( https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d19/tables/dt19_303.70.asp ), so it should not be surprising that many colleges tend to have more women than men among undergraduates.

    Choice of major can also affect the gender ratio that a student encounters. Students tend to disproportionately choose majors where their gender is overrepresented, so many will see environments that are heavy with their gender. Of course, there are exceptions, such as female mechanical engineering majors and male psychology majors, but they are uncommon compared to the opposite.

    Some colleges do try to force gender balance through undergraduate admission policies. However, this is likely to make admission more difficult for female applicants, unless the college is heavy with male-heavy majors (e.g. engineering-focused colleges).
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  • PikachuRocks15PikachuRocks15 785 replies3 threads Member
    @ucbalumnus From my college search, both Brown and Vanderbilt receive about 1.5x the amount of female applicants as they do male, so they male applicants are admitted about 2x more ( at Brown IIRC it was ~9% vs. 4-5% according to the CDS.)
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  • Data10Data10 3480 replies11 threads Senior Member
    Has any of your daughters complained about the high girl to boy ratio at their colleges? Many of the colleges my daughter is looking at have way more girls than boys and this concerns her.
    At selective colleges with open enrollment between majors, I expect you'll see a huge variation among different majors, far more so than the overall gender taio. For example, I was an EE major at Stanford. As I recall, my EE specific classes were ~90% male, yet the overall gender balance at the college was approximately 50% male / 50% female. More recently the portion of women in tech majors has dramatically improved. However, the gender balance between majors still remains, as summarized below:

    Stanford Undergrad Gender Balance
    English -- 78% Female
    Human Biology -- 78% Female
    Psychology -- 74% Female
    Overall Humanities & Sciences -- 57% Female
    Overall College -- 50% Female / 50% Male
    Overall Engineering & CS -- 60% Male
    Computer Science -- 66% Male
    Electrical Engineering-- 76% Male
    Mathematics -- 77% Male

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  • Data10Data10 3480 replies11 threads Senior Member
    edited September 24
    @ucbalumnus From my college search, both Brown and Vanderbilt receive about 1.5x the amount of female applicants as they do male, so they male applicants are admitted about 2x more ( at Brown IIRC it was ~9% vs. 4-5% according to the CDS.)

    Looking at the top ~50 most selective academic colleges that admit both genders in PEDS, the average was 52% of applicants female and 48% of applicants male. The most extreme outliers were as follows.

    Gender Balance Among Applicants
    Olin -- 72% Male
    Caltech -- 71% Male
    Vassar -- 70% Female
    GeorgiaTech -- 69% Male
    MIT -- 68% Male
    Harvey Mudd -- 67% Male
    Babson -- 67% Male
    Tulane -- 62% Female
    Pomona -- 61% Female
    Emory -- 61% Female
    Brown -- 60% Female
    Georgetown -- 59% Female
    Swarthmore -- 59% Female
    UNC: CH -- 59% Female

    Comparing the admit rate between women and men, the average was female admit rate 1.1x male admit rate .

    Gender Balance Among Admit Rates
    Olin -- Female admit rate is 3.2x male admit rate
    Caltech -- Female admit rate is 3.0x male admit rate
    Harvey Mudd -- Female admit rate is 2.4x male admit rate
    MIT -- Female admit rate is 2.2x male admit rate
    CMU - Female admit rate is 1.8x male admit rate
    Babson -- Female admit rate is 1.8x male admit rate
    Vassar -- Male admit rate is 1.6x female admit rate
    Georgiatech -- Female admit rate is 1.5x male admit rate
    Swarthmore -- Male admit rate is 1.4x female admit rate
    Cornell -- Female admit rate is 1.3x male admit rate
    UC Berkeley -- Female admit rate is 1.3x male admit rate
    Brown -- Male admit rate is 1.3x female admit rate
    Pomona -- Male admit rate is 1.3x female admit rate
    Lehigh -- Female admit rate is 1.25x male admit rate
    Vanderbilt -- Male admit rate is 1.2x female admit rate
    Princeton -- Female admit rate is 1.2x male admit rate

    Comparing the gender balance of the undergrad student body, the average was 52% female / 48% male-- the same gender ratio as applicants . However, the list of extreme outliers is very different since many of the colleges with extreme gender imbalance among applicants, admit larger portion of one gender to compensate.

    Gender Balance Among Undergrad Student Body
    Georgiatech -- 62% Male
    Cooper Union -- 61% Male
    Emory -- 60% Female
    Boston University -- 60% Female
    UNC: CH -- 59% Female
    Tulane -- 59% Female
    Vassar -- 59% Female
    UCLA -- 58% Female
    NYU -- 57% Female
    Georgetown -- 56% Female
    Colgate -- 55% Female
    Caltech -- 55% Male
    Brown -- 54% Female
    Lehigh -- 54% Male
    Grinnell -- 54% Female
    Penn -- 54% Female
    MIT -- 54% Male
    Johns Hopkins -- 54% Female
    edited September 24
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  • SherieAmourSherieAmour 21 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Wow! Thanks. That’s very interesting info. That probably means that women have a greater acceptance rates to colleges that have a higher number of men because colleges ultimately want a nice balance.
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  • PikachuRocks15PikachuRocks15 785 replies3 threads Member
    @SherieAmour Yes, except that @Data10 explained it a lot better than me. :smile: However, keep in mind that discussions about gender balances and ratios are all moot if you're not competitive academically and extracurricular-wise for the school to begin with.

    Hope that helps! Good luck with admissions!
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  • Data10Data10 3480 replies11 threads Senior Member
    Wow! Thanks. That’s very interesting info. That probably means that women have a greater acceptance rates to colleges that have a higher number of men because colleges ultimately want a nice balance.
    That's generally true at highly selective colleges that need to reject a large portion of applicants, particularly highly selective private colleges. However, there are plenty of individual exceptions. For example, in 2019-20 63% of applicant to Tulane were women (my IPEDS numbers above are from 2018) , which probably makes it the 2nd largest % female applicants among highly selective academic college, after Vassar. Yet Tulane did not admit a larger % men to balance genders. In 2019, they admitted 12.8% of men and 12.9% of women -- almost identical. This resulted in a noteworthy gender imbalance among the enrolling freshman class -- 60% women and 40% men.

    Some highly selective colleges attempt to balance gender at the sub-school level, rather than the overall college, particularly colleges that don't make it easy to switch between sub-schools. For example, looking at my earlier post, one might then women have at advantage at Cornell, with the 1.3x higher admit rate than men. This advantage is primarily limited to the engineering school. A comparison of Cornell Engineering and Cornell Arts & Sciences is below. The femal/male admit ratio is 2.7x at the engineering school and 1.08x for A&S, resulting in the overall average of 1.3x,

    Cornell Engineering: 2020
    70% of applicants are male / 30% of applicants are female
    Male admit rate is 6%, Female admit rate is 16% (2.7x ratio)
    49% of entering students are male / 51% are female

    Cornell Arts & Sciences: 2020
    53% of applicants are female / 47% of applicants are male
    Female admit rate is 9.2%, Male admit rate is 8.5% (1.08x ratio)
    52% of entering students are female / 48% are male
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  • merc81merc81 12184 replies207 threads Senior Member
    Colleges with male to female ratios of close to even may foster more natural social relationships than colleges with significant gender imbalances.

    Colleges that admit applicants using similar selection criteria across genders — as would be more likely to be the case at colleges with comparable acceptance rates for male and female applicants — may offer perceptual aspects that can benefit all students.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35953 replies404 threads Senior Member
    It was a concern of our guidance counselor. She felt you can't just look at numbers, that you need to see where and how students do interact and to what extent.

    This was from an all girls hs. She was sensitive to the fact that some situations and balances ultimately empower women differently. Not just about dating opportunities.
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  • murray93murray93 314 replies29 threads Member
    We live in a very small town and my D has had a tough time with dating in high school. At 6’2”, there just aren’t a lot of options. She is a first year at a SLAC that didn’t go back this fall and she is really eager to meet some men! But I am concerned that the 60/40 ratio isn’t going to be great for her. She also has a major that has a very high percentage of gay men! Aaahhhh LOL But to answer your question, gender ratio did not impact her choice of college at all. I thought fit was more important, and she can always look outside the university if she so chooses.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 11077 replies137 threads Senior Member
    @murray93 - a while ago there was a discussion somewhere on CC about tall girls and difficulty dating. Many of us have daughters in the same boat. Mine is 6' and while in engineering, would agree with @bouders' quote: "the odds are good, but the goods are odd." Plus her main EC is theater and nearly all the men in her friend group identify as gay.

    So, OP - in our experience the ratio doesn't seem to matter at all with dating prospects and I would not use that as a criteria for narrowing down choices.
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  • momocarlymomocarly 1070 replies12 threads Senior Member
    And the imbalance continues on in grad school in some areas. In veterinary school my son's class is 86% female and 14% male in a class of 124 (just about the national average). Not much dating among classmates (which is probably a good thing!). The guys do get a lot of attention. My son has just brought his gf to their group of friends which does have a lot of married, LGBQT, or engaged people in it. That way word gets around he isn't available. Med schools can vary. My friends daughter went to a med school that was highly female and said she loved it. Less distractions.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 85067 replies758 threads Senior Member
    murray93 wrote: »
    We live in a very small town and my D has had a tough time with dating in high school. At 6’2”, there just aren’t a lot of options.

    She presumably wants someone willing to look up to her.
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  • CreeklandCreekland 7341 replies95 threads Senior Member
    Got a good chuckle out of this @bouders' quote: "the odds are good, but the goods are odd."

    H was an Engineering major. I was a Physics major sometimes being the only female in those classes once past the intro - at most three. We've been happily married for 32+ years now. :)

    Prior to him I never found a guy I liked enough to date for long though I was almost always playing with the boys from elementary school on. (Also raised by my dad from age 11 on due to a divorce where he got custody.)

    Odd + odd = even? Regardless, no regrets here - and it probably explains a lot about us!
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  • murray93murray93 314 replies29 threads Member
    @ucbalumnus You’d be surprised how many boys/men care about their girlfriend being taller than they are. I guess it goes reverse, too, with women setting some random minimum height for dating. It really is very superficial when you think about it.
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  • CamasiteCamasite 264 replies11 threads Junior Member
    Creekland wrote: »
    Got a good chuckle out of this @bouders' quote: "the odds are good, but the goods are odd."

    That's famously what they tell single women moving to Alaska.
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  • SherieAmourSherieAmour 21 replies2 threads Junior Member
    I don’t understand it. Are boys just not going to college these days?
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