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HYPSM Admissions for Girls

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Replies to: HYPSM Admissions for Girls

  • ExieMITAlumExieMITAlum 2341 replies26 threads. Senior Member
    And there is no "affirmative action" for girls at MIT nor is there some stated "quota" or set number of "female" slots to fill.

    Saying the "odds" are better assumes that there is. I will say based on 30 years of interviewing for them that - in general - the female applicants are often stronger than their male counterparts and jumped higher hurdles and hence, my comment about "self-selection."

    It's not always the case - but I have come across a greater percentage of boys for whom applying to MIT was a foregone conclusion (and had so-so credentials) versus girls who were steered to consider it.

    But, that's just my personal experience - others may have a different view.

    So yes - if the smaller pool of female applicants is generally stronger on average than the much larger pool of male applicants - then yes - a female applicant - on average - has a statistically better chance of admission than a male as a percentage of their representation in the pool.

    But I will tell you - those numbers are changing, the # of female applicants is rising, and it won't be long before this argument is moot.
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  • nividmanividma 3 replies2 threadsRegistered User New Member
    I have a feeling that for girls it's not easier. According to this NY times article it seems that female applicants outnumber male applicants. On College Campuses, a Shortage of Men - NYTimes.com
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  • QwertyKeyQwertyKey 4548 replies42 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    ExieMITAlum, you've attacked claims that MIT is easier to get into for females based on the fact that the stats which suggest (or are used to suggest) such are not conclusive, which is true. However, do you have anything at all to suggest your claims that MIT is easier for males to get into than females? You offer "this is possible" and other anecdotal evidence and such sorts of claims, which again are possible, but aren't actual data, and don't even do the suggesting. While I don't think anyone can prove your claim is false (they can only strongly suggest), can you back it up with any evidence at all?

    As far as what I've heard, boys have an advantage at LACs, girls have an advantage at Engineering schools (like MIT), and the rest, Ivy + S category, have far too many great applicants who can't really be distinguished in quality from one another, that the gender difference probably doesn't matter.
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  • ExieMITAlumExieMITAlum 2341 replies26 threads. Senior Member
    I don't have this year's yet but the class of 2013 was 55% male and 45% female out of just under 16,000 applicants. I suppose I could sift through old files to see how many of each were represented in the applicant pools but they aren't gender sorted by other factors such as incoming SAT/ACT scores

    However, the point is this - the conclusion that it is easier for girls to get in than boys is based on simplistic math because so many other variables are missing. For instance - do the females - on average - have higher scores than the aggregate population of males? Better balance of ec's? Are more likely to be coming from an underserved region (such as the midwest)?

    It isn't "easier" for anyone to get into MIT given how few people are admitted out of an extremely large pool - close to 16,000 - of qualified applicants. And based on my own interview experience I would hazard a guess that if we weeded out male applicants who were "not likely" to be competitive and/or were just generally applying based solely on reputation (but exhibited no real knowledge of what goes on inside the walls), the male/female ratios would start to equalize.

    Having discussions like this really does nothing more than fuel the hopes of dreams of people looking for some "edge" where none exists.

    And given that we turn down students with amazing resumes (of both genders) then just relying on the assumption that fewer girls apply, so more of those who do apply get in, seems odd especially since that gap is closing quickly.

    Contrary to the assumptions - there are "ideals" for admission diversity but no "quota" to create a gender balanced student population and hence - no "edge" based on gender.

    You either qualify, or you don't. The rest is based on the specific strengths of the resume.
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  • collegealum314collegealum314 6683 replies85 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    And there is no "affirmative action" for girls at MIT nor is there some stated "quota" or set number of "female" slots to fill

    MIT has affirmative action for females and minorities, though it has been implied that it is extremely slight for females. I doubt it has a noticeable effect on the admission rate; I believe self-selection is a powerful force and have seen it up close. A lot of smart girls in my math & science high school had no interest in MIT.

    What MIT admission committee members have said in the past is the average MIT male admit has slightly higher standardized test scores than female admits, but that females end up with a slightly higher average undergrad GPA. (Specifically, males outnumber females on the high and low ends of the undergrad GPA, but the mean is slightly higher for females.) It is unknown whether this can be attributed to major choice, though. In any case, it's clear that there isn't a big difference. Certainly, there isn't some noticeable edge for females. There are plenty of females who are premed, chem E or related majors (mat sci., etc.), or are interested in chem or bio research careers, so there are enough people to make up a competitive pool.

    However, you shouldn't be saying that MIT doesn't have affirmative action for females. If there wasn't any preference at all, no affirmative action, then an MIT admissions officer could just clear it up by simply saying, "MIT does not have or need affirmative action for females." I've never seen this (and no, an interviewer doesn't count; I'm an alum too.) If MIT really doesn't have affirmative action, then they should just come out and say so.
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  • starbrightstarbright 4549 replies111 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    And there is no "affirmative action" for girls at MIT nor is there some stated "quota" or set number of "female" slots to fill.

    I don't think anyone is saying that. Sure they don't have a quote, just like schools do not have a URM quotas, or public school quota or fin aid quota or Wyoming applicant quota. Nor would a school ever say we want such and such score, or one must have done these ECs or one should have a particular GPA.

    But like every school, they are looking for a class composition. When you want something approximating a similar number of men and women, and other kinds of balancing diversity, AND they have the liberty to choose using a holistic method from more than enough equally talented applicants, no doubt women applicants to MIT are likely at an advantage.
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  • glassesarechicglassesarechic 5471 replies16 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    And there is no "affirmative action" for girls at MIT nor is there some stated "quota" or set number of "female" slots to fill.

    Legally, no school can have an affirmative action quota. But they can take race/gender (as we're discussing here) into account as "tip factor." Besides which, we're debating facts, not policy, so let's stick to stats.
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  • sMITtensMITten 582 replies27 threadsRegistered User Member
    I asked a friend what it takes to get into Caltech and her reply was "breasts". Yes we are talking Ivies here, or at least that was the OP. I don't know about them specifically, but undoubtedly for any engineering/science program, a female will beat out a male with the same stats probably 9 times out of 10. Add in minority status and you have a sure thing. My son finds it frustrating when searching for summer programs, as the science/engineering ones are either for girls only or "minorities highly encouraged to reply". I'm glad that there is some sort of balance trying to be obtained, but it is at a high cost for my white male son.
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  • collegealum314collegealum314 6683 replies85 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    ^^As I said, there is no preference for females at Caltech.
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  • JMMom32JMMom32 78 replies23 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I am sorry but as a neophyte on CC I don't know what bumping is.
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  • ExieMITAlumExieMITAlum 2341 replies26 threads. Senior Member
    sMITten

    I worry that you say there is a high cost for your son? How, if white males are often the majority in many if not most engineering programs?

    Part of the reason why those schools or summer programs "encourage" girls and minorities is because those segments of the population are often discouraged from looking for those opportunities, or aren't told they exist.

    Your son has an advantage, not a disadvantage, especially if you look at the percentage representation in programs compared to the percentage representation in the general population.
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  • bluebayoubluebayou 26685 replies174 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    while you are discussing the gross % of male and female acceptances, you might want to read up on Simpson's Paradox and the University of California graduate admisions study. :)

    be careful MITAlum:

    the worst you impression you would want to make is that girls from "an underserved region (such as the midwest)" have an easier admissions process. (I know of plenty of parents who would purchase property in Illinois if that were the case.) :)
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  • sMITtensMITten 582 replies27 threadsRegistered User Member
    MITAlum:

    What I would like to see and it likely does not exist is a breakdown of % accepted by gender and ethnicity. For example: 100 white males applied, 1 was accepted = 1%, but 100 URM females applied and 25 were accepted = 25%.

    Yes, science/engineering programs are still white male dominated, but that is changing each year and the percents accepted are decreasing.

    I have a friend who is a minority female (not UR though) who is taking a gap year from MIT currently and her stats are good, but not amazing and while I have not read her essays, nothing about her truly "stands out". I believe that if my white male son used her exact application/essays, etc that he would not be accepted. Perhaps I'm wrong, I would love to be, but I don't think I am.
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  • collegealum314collegealum314 6683 replies85 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    ^MIT admissions is unpredictable. People often assume people with non-stellar stats got in because of gender or race, when it may not be for any clear reason at all.

    URM status is a big boost in admissions at MIT, but I don't think being female helps much. MIT is not strictly an engineering school, and we don't try to balance the genders in each major. EECS is typically pretty male-dominated at MIT, for instance. Being female might help a lot more if you had to apply to the engineering school separately.
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  • collegealum314collegealum314 6683 replies85 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    What I would like to see and it likely does not exist is a breakdown of % accepted by gender and ethnicity. For example: 100 white males applied, 1 was accepted = 1%, but 100 URM females applied and 25 were accepted = 25%.

    What you would also need is to see the average stats for an applicant from each demographic group, not just the admission rate. Otherwise you can't draw conclusions.
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  • lobgentlobgent 506 replies42 threadsRegistered User Member
    It's not easier for girls to get in. Forget the statistics - they're misleading. So what if guys get higher SAT scores on average than girls do at the upper range of scores? If you're a girl applicant, it just means you have a higher chance of getting a lower score than your fellow applicants. Which puts you at a worse position relative to everyone else. It's not like girls are just being pitted against other girls. They're compared with the rest of the applicant pool, including guys.

    Anecdotally, I can tell you that Harvard girls are intense and just as accomplished as their male counterparts. Wonderful and kind individuals for the most part, but extremely driven and focused.

    If there is an advantage one way or another, it's along the lines of a half-inch height difference for bball players aspiring for the NBA. Might help in 0.01% of the situations, but that height advantage isn't going to compensate for a bad jump shot. And being born with XX chromosomes won't compensate for a lousy admissions essay or weak extracurriculars.
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  • kwijiborjtkwijiborjt 721 replies29 threadsRegistered User Member
    At yale, more girls apply, slightly more boys are accepted, and a roughly equal number of each matriculate. The admissions office maintains that admissions decisions are made without respect to sex, and that other factors are probably contributing to any disparities that are observed. Here's an article from the Yale Daily News about it:

    Yale Daily News - Gender gap widens
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  • NETMANNETMAN 1 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    What bothers me is the way MIT proudly PR's the number of minorities and females accepted with not one mention of white males.
    If they were truly unbiased in their selection, why make the big deal about minorities and woman?
    Give me the percentage of applied and accepted by group and let the statistics tell the truth!
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  • transfers2010transfers2010 475 replies19 threadsRegistered User Member
    http://professionals.collegeboard.com/profdownload/SAT-Math-Percentile-Ranks-2009.pdf

    There are over twice as many boys as girls with perfect math SAT scores.

    How could anyone who knows this fact still believe that girls do not have an advantage in gaining admission to MIT?
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  • bimmerb0ybimmerb0y 54 replies3 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @transfers2010 Agreed.

    Anyone stating that MIT doesn't give preferential admission to girls is lying. That's the bottom line.
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