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This is just so wrong on so many levels, it's hard even to know where to begin. In the first place, it's just incredibly insulting to an awful lot of brilliant, hard-working, and highly accomplished people out there who have soared to the top of non-STEM academic disciplines and through a combination of talent, hard work, and "getup and go" have achieved enormous professional success. The idea that "getup and go" is confined to STEM fields reflects, IMO, an extremely narrow, shallow, and distorted understanding of what makes the world tick.
More or less universal among STEM majors is the need to satisfactorily complete some "gen ed" requirements---i.e., they need to earn some social science and humanities credits. Almost to a person they do this by taking the easiest, baby-level introductory courses, which they are steered toward either by their academic advisers or by student lore recommending the "gut" courses that will most easily satisfy their gen ed requirements.
More or less universal among STEM majors is the need to satisfactorily complete some "gen ed" requirements---i.e., they need to earn some social science and humanities credits. Almost to a person they do this by taking the easiest, baby-level introductory courses,
...it's virtually impossible to complete an engineering curriculum in four years if you don't start meeting the requirements for the major your first semester freshman year unless you've entered with a slew of AP credits. Most shrewd students approach that conundrum by starting out in engineering to hedge their bets because it's "easier to switch out than switch in."
Additionally, the colleges with some science component tend to have higher entrance standards than the purely non-STEM schools.
The data supports that. The following link is to the freshman profile for the University of Illinois broken down by school. You can clearly see that the College of Engineering has by far the most qualified student body in terms of test scores and class rank.
If you find fault with the University of Illinois data set, I am sure you can find another publicly verifiable data set from a major research university that shows that STEM majors have worse or at least equal admission statistics as non-STEM majors.