Can Your Gender Give You an Edge in College Admissions?

Every year thousands of students apply to top college such as MIT or Vassar. You probably realize your odds of getting into such competitive institutions may be slim. But you may have an edge depending on your gender.

At MIT 70% of the applicants are men, and they have only a 6% admission rate. Much fewer women apply, yet they have a 13% admissions rate.

At some schools it is the reverse. At the College of William and Mary 63% of the applicants are women. Women have a 28% admission rate while men enjoy a 42% admission rate.

Are the Schools Biased?

Most colleges want to create institutions that are diverse across all factors, including biological sex and gender. They will be more likely to accept an applicant who can improve the diversity of their campus. 

Does this mean they are accepted men or woman who are not as deserving? Not likely. A spokesperson from MIT claimed that even though they had fewer female applicants, they tended to be of higher quality.

“College officials say the admission rate gender gaps reflect the dynamics of the market — who applies, for what programs and in what numbers — not bias on the part of the gatekeepers.

MIT’s dean of admissions, Stu Schmill, told The Post. …“Therefore, while the number of women applicants is smaller, the quality is extremely high. This is why we are able to enroll a very gender-balanced class, with all students meeting the same high academic and personal standards, and why women do just as well if not better once here at MIT.”

Applying to College Strategically

You should definitely consider gender admissions rates when applying to college. If your dream school does not favor your gender, you may benefit from applying early admission.

If your top schools does favor your gender, not only will you benefit from a greater chance of admission, you may also be able to take advantage of additional student aid.

Many schools offer additional scholarships and other types of aid to students who can increase their campus diversity. If you are an underrepresented gender on campus (or an underrepresented ethnicity) this can work in your favor. It also gives you a great bargaining chip if you attempt to request additional aid after receiving your financial aid packages.

Want to find out how much bargaining power you have at the schools you applied to? Try College Cost Cutter. This tool will help you compare financial aid offers and show you how much bargaining power you have with the college to request additional aid.