It’s time for reunions once again here in Princeton, so this is a good opportunity to remind my fellow alumni that Princeton has never admitted a class with more women than men in the coed era. Here’s a chart:
The black line is the percentage of female students enrolled in 4-year college degree granting institions by year. The orange line is the percentage of female students offered admission to Princeton by year.
As you can see, the orange line has never cracked the 50% mark. I have verified that in the 50% years of 2008, 2009, and 2010, Princeton admitted strictly more men than women; the only year in doubt is 2000, a 50% year for which I have only been able to find the percentage.
As a reminder, women have been outdoing men in most measures of academic merit for some time. As you can see from the black line, they have been attending college at higher rates since the late 1980s. The story is the same for grades, test scores, high school graduation rates—you name it. So I think it’s very strange that their admission rate is hovering just below the 50% mark, without ever crossing it.
Many of us are concerned about the gender gap. In fact, Princeton makes a special effort to recruit women at the faculty level; but this is too late in the “leaky pipeline” to be effective—in the STEM fields, for example, there are few women applying. Princeton is strongest as an undergraduate institution, where they have no shortage of applicants. If Princeton wanted to make a difference for women in society, they could easily admit a better qualified class of 55–60% women.
By the way, I’m not saying that any of the men at Princeton don’t deserve to be here. Except for the “check your privilege” guy. Obviously he just got in because he’s a man.
Ha ha, just kidding! But here’s something to think about. If Princeton admits a class of 51.6% men and 48.4% women (as they did this year), while, on the merits, they should have admitted a class of 55% or more women, then you can’t say anything at all about the merit of any single man. He might be the most qualified student of all. Focusing on one man is missing the forest for the trees. Only when you look at the forest as a whole do you see that men have been given a boost, one that they don’t merit.