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More Gender Breakouts of Admission Data

I've written a lot about yield rates over time, and I've also written about differences in admission patterns among male and female applicants here and here ; I've decided to take a fresh look at both based on some continuing discussions I've heard recently.  You have, of course, heard about the crisis of male enrollment in American colleges, which, if you look at the data, is really a crisis of enrollment at Community Colleges.  Far be it from me to insist on data, however. Here is the same data for women, just to point out that there are differences.  Whether we should celebrate increasing attainment among young women or decry the inability of young men to keep up is your choice.  Regardless, here is a detailed breakout of these patterns as they show up in admissions over time.  There are four views here: A summary on tab one (using the tabs across the top); ratios of women to men at all stages of the process and estimated applications per student; gender-specific ad
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Changes in AP Scores, 2022 to 2024

Used to be, with a little work, you could download very detailed data on AP results from the College Board website: For every state, and for every course, you could see performance by ethnicity.  And, if you wanted to dig really deep, you could break out details by private and public schools, and by grade level.  I used to publish the data every couple of years. Those days are gone.  The transparency The College Board touts as a value seems to have its limits, and I understand this to some extent: Racists loved to twist the data using single-factor analysis, and that's not good for a company who is trying to make business inroads with under-represented communities as they cloak their pursuit of revenue as an altruistic push toward access. They still publish data, but as I wrote about in my last post , it's far less detailed; what's more, what is easily accessible is fairly sterile, and what's more detailed seems to be structured in a way that suggests the company doesn&

I Did a Boo Boo

Last night, I looked at a chart that had been tweeted out by Marco Learning , a terrific source for information about The College Board's AP Program.  It showed the percentage of all scores graded 4 and 5 over time by subject, and there were some glaring points: Lots of big increases in certain subjects that didn't seem to make sense.  Turns out, their data was correct. Wanting to dive down a little deeper, I went to the College Board website to look at the data myself, and to "download" it for some additional analysis.  I put the word download in quotation marks on purpose. I have a history with College Board, of course.  I used to download the very rich AP data by state, exam, and ethnicity they'd post on their site and put it into an interactive format that pulled out insight better than the large, text-exclusive spreadsheets they'd post.  Then--despite the organization's oft-cited commitment to transparency--they stopped .   In an example of Newspeak

Colleges that might close soon

OK, I admit it.  That headline is clickbait.  I have no idea which colleges might close in the near future, but I want to take a look at the problem from 30,000 feet. This is prompted by the recent announcement that Eastern Nazarene College in Massachusetts will close . It comes on the heels of several other announcements like this over the past few years.  And of course, because we've become accustomed to colleges surviving for long periods even during bad times, the surprise makes people wonder who's next. The meta-answer will surprise you: While we of course feel bad for the people who lose jobs, the students who are displaced, and the community that finds itself dealing with the loss of a respected institution, these trends are small blips in the industry.  In fact, the institutions most likely to close (probably) collectively account for a small fraction of enrollment at America's colleges and universities. Follow along.   One of the challenges in talking about this is

Medical College Admission Data, 2023

This is a reboot of a visualization I did in 2018, which I found fascinating, but which didn't get much traffic at the time, and thus, I've not refreshed it.  But I still find it compelling an instructive. Each year, the Association of American Medical Colleges publishes a lot of data about admission to medical colleges in the US. But frankly, it's a mess, and takes a lot of effort to clean up and visualize: Each link is a separate spreadsheet, and each spreadsheet has spacer rows and merged cells and lots of stuff that needs to be scrubbed (carefully) before analyzing and visualizing.  So, if you use this work in a professional capacity, I'd appreciate your support for my time, software and hosting costs at this link . As a reminder, I don't accept contributions from high school counselors, students, or parents who are using the site.  (And if you know anyone at AAMC, tell them raw data would be much appreciated). There are seven views here, some of which combine

How to IPEDS, Part II

This will be the second part of a series of blogposts about how to use IPEDS, The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System of the federal government. If you're just starting, I highly recommend you go to the  first post  to bring yourself up to speed on the basics.  If you don't, some of this might not make sense. In that post, I covered several of the ways you can extract simple tables of data for a single year or a single institution; or summary data, including fairly basic and interactive charts when you're looking for something simple.  In this one, I'll go over how to extract custom data over multiple years, and then walk you through the frustrating process of making sense of the output.  Warning: I get a bit cranky about this, because the data formats are largely unchanged since I started doing this perhaps 20 years ago, and they create far more work for the end user than they should. The last post covered the options in italics.  This one will cover the opt

How to IPEDS Part I

Most, but not all, of the data visualizations on this site use data from IPEDS , the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.  And all of the visualizations (as I recall) use Tableau , a very powerful data visualization tool, especially for people like me who don't know how to write the code necessary in some software packages. In this post, I'll start with a few of the easiest and quickest ways to get data out of IPEDS.  I'll follow it up with one that dives a little deeper for people who like the raw data for analysis. The question I get asked most often is how I get the information out of IPEDS.  And that's not an easy thing to answer, as I use several of the methods available depending on what I'm doing.  Since you federal tax dollars have not yet been used to create an easy guide to IPEDS, I'm going to give you a primer on how to do the most simple things, and hope you'll do like I did, which is to learn it the hard way through trial and error on