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Showing posts from June, 2015

Looking at Medical School Admissions

Most of the things I look at have to do with publicly available data sets, and that often means undergraduate admissions.  But while doing some investigation, I came across data from the American Association of Medical Colleges.  There's some interesting stuff there, and while it's formatted in a way that makes it really difficult to get to, it's worth a little work.  (I'm not convinced that the formatting isn't an attempt to keep less stubborn people from digging too deep on this; my request to get the data in a better format was ignored.)

Best thing I learned: In 2014, of the 49,480 applicants to medical school, 41.1%, or 20,343, enrolled. That's a far higher percentage than I would have thought, although it is lower than the 2003 rate of 47.5% (34,791 and 16,541, respectively.)  It's clear, of course, that most medical school applicants are very well qualified, so that number represents the best of the best, but the perception of medical school selectivi…

Diversity of Institutions, by Type

A few posts ago, I wrote about where students of certain ethnicities went to college.  In other words, if you looked at all the Hispanic students in the US, we'd want to see where they go to college, and compare that to Asian students, or students of two or more races.  I asked whether a student's ethnicity determined where they go to college.

This is the same data, but it examines it at the other end: The colleges, and how diverse they are.  In other words, does your location, control, and size, and Carnegie Type, for instance, determine how diverse you are, or limit how diverse you can become?

Again, the answer is no, but you can find some interesting trends.

If you're timid about using Tableau and interacting with it, here's your chance.


First, choose an Ethnicity in the top left corner.  For instance, assume you want to display the percentage of enrollment that is Asian.Then, choose what value you want to display along the y-axis (the left side, from top to bottom)…

Enrollment at Women's Colleges, 2005 to 2013

Note: I got an email from Dean Kilgore at Mount Saint Mary's in California, who indicated I'd downloaded data for the wrong Mount Saint Mary College:In this case, the one in New York. I had to create the list manually, and it was just a slip on my part.

Sorry about that. I've removed them from the analysis, but unfortunately, can't add the correct one at this time without a considerable amount of work.



Sweet Briar College in Virginia recently announced, to the shock of many in higher education, that it would be closing at the end of this spring, 2015 term.  As often happens when a college decides to close, those who are or were close to it rally the troops and wage a fierce campaign to try to keep it open.  Sometimes it works, other times, it doesn't.

The scene playing out is not unusual: Allegations of secret deals, incompetence, blindness to all that is and was good at Sweet Briar. This is what happens when you decide to close a college.  And although I'm not …