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Gender advantages in college admission

This is a companion piece to my last blogpost about enrollment gaps for men and women in US postsecondary education, and it covers another angle of that discussion.  In that post, I talked a little bit about the fact that the trend is a long one, and not a new phenomenon, and casually suggested a few reasons for it (TLDR: Higher education does better when the economy is worse, and there are more opportunities for young men without college degrees in the labor market when the economy heats up.)  It's just a theory, of course, and might be completely wrong. What really caught my eye in the WSJ article was this section: The gender enrollment disparity among nonprofit colleges is widest at private four-year schools, where the proportion of women during the 2020-21 school year grew to an average of 61%, a record high, Clearinghouse data show. Some of the schools extend offers to a higher percentage of male applicants, trying to get a closer balance of men and women. “Is there a thumb o
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What happened to the men?

This weekend an article appeared in the Wall Street Journal about the enrollment of young men in colleges across America.  If you don't have a subscription, James Murphy did a good job of summarizing and critiquing the story in this Twitter thread . If you're not proficient on Twitter, you can read the whole thread unrolled here .  The story cites 2020 enrollment data from the National Clearinghouse, which is fast; I only have data from IPEDS which trails a year, but is much more accurate and granular.  There are two important points to make here: Not having data for 2020 means I can't document or leap to conclusions about what happened in 2020; and even if I did have 2020 data, one year's data point and discussions with a handful of people does not a trend make, so I wouldn't leap to conclusions anyway, even if I did have the data. In fact, the trend has been a long time developing and a long time coming.  That it's continuing is hardly surprising to anyone wh

Bachelor's Degrees Awarded, 2019--2020

 Since not much interesting has happened in the last 18 months or so, I decided to take a look at bachelor's degrees awarded in the most recent IPEDS data release. This has always been a popular dashboard with anyone who works with students, and I've had several requests to update it.  While I normally don't do requests, this seems to fill an important void in the college counseling world, so I made an exception. There are three views here: The first ( Find Colleges by Program ) allows you to find which colleges award the most degrees in a specified area, defined either broadly, very broadly, or very narrowly.  It also allows you to only look at the colleges of interest, and even allows you to look at the ethnicity and/or gender of the degree recipients. The big box of orange text explains how to interact; make sure you read it if you're not familiar with Tableau.  Filters with red text change the type of institutions that display; filters with blue text change the stud

Flagships, Land Grants, and Big Public Universities

This is my annual (sort of) look at tuition at public universities across America.  Even when I worked at private universities, this was a topic of interest to me, and it should be for you too. Public universities educate the vast majority of students in the US (and when you add in community colleges, the skew toward publics becomes even more pronounced.)  There are real consequences to an educated population, as I've written about here and here and many other places. There is no definition of "Flagship University" but we can look at Land Grant institutions, of which there are three categories: The institutions chartered as a result of the 1862 Morrill Act; the 1890 institutions, of which many are HBCUs; and the 1990 institutions, which include many Tribal Colleges and community colleges. For this, I've chosen the 1862 land grants, the flagships (see below) and the other large public universities, with enrollments over 20,000 undergraduates in order to get the great

Higher Education Enrollment and Capacity

This week, I was tagged in a tweet by Akil Bello , asking about capacity in higher education in the US.  My first response was that there was no way to measure capacity; no one asks this in federal reporting, and any way to attempt to measure it was fraught with problems. Remember this point as I attempt to do just that. At the same time, I've been hearing more about the decreases in college enrollment nationwide, and I've wanted to respond to them and supply some context.  So, I think I might be able to accomplish both with one post and one visualization. On the latter point, you want to take a look at the first tab (across the top) Total Enrollment Trends . You can see that we have experienced some drop-off in total enrollment (gray line for totals and colored lines by segments). Hover over the lines to see how much they've changed from 1980 and from the prior year.  Measured against the dramatic increase over a longer period of time, the drop-off might be viewed as a bli

Education and the 2020 Election Results

In 2017, I stumbled upon some 2016 election data and started to look at the relationship between educational attainment in the US and election results .  The title was only half serious, but some people took exception to it.  Still, it's remained a topic of interest to me since then.   Before I begin writing about the latest visualization, let me point out a couple of things on this new display with the 2020 election data.  You'll likely notice some similar patterns, but patterns don't prove causality.  Even if they did, I could come up with two equally plausible explanations of this data that come at the answer from diametrically opposed political perspectives. Take your pick, or just look and see what you find interesting.  It doesn't always have to lead to something. This time we're dealing with another hot political topic, COVID-19 and vaccinations.  And, it seemed to me that the political divisions in America tend to fall along the same lines.  Or so I thought

Public universities and the public mission

My last post looked at the US population by ethnicity , and how it varied by age group in the states.  I thought it might be interesting for anyone, but especially for those who do university planning or enrollment forecasting, as income and ethnicity factor into college going rates. It made me wonder about each state and the state of public education: Specifically, how does enrollment at public universities in each state compare to the population of college-aged people (generally speaking) in that state? So I re-used that data and merged some enrollment data into the mix, and voilĂ , as they say. What this shows: On the top chart, you see undergraduate enrollment at four-year and two-year public institutions in the US, broken out by ethnicity.  I've excluded international students and those for whom an ethnicity is not known, both of which are about 3.5% of the total.  This allows for easier comparison against the US population (where there is no category for either.) On the botto