Admit equally

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October 27, 2014

10:55 PM

We are, after all, the College of William and Mary, not the College of Mary and Mary.”

It seems that former Dean of Admissions Henry Broaddus — who said this in 2009 in response to a question about why men are admitted to the College of William and Mary at much higher rates than women — meant his comment to be taken lightly. But gender discrimination should never be taken lightly.

Last fall, 40.8 percent of male applicants were accepted to the College. For female applicants, that number is only 28.8 percent. The rationale for this is that many more women than men apply to the College, and the Office of Undergraduate Admissions wants to admit equal numbers of both genders. Even if some of the women who were denied admission are more qualified than some of the men who were accepted.

With a 12-point discrepancy between male and female acceptance rates, it’s clear that some of these highly qualified female students are rejected because of their gender. And just as women should receive equal salaries as men for doing equal work, just as they should be trusted in leadership roles, women should be accepted to college at rates equal to men’s.

It is bad enough that women are consistently paid less than men for the same work, are less likely to ask for raises, and are underrepresented in the most lucrative professions. To hold women to higher standards than men in the admissions process sends the message that in every aspect of their lives, their gender will be an impediment to their success. While women have historically been held to higher academic and professional standards than men, these problems are something the College should transcend, not perpetuate.

The College should not fear a student body that consists of significantly more women than it does at present. This student body would be more reflective of the College’s applicant pool, but more importantly, it would allow the school to admit the most qualified students. The admissions office’s biggest priority needs to be the caliber of its students.

By admitting these qualified women, the College would create pivotal connections for women in the workplace and build future leaders that young girls across the world could try to emulate.

Even in the United States, we are far from achieving gender equality; by not discriminating against women in the admissions process, the College could set the standard for all liberal arts colleges.

The admissions office’s nonsensical bias toward men is invidious and harmful to the women who apply to the College. There’s a fair way for more men to be accepted to the College: They submit more competitive applications and they apply in higher numbers. Until then, the College must accept the qualified women who apply.

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  • Flat Hat Editorial Board

The Flat Hat Editorial Board is elected by The Flat Hat's section editors and executive staff. The staff editorial represents the opinion of The Flat Hat.

  • Anon

    The author(s) ignore a very relevant statistic: females make up 55% of the student body.

    That is academic dishonesty. By not presenting the full story and withholding information, the article is skewed and bent to fit the feminist model. Stop trying to make everything about feminism, it only undermines valid and valuable arguments. Feminism is great, I’m all for it, but making irrelevant arguments does not help the cause, in fact, it discredits it.

    Also, just logically, why should the final admissions rate be proportional to the application pool? All this statistic shows is that maybe female high school seniors are applying to a school that is out of their reach. (After all, this school is freaking awesome).

    • Tayor

      No. If you really read and researched this, you would see that there are way more qualified women that apply to WM then men. BUT, we have to reject A LOT of these women for less qualified men to make the admission pool more gender equal.

      • Anonymous

        Since it’s clear you took the time to proofread I’m going to assume that you also took the time to do your research. Can you point me in the right direction so that I can know as much as you do? I’d like to see the statistics.

        Also, one could be qualified and still not be a good match for the school. Do some research into the criteria used to determine who is admitted. It’s not just SAT scores and GPA.

      • Ral Ortes

        Never replied I see.

  • Virginian

    I’ll be looking forward to your article against Affirmative Action, as well. Liberal double standards at the College make me want to puke.

  • Brian Whitson

    Below is a link to an essay in the Washington Post where Henry Broaddus addresses this issue directly and provides necessary context for the quote referenced at the beginning of this editorial.

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/gender-and-college-admissions.html

  • RM

    W&M uses holistic admissions to build a balanced class of students to join the student body. One that as a whole they feel will lend their individual perspectives and gifts to the college. Applicants, male, female, in state, out of state, athletes, artists, inventors, entrepreneurs, innovators, leaders, humanitarians, internationals, different races, religions, and ethnicities. The admissions committee looks at an entire application submission and sometimes a characteristic (just like being a female in engineering) can be a factor considered in a fully admissible candidate. It’s part of holistic admissions. If this is a practice you are against many schools use a ‘plug and chug’ method that leads to greatly unbalanced students bodies in some ways. Nothing wrong with this, just a different approach. Keep in mind if W&M changed their policy, the M/F ratio fell any further, you then start to loose a segment of highly qualified female (and male) applicants who in part are looking for a co-educational college experience. This would change the very dynamic of what many strive so hard to get here for in the first place. Not the M/F ratio perse, but the loss of students applying, loss of students who might otherwise commit, the status quo is changed. It would be like changing an admission policy for any other group…international students, out of state, etc. It changes the overall dynamic.