I find this story in today’s NYT from a college admissions officer fascinating, especially as the father of a young man who I hope will someday want to go to college:
we heard about a young woman from Kentucky we were not yet ready to
admit outright. She was the leader/president/editor/captain/lead
actress in every activity in her school. She had taken six advanced
placement courses and had been selected for a prestigious state
leadership program. In her free time, this whirlwind of achievement had
accumulated more than 300 hours of community service in four different
Few of us sitting around the table were as
talented and as directed at age 17 as this young woman. Unfortunately,
her test scores and grade point average placed her in the middle of our
pool. We had to have a debate before we decided to swallow the middling
scores and write "admit" next to her name.
Had she been a male
applicant, there would have been little, if any, hesitation to admit.
The reality is that because young men are rarer, they’re more valued
applicants. Today, two-thirds of colleges and universities report that
they get more female than male applicants, and more than 56 percent of
undergraduates nationwide are women. Demographers predict that by 2009,
only 42 percent of all baccalaureate degrees awarded in the United
States will be given to men.