Do college admissions practices violate Title IX?

At colleges across the world, admissions officers are trying desperately to keep the two genders at equal numbers, which might involve making admissions decisions that do not promote gender equality. Has the UA been letting in men based on something other than admissions qualifications?


As Kenyon College dean of admissions Jennifer Delahunty wrote in a 2006 guest column in the New York Times, ""Beyond the availability of dance partners for the winter formal, gender balance matters in ways both large and small on a … college campus. Once you become decidedly female in enrollment, fewer males and, as it turns out, fewer females find your campus attractive.""

MORE FROM THE DAILY WILDCAT


Delahunty said at it was much harder for a young woman to gain admission to an elite school simply because males are a rarer commodity. ""The fat acceptance envelope is simply more elusive for today's accomplished young women,"" Delahunty wrote.


International universities are even dealing with the issue of equality: as reported on international news Web site


Javno.com on Jan. 12, ""The Swedish government said Tuesday it would abolish affirmative action at universities since the practice has resulted in male students being given admissions priority for several popular programs.""


The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is investigating whether colleges have been admitting less qualified men over more qualified women because they fear becoming ""overwhelmingly female.""


In a Nov. 11 interview on National Public Radio, reporter Claudia Sanchez said, ""(Professor Gail) Heriot, a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, says colleges … are so worried about becoming overwhelmingly female that some may be rejecting highly qualified women to make room for less qualified men, and that, Heriot says, would be a violation of Title IX, the 1972 law that prohibits gender discrimination in any school or program that accepts federal aid. So what Heriot and other members of the Civil Rights Commission plan to do is subpoena the admissions records and policies of at least 12 public and private colleges. ""


Heriot, of the University of San Diego, explained, ""We don't know whether were going to find discrimination at all, but were going to be looking. And we hope that if nothing else, this study will allow us to nail down the facts.""


So what about the UA? Has the UA been violating Title IX and admitting less-qualified males over more qualified females?


Sorry, ladies, this won't explain why the boys' hall is always so much more disgusting than the girls': Not only does the UA admit a higher percentage of its female applicants, the pool of male applicants admitted to the UA has higher average SAT and ACT scores.


After much investigation at the Admissions Office and eventually the Office of Institutional Research, it's clear that the UA is not sexist against women. Though the UA basically has open enrollment, information on the current freshman class reveals that males admitted to the UA were often better-qualified (at least on a superficial level) than females who were granted admission.


According to information on the class of 2013 compiled by the UA on Sept. 14, nearly 55 percent of the freshman class is female. While females had higher overall high school class rank and GPA, the males of '13 had an average SAT score that was nearly 50 points higher.


The UA may have its problems, but, thankfully, sexism isn't one of them.



— Anna Swenson is a sophomore majoring in English. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu


Share this article