Wednesday, April 3, 2019

An Analysis Of Admissions In Elite Universities And Colleges For The Class Of 2023

In the past two decades, almost every elite university and liberal arts college has reduced White admissions from a majority to a steadily decreasing minority of its undergraduate students.  They boast of this achievement on their web sites and in their admission brochures.  In 2019, the share of White admissions to elite schools ranges from 21% to 36% less than Whites as a share of the U.S. population.  One can plot the reduction in White admissions over the past 20 years from the published numbers in their Common Data Sets.

Until this year’s class of 2023 (2019-2023), most elite schools reported the acceptance rate, ethnic/racial and gender composition, and geographic distribution of those offered admission.  When the admission cycle is complete, as mandated by Congress, universities report applications and enrollment information to the National Center for Education Statistics.  They also fill out the Common Data Set, which includes applications, admissions, enrollments (yield), and the gender and ethnic/racial composition of enrolled (matriculated) students.

In late August 2018, Stanford announced that it would no longer publicize applications during early or regular admissions.  An official stated that Stanford feared that the large number of applicants (over 45,000), coupled with the tiny 5% (2,200) offered admission, would discourage talented students who would thrive at Stanford from applying, believing they had little chance of acceptance.  Stanford only reported the percentage of First Generation students in its Class of 2023.

Other elite schools declined to report admissions data in whole or in part.  Another change this year is that some schools reported race/ethnicity as “People of Color [POC),” combining Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, Alaskans, Indians, Pacific islanders, and mixed race into one number.  The Common Data Set reports POC as distinct racial/ethnic categories.  However, reporting POC for admissions and then months later separate racial/ethnic categories for enrollments precludes comparing the ethnic/racial composition of admissions with that of enrollments.

Elite schools are dramatically reducing transparency.  This will help many universities avoid criticism that they are imposing an admission quota on Asian students, who will be included in POC, but not separately counted for admission.

Here are instructions for reading the table that follows.  No numbers across-the-board indicate no information provided in the announcement to admitted applicants.  Empty cells indicate that no data was reported for that specific category.  Numbers in brackets [40-60%] are the POC percentage.  The substantial number of empty cells differs from prior years when the table could be completely filled out.  If you want to compare 2023 with 2022, download admissions data for 2022 from each school’s website.

The top 20 universities and top 10 liberal arts colleges are taken from the 2019 U.S. News & World Report rankings.  They are listed from top down.

Admissions to Class of 2023 for Elite Universities by Race and Ethnicity (Percent)
School White Asian Black Hisp Int'l Misc. Rate FG
USA 60 6 13 19 3
Princeton [56] 6 18
Harvard 25 15 12 12 3 5 16
Columbia 5
Chicago 6
Yale 6
Stanford 18
Duke 7
Penn [56] 7 15
Northwestern 9
JHU 24 28 14 18 9 6 10
Dartmouth [51] 12 8 16
Brown [49] 13 7 14
Cornell [55] 8 11 13
Rice 9
Notre Dame 15
Wash.U. 39 20 15 13 8 5 14
Williams 37 [58] 11 5 12 20
Amherst 27 20 21 18 11 3 11 11
Swarthmore 10 9 27
Wellesley 32 [57] 11 20 17
Bowdoin 9
Carleton 21
Middlebury 16
Pomona 28 18 14 20 14 6 20

FG:  First Generation
Notre Dame:  [POC + International] = 47%

No admissions information:  Caltech, UCLA, Claremont McKenna, Davidson.  Vanderbilt admission rate was 20% for Early Action and 6% for Regular Decision, but no information on the overall rate.

Admission Rate only:  MIT, Columbia, Chicago, Yale, Duke, Northwestern, Rice, Notre Dame, Bowdoin, Carleton, Middlebury.

Selective information:  Stanford, Swarthmore

People of Color instead of separate information on Blacks, Asians, Hispanics, and Mixed:  Princeton, Penn, Dartmouth, Brown, Cornell, Williams, and Wellesley.

Full information excluding Whites:  Harvard.

Full information:  JHU, Washington U., Amherst, Pomona

The percentage Whites admitted is listed for 6 schools.  Percentage White can be derived for 6 additional schools by subtracting the sum of People of Color and International Students from 100%.

Where reported or derived, with the exception of Notre Dame with White admissions of 53%, the percentage White varies from a low of 24% to a high of 39% of admitted applicants.  Compared with the national population, Whites are under represented by a low of 21% to a high of 36%.

Ideology?  Diversity?  Implications?  Consequences?

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