First-Year Enrollments of Women at the Nation’s Leading Liberal Arts Colleges

WIAReport surveyed the nation’s highest-ranking liberals arts colleges to determine the percentage of women in this year’s entering classes. Of the 22 liberal arts colleges that responded to our survey, women were a majority of the entering students at 15 schools while there were more men than women in the entering classes at seven liberal arts schools. However, the results showed a wide disparity.

At Oberlin College in Ohio, there are 380 women in the first-year class. They make up 58.7 percent of all students who matriculated this fall. Vassar College, one of the original Seven Sister colleges, had the second highest percentage of women in its entering class. Vassar switched to coeducation in 1970.

At the other extreme, women make up only 42.3 percent of the entering students at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California. This school is heavily oriented toward STEM disciplines where women have traditionally been underrepresented. At Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, women are 44.4 percent of the first-year class. The other five high-ranking liberals arts schools that enrolled more men than women in their entering class are Davidson, Claremont McKenna, Lafayette, Wesleyan, and Washington and Lee.

Filed Under: EnrollmentsGender GapResearch/Study

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