Gender Differences in Acceptance Rates at Ivy League Institutions

A new study by the editors of the Brown Daily Herald found that Brown University has the largest gender gap in acceptance rates among the eight Ivy League colleges. The Herald conducted a data analysis of the Common Data Sets of all eight Ivy League universities.

The data show that all eight Ivy League schools had more women applicants than male applicants for the Class of 2026. At Cornell, there were 35,672 women who applied compared to 35,492 men. This was the smallest gender gap in applicants. At Columbia and Yale, women were about 58 percent of all applicants.

But Brown University had the largest gender gap in applications. They found that since at least the 2003-04 application cycle, women have consistently outnumbered men in Brown’s applicant pool by at least 2,000 applicants. Since then, that gap has only continued to grow. Out of the 50,649 total applicants to the class of 2026, 18,939 were male and 31,710 were female — a difference of nearly 13,000. Women made up 62.6 percent of all applicants.

Three Ivy League schools – Cornell University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Princeton had a slightly higher acceptance rate for women than for men. At the other five, men were accepted at a higher rate than women. The difference was the widest at Brown University. In this application cycle, 6.73 percent of male applicants were accepted to Brown, while only 4.06 percent of women were. Women were 62.6 percent of all applicants but only 50.2 percent of accepted students and 51.8 percent of the entering class.

With the fate of affirmative action in higher education hanging in the balance of an upcoming Supreme Court ruling, preferences for male applicants may also come under fire.

Filed Under: EnrollmentsResearch/Study


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