The College of Mary & Mary Cont.

My last post was focused on college admissions at The College of William & Mary and the institution’s uneven gender distribution. At the end of the post I included: “I am sending a message to the admission board at William and Mary asking what they might be doing to level-out the gap, just for the hell of it. I’ll follow up this article with the response if I receive one.”

I followed through with that promise and sent the following message to the admissions office of The College of William & Mary (and also to American University, Boston University, and George Washington University but none of these institutions responded):

Hi, my name is, and I am a senior at Georgetown University studying Government, Philosophy, and Spanish. I actually applied to William and Mary back in the 2014-2015 school year, and I must say that I really appreciated the persona that the school fostered. I really felt the authenticity and warmness exuded by your institution. 

In my spare time, I author a website regarding men’s issues, and I frequently research school-related concerns. I have come across some statistics of William and Mary’s class profiles, currently showing that the school’s 2022 class profile has a gender distribution of 42% men and 58% women. 
I have also read a few articles, those by Nick Anderson of the Washington Post, regarding your institution’s response the gender gap. Additionally, I read the full 2009 statement by Dean Henry Broaddus about the higher admission rate for men present in your admissions statistics. I have a few questions for you that you may or may not be able to answer. I will try to keep them broad because I don’t want to appear as though I am attempting to uncover some sort of bias or something….I simply have a genuine curiosity about possible responses to the statistics to which you may be privy. I know that your position as representatives of the university may not permit you to answer them, but hopefully, if that is the case, you could provide me with links or reports or journals that explain this phenomenon and reactions to it.
1) What are the general causes of the smaller applicant pool of men that you have uncovered?
2) Do you see the trend of majority-female colleges becoming more prominent in the future?
3) Are you aware of general responses by colleges to address the issue of continued smaller male-applicant pools? 
4) Are women on campus aware of the shortage of men on your campus or others? What are their reactions to it?
Please let me know if you are able to enlighten me. Thank you for your consideration!


Jenni Franklin, Senior Assistant Dean of Admissions, responded with a short and diplomatic message:

Hello ,

Our aim each year is to admit a cohort of entering students that meet our admission standards, and that we believe will be the most successful at William & Mary.  We are a co-ed institution and do try to keep a balance between men and women in our student body, however those numbers vary year-to-year based on our applicant pool.

Jenni Franklin

Unfortunately, there isn’t much information in that email, but, nevertheless, I appreciate the response. I am thinking about messaging other schools to hopefully read what they know and can say. However, I realize the business of college admissions requires professionals in that setting to be close-lipped, so I can understand the political responses I might receive. Notwithstanding, it is worth it to me.


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