ERIC Number: EJ1045239
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 89
Why Are Women Underrepresented in Elite Colleges and Universities? A Non-Linear Decomposition Analysis
Bielby, Rob; Posselt, Julie Renee; Jaquette, Ozan; Bastedo, Michael N.
Research in Higher Education, v55 n8 p735-760 Dec 2014
The emerging female advantage in education has received considerable attention in the popular media and recent research. We examine a persistent exception to this trend: women's underrepresentation in America's most competitive colleges and universities. Using nationally generalizable data spanning four decades, we evaluate evidence for three possible explanations. First, we analyze whether men's academic profiles more closely match the admissions preferences of elite institutions. Next, we consider organizational preferences for male applicants. Finally, we test whether women self-select out of elite institutions through their application choices. Using Blinder-Oaxaca non-linear decomposition techniques and multinomial logistic regression, we find that men's advantage in standardized test scores best explains the enrollment gap. Our analyses thus suggest that the gender enrollment gap in elite colleges and universities is a matter of access, not student choice. We discuss the implications of these results for educational equity and college admissions.
Descriptors: Females, Disproportionate Representation, Selective Admission, Gender Differences, Competition, College Admission, Generalization, Educational Research, College Choice, Enrollment Trends, Standardized Tests, Scores, Equal Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A