Video: College standards stiffer for women

NBC News
updated 1/16/2008 4:06:30 PM ET 2008-01-16T21:06:30

Wednesday night on Nightly News, NBC News correspondent Savannah Guthrie looks into whether it's more difficult to get admitted to college if you're female than if you're male. The following are instructions for college applicants that Guthrie compiled.

How can you identify the colleges where girls are being admitted at a lower rate than boys? The information is online but it can be tricky to find. Here's how:

Each school maintains application and enrollment information in a form called the "common data set." Unfortunately, there's no single Web site that collects the common data sets from all schools. The best way to start is to do an online search using the school name and the term "common data set." If you have no luck, try performing a search with your school's name and the term "institutional research." Every college and university has an Office of Institutional Research, which produces the common data set.

If you still cannot find the form, call the school and ask for the Office of Institutional Research. That office should give you the form upon request.

Once you have the form, you'll have to sort through pages and pages of data. We suggest you check out "SECTION B: ENROLLMENT AND PERSISTENCE" and "SECTION C: FIRST TIME, FIRST YEAR FRESHMAN ADMISSION." Look at the gender breakdown and you will get a good sense about the percentage of men and women on campus and the percentage of each gender admitted to the school in question.

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