Campus Factoids and Nuggets of Information

The Chronicle of Higher Education’s almanac, out in the journal’s August 29th issue, drenches readers in campus statistics.

Women account for 57.3 % of students enrolled at American colleges and universities (10,184,100, compared with 7,574,800 for men).

Slightly more than 59 percent of women graduate. The figure for men is 53 percent. Freshman males are considerably less certain that they will be satisfied with college – 51.3 percent expected satisfaction compared with 59.1 percent of women.

Women are getting better marks. In grade-point averages, 18.6% of women reported mostly A’s (14.3% for men) and 13.8% mostly B’s compared to 11% for men. In average SAT scores, men did better than women in critical reading (504 to 502) and math (533 to 499) but women exceeded men in writing (500 to 489). These are 2007 figures, down from 2006.

As of 2006, 37.3 percent of l8- to 24-year-olds were enrolled in college, the lowest percentage since 2002. The University of Phoenix (online) is the nation’s largest campus, with 165,373 students followed by Ohio State’s main campus, Miami Dade College and Arizona State at Tempe, all with 51,000-plus students. Of the 4,301 colleges and universities, 56 had 30,000 or more students.

California is the state with the most colleges and universities (412), followed by New York (307) and Texas (214). Most doctorates earned : University of Texas, Austin, 296, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 754, University of Californian, Berkeley, 747.

Colleges with the most freshman merit scholars (2007): Harvard 285, University of Texas, Austin, Northwestern 249.

U.S. citizens are known to account for only 59% of doctorates earned in 2006 (35 percent foreigners, 6 percent unknown). The University of Southern California enrolled the most foreign students in 2006-2007 (7,115) followed by Columbia and New York University.

More than half of faculty members described themselves as liberal or far left (51.3 %) compared with 29 .2 percent middle of the road and 19.5 % conservative or far right.

Among freshman students, 32% reported liberal or far left views, 24.6 conservative or far-right and 43.4 percent middle of the road.

An overwhelming 90.2 % of faculty agreed that “a racially/ethnically diverse student body enhances the educational experience of all students,” the major pro-affirmative action argument in the University of Michigan cases that went to the Supreme Court.

College presidents (as of 2006) were mostly white (86.4%), male (77 %), married (83.2%) and Christian (80.8 percent Protestant or Catholic).

The five universities with the largest endowments were Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Princeton and the University of Texas. Though Harvard was 12 billion dollars ahead of any other institution in the size its endowment, it was only fourth in endowment per student, following Rockefeller University, Princeton and Yale. As of 2006, Johns Hopkins was far ahead of the number two institution, the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in research and development expenditures for science and engineering (roughly $1.5 billion per year compared with Wisconsin’s $832 million). In spending on research libraries, the top five universities were Harvard, Yale, Columbia, the University of Toronto and the University of California, Berkeley.

The average tuition and fees at private 4-year institutions is $20,492, almost four times the average cost of public institutions. About 72 percent of students come from families estimated to make more than $50,000 a year. Only 11.5 percent of students were from families earning $24,999 or less.

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New SAT scores released today, August 26th:

Males on average scored four points higher than females on the reading section (504 vs. 500) and 33 points higher on the math test (533 vs. 500), but females on average outscored their counterparts on the writing test, 501 to 488.

John Leo

John Leo is the editor of Minding the Campus, dedicated to chronicling imbalances within higher education and restoring intellectual pluralism to our American universities. His popular column, "On Society," ran in U.S.News & World Report for 17 years.

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