• Syracuse University graduates at the 2012 commencement on May 13, 2012 at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York. (Nate Shron/Getty Images)

    The Supreme Court is poised to release its opinion on an affirmative-action case that could forever change the way public colleges and universities consider race in admissions. But even if, as some predict, the justices issue a broad ruling slapping down the use of race in admissions, an open secret in higher education—that many colleges lower their admissions standards for male applicants—remains unchallenged and largely unremarked upon.

    For years, the percentage of men enrolled in college has been declining, with women making up nearly 57 percent of all undergrads at four-year colleges last year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. While schools are prohibited under the federal Title IX law from discriminating based on gender, some admissions officials have admitted in recent years that male applicants get a leg up from colleges hoping to avoid gender imbalances on campus.

    [Live chat: Awaiting key decisions from the Supreme Court]

    Jennifer Delahunty Britz, the dean of admissions at the private liberal arts school Kenyon College, was among the first to admit this when she wrote an op-ed titled "To All the Girls I've Rejected" in The New York Times in 2006.

    "The reality is that because young men are rarer, they're more valued applicants," she wrote, adding that two-thirds of colleges report that more women than men apply for admission. "What messages are we sending young women that they must, nearly 25 years after the defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment, be even more accomplished than men to gain admission to the nation's top colleges?"

    Delahunty Britz's acknowledgment opened the floodgates, and reporters began looking closely at schools that admitted a much higher percentage of male than female applicants.

    Of course, these gaps don't necessarily mean that women are being discriminated against. It's possible that the male applicant pool is better qualified on average, though that's hard to ascertain when colleges generally resist releasing their admissions data.

    The University of Richmond, a private liberal arts school, acknowledged in 2009 that it attempts to keep its gender balance at about 50-50, which meant women's admit rate was about 13 percentage points lower than men's over the previous 10 years. Admissions officer Marilyn Hesser told CBS that men and women had about the same standardized test scores, but that male applicants' GPA was lower on average. (The college's admission rate suddenly became more gender neutral the following year, in 2010-2011, when men's acceptance rate was only 3 percentage points higher than women's.)

    The same year, the College of William and Mary, a public institution in Virginia, accepted 39.4 percent of its male applicants and 27.2 percent of female applicants. The school's admissions dean, Henry Broaddus, said men have slightly higher standardized test scores but lower GPAs than women, on average.

    Broaddus defended the policy, insisting that William and Mary's female students want the college to to be gender-balanced and that colleges in general risk becoming less attractive to both men and women when the gender balance tips too far toward women.

    "Even women who enroll ... expect to see men on campus," Broaddus said at the time. "It's not the College of Mary and Mary; it's the College of William and Mary."

    Read More »from As court prepares affirmative-action decision, softer standards for men go unnoticed
  • Christine Quinn said she received a message from Anthony Weiner on Thursday. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)Former Rep. Anthony Weiner called his New York City mayoral rival Christine Quinn on Thursday to clarify a recent discussion he had with a voter who reportedly used a homophobic slur to describe Quinn.

    Quinn, who is gay, told reporters on Friday she received a phone message from Weiner on Thursday after he came under fire for not strongly admonishing a voter he met during a campaign event who reportedly referred to Quinn as a “dyke.”

    The interaction, detailed in a Washington Post story, said Weiner did not scold the woman until after he noticed a reporter’s “incredulous reaction." Weiner then reportedly told the voter, who apologized, “It’s OK. It’s not your fault.”

    On Thursday, Weiner told reporters that he recalled admonishing the woman but insisted he did not recall any further interaction. He reaffirmed his support for gay rights and said he would not tolerate “any utterance of any type of slur against any community.”

    On Friday, Quinn said she was “grateful” that Weiner clarified

    Read More »from Weiner called Quinn to clarify talk with voter who used gay slur
  • President’s election commission heads to four states

    A polling sign in Los Angeles, Nov. 6, 2012. (David McNew/Getty Images)

    A White House commission tasked with making voting improvements after lengthy wait times were reported in the 2012 election is hitting the road.

    The president's Commission on Election Administration, which met for the first time on Friday, announced it will hold upcoming hearings in four states: Florida, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Ohio.

    Co-chair Bob Bauer, President Barack Obama's former counsel, said they will hold "a public meetings process around the country that enables us to hear from election officials, from experts and from citizens in affected communities about the voting experience and their perspective on the issues they should be covering." Bauer and co-chair Ben Ginsberg, former counsel for Mitt Romney, invited election experts and members of the public to participate.

    "Please help us to ferret out the information we need," Bauer said.

    Hearing specifics are still slim. Known so far: They are scheduled for June 28 at the University of Miami, Aug. 8 in Denver, Sept. 4 in

    Read More »from President’s election commission heads to four states

Pagination

(7,160 Stories)
  • NYSE stocks posting largest percentage decreases

    A look at the 10 biggest percentage decliners on New York Stock Exchange at the close of trading: Standard Register Co. fell 10.7 percent to $5.00. Armstrong World Inds fell 10.4 percent to $49.60. Clayton ...

  • Today in History

    Today is Monday, July 28, the 209th day of 2014. There are 156 days left in the year.

  • Business Highlights

    ___ US companies increasingly fish for growth overseas Major U.S. companies are starting to reap their most rapid growth in fertile lands of opportunity far from home. Technology trendsetters Apple Inc., ...

  • U.S. 'disappointed' Netherlands released Venezuelan wanted over drugs

    By Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is "deeply disappointed" the Netherlands released a former Venezuelan military intelligence chief detained over U.S. drug trafficking allegations, and is "disturbed" at reports indicating Caracas used threats to obtain his freedom, the State Department said on Monday. Instead of being extradited to the United States, retired Venezuelan General Hugo Carvajal flew home on Sunday from the Netherlands' Caribbean island of Aruba after the Dutch government ruled he had diplomatic immunity. He had been arrested on Aruba on Wednesday. Jubilant Venezuelan officials with the ruling Socialist Party celebrated his release as a "victory" over their ideological foes in the United States.

  • Microsoft targeted in apparent Chinese antitrust probe

    Microsoft Corp appears to be the latest U.S. company targeted by China for antitrust investigation as government officials paid sudden visits to the software firm's Chinese offices on Monday. Representatives from China's State Administration for Industry & Commerce, which is responsible for enforcing business laws, made the visits to Microsoft offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu, according to local media reports that were confirmed by Microsoft. A Microsoft spokeswoman said the company was "happy to answer the government's questions," but declined to give any further information. A source close to the company said the visits were most likely the preliminary stage of an antitrust investigation.

  • U.S. court: Va. gay marriage ban unconstitutional
    U.S. court: Va. gay marriage ban unconstitutional

    A federal appeals court has struck down Virginia's same-sex marriage ban.

  • Vietnam's taste for cat leaves pets in peril
    Vietnam's taste for cat leaves pets in peril

    The enduring popularity of "little tiger" as a snack to accompany a beer in Vietnam means that cat owners live in constant fear of animal snatchers, despite an official ban. At an unassuming restaurant next to a carwash in central Hanoi, a cat is prepared for hungry clients: drowned, shaved and burned to remove all fur before being cut up and fried with garlic. "A lot of people eat cat meat. Vietnam has forbidden the consumption of cats in an effort to encourage their ownership and keep the capital's rat population under control.

  • N. Korea threatens nuclear strike on White House
    N. Korea threatens nuclear strike on White House

    A top-ranking North Korean military official has threatened a nuclear strike on the White House and Pentagon after accusing Washington of raising military tensions on the Korean peninsula. The threat came from Hwang Pyong-So, director of the military's General Political Bureau, during a speech to a large military rally in Pyongyang Sunday on the anniversary of the armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War. Hwang, who holds the rank of vice marshal in the Korean People's Army, said a recent series of South Korea-US military drills, one of which included the deployment of a nuclear-powered US aircraft carrier, had ramped up tensions. "If the US imperialists threaten our sovereignty and survival... our troops will fire our nuclear-armed rockets at the White House and the Pentagon -- the sources of all evil," Hwang said in his speech broadcast Monday on state television.

Follow Yahoo! News