Wentworth Sees Spike in Applications from Young Women, Other Groups
More young women than ever, by far, are applying to Wentworth Institute of Technology, according to the university’s vice president for enrollment.
Kristin R. Tichenor said applications from women to the STEM-centered school are up 25 percent, to 1,598. Overall applications from prospective freshmen are up 7 percent, to 5,606.
“The increase in applications from women is particularly exciting, especially the increases in women of color since they are doubly underrepresented within the STEM disciplines,” Tichenor said.
She said Wentworth is also seeing a 25 percent increase in applications from Hispanic women and an 18 percent hike in applications from Black/African American women. Applications from international students are up 15 percent. Applications from first generation students have increased 3 percent and applications from students identifying as Black/African American are up 2 percent.
“Given the national trends that suggest a decline in college enrollments and college applications from low-income students, the increases at Wentworth are promising as the university has historically enrolled a high percentage of first generation, Pell-eligible students,” Tichenor said. To that point, she said, first generation students represent 32 percent of this year’s applicant pool. The percentage of Pell-eligible students in the pool is currently 27 percent.
She said many STEM-focused institutions nationally are reporting application increases thanks in part to the widespread adoption of test-optional admissions policies.
For women in the latest applicant pool at Wentworth, the most desirable academic programs (in order) are Biomedical Engineering, Architecture, Computer Science, Interior Design and Mechanical Engineering.
Wentworth’s transformative academic programs are focused on engineering, design, management and sciences. The university, regularly included in top college rankings for its high return on investment, uses its cooperative learning model to give undergraduates hands on experience in the field of their choice before they graduate.
The number and percentage of women and students of color earning STEM college degrees continues to lag, according to statistics from the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE). The percentage of women earning degrees in engineering and computer science has increased 2.6 percent; for Hispanic students, the percentage has increase by 1.4 percent and for African American students, the percentage has grown by just .4 percent. But the U.S. Department of Commerce has said that STEM will continue to be in high demand and STEM job growth is expected to continue to outpace non-STEM growth through 2024.