Nine women’s colleges now accept men who identify as women. Spelman College, a historically black university for women in Atlanta, became the latest, announcing Tuesday it would no longer consider gender during the application and admissions process.
Transgender advocates hailed the change as indicative of broader support for those with gender dysphoria. But economic and demographic changes also play a role.
Fewer students are graduating from high school and preparing to pursue higher education, and all small private colleges, including single-gender institutions, are feeling the pinch as they compete with larger state schools to fill seats.
At Mills College, a women’s school in Oakland, Calif., 8 percent of its 700 students identify as transgender women. Other schools say they don’t track gender identity and don’t know how many of their students are men presenting themselves as women.
While schools like Mills, the first to accept transgender women, proudly advertise their new policies, others have expanded admissions quietly, afraid the change will anger alumni who see it as an abandonment of the mission of women’s colleges. Some schools insist they will maintain their gender distinction, considering applications from transgender students only if they’ve completed a physical transition from male to female.
Jeff Hodges, a spokesman for Hollins University in Virginia, said that policy “supports how the university defines its mission as an undergraduate institution of higher learning for women.”
Courtesy: WORLD News Service
Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/nito100
Publication date: September 8, 2017