U.S. Census Bureau: First College Co-Eds

Washington, D.C. — Sunday, September 4th — This week in 1837, the Oberlin Collegiate Institute in Ohio became the first college in the U.S. to grant equal status to men and women in degree programs.  Now known as Oberlin College, its leadership reasoned that many mothers and sisters often served as the only teachers available on the nation’s frontier — so better educated women would make superior teachers.  During its history, Oberlin was the first to routinely admit African-Americans, granted the first degree to a black woman, and was one of the first to have coeducational dormitories.  Today, coeducational schools are the norm.  Of the 40 percent of the population age 18 to 24 enrolled in college, more than 10.5 million are women, compared to just over 8.6 million men.


U.S. Census Bureau Logo. (PRNewsFoto/U.S. Census Bureau)

Sources:  Kane’s Famous First Facts, 2943
Oberlin history/accessed 6/23/2016:  http://new.oberlin.edu/about/history.dot
18-24 age group enrollment:  http://www.census.gov/newsroom/facts-for-features/2014/cb14-ff20.html
Women and men/table 1:  http://www.census.gov/hhes/school/data/cps/2014/tables.html

Profile America is produced by the Center for New Media and Promotion of the U.S. Census Bureau. Statistics and accounts drawn from cited non-Census sources are employed for illustrative or narrative purposes, and are not attested to by the U.S. Census Bureau. These daily features are available as produced segments, ready to air, on the Internet at http://www.census.gov(look for “Audio” in the “Library” pull-down menu).

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