Porkers Need Not Apply?

Jul 25, 2013 by

A visiting NYU professor infamously tweeted last month: “Dear obese PhD applicants: if you didn’t have the willpower to stop eating carbs, you won’t have the willpower to do a dissertation #truth.”

It prompted a national firestorm of controversy and outrage – but according to new research – perhaps it was a brutally honest look at how some professors really feel, deep down inside, about students’ graduate-level efforts.

A study recently published by Bowling Green State University researchers has found overweight students who applied for graduate school were less likely to be offered admission.


Even worse? The rejections increased for overweight females, found the “Weight Bias in Graduate School Admissions” study, which looked at nearly 100 applicants seeking positions at psychology graduate programs at roughly 950 universities across the country.

The rejections were linked to in-person interviews, researchers said.

“… We could see a clear relation between their weight and offers of admission for those applicants who had had an in-person interview,” said researcher Jacob Burmeister in a campus news statement. “The success rate for people who had had no interview or a phone interview was pretty much equal, but when in-person interviews were involved, there was quite a bit of difference, even when applicants started out on equal footing with their grades, test scores and letters of recommendation.”

“We might expect psychology faculty to be more aware of these types of biases. Thus, the level of bias found in this study could be a conservative estimate of the level of bias in the graduate admissions process in other fields.”

Fat People Need Not Apply?.

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