In the United States, there are currently 42 institutions of higher learning that only enroll women students. The colleges and universities are located throughout the country and vary in their academic and social offerings. While they all have their unique personalities, they all promote empowering women. The percentage of women who attend women’s colleges is small, but a women’s college could be a great fit for some students.
Here are ten reasons to consider attending a women’s college.
1. Small student population
The majority of women’s colleges have less than 3,000 students. This means students will enjoy small classes with regular discussion. Smaller student populations also allow professors the opportunity to connect with their students on a more personal level.
2. Less gender inequality
Unfortunately, sexism does still exist. Teachers, professors and other students sometimes treat female students differently in the classroom. However, at an educational institution where only females attend, it is less likely for students at women’s colleges to feel discriminated against because of their gender.
3. Partnerships with local colleges
Many women’s colleges have partnerships with other educational institutions. These partnerships allow students to take classes at other institutions. This is especially nice for students who have an interest in a subject or class that may not be offered at their institution.
4. There will be men
There is a myth out there that students at women’s colleges will never have the opportunity to interact with men. This is far from the truth. While many of the professors and administrators are women, there are also men. In addition, many women’s colleges are located close to other educational institutions and have built strong relationships. These relationships allow students the opportunity to participate in co-educational academic and social activities.
5. Women dominate
While many colleges have larger percentages of women than men enrolled at their institutions, men still tend to dominate some academic majors and programs. For example, engineering is a major dominated by men. At women’s colleges, women dominate every academic discipline. This allows the students to become leaders in their programs. In addition, it allows them to be unconstrained by the social pressures one may feel in a male -dominated environment.
The word feminist has come to have a negative connotation with many people. Whereas feminism is about equal rights, the word feminist has become a word some equate with such things as a “man hater” or women who do not care about their appearance. At women’s colleges, feminism is a regular topic. Students at women’s colleges are given encouragement, advice, and support they need to succeed.
Women’s colleges are rich with traditions. For example, many women’s colleges have weekly teas, allowing students the opportunity to bond with others within the community. The different women’s colleges offer unique events and activities that have been celebrated since they were founded. These traditions promote empowerment and sisterhood.
8. Active campus communities
Women’s colleges have active student populations. Students are very active in and out of the classroom. Just like most colleges, women’s colleges offer student government, student organizations, and collegiate sports.
9. Strong alumnae base
Graduates of women’s colleges typically have strong ties to their alma maters. This gives current students the opportunity to connect with women who are established in the field they are considering. The strong alumnae base also gives graduates a strong support system and lifelong friends.
10. Motivated to be leaders
Students at women’s colleges are strongly encouraged to be leaders. The motivation comes from the faculty, staff, and the administration, most of which are women. In addition, alumnae from women’s colleges send encouragement to students at their alma maters. Some very successful women have graduated from women’s colleges, including Hillary Rodham Clinton (Wellesley College), Nancy Pelosi (Trinity Washington College), Meryl Streep (Vassar College – formerly all women’s), and Julia Child (Smith College).
There are a lot of myths out there about women’s colleges that are not true–forget about them. Women’s colleges offer a unique educational environment that encourages and empowers their students to succeed and become leaders in their fields. Women’s colleges are not for everyone, but for some women, they are an exceptional place to attend college.