Demystifying Women’s Colleges
By Gary Keung
(Admissions Consultant at The Edge Learning Center)
As the world celebrates International Women‘s Day, there is still a considerable lack of understanding, even stigmatism, concerning women‘s colleges. For aspiring applicants who could be applying to women‘s colleges, it is vital to be informed of the nuances of women‘s colleges and what they are and are not.
Women‘s Colleges Are Not All The Same
Women‘s colleges share a moniker, but even that moniker is up for dispute. Not everyone who attends a women‘s college is a woman. As a Scripps College student puts it: “You could be in an entirely Scripps environment, like your CORE classes, and there will still be gender diversity in the room.” Some are standalone women‘s colleges, while some have co-ed Master’s programs.
Women‘s Colleges Are Not Isolated Enclaves
A lot of women‘s colleges are located near comprehensive research universities, allowing students to cross-register and take classes there. Cross-registering allows students to benefit from the supportive and empowering environment of a women‘s college plus the advantage of a neighboring university that offers specialized courses and research pieces of equipment that are otherwise not offered at a women‘s college. Some prime examples of cross-registering include:
☛ Barnard College with Columbia University, and Juilliard School
☛ Bry Mawr College with Haverford College, Swarthmore College, and University of Pennsylvania
☛ Wellesley College with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Babson College, Olin College of Engineering, and Brandeis University
Women‘s Colleges Have More Emphasis On Math and Sciences
Although most women‘s colleges are liberal arts schools, women‘s colleges have a proven track record of preparing female students for traditionally male disciplines in math and sciences as there is no stigma against women who choose to study these at a women‘s college. In fact, Economics is the most common major at Wellesley, followed by Biology, Psychology, and Computer Science. 34% of Mount Holyoke College’s students major in STEM, which is significantly higher than the proportion of women who typically major in math or science at coeducational institutions.
Women‘s Colleges Have a Strong Campus Community
In a recent study conducted by the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), researchers discovered that women at single-sex institutions were more engaged in campus life and reported the highest levels of support in their development.
There are myths out there about women’s colleges that are not true. Women‘s colleges offer a unique educational environment that empowers their students to succeed and become leaders in their fields. Women’s colleges are not for everyone, but for applicants who have done their school research and come to identify them to be a great fit, they are an exceptional place to attend college.
About The Edge
Established in 2008, The Edge Learning Center has grown into a premier one-stop provider of educational services for Grade 7 through Grade 12, targeting students who intend to pursue overseas education. Our three departments – Academic Tutoring, Test Preparation, and Admissions Consulting – offer a broad range of educational services spanning from SAT and IB Test Prep to colleges and boarding schools application counseling. The Edge Learning Center operates in multiple regions including Hong Kong, China, and Vietnam.