As a high school student currently in the midst of applying to colleges, I agree that it can be overwhelming to be bombarded with more colleges to your already overwhelming long list of colleges; after a while, it seems that they all begin to blend together. However, the application process also opens my eyes to possibilities I never thought I would consider — and one of those possibilities is that of attending a women’s college.
I had never even given women’s colleges a second glance until one of my friends announced that she would be attending Wellesley in the fall: most famously known as Hillary Clinton’s alma mater. With my interest piqued, I began researching the world of women’s colleges with hesitancy. What about getting the whole college experience? And more importantly, how could I flourish in a male-dominated world, in the male-dominated fields of journalism and political science, if I grew accustomed to only being in female-dominated environments?
Women’s colleges produce the most female executives, political figures, and overall “first women” in many fields — and it’s no coincidence. Nancy Pelosi, the first female Speaker of the House, graduated from Trinity College, Madeline Albright, the first woman Secretary of State, graduated from Wellesley College, and Drew Faust, the first woman president of Harvard University, graduated from Bryn Mawr — to name a few. But what is the connection between women’s colleges and successful women?
Entirely women’s colleges produce more female leaders than coeducational environments because they create an incomparable atmosphere of female environment. As all leadership positions in clubs and student activities are occupied by women, students who attend women’s colleges are given the confidence to take initiative and achieve their leadership potentials — a confidence they are not given in coeducational environments as the majority of these positions are filled by male students.
Along with this, women who attend women’s colleges thrive in male dominated majors whereas women beginning college in these majors often drop out before earning their degree in that field. For example, women are more likely to stick with majors in mathematics and hard sciences in a women’s college than in a coed college as these majors are predominantly made up of men in coed colleges.
Along with this, many women’s colleges are smaller in size as many of them are liberal arts in nature, making it easier to establish connections with professors and stand out in the classroom.
Women have the capability to be successful anywhere, women’s college or coed. However, women’s colleges provide women with an environment of female empowerment that has proved effective for many powerful women throughout history. The fact that a college is women only should not be a deterrent from attending a school, but instead a plus side.