Why You Should Consider a Women's College

on April 20, 2016

Let’s face it: Not many of us seriously consider attending a women’s college these days. Why? Maybe the campuses seem too small, the idea seems too outdated or we worry we won’t have any guy friends to hang out with. But guess what? None of those things are true.

Women’s colleges have grown and changed over time. They’re no longer finishing schools for southern belles – they’re fun, academically challenging environments for strong, independent females. And stats show women’s college students carry serious clout after graduation. Even though only 2 percent of college grads get their degree from a women’s college, their alumnae account for more than 20 percent of women in Congress and 33 percent of women on Fortune 100 boards, according to a report from Sara Kratzok and Casey Near. Need proof? Hillary Clinton, Meryl Streep, Nancy Pelosi, Diane Sawyer and Gabrielle Giffords all went to women’s colleges. And if you’re thinking about a postgraduate degree at some point, remember that women’s college grads are 1.5 times more likely to earn them than public university alumna.

If you want lots of individual attention, a strong campus community and a school with a mission you can believe in, it’s worth considering a women’s college. Here are a few you probably haven’t heard of:

Mills College
San Francisco, CA
Size: 1,500 students

  • Ranked one of the top colleges and universities in the West by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Ninety-five percent of undergrads receive financial aid – the average award is $39,482.
  • It’s near everything – hip San Francisco, the scenic Oakland foothills, the several gorgeous regional parks are at your doorstep.

Alverno College
Milwaukee, WI
Size: 2,700 students

  • Alverno prides itself on teaching students the “eight abilities.” They include communication, analysis, problem-solving, valuing, social interaction, developing a global perspective, effective citizenship, aesthetic engagement.
  • There are no grades – instead, you get a narrative transcript that highlights your growth and accomplishments.
  • Ranked as one of the top four Midwestern colleges in U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” guide.

Stephens College
Columbia, MO
Size: 1,100 students

  • Consistently ranked as a top Midwestern College by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Stephens traditionally focused on the creative arts, but has created new health science programs to keep up with demand. No matter what your interests are, you’ll find a major that fits them.
  • Columbia may not be a major city, but it’s got just enough going on to keep you engaged. And with the University of Missouri and Columbia College nearby, it’s easy to branch out and meet people off campus.

Simmons College
Boston, MA
Size: 5,000 students

  • With an average class size of 18, you’ll get plenty of individual attention at Simmons.
  • Simmons puts a focus on women’s leadership and helping students find meaning in their lives and careers.
  • Located in the heart of Boston, there’s always something going on near campus.

Mount Saint Mary’s University
Los Angeles, CA
Size: 2,800 students

  • Mount Saint Mary’s puts an emphasis on building women’s leadership skills.
  • Named the No. 1 college “That Adds the Most Value” by MONEY Magazine.
  • Want a graduate or professional degree? Almost 70 percent of Mount Saint Mary’s alumnae go on to earn them.

There's more to women's colleges than meets the eye - check a few out today. Who knows, one day you could become Secretary of State or Speaker of the House like other women's college grads!

Looking for scholarships for women? The Scholarships for Women website has plenty of opportunities for women who want to further their education.

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