Guest Post • Undergraduate

5 Reasons to Consider Women’s Colleges in the US

POSTED ON 06/27/2023 BY The Red Pen

Students bonding in a US women’s college.

Although female CEOs in various industries may give the impression that gender equality has been achieved, the reality is that only 8 percent of CEOs at the top 2,000 companies in the US are women. This statistic highlights the persistent gender disparity in corporate leadership positions and underscores the importance of women’s leadership. Women still face the pressure to outperform their male counterparts to be taken seriously. However, there is hope. Women’s colleges in the US aim to overcome gender barriers by encouraging the exploration of diverse paths, networking, talent recognition and risk-taking to bolster the confidence of tomorrow’s female executives. These for-women-only colleges usually attract self-aware, independent, mature female students eager to push boundaries in fields not traditionally associated with gender and engage in collaborative rather than competitive endeavours. The convergence of such self-aware students fosters an environment where they surpass their initial expectations and achieve more than they thought possible, contributing to women’s empowerment efforts.

Amy E. Markham, Director of International Admission at Mount Holyoke College, shares five ways in which women’s colleges in the US add value beyond the conventional college experience:

1) Women’s colleges in the US offer an empowering environment

Women’s colleges cultivate an atmosphere that encourages breaking stereotypes, allowing you to shatter societal norms and embrace unconventional paths without feeling judged. Whether you want to pursue an uncommon endeavour or take on a challenging venture, your peers and faculty will be there to cheer you instead of expressing doubt or scepticism. This empowerment enables you to step out of your comfort zone and explore new horizons to lay a solid foundation for your future success.

2) Women’s colleges in the US heighten awareness for growth

Attending a women’s college brings about a realisation of the barriers that have hindered personal growth and success. It allows you to recognise the lack of support and identify unseen obstacles so that you can overcome them by seeking guidance from faculty, peers, advisors, and role models. A 2011 graduate of Mount Holyoke College said, “Leadership and self-advocacy are the cornerstones of an MHC education, and once students leave, they are prepared to tackle the gender inequalities in society.”

3) Women’s colleges in the US help build a strong network for success

Students at women’s colleges develop deep and meaningful connections. With less than two percent of bachelor’s degree recipients coming from such colleges, graduates develop a unique bond rooted in sisterhood. This camaraderie provides an advantage when seeking employment opportunities. Kate Winick, an alumna of Mount Holyoke College, rightly said, “When it comes to things like hiring and networking, I will treat anyone from any women’s college the way I would a graduate of my own school. There’s a real allegiance there and a real love for what the experience of a women’s college undergraduate education is like.”

4) Women’s colleges in the US have a higher representation of women scholars

In the US, only a third of full professors are women, highlighting the persistent issue of representation in academia. But these numbers almost double at women’s colleges with high-ranking women faculty members. These professors are powerful examples of resilience, overcoming barriers associated with the traditional “old boys’ network.” They contribute to the affirming environment by imparting knowledge and sharing their experiences. Additionally, prominent graduates who return to campus provide further inspiration, acting as influential role models for current students and allowing them to envision their future selves.

5) Most women’s colleges in the US are part of consortium programmes

Consortium programmes are collaborative partnerships between two or more colleges. This unique arrangement enables women’s college students to benefit from a female-focused education while accessing the academic, extracurricular, and social opportunities provided by co-educational universities. For example, Mount Holyoke and Smith colleges are members of The Five College Consortium, granting students access to over 5,000 courses, 700 clubs and activities, many social events, and convenient inter-campus transportation.

Women’s colleges in the US provide an environment that surpasses conventional college experiences in several ways. We hope you add at least one women’s college to your US university list, as it can offer a transformative educational experience. 

You may also want to read our post on six things you should know about studying in the US. If you have questions on US undergraduate admissions process or need help with any aspect of your application, please get in touch. Our experts and US specialists look forward to helping you.