Is a woman’s college the right college for you?

20 Aug

In Choosing the right college for you, moi said:

Now that many students are receiving letters of acceptance from colleges, they are deciding which college is the best fit for them. Given the tight economy, cost is a major consideration. Beckie Supiano and Elyse Ashburn have written With New Lists, Federal Government Moves to Help Consumers and Prod Colleges to Limit Price Increases in the Chronicle of HigherEducation about the Department of Education’s new site about college costs. The College Affordability and Transparency Center is useful for students who are applying to college. It allows parents and students to calculate the costs of various college options. Once the costs of various college options are considered, then other considerations come into the decision.

Danielle Moss Lee, president and chief executive officer of the Harlem Educational Activities Fund offers some great advice in the Washington Post article, Top 5 factors to weigh when picking a college (by May 1st deadline).

Many students apply to several colleges in order to improve their chances of being admitted to college. For some students, a woman’s college might be right for them.

Lorraine Ash and Alesha Williams Boyd write in the USA Today article, Women’s colleges struggle to keep identity and enrollment:

 “Less than 2% of the women going to college nationwide want a single-sex institution,” said Sister Rosemary Jeffries, president of Georgian Court.

The decision highlights how women’s colleges are changing — to meet the needs of a new generation of women, and, in some cases, to make ends meet. The number of women’s colleges in the U.S. dropped from more than 200 in 1960 to 83 in 1993, according to a U.S. Department of Education report. Today, the Women’s College Coalition lists 47 member colleges.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, collective national enrollment at women’s colleges fell from about 113,000 in 1998 to 86,000 in 2010.

“Women’s colleges had to shift, but they haven’t shifted entirely. The mission is still to educate women and develop them for leadership, service and excellence,” said Jacquelyn Litt, dean at Douglass College, which in 2007 went from being its own women’s college to a college that enrolls female undergraduates from any of the academic schools at Rutgers University-New Brunswick in New Jersey.

Started in the mid-19th century, women’s colleges in the U.S. opened to level the educational playing field for women who couldn’t otherwise get a college education. Recent Census figures show that more women have undergraduate and advanced degrees than men. So, is the mission accomplished?

Not so, says Susan Lennon of the Connecticut-based Women’s College Coalition. Women’s colleges still serve a purpose, she says.

“Women continue to remain underrepresented in key leadership positions and the STEM fields: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics,” Lennon said. “Even though women have been the majority on college campuses for more than two decades, they’re underrepresented on coed campuses in such leadership positions as the student government association, preferring to do other kinds of things.”

Still, women’s colleges’ numbers continue to drop, after closings and controversial shifts to coeducation.

Women’s colleges that have gone coed

Colleges and universities that have gone from all-women to coed in the past decade include:

Hood College, Frederick, Md., 2002

Seton Hill University, Greensburg, Pa., 2002

Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia, 2003

Wells College, Aurora, N.Y., 2005

Immaculata University, Immaculata, Pa., 2005

Lesley College, Cambridge, Mass., 2005

Regis College, Weston, Mass., 2007

Randolph College, Ashland, Va., 2007

William Peace University, Raleigh, N.C., 2012

Georgian Court University, Lakewood, N.J., will go in 2013

Source: College and university information offices and web sites.

There are many myths about women who choose to go to a women’s college.

Krista Evans discusses the myths about women’s colleges in the USA Today article, The top 10 myths about all women’s colleges:

Here are the top 10 myths most women face:

1. We are all major feminists who are concerned with women’s issues

While some women at women’s colleges do fit this description, not everyone on campus is exactly like this. We all vary based on our backgrounds, experiences, etc.

2. Boys cannot come in our rooms or sleep over

False. We are not a seminary or school for women who want to become nuns. We can have guys over to study, watch movies, spend the night, or just to hangout. We are treated like adults and are allowed these privileges unless we abuse or take advantage of them.

3. For fun, we have late night pillow fights in our underwear

Again, false. Sorry men, but that is still just a fantasy dream or something you see in the movies.

4. We eat too much and do not dress up because there is no one to impress

While yes, we do have our bad days when we want to just pig out and eat Ben & Jerry’s, we do dress up for class and watch what we eat. We are just lucky to have the option of not having to dress up because we have no boys to impress in class and dressing a certain way does not have an influence on how we are graded. Teachers want us in class to learn, not for a fashion show.

5. We are all lesbians

No, of course we aren’t all lesbians. We like boys and some like girls, just like every other college campus in the United States.

6. We were not smart enough for coed schools

Super false. If anything all women’s colleges are more competitive because they only accept women.

7. We are all either boy deprived or never meet boys

Nope, many of us have boyfriends or go out on the weekends to meet boys. It is not like the college refuses to let us meet or ever see them. Back in the old days, the all women’s colleges used to set up mixers with the coed schools and host dances and invite boys only so the women could meet men.

8. We have a harder time getting jobs

Most people think we are socially deprived and will not be able to succeed in the “real” world because we have only been surrounded by women for our entire college experience. Actually, women who graduate from all women’s colleges are more successful and do very well in the “real” world.

9. We are all wealthy

The myth that we are all wealthy is completely false. Many students take out loans, have financial aid, scholarships, etc. to help them get through college. The exact same as if they were going to a co-ed college.

10. It is just a modern day finishing school, where we are getting our MRS degree

While some women do attend all women’s colleges to get the so called “MRS” degree, not everyone in attendance is there for that exact reason. Majority of women who graduate from women’s colleges go on to get law degrees, PhD’s, MBA’s, become doctors, etc.

In Georgetown University study: Even in a depression, college grads enjoy advantage, moi said:

A college degree is no guarantee of either employment or continued employment. Still, because of the economic uncertainty there is an “arms race” in education. Laura Pappano is reporting in the New York Times article, The Master’s As the New Bachelor’s Whether a person chooses to attend a four year college after high school is a very personal decision and there is no one right answer. One thing the current economic climate has taught many is there are no guarantees in life, even with a college degree.


“You go to a Women’s College?!” What It’s Like to Go to a Single-Sex School                                            

College isn’t about the boys: Why women’s colleges still matter

Is a Women’s College Right for Your Daughter?

Five Ways to Cut the Cost of College                                

Secrets to paying for college                                                             

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

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