Jessica Tomer, Jessica Tomer is the Editor-in-Chief at Carnegie Communications.
It wasn't until after I graduated from undergrad that I learned about the many unique benefits of women's colleges; now I wish I had given them a fair shot in my college search! Here are a few of the advantages research and student surveys have uncovered in women's colleges:
- Statistically higher classroom engagement
- Focus on growing critical-thinking and analytic skills (not so surprisingly, most women's colleges are liberal arts schools)
- Pervasive female leadership and role models
- Improved student-faculty interaction (also not a surprise, as most women's colleges are smaller schools)
- Female perspective often lacking in traditional academic narratives
- More opportunities for extracurricular leadership
This is all in addition to the fact that students get the same—if not more rigorous—academic and extracurricular opportunities as they would at a co-ed institution. In fact, the National Survey of Student Engagement (2004) revealed that women's college students tend to feel more engaged, confident, and academically challenged.
It also doesn't appear to be a coincidence that graduates of women’s colleges are generally disproportionately represented in Congresswomen, STEM professionals, and Fortune 1000 companies leaders, considering only 50 out of nearly 4,000 higher education institutions in the U.S. are all-women schools. (That only 1.25%!) Alumnae of women’s colleges also seem to be twice as likely to earn a doctorate, according to the Women’s College Coalition.
Regarding drawbacks, I can't recall anything notable. Graduates might have to address certain perceptions about women's colleges based on stereotypes. You'll find six such myths, from "catty" students to a lack of dating opportunities, debunked here.
As suggested previously, it's worth contacting and researching Scripps to learn more about what they offer and how they will meet your needs, as you would with any college. There's no such thing as getting to know a school too well before applying!