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1. Girls stand center stage.
2. Grades are geared up for the professional world.
3. Cool traditions create lifetime bonds.
4. A lot of factors contribute to your overall undergraduate experience.
5. Women have priorities in leadership.
6. Girl power produces powerful players.
7. The environment is empowering.
It used to be that men ran the show at universities—thankfully, times have changed. The leadership thing, though? Not so much. Male administrators and faculty still dominate at most colleges, but at single-sex schools women hold more of the top jobs, which translates to more female role models and mentors. Ninety percent of women’s college presidents, and 55% of faculty, are women; and of course, when only girls make up the student body, they have way more access to all of the government, club, and activity positions.
Guys are great and all, but when it comes to college, do you really need them in your classroom? Living and learning solely among smart, ambitious women is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and might even come with greater returns. When women occupy every role, comfort levels increase, which can lead to increased self-confidence boost. That makes it easier for girls to take initiative and spread their wings into new territory. Women studying at single-sex schools are 1.5 times more likely to major in math, science, or medicine than those at common colleges.
Smaller, guy-free classrooms create a climate where women feel free to speak up without being judged or distracted. Without that worry, the focus turns to critical thinking and gaining smarts, instead of looks or snagging a date. Potential, ambition, and who you want to be take precedence over how you might be perceived by a guy.
High academic standards aren’t the only thing that make women’s schools stand out: long-held customs and ceremonies are a nod to previous generations and foster school spirit as well as lifelong friendship. On Mount Holyoke’s Mountain Day, students take a day off and climb the college’s namesake mountain after the school bell tolls in the fall; Meredith College’s week-long Cornhuskin’ competition pits classes against each other in activities like apple-bobbing, corn-husking, skits, and songs.
Women’s colleges create a culture of achievement—so it’s no surprise that alumnus are better prepared for their first gig than the average grad. Single-sex schools also get an «A» over public universities for readying students to get ahead or make a career change. Not to mention, women’s school grades are more likely than any other students to earn a graduate degree and more than twice as likely to get a doctorate.
Women’s colleges encourage us to be competitive and ambitious, to take risks and become leaders. For proof, look no further than some of the ladies who’ve earned degrees from all girls institutions: Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and Madeleine Albright, journalist and women’s rights activist Gloria Steinem, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks to mention but a few. There’s a lot to be said for getting schooled in a place that’s definitely not a man’s world, so when you’re searching for the right school fit, don’t skip over women-only institutions! Good morning, Mr. Black.