Pros and Cons of Women's Colleges

Pros and Cons of Women’s Colleges

When I met with my college guidance counselor for the first time in eleventh grade, one of the many questions she asked me was, “Would you consider applying to a women’s college?” to which I almost immediately responded, “Of course not!” Having gone to an all-girls’ school since sixth grade, there was no way I wanted to spend the next four years of my life in another single-sex environment. Archer had been great in preparing me for “the real world” — they had taken me in as a not-so-endearingly awkward tween and turned me into a more educated, slightly less awkward (but awkward nonetheless) teen. But it wasn’t all fun and food. The only boys I knew were my brother and his friends (how I managed to get a boyfriend still bewilders me). Needless to say, I didn’t want to become even more detached from the opposite sex in the years to come.

About a year and a breakup later, I was deciding between Smith, Swarthmore, and Oberlin.

So what happened?

Rewind back to spring of junior year. My best friend was applying to not one, not two, but three women’s colleges (and she now goes to Smith). I must admit that I admire her to an extent that I trust her judgment more than my own. So, if she was looking at women’s colleges, why shouldn’t I? (Please note: in general, this is a terrible reason to add a school to your list — we weren’t even supposed to talk to each other about where we were applying.) Besides, I didn’t just add the women’s colleges on her list to mine. Her interest in the women’s colleges (and what an interest it was!) influenced me to be open to the idea of applying to one. I will say this now and I will say this again: women’s colleges are worth considering. While they may not be for everyone, they often get overlooked and are way underrated.

For your guidance, I have compiled a list of pros and cons of women’s colleges:


No boys Let’s face it. Boys (men?) can be obnoxious, annoying, and smelly. It’s nice to get a break once and a while. Perfect for misandrists (jokes!). Besides, women’s colleges and all-girls’ schools are very different.

Dating scene Great for lesbians, that is. I’m not saying that there is an obscenely high percentage of queer ladies at these schools, just by the way. However, since there are more women at women’s colleges, there are quite obviously going to be more girls who like girls too. Many of the colleges adopt the term “LUG” or “BUG”, meaning Lesbian/Bisexual Until Graduation.

Connections with other schools This is one example of how women’s colleges are very unlike girls’ high schools! Not only do women’s colleges have a ton of connections with one another, but they are also often tied to coed colleges. Two examples of this are the Five College Consortium and the Tri-College Consortium, where students have the opportunity to take classes and participate in extracurricular activities at other colleges in the program.

Female Empowerment Okay, yes, this is kind of the same thing as “no boys.” But really? Especially for those of you who haven’t already had this kind of opportunity (I’m looking at you, coed high school students), a single-sex education can and will help you realize that the patriarchy really isn’t all that. Yes, I said it. I really said it! Although the patriarchy does exist (all too frequently), women’s colleges will help you understand that men do not always have to be the leaders. Or, to quote a very popular ’90s band motto: “Girl Power!”

Higher acceptance rates Because women’s colleges are, well, women’s colleges, not as many people apply to them as, say, Stanford or the Ivy Leagues. But the Seven Sisters are among the most well-regarded institutions in the nation. Look at it this way: an education with prestige and quality that matches the most selective liberal arts colleges, but significantly higher acceptance rates. Not bad, right?


No boys I know some girls who are predominately friends with guys. Why? I don’t know. But some people just find dudes easier to interact with.

Dating/sex scene This one is for the women who like men, for slightly obvious reasons. But even if you do like guys, just remember that most women’s colleges have connections to co-ed colleges!

Higher acceptance rates If you’re one of those people, (and by those I mean overachieving and probably a tiny bit elitist), then you would never even think of applying to a women’s college because why would you want to go somewhere so easy to get into? Don’t apply to women’s colleges if you’re going to be embarrassed that some accept more than half of their applicants. (Note: I am not in any way promoting the notion that a college’s value is dependent upon its acceptance rate because that is not the case. This point is merely intended as poorly crafted sardonic humor for my own amusement. Thanks.)

In all honesty, that’s all that I can think of. Applying to a women’s college (or two or three or more) is definitely worth considering. Just push aside the whole “no boys” thing for a little, and you might be pleasantly surprised.

What do you think of women’s colleges? Let us know in the comment box below!