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College Counseling: Great Schools for Women’s Colleges

Saturday, December 13, 2014


Long after colleges for women were established as the only educational path open to girls to pursue higher education, there are still nearly fifty women’s colleges in the United States. They are committed to the way that single-gender education supports different learning styles and post-graduate success, cognizant of the leadership roles that are common for their graduates. The National Survey of Student Engagement has found that first-year students at women’s colleges report high levels of support for college success, encouragement for activities that lead to deeper learning, and high levels of support for diverse interactions within the student body. Here are five of the forty-six women’s colleges in the US:

Barnard College, New York City, NY

  • First-year students live in dorms grouped with other students in their First-year Foundation classes; the core curriculum, “Nine Ways of Knowing,” reflects the college’s dedication to liberal arts education. 
  • Students may cross-register for classes at Columbia University, Manhattan School of Music, Julliard, and Jewish Theological Seminary.
  • By the numbers: 21% acceptance rate, Mid-range SAT scores: CR 620-730, M 620-710; Mid-range ACT Scores: 28-32.


Mills College, Oakland, CA

  • Mills was the first women's college in the west to offer baccalaureate degrees and a major in Computer Science; now Fine Arts, Music, and pre-professional advising are strong and popular majors.
  • The School of Education and the Psychology Department offer a joint major/minor in Child Development with a specialization in Infant Mental Health. Students may work and learn at the on-campus Mills College Children’s School.
  • By the numbers:  68% acceptance rate. Mid-range SAT Scores: CR 540-640, M 500-610; Mid-range ACT Scores: 24-29.


Mount St. Mary’s College, Los Angeles, CA

  • Mount St. Mary’s is part of the Women in Public Service Project, whose aim is to bring more women into leadership positions in government in communities and countries around the world.
  • Unique and interesting fields of study at Mount St. Mary’s include Gerontology, Global Politics, Journalism & New Media, and Music Scoring for Media.
  • By the numbers: 68% acceptance rate. Mid-range SAT Scores: CR 420-510, M 410-510; Mid-range ACT Scores: 16-22.


Salem College, Winston-Salem, NC

  • The oldest women’s college in the US, Salem College was founded in 1772 by the Moravian church, believing that education provides freedom and responsibility.
  • The Center for Women Writers underwrites a writer-in-residence and poet-in-residence each year, and sponsors student-centered and woman-focused literary events all year long.
  • By the numbers: 60% acceptance rate. Mid-range SAT Scores: CR 480-610, M 470-570; Mid-range ACT Scores: 22-28.


Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA

  • The Wellesley in Washington program provides funded summer internships, housing provided, in a variety of governmental, non-governmental, cultural, and medical institutions in Washington , DC.
  • Wellesley students may cross-register for classes at Brandeis University, Babson College, Olin College of Engineering, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • By the numbers: 29% acceptance rate. Mid-range SAT Scores: CR 660-760, M 650-750; Mid-range ACT Scores: 29-33.


Other women’s colleges to consider are Agnes Scott College (GA),Bennett College (NC), Bryn Mawr College (PA),Russell Sage College (NY), Scripps College (CA), Simmons College (MA), Smith College (MA), Spelman College (GA). For more information and a list of all women’s colleges in the US, see http://womenscolleges.org. ;

Emily Standish is a partner in Portland, Oregon-based College Admission Coach LLC which helps students identify and gain admission to right-fit schools where they will thrive academically and personally. Contact me at [email protected].


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