What’s the appeal behind all women’s colleges and why do people choose them over their co-educational counterparts?

Although the answers to that question vary from person to person, all-women’s colleges embody a culture that highlights female leadership and empowers women’s educational growth.

Historically, women’s colleges were created to provide women with the educational access to higher education. Now, many of these historically women’s colleges are have either been consolidated with its parent institution or have transformed into a coeducational structure. However, there are still some colleges that uphold its status and cater to students who wish to attend an all-women’s institution.

Amongst these women’s colleges include the Seven Sisters. The Seven Sisters colleges are: Barnard College, Bryn Mawr College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, Wellesley College, Vassar College, and Radcliffe College. Although Vassar College has been coeducational and Radcliffe merged with Harvard, the remainder of the colleges continue to operate today.

Many women’s colleges attract students who are interested in a liberal arts approach. Whether you are a STEM or pre-med student who is also passionate about theater and the arts, attending these all-women’s colleges can serve both of your interests. Due to its smaller size, students are able to explore various majors whilst also being able to form valuable connections with their faculty and peers. Through programs offered by institutions like Mount Holyoke – undergraduate students have the flexibility to design and create their own major that incorporates their academic interests. Similarly, Barnard’s affiliation with Columbia enables students to take courses within both institutions and experience their college campus in a co-ed environment. Each college exists with different interests and academic cultures reinforcing the new and reimagined ways in which these women’s colleges exist in the present.

As a rising sophomore attending Barnard College, I have learned to embrace my FGLI identity. By learning how to communicate with faculty, asking friends for advice, and doing my own research–I have learned to utilize the resources offered by my school to ensure my own academic success. I have learned to be an advocate for myself and continue to be ambitious with my goals and aspirations. Ultimately, attending an all-women’s college as a FGLI student opened up many opportunities for me that enabled me to grow personally and academically.

With the colleges’ culture of highlighting female leadership, perhaps considering to apply to an all-women’s college can open up many more opportunities and broaden your own horizons in more ways than you can imagine.