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10 College Women Explain Why They Chose a Women’s College

The college selection process is hard. There are so many different kinds of schools – large, small, public, private, rural, urban – the list goes on and on. One of the many choices to make when deciding where to apply is co-ed or single sex education.

The women below chose to attend a women’s college and they explain their decisions below, plus whether or not they were ultimately happy with their choice.

“My mom is a Mount Holyoke alum, so growing up I never thought of women’s colleges as being different from any other school. I looked at several women’s colleges when applying along with other co-ed universities. It came down to this school giving me the best quality of education for the amount of money I was offered, but the close-knit community at Mount Holyoke really pulled me in. I really forged an identity here and have grown so much stronger in voicing my opinions, and I think I owe it to my school encouraging self-determination, supportiveness, and never fearing change.”

-Jessica, Mount Holyoke College Class of 2018

RELATED: “You go to a Women’s College?!” What It’s Like to Go to a Single-Sex School

“At first, I didn’t really mind that Saint Mary’s was an all-women’s college—I didn’t particularly pay close attention to whether my potential schools would be co-ed or single gendered. It just so happened that Saint Mary’s was relatively close to home, offered an outstanding science curriculum, and offered numerous activities to participate in while in school. However, as I matured throughout my college years, I realized how much attending a women’s college impacted my life. The education at Saint Mary’s instilled confidence that I never thought I would have ever experienced! I grew more confident and certain in my work ethic, decision-making process, and approach to obstacles. I was, and still am, challenged in every aspect academically; however, I have become more confident in my strategies to accomplish a challenge and gain knowledge along the way. I have expanded my interests to include topics or subjects that I never imagined I would previously. I enjoy hearing different students’ backgrounds and why they also chose a women’s college. One of the best things, if not the best, is the community atmosphere that Saint Mary’s has to offer. The tight-knit sisterhood is extremely supportive of each other. Developing close friendships with my peers and professional relationships between the faculty and professors helped me develop as my own person, and maintain the confidence to take on the next step in reality. I never once looked back at my decision to come to Saint Mary’s, and I never will.”

-Olivia, St. Mary’s College Class of 2016

“I’m a journalism major, and journalism is such a male dominated field. I thought it would be best to attend a women’s college so I could learn about my field with women who have the same goals as me. The factor that specifically impacted my decision was the fact that women’s college graduates are reported to be happier than women who went to co-ed colleges. I figured if I’m happier, then I’ll be more successful! I’m happy with my decision! My university is so small that it gives me any opportunity I want, and every opportunity is what you make it!”

-Kenya, Brenau University Class of 2018

“I did not call myself a feminist until I discovered Saint Mary’s College. I chose it to feel inspired and empowered by the many women before me. I came to grow in my own confidence and education. I could not imagine attending a different college because Saint Mary’s has become my home away from home and has helped shape me into a woman who is outspoken and strong.”

-Caroline, St. Mary’s College Class of 2018

RELATED: Is A Women’s College The Right Choice For You?

“At a women’s college I felt that it would be a group of young women who were focused on building each other up rather than tearing each other down. It would be people who genuinely wanted to see you succeed and I couldn’t be happier with the decision.”

Anna, Barnard College Class of 2019

“I choose to attend a women’s college because it felt more like home than any other co-ed college I had visited. It felt safe and comfortable, like I could be myself without anyone judging me. When I visited Saint Mary’s, I could feel the bond and sisterhood the girls had. Everyone was so happy and smiled at each other on campus. The students seemed so confident in themselves, and I too wanted to grow into myself and be confident as a woman. I am extremely happy with my decision. I feel that I am more prepared to take on the real world because of how empowered my women’s college has made me feel. I believe that I have gained a great education where I was encouraged to participate and debate openly in class, since there were no boys there to intimidate me. I’m also happy with my decision because I have had the opportunity to meet amazing women who I will forever have a bond with. Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing.”

-Mary, St. Mary’s College Class of 2015

“Applying to schools I thought I would never end up at an all women’s college and I told everyone I applied to Saint Mary’s but I would not go there. In the end it came down to Saint Mary’s and another school and I ultimately felt like all of the girls seemed a lot like me and that everyone was after the same kind of college experience that I wanted. It stopped seeming strange to go to school with only girls and started to look like an amazing opportunity to make great friends.”

-Therese, St. Mary’s College Class of 2016

RELATED: Where Did the 50 Most Powerful Women Go to College?

“I don’t dislike going to a women’s college but I have to say it definitely limits my educational exposure. I really miss having a male perspective in my classes and find myself seeking more and more opportunities at Columbia to satisfy that variety. Luckily Barnard and Columbia really share a social scene (Greek life, dining halls, etc.) so these parts of my college experience are not bad, but it is more on the academic side that I feel the effects of being at a women’s college.”

-Lynn, Barnard College Class of 2016

“I liked the tight community that a small women’s college had to offer. It’s different from any school I’ve ever been to.”

-Reilly, St. Mary’s College Class of 2019

“I chose to attend a women’s college because I wanted to be surrounded by intelligent, driven women who all have the drive to succeed in life. It’s great that all of your peer leaders are women, as well, because it gives you the confidence in yourself to do similarly incredible things. I’m incredibly happy with my decision, I’ve made more friends than I’ve ever had and the atmosphere on campus is very welcoming; the girls are my family and the college is my home!”

-Anna, St. Mary’s College Class of 2019

Cara Sprunk has been the Managing Editor of Her Campus since fall 2009. She is a 2010 graduate of Cornell University where she majored in American Studies with a concentration in cultural studies. At Cornell Cara served as the Assistant Editor of Red Letter Daze, the weekend supplement to the Cornell Daily Sun where she also wrote for the news and arts section and blogged about pop culture. In her free time Cara enjoys reading, shopping, going to the movies, exploring and writing.  
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