Women’s Colleges Popular in India, Less of a Trend in the U.S.

The Times of India is reporting an uptick in applications to women’s college. The article notes that women are opting for same-sex colleges over co-ed institutions because they have the opportunity to “be themselves.”

The article says that women’s colleges have received more applicants that co-ed colleges in recent years. “In the past two years we had received over 20 applications for each of seats in the college. Parents opt for women’s colleges because they feel that the girls will be disciplined,” said Y Phelomena, principal, Villa Marie College for Women in the article.

One of the driving forces motivating young women and their parents toward choosing a women’s college lies in the extracurricular experience. There is often not a strong focus on women playing sports in co-ed schools one student noted in the article.

While women’s colleges in India are seeing an uptick in applications, the same cannot be said for women’s schools in the United States. According to an article published on The Washington Post’s website, only 2 percent of college graduates have attended women’s colleges. Many of the women’s colleges were founded during a time where women weren’t getting a fair shake in education and since then some institutions have closed their doors or become co-educational.

Back in 2006, Randolph-Macon Woman’s College made the decision to go co-ed. President of the Randolph-Macon Woman’s College Board of Trustees Jolley Bruce Christman and Interim College President Virginia Worden wrote in an op-ed that the school didn’t have another choice. “The fact of the marketplace is that only 3 percent of college-age women say they will consider a women’s college. The majority of our own students say they weren’t looking for a single-sex college specifically. Most come despite the fact that we are a single-sex college.”

One compelling piece of evidence to keep women’s colleges alive is the educational and professional level these graduates reach. One-third of the women board members of the Fortune 1000 companies are women’s college graduates, and women’s college graduates are twice as likely to earn Ph.D.s., more often going on to study the sciences and attend medical school, the Post reports.

Is there a place for women’s colleges today? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Vision 2020 is a national coalition of organizations and individuals united in their commitment to achieve women’s economic and social equality. Join Vision 2020 today! http://www2.drexelmed.edu/vision2020giftsonline/Individual.aspx
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