Your Quick Guide to Women’s Colleges Versus Co-Ed Universities

Your Quick Guide to Women’s Colleges Versus Co-Ed Universities

With May 1st rapidly approaching, some college-bound seniors have already sent in their intent to register forms, picked out roommates for next year, and bought enough school-spirit gear to make up a whole new closet. Some college-bound seniors, however, are still struggling to make the most of it: which school do they plan to attend in the fall? They’ve been accepted to amazing colleges and have narrowed it down, but the pros and cons to each school are probably keeping a couple of high schoolers from making a final decision.

One big question that some girls might be facing when it comes to picking a college is whether to go to an all-girls or co-ed school. Some of the most prestigious liberal arts colleges in the U.S., like Barnard, Bryn Mawr, and Wellesley, are all female-only, but students accepted here have also probably been admitted to so many other colleges where people of all genders study. What are the pros and cons of both?


Women’s Colleges

So you’ve decided to go to an all-girls college! One of the biggest perks about attending an all-girls college is that the undergraduate population is almost always smaller than other universities, making it easier for you to connect with the faculty and get valuable time in a small class setting. You can do research or work on independent projects in a closer capacity with your professors, which looks incredibly impressive and encourages you to take the initiative in doing something innovative.

Being in an all-women environment also encourages students to empower themselves and become more confident about the incredibly important role they play in making the world work the way it is. There’s a misconception that attending a women’s college leaves you in a bubble where you don’t know how to interact with men, or have a skewed social perception of the world because you haven’t been able to develop “real social skills,” but let’s be real here – women who graduate from these colleges are able to do just as well as women and men attending co-ed colleges.

For women interested in men, though, the dating scene might be a little sparse if you’re not in a more urban setting. Attending an all-female college means that you get fewer opportunities to meet guys, whether it’s to pursue a relationship or just to find more friends. However, a lot of women’s colleges are located near co-ed colleges, so that can easily be fixed by going out to visit friends there, or visiting their college towns.

Co-ed Colleges

Attending a co-ed college normally means that your friends will be more diverse. Not only do you get to interact with men and women, but chances are that you’ll get the chance to interact with people of different races, ethnicities, and sexual orientations. That’s not to say that you can’t get that at a single-gender college, but single-gender colleges often have a more homogenous population that you interact with.

Some people make the argument that attending a co-ed school is more likely to be distracting; that girls will focus and worry more on balancing academics and relationships. However, the reality of this is that it comes down more to the kind of person you are than the environment you’re in. It might be an influencing factor, but you can separate your academic and personal lives at a co-ed school, because college is more about what you learn from it.

There are definitely pros and cons to attending both schools, and we highly recommend that you check out your schools for other factors before picking one. We wish you the best of luck in choosing your college!

Cover image courtesy of Shutterstock.