The College Consensus ranking of the Best Women’s Colleges is the most comprehensive ranking out available, by bringing together all of the most rigorous published rankings with the most legitimate student reviews on the web. Young women seeking the supportive, inclusive environment of an all-women’s college – from empowering academic programs to the networking power of robust alumni organizations – can look to College Consensus for a fuller picture. College Consensus’ comprehensive view gives prospective students the confidence that their choice ranks as the best choice across the board.
How Did We Create Our Ranking of the Best Women’s Colleges?
College Consensus is transforming college rankings by building the first full-scale, aggregate ranking out there. What does that mean? It means the Consensus draws on data from the most trusted published college rankings, including U.S. News & World Report, The Wall Street Journal, WalletHub, and others, to compute the Publisher Rating. We combine student reviews from reliable sources like Niche, My Plan, and Cappex for the Student Review Rating. And we put them all together for the Consensus Rating – the only aggregate of publisher rankings and student reviews available anywhere.
While nearly every other college and university today is coed, women’s colleges remain vibrant, exemplary, and essential to higher education. Women are still underrepresented in the highest levels of leadership, from government to finance to entertainment to the tech industry, and we see the consequences daily. Women’s colleges give young women of all backgrounds the opportunity to study in an affirming, encouraging community, with some of the most influential and accomplished women in the world. For women looking for a women’s college to build the knowledge, expertise, skills, and confidence to take on the 21st century, the College Consensus Best Women’s Colleges ranking shows a panoramic picture of the women’s college landscape.
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What’s Different About the College Consensus Ranking?
College Consensus is designed as an aggregate ranking, with a mission of providing prospective students and their families a clearer, more comprehensive view of college rankings. Unlike other rankings, which are limited by their methodologies (whether it’s surveys, government data, or experts making their best guess), College Consensus evens the playing field by giving every perspective an equal voice. There’s no gaming College Consensus; students get the data computed into a simple, single rating based on all other ratings, making it the fullest, most objective rankings out there. Read more about the College Consensus methodology on the About page.
Note: The Top Consensus Ranked Women’s Colleges are listed in descending order by their Consensus score. In the event of ties, schools are ranked in alphabetical order with the same rank number.
Bryn Mawr CollegeBryn Mawr, PA
Wellesley CollegeWellesley, MA
Barnard CollegeNew York, NY
Mount Holyoke CollegeSouth Hadley, MA
Scripps CollegeClaremont, CA
Smith CollegeNorthampton, MA
Spelman CollegeAtlanta, GA
Saint Mary's CollegeNotre Dame, IN
Brescia UniversityOwensboro, KY
College of Saint BenedictSaint Joseph, MN
Notre Dame of Maryland UniversityBaltimore, MD
Simmons UniversityBoston, MA
Wesleyan CollegeMacon, GA
Mount Saint Mary's University (CA)Los Angeles, CA
What Do the Best Women’s Colleges Offer that is Unique?
Although every post-secondary institution offers an array of benefits to its students, universities for women provide a special set of benefits that benefit its attendees, in particular. Some of which are as follows:
- Work and Life Skills: One of the top benefits of attending female colleges is that they provide work and life skills. While this may seem to be a minor benefit, this can actually help students both at home and in the workplace. In fact, experts assert that many employers of today place great value on employees who are skilled in teamwork, analysis, and communication, which are skills that are typically taught at women’s colleges.
- Prestige: Another major benefit of attending a womens college is that they offer a level of prestige. This means that the women who attend these colleges often enjoy a greater level of job prospects, opportunities, and are able to network with those who may not have otherwise been accessible to them.
- Elite Circle: In keeping with that notion, attending universities for women is that you will be joining an elite circle of women who have graduated from female colleges. For instance, Julia Child, Martha Stewart, Katherine Hepburn, and many others are well-known graduates from universities for women.
- Smaller Classes: Given that most universities for women are liberal arts colleges, this typically translates into a student-centered module and smaller classes complete with increased interaction.
Why are the Seven Sisters Colleges Considered So Special?
In short, Seven Sisters Colleges were created as an answer to the lack of space and opportunities for women to attend Ivy League colleges. Rather than attempting to force entry for women to these schools in mass, they simply created their own institutions exclusively for women. While all other colleges were either co-ed or reserved for men only, The Seven Stars Colleges created the first college to admit female students. The goals of the Seven Sisters Colleges were initially as follows:
- To secure more funds to ensure professors at select women’s colleges were paid as much as professors at Ivy League Schools.
- To boost professor’s salaries in order to provide women with the same high-quality education as their male counterparts.
- To call attention to garner more support from the public for schools like the Seven Stars Colleges.
Are All-Female Colleges Really Feminist?
When asking if all-female colleges are truly feminist, the answer is both yes and no. On the one hand, all-female colleges are dedicated to helping women get greater opportunities in order to make women better able to compete with their male counterparts in the professional sector. However, there are all-womens colleges that are not comprised of women only and also those who embrace agendas outside of those that are dedicated to furthering women exclusively. Nevertheless, feminist colleges also exist, and all colleges that offer a feminist environment are not necessarily all-female colleges. Therefore, all-female colleges are feminist to some extent but not all feminist colleges are all-female.
How Do Universities for Women Support Women?
If you are wondering how universities for women support women, some of the ways are as follows:
- Safe Campus: Women’s colleges provide safer campuses which graduates are 2x more likely to benefit from.
- Greater Education: Those who attend women’s colleges are 2x more likely to complete graduate degrees than those who graduate from public universities.
- Employable Skills: Additionally, women who graduate from women’s colleges are more likely to possess non-conventional skills that are sought after in the working world.
- Greater Return on Investment: Women who attend female colleges are more likely to feel validated in the time and money spent attaining their education.
- Womens College Coalition: Women’s colleges are back by the Womens College Coalition, which is an organization created to change the world by creating better educational opportunities for girls and women.