According to the College Board, there are only 22 all-female, non-religiously affiliated colleges in the country. That is just over one half of one percent of the 3,856 schools listed. There are only four all-male non-religiously affiliated colleges: Wabash, Hampden Sydney, Morehouse and Deep Springs.
The pros of single-sex education include:
• Students are not distracted by the opposite sex and can concentrate on academics.
• Research shows that students have a lower rate of drug and alcohol use and abuse. There is less interest in partying.
Benefits at all-female institutions include:
• Enhanced post- graduation achievement in years past, when Business Week listed its female “Rising Stars” as many as 30 percent of these women had attended a single-gender institution.
• Increased comfort level – some students are willing to take greater risks in expressing themselves in class and are more likely to take on major roles in group projects and seek help when needed.
• Improved academic confidence – women who possess interests in typically male-dominated fields such as engineering and science are encouraged and nurtured.
• Increased opportunities for leadership positions — with no men to compete with in extracurricular activities, women have access to greater leadership opportunities.
• Power of same-gender role models – there are simply more female faculty, administrators and college presidents at all-female schools.
Contrarians assure us they would have been successful regardless of the college they attended, while proponents of all-female schools tout this fact as an admissions benefit. Statistics, however, show that graduates of women’s colleges are more than twice as likely to receive doctoral degrees as graduates of coed schools.
Some people consider the cons of single sex education to include:
• Preparation for the ‘real world.’ All students need to know how to collaborate with the opposite sex to be successful. Top ‘women-only’ institutions, however, offer many options for internships and classes with the opposite sex .
• Diversity. Most of these colleges are small, with enrollments under 2500 students. That limits the number, though not the percentage, of diversities on campus, including racial, ethnicity, religious, and more.