Increased Enrollment at Women’s Colleges

Women's Colleges, Smith College, Wellesley College

Women’s colleges are seeing increased applications these days (photo credit: Grom).

A new pattern has emerged at many of America’s women’s colleges. More and more students are choosing to enroll at these schools. From Barnard to Bryn Mawr to Mount Holyoke, Smith, Wellesley, and more, women’s colleges have been receiving renewed interest since 2016. In sports, you tend to be at your best when you’re motivated, when there’s a crowd cheering you on or when you really want to beat your opponent because — who knows — they’re arrogant. In the case of the increased enrollment at so many of America’s all-women’s colleges since 2016, it may very well come down to similar science. Maybe it’s inspired by anti-feminist rhetoric of the Trump administration. Maybe it’s inspired by the #MeToo movement. Regardless of the cause, the trend is undeniable.

A Pattern Emerges at America’s Women’s Colleges

As reports Scott Jaschik in a piece entitled “A Trump Bump in Yields at Women’s Colleges” for “Inside Higher Ed,” “For years, top women’s colleges have faced a challenge in that the overwhelming majority of high school girls have no interest in attending a women’s college. Student satisfaction surveys show that, once enrolled at these colleges, students love the experience. But many of them arrive despite a college being a women’s institution, not because of it. That may be changing. Some of the top women’s colleges are expecting record classes to enroll this month, as yield — the percentage of admitted applicants who accept admissions offers — is up significantly.”

Jaschik further reports that at Bryn Mawr College, applications were up by a margin of 8% this year. Since 2016, applications to Barnard College are up by 10% and the school’s yield is up by 4%. At Smith College, applications have risen by over 13%, the admit rate has dropped by 7%, and the yield has climbed 3% since the fall of 2015. The numbers show a clear pattern. More and more female high schoolers are choosing to apply to all-women’s college and more and more are matriculating.

What do our readers think of this trend? Do they think the trend is inspired by the Trump administration? Let us know your thoughts on the matter by posting a Comment below. We look forward to hearing from you!


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