10 Women’s Colleges You Never Knew You Should Attend


Women’s colleges have a long and strong history in the United States. Often, an education from a women’s college can provide graduates with academic skills, intellectual rigor, and outstanding confidence to go off into the world as a doer, a changer, a winner. If you are in the market for the academic, career, and life benefits of a women’s college education here is a list of 10 amazing women’s colleges that you and your daughters should consider:

Smith College1. Smith College

Northampton, Massachusetts

www.smith.edu        Tuition: $41,460        Student Faculty Ratio: 9:1


Smith College educates women of promise for lives of distinction. A college of and for the world, Smith links the power of the liberal arts to excellence in research and scholarship, developing leaders for society’s challenges.

Notable Alumna:

Julia Childs, Barbara Bush, Nancy Reagan, Sylvia Plath, Gloria Stienem, Yolanda King, Margaret Mitchell


2. Spelman CollegeSpelman College

Atlanta, Georgia 

www.spelman.edu        Tuition: $23,794        Student Faculty Ratio: 11:1


Spelman College, a historically Black college and a global leader in the education of women of African descent, is dedicated to academic excellence in the liberal arts and sciences and the intellectual, creative, ethical, and leadership development of its students. Spelman empowers the whole person to engage the many cultures of the world and inspires a commitment to positive social change.

Notable Alumna:

Alice Walker, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Bernice King, Alexine Clement Jackson, Marian Wright Edelman, Kimberly B. Davis


Agnes Scott3. Agnes Scott College

Decatur, Georgia

www.agnesscott.edu        Tuition: $33,461        Student/Faculty Ratio: 11:1


AGNES SCOTT COLLEGE educates women to think deeply, live honorably and engage the intellectual and social challenges of their times.

  • Agnes Scott College provides a dynamic liberal arts and sciences curriculum of the highest standards so that students and faculty can realize their full creative and intellectual potential.
  • Agnes Scott College fosters an environment in which women can develop high expectations for themselves as individuals, scholars, professionals and citizens of the world.
  • Agnes Scott College strives to be a just and inclusive community that expects honorable behavior, encourages spiritual inquiry and promotes respectful dialogue across differences.

Notable Alumna:

Margaret Booth, Dorothy Cave, Jennifer Nettles


4. Barnard CollegeBarnard

New York, New York

www.barnard.edu        Tuition: $43,502        Student/Faculty Ratio: 10:1


Barnard College aims to provide the highest quality liberal arts education to promising and high-achieving young women, offering the unparalleled advantages of an outstanding residential college in partnership with a major research university. With a dedicated faculty of scholars distinguished in their respective fields, Barnard is a community of accessible teachers and engaged students who participate together in intellectual risk-taking and discovery. Barnard students develop the intellectual resources to take advantage of opportunities as new fields, new ideas, and new technologies emerge. They graduate prepared to lead lives that are professionally satisfying and successful, personally fulfilling, and enriched by love of learning. (For the complete mission statement visit here).

Notable Alumna:

Maya Soetoro-Ng, Ellen Futter, Cynthia Nixon, Lauren Graham, Erinn Smart, Joan Whitney Payson, Sora Neale Hurston


Bryn Mawr5. Bryn Mawr

Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania 

www.brynmawr.edu        Tuition: $42,246        Student/Faculty Ratio: 8:1


The mission of Bryn Mawr College is to provide a rigorous education and to encourage the pursuit of knowledge as preparation for life and work. Bryn Mawr teaches and values critical, creative and independent habits of thought and expression in an undergraduate liberal arts curriculum for women and in coeducational graduate programs in arts and sciences and social work and social research. Bryn Mawr seeks to sustain a community diverse in nature and democratic in practice, for we believe that only through considering many perspectives do we gain a deeper understanding of each other and the world. (For the complete mission statement visit here).

Notable Alumna:

Drew Gilpin Faust, Ellen Kushner, Edith Hamilton, Grace Lee Boggs, Emily Greene Balch, Ilana Rovner, Katharine Hepburn


6. Mount Holyoke CollegeMount Holyoke

South Hadley, Massachusetts

www.mtholyoke.edu        Tuition: $41,456        Student/Faculty Ratio: 9:1


Mount Holyoke College reaffirms its commitment to educating a diverse residential community of women at the highest level of academic excellence and to fostering the alliance of liberal arts education with purposeful engagement in the world.

Notable Alumna:

Susan Shirk, Helen Pitts, Hortense Parker, Lucy Stone, Barbara Cassani, Barbara Bryne, Susan Tolman Mills, Florence Reed, Glenda Hatchett, Emily dickinson, Charlotte Wilder


Scripps7. Scripps College

Claremont, California

www.scrippscollege.edu        Tuition: $43,620        Student/Faculty Ratio: 11:1


The mission of Scripps College is to educate women to develop their intellects and talents through active participation in a community of scholars so that as graduates they may contribute to society through public and private lives of leadership, service, integrity, and creativity.

Notable Alumna:

Nancy Aldrich, Gabrielle Giffords, Beth Nolan, Molly Ivins, Tanya Cherry Tull, Alison Saar, Rosemary Radford Ruether


8. Wellesley CollegeWellesley

Wellesley, Massachusetts

www.wellesley.edu        Tuition: $42,082        Student/Faculty Ratio: 8:1


“Not to be ministered unto but to minister,” proclaims Wellesley’s motto, capturing in four Latin words the College’s mission: To provide an excellent liberal arts education for women who will make a difference in the world.

Smart, serious women choose Wellesley because it offers one of the best liberal arts educations—and total learning environments—available anywhere. But they graduate with more than a highly regarded degree and four memorable years. They leave as “Wellesley women,” uniquely prepared to make meaningful personal and professional contributions to the “real world”—and to be major influences in it.

The world’s preeminent college for women, Wellesley is known for intellectual rigor, its belief in the enduring importance of service (and putting that belief into practice), and its cultivation in students of an inclusive, pragmatic approach to leadership.

Notable Alumna:

Madeleine Albright, Katharine Lee Bates, Bing Xin, Jane Bolin, Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, Madame Chiang Kai-Shek, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Nora Ephron, Amalya Kearse, Vivian Pinn, Cokie Roberts


Candler Alumnae Center, Wesleyan College9. Wesleyan College

Macon, Georgia

www.wesleyancollege.edu        Tuition: $19,000        Student/Faculty Ratio: 10:1


Founded in 1836 as the first college in the world for women, Wesleyan College offers an education that leads to lifelong intellectual, personal, and professional growth. Our academic community attracts those with a passion for learning and making a difference. The Wesleyan experience has four cornerstones:

Wesleyan is committed to academic excellence in the liberal arts, the fine arts, and professional fields of study and to close relationships among faculty and students.

Wesleyan takes seriously its role as a pioneer in women’s education and seeks to provide scholarship, leadership, and service opportunities through which women will be challenged to accomplish ambitious goals.

Wesleyan is proud of its long relationship with the United Methodist Church. We respect other traditions and remain committed to the Judeo-Christian ethic, believing that a firm grasp of enduring human values is basic to the Wesleyan way of learning, living, and service.

Wesleyan values each member of its community as an individual and in relationship to the whole. We work together in service to the larger community that surrounds us.

Notable Alumna:

Cathertine Brewer Benson, Earla Biekwert, Neva Langley Fickling, Sara Ruth Frasier


10. Trinity Washington UniversityTrinity

Washington, DC

www.trinitydc.edu        Tuition: $20,710        Student/Faculty Ratio: N/A


Trinity is a comprehensive institution offering a broad range of educational programs that prepare students across the lifespan for the intellectual, ethical and spiritual dimensions of contemporary work, civic and family life. Trinity’s core mission values and characteristics emphasize:

Commitment to the Education of Women in a particular way through the design and pedagogy of the historic undergraduate women’s college, and by advancing principles of equity, justice and honor in the education of women and men in all other programs;

Foundation for Learning in the Liberal Arts through the curriculum design in all undergraduate degree programs and through emphasis on the knowledge, skills and values of liberal learning in all graduate and professional programs;

Integration of Liberal Learning with Professional Preparation through applied and experiential learning opportunities in all programs;

Grounding in the mission of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and the Catholic tradition, welcoming persons of all faiths, in order to achieve the larger purposes of learning in the human search for meaning and fulfillment.

Notable Alumna:

Nancy Pelosi, Kathleen Sibelius, Cathleen Black