Women's Colleges Surge in Popularity Schools Rebound after Long Dry Spell

By 1994, Knight-Ridder Newspapers | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), September 11, 1994 | Go to article overview

Women's Colleges Surge in Popularity Schools Rebound after Long Dry Spell


1994, Knight-Ridder Newspapers, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


When Rebecca Flint decided last year to attend Bryn Mawr College - that small, all-female school in the East - some of her high school classmates in Michigan raised their eyebrows.

"What about men?" they asked.

Flint replied: "What about them?"

It's just that when she was choosing a college, she came to the belief that the place where she could not only learn but also spread out in many directions was a women's school.

"I think this is a place to get a better education for women," said Flint, an incoming freshman who moved onto campus last week. "In an all-women's environment you're more likely to receive more attention, to be able to do things you might not do if men are around."

Across the country in the next few weeks, young women who agree with Flint - nearly 100,000 - will be moving onto all-women campuses. Following a long, painful period that began in the late 1960s, during which more than half the country's women's colleges closed or went coed, educators report that interest in female colleges is at record levels in the 1990s.

The reasons are many, from the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill hearings, which produced a heightened awareness of sexual harassment, to the success of Hillary Rodham Clinton, who went to all-female Wellesley College in Massachusetts, to the publication in the last couple of years of reports and books detailing sexual bias in schools and colleges.

"A lot of things came together in a relatively short period that focused attention on gender issues, on gender bias in the classroom," said Jadwiga Sebrechts, executive director of the Women's College Coalition, a Washington umbrella group for the country's women's colleges. …

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