Should I Attend a Women’s College Like Bryn Mawr?
This article was written based on the information and opinions presented by Katarina Karris-Flores, an Admissions Officer at Bryn Mawr College, in a CollegeVine livestream. You can watch the full livestream for more info.
Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania is a historic liberal arts college that provides excellent academic offerings and a supportive learning environment. That said, some students might be unsure if a women’s college is right for them. In this article, we discuss how Bryn Mawr’s status as a women’s college helps nurture a community based on empowerment and how students there can associate with students at other schools.
Growing in Confidence
At Bryn Mawr, students like to say that qualifying as a women’s college isn’t about the absence of men—it’s about the presence of women. Bryn Mawr was founded in 1885, when society didn’t value a woman’s education. Since its establishment, the college has pushed its students to be future leaders of the world: bold, dynamic agents of change in the community.
While Bryn Mawr is classified as a women’s college, not every student on campus identifies as a woman, and students include women and gender minorities. In general, women’s colleges have a strong sense of community.
Since students at Bryn Mawr don’t have to share the stage with men, the environment enables women to speak up more and develop confidence in their opinions. Alumni often point to the growth that they experienced by being in rooms without men dominating the conversation. Speaking up and participating in class is encouraged, and peers feel motivated to support and empower one another.
Students at Bryn Mawr also work hard and feel encouraged by the rigorous curriculum offered by the school. This type of education promotes personal growth, and those who attend Bryn Mawr become academically capable and learn how to hold their own in many different settings. Students grow in confidence through their performances in the classroom, but they also advocate for themselves outside of school assignments. Asking for help and using your voice in any capacity are strongly encouraged.
A strong sense of community leads to a network of women who believe in themselves and in each other. The experience of attending a women’s college is quite unique, and women who graduate from Bryn Mawr find that they emerge feeling much more confident and empowered.
Interacting with Other Colleges
Prospective students might worry that at a women’s college like Bryn Mawr, they won’t have the opportunity to interact with any men or students from other colleges. But Bryn Mawr is a member of the Quaker Consortium, which includes Haverford College, Swarthmore College, and the University of Pennsylvania.
All of these schools were founded by Quakers, and all are in the same region, so students can travel to each school and even enroll in certain classes if they want to. Bryn Mawr students can earn majors or minors at Haverford and participate in extracurriculars there too.
A blue bus runs Bryn Mawr students to Haverford on a regular basis, and a van also runs between Swarthmore and Bryn Mawr. To travel to UPenn, students need to take public transportation, but this is reimbursed by the college.
Due to the agreement between these four schools, students from different colleges regularly interact with one another in and out of the classroom. Many students take advantage of what the Quaker Consortium offers, including a great way for those at Bryn Mawr to associate with people outside of their college and learn at other excellent schools.
Bryn Mawr prides itself on the environment that it creates as a women’s college, but it’s not a closed campus by any means. Students are welcome to push themselves and explore other colleges beyond the one that they call home.