Why an All-Girls’ School is a Path to Success
The advantages of attending an all-girls’ school are long lasting. From a deeper involvement in leadership roles and a stronger sense of self-worth, to paths that lead them onto doctoral degrees and careers in the science and technology industries.
It’s been a long-held belief that an all-girl school was a place only troubled children were sent to, or only the wealthiest of young women attended. The truth is, single-sex schools are quite conscientious when it comes to the students they admit. Many schools typically have an ideal student in mind and only admit those they believe will be a good fit, regardless of ethnicity or socio-economic status.
Single-sex schools provide an environment that fosters more than good academic habits, and certainly, the focus of such schools goes beyond the classroom and the education they provide.
They improve a child’s self-worth and her value
Girls who attend a single-sex school have a comparatively easier time understanding their value, and their capabilities simply by studying their peers. There is no judgement regarding her appearance or the people whom she dates. One of the many benefits of an all-girls’ school is that 80% of respondents to a survey by National Coalition of Girls’ Schools said they felt encouraged to develop and pursue their own interests.
Girls will fill the majority of roles at an all-girls’ school, from her peers to most of her teachers; and they will see these women succeed at various levels. Every seat on the student government, every position on a sports team, and even every stand at the school’s science fair—they’ll all be girls. Political engagement at single-sex schools is also higher at nearly 58%. Having political discussions in class and with friends instills the confidence and intellect they’ll rely on once they leave school, to converse and compete on the same level as their male counterparts.
These students won’t develop the inherent need to compare themselves to their male counterparts as girls in a co-ed school might because they are surrounded by women. They’ll learn to find their voice among their peers, which will teach them to expect the same strength in themselves and their female colleagues once they move into co-ed life.
They provide her with additional education opportunities
Did you know that 70% of all-girls’ school graduates not only go on to college, but also considered it a stepping-stone to grad school?
Single-sex school graduates tend to gravitate toward the math, science, and technology majors, six times that of girls who attended co-ed schools. The reason why so many women choose these majors is that girls who attend an all-girls’ school have the opportunity to take classes filled by girls. They don’t have to worry that they’ll be the only girl in a computer programming class. This gives them the fuel to try courses they’re unfamiliar with, and pursue educational interests that might not be considered ‘female friendly’ at a co-ed institution.
Having an education and community so focused on a single-sex experience results in students spending more time on schoolwork, and even talking to teachers outside of class. In a comparison study between all-girls’ school graduates and co-ed school graduates, 60% said they spent more than 11 hours a week studying compared to only 42%. In addition, 7% of girls’ school graduates spent three or more hours each week having discussions with their teachers.
The encouragement students receive at single-sex schools gives them the tools and motivation to compete in careers dominated by a lack of women, like engineering and computer programming.
Students in single-sex schools achieve higher scores
With an emphasis on better learning and higher education goals, all-girls’ schools boast better scores on tests like the SATs. Single-sex graduates received scores 43 points higher on combined verbal and math compared to co-ed school graduates. The educational and personal benefits of these schools is more than just a collection of better test scores.
Women who graduate from boarding schools develop a greater sense of confidence in their scholastic abilities. 81% of graduates from independent single-sex schools rated their academic ability as either ‘above average’ or in the highest 10 percent of their class. It isn’t just about doing better than their co-ed counterparts, but instilling in these girls the belief that they can do more.
Bonus benefits of an all-girls’ school
The merits of attending a single-sex boarding school are immense, and many of them revolve around fostering stronger interpersonal bonds between students and their peers and teachers. Smaller classroom sizes inherent to boarding school environments enable teachers to provide more one-on-one attention and encourage students to work together cooperatively
Interactions between girls and their students, both academically and behaviorally, are markedly more positive at all-girls’ schools. The teacher to student ratio and smaller class size is designed to engage and motivate kids to learn better. When kids are comfortable learning, they develop a greater self-confidence and the ability to cultivate broader interests.
Overall, the core benefits of an all-girls’ school education comes from the sense of community. Lasting friendships and stronger relationships between teacher and student allow these girls to excel when they may have otherwise gone unheard if they had learned in co-ed schools.
They’re more likely to take on leadership roles in school and in their communities
Having come from an establishment such as an all-girls’ school, women are likelier to expect positions of authority and power to be occupied by women. They’ve spent the majority of their formidable school years shaping their voice and building self-esteem, along with an astute mind. They’ve also been spared environments from which they might have pulled ideas that women had to struggle to attain equal footing among men, diminishing their own potential in the long term.
While in school, an astounding 93% of girls’ school graduates were offered greater leadership opportunities than their peers at co-ed independent and public schools. These girls are growing up to acknowledge their potential and that of their female peers, and they’ll go into the co-ed world, not only expecting, but also supporting a merit-based system of advancement.
Versus private and public co-ed schools
Girls who go to boarding schools graduate believing that their time at an all-girls’ school was not only well spent, but that it helped to foster a safer environment. As many as 99% of single-sex school graduates go on to earn a 4-year degree and are more than twice as likely to continue to graduate school and earn a doctoral degree.
They also leave school having made the most efficient use of their time. Just consider the following stats:
Success comes from a strong foundation, and all-girls’ schools build strong women from the ground up. They place emphasis on educational goals and developing lasting relationships with peers and teachers. At their core, boarding schools strive to provide a greater breadth of opportunity for its students by providing athletic and academic activities, AP courses, and the social skills to navigate school and co-ed life.