Historically Women’s Colleges Panel
Interested in applying to a historically women’s college? Join CollegeAdvisor for a 60-minute panel and Q&A session on Historically Women’s Colleges, featuring former Admissions Officer and Spelman alum Tiffany Nelson, Wellesley College alum Lucia Navas Sharry, and Smith College alum Sophie Richard. All three panelists are CollegeAdvisor Admissions Experts excited to share their wealth of college applications knowledge and experiences.
2022-03-10 Historically Women’s Colleges Panel
[00:00:00] Hi, everyone. Welcome to CollegeAdvisor’s webinar Historically Women’s College Panel. To orient everyone with the webinar timing, we’ll start with a presentation. Then I’ll answer your questions in the live Q and a on the sidebar. You can download our slides and you can start submitting questions in the Q and a tab.
Now let’s meet our panelist.
Hi, my name’s Lucia. I graduated Wellesley college in 2019 where I majored in political science and I minored in economics. Um, currently I work for CollegeAdvisor as an admissions expert. I help students who are, um, of all grade levels, trying to find the best fit for them in terms of school, and to develop the most competitive application, to get them to where they want to.
Awesome. Hey everyone. My name is Sophie and I graduated from Smith College in may of 2020. I [00:01:00] majored in art history and minored in archeology. Um, loved my time at Smith. So really looking forward to today’s presentation. Uh, currently I work with CollegeAdvisor. I’m an advisor and also the customer success manager here.
Um, so really looking forward to answering questions and just sharing. Awesome. Great. Thank you. Thank you. So we are going to go into our first poll for this evening. So please tell us what grade you are in, what grade are you in? And Lucia and Sophie, it’s so great to hear you both are like recent graduates.
So this is going to be awesome to hear. That’s great. Okay. So we have the responses come in is.
It looks like so far. Most of our participants are in the 11th grade and then we have a few participants that are in the 10th grade. Okay. So I will [00:02:00] turn it back over to you. All right. Great. So definitely a question that we received often is how many all-women’s colleges are there in the United States? Um, so currently right now there are around 35 active colleges.
We’ll go what into it means or what it means to be an all-women’s college and historically women’s college. Um, but for right now, just an overview, they’re really all across the country. Um, just for example, Agnes Scott is an all women’s college. Scripps is in Claremont, California. Simmons is in Boston. They’re really all over.
So if, um, as part of your kind of looking into building a college list, um, you can incorporate these very easily. If you want to be in a warm climate or you want to be near a city, or you want to be on the Northeast, it’s very doable to fit this into your college. Um, you’ll also hear the term seven sisters, which refers to seven Northeast liberal arts colleges, um, which were, um, sort of created with [00:03:00] the idea of creating, um, really good educational opportunities for women when they, when education was very segregated in this country.
Um, so. Um, many, seven sisters colleges will have their sort of traditionally all male counterpart or Ivy league college, which were, um, started as, uh, institutions only for men. Um, so for example, um, Barnard is very close to Columbia university Smith, where I attended is very close to Amherst college. Um, Wellesley is very close to MIT.
Brinmar U Penn Radcliffe. Currently very much part of Harvard’s campus. Um, but they were two distinct, uh, institutions before. Um, so we’ll kind of go into our experiences to later on of, um, how those relationships still stand between those colleges. Um, because there is definitely interaction today.
Um, so right now I wanted to go over the difference in terminology. You might have heard women’s college, all women’s college. You might’ve also [00:04:00] heard the term historically women’s college, and you might be wondering what the distinction is between those two. Um, they are both referring to the same schools, but, um, the term historically women’s college has, uh, become more commonplace in recent years.
Um, my own personal experience, I had only heard it a handful of times when I started my first year of college in 2015. And it was very commonplace to refer to Wellesley as a historically women’s college. By the time I graduated in 2019. Um, and the purpose of that term is to be more. The transgender students who are attending those schools.
And that’s not a very big population, but they’re definitely there. And our, you know, of course our transgender siblings deserve to be included. So, um, I will say that every historically women’s college has a different policy for admitting trans students. Um, most schools will admit trans women. So, um, uh, that’s um, male to female, and then some are admitting trans [00:05:00] men.
I, and then I think. Like, as you maybe get some more like gender non-conforming, it kind of varies on a case by case basis. A lot of the schools are small enough that they can, um, review, uh, trans applicants on a case by case basis. And so if you are a transgender student you’re interested in applying, then you should definitely go for it.
Maybe reach out to admissions officers because more likely than not, you will be considered. And then I will say that if you are enrolled in a historically women’s college and you end up transitioning, um, you, maybe you realize like, Hey, like, um, like this is, this is really who I am like, and it’s not a cisgender woman then, um, they will provide resources for you to stay on campus.
Um, they can also help you transfer out if you decide you’d like to, but, um, historically, um, I like they will help you stay on campus. Um, And I also want to say that those are different from schools [00:06:00] who are formally women’s colleges and are now co-ed. So, um, places like Vassar and Skidmore, they used to be all women’s and now they are open to all genders, including cisgender men.
So you would not really refer to those as a historically women’s college in the same way that you would maybe. Um, Wellesley or Smith or Barnard or, um, script’s college.
Awesome. And we’ll definitely both dive into this question because this is often one that you’ll receive right away. When you tell someone you attended an all women’s college, why did you apply what was kind of the draw? What was the thought process? Uh, if you had told me my junior, even my fall of senior year in high school, that I was going to an almonds college, I would have said absolutely no way.
I don’t really know what it’s all about. Um, I was sort of intimidated by it. Um, but it took a, a campus visit was the last school that I visited and I absolutely loved it. Um, Smith in the [00:07:00] spring and summer is gorgeous. Lots of great green space, a beautiful lake called paradise pond. Um, and I really connected with the tour guide and current students on campus.
Um, I loved that. Excitement for learning their, um, dedication to a slightly different path and education that was very focused. Um, and so for just, um, very specific examples here, um, your education of course, is, is foremost in this decision and Smith and other women’s colleges provide a very focused, unique educational experience over.
It’s a very collaborative learning environment. You’re building those critical thinking skills. You’re always applying unique lenses to thinking about perspectives differently. Um, so you’ll often in courses, um, say it’s a history course or even environmental science course you’ll think about. Um, whose voices are being told in this history?
Um, you’ll look at minority voices. You’ll look at women’s voices. You’ll understand that history there. Um, it’s very, it’s almost like, uh, [00:08:00] uh, I often found like a graduate level course. Um, my time with, uh, talking with professors, refocus, very collaborative, very, um, sort of seminar styles. Um, Your alumni network and current student networks are hands down.
One of the biggest benefits. It’s, it’s so great. Um, to have this network of women supporting one another, um, as soon as you join campus, you really should, uh, tap into that network wherever you are for Smith. There’s a really good database that we’re given access to right away, um, where you can see. Uh, recent alum alum who graduated in 19 50, 19 30.
See what they’re up to? What are they, where are they in their career? What did they major in, in undergrad? How does that align with your interests? Um, every Smith alumni that I’ve reached out to, husband’s so happy to talk with me. They’re really, really good at talking about, um, where they got to in their career, what adversity they had to face, how they would recommend [00:09:00] that you propel your career.
That was a really exciting part of, of joining the Smith community was always looking towards the future, thinking about how I fit in society, what I was gonna attribute, contribute, um, and where my career was going to take me. That’s really important for fields, you know, definitely in the humanities for art history, it’s, um, something you have to consider kind of right away of how do I make myself stand out for job applicants?
And one really great way is, um, Uh, employers will ask you, like, why did you go to an almost college? Like, what was that decision? And it’s a really interesting response to say, you know, I was, I was very, uh, interested in a, in a focused, um, educational experience. That was a little bit more serious. It’s it’s a little bit more serious to go to almonds college.
Um, because as we’ll talk about, it’s not always focused on parties or, um, sort of party culture or anything like that. You’re a little bit more focused on, um, what you want to study and what you want to pursue in your career. Um, so those are all conversations that you can have with alumni. They have helped [00:10:00] me, um, get jobs, internships, um, really explore and figure out what minors or concentrations I should add to my major, to make myself more appealing applicant, things like that.
Um, it’s a really great network that you can tap into right away. Um, a couple of like pages that you’ll find when you join. A almost college. There are Facebook pages, LinkedIn pages, that database, I mentioned all really great current and post-graduation support, um, which will all be tapped to. And it’s a really just lively commute.
Um, to talk with and you’ll meet Smithies and, uh, uh, women who attended all women’s colleges everywhere. I remember my first semester at Smith, I came back home. I was going to a CVS and I had a Smith sticker on the back of my window. And a woman stopped me and said, oh my gosh, you go to Smith. Like I graduated in 1980 and we chatted for a long time.
I heard about what she was up to, um, really, really friendly and always. A good group of [00:11:00] people to lean on. Uh, I graduated in may of 2020 into the midst of a pandemic. I did, you know, all the museums in the art world closed down, but I had so much support on the other side. They were really, um, alumni would email me out of the blue.
They would contact me. They had said, Hey, I know this is tough. Like, you know, if you want to talk about it, you want to talk about what’s going on, let me know. Um, and that was really encouraging and very, very supportive. Um, one of the reasons that I applied to an all-women’s college is I wanted something very different from my high school experience, which was very sporty.
We didn’t talk about pronouns or things like that. Um, so I was looking for a very, um, uh, gender. And identity inclusive campus, um, that would kind of open doors around those discussions and, um, really just have a more collaborative, inclusive environment. Um, I also wanted a place that had, uh, sort of your commitment to social activities dictated by you.
You don’t have to always go out and party or things [00:12:00] like that. It’s very much, um, your activities and your hobbies. Um, centered around campus clubs or, or different things that you enjoy doing, um, on your terms, which is really, really nice. Um, and I’ll pass it over to a CFO to tell us. Okay. Um, well, yeah, so I think that, um, Sophie covered it.
A lot of the reasons that she applied to, um, to an all women’s college were the same reasons that I did. Um, I was looking for an environment with people who kind of. Had a lot of passion for, you know, their studies and also just like the world around them. And I think that’s something that I had felt I was missing in my own high school career.
And when I went to Wellesley, I felt like I was really surrounded by this incredible energy. And that really drew me to the school. I, um, think that like, totally agree about the alumni network has this like incredible resource. I really cannot overstress it. Um, I’ve gotten housing, I’ve gotten jobs. I’ve had [00:13:00] people stop me and street be like, oh my God.
I went to Wellesley. Um, when I was sitting abroad, my passport had been stolen and I was crying on the bench outside of the embassy. Um, in the morning and, uh, you know, more than my Wellesley sweatshirt and this woman stops me and she goes, Hey, did you go to Wellesley? And I’m like, yeah, I did. And she’s like, I went to Wellesley and I work at the embassy and I was like, you’re new ULV.
And she did so, like, it, it just creates this level of trust that, um, is like really incredible. And it’s also not just even with like, um, The people who you went to your college, it’s like the seven sisters. Definitely, but also just all the women’s colleges are kind of familiar with each other. So if you meet someone who’s had that same experience as you, um, maybe they went to, you know, Scott or Spelman or what have you, but, um, they’re going to form that bond with you and already there’s like a level of trust there because you know that you have a lot of the same values.[00:14:00]
Okay. Um, so we’re going to give our presenters a slight pause and we want to know where are you in your college application process? So we heard that majority of our participants this evening are in the 11th and 10th grade. So just let us know, like, have you, maybe you already started. And when we say started, maybe your.
You know, looking on websites or today is, you know, a way of starting the application process. You’re already learning more about different types of colleges, perhaps you’re in the research phase. Are you getting an early start on working on some essays? Maybe some scholarship essays, let us know. Okay. So the results are coming in and about 67% of our participants are on it.
They are doing their research. Great to hear. We have a few that are working on their essays. Some are getting their application [00:15:00] material together. So that is awesome to hear where you all are adding your application process. And hopefully after this evening, you might be adding a women’s college to your college lists.
Okay. So I will turn it back over to Sophia and Lucilia.
Awesome. So definitely, um, when I sort of was applying to, we talked about what were my sort of values when I was applying to an all women’s college, what was I interested in? What was I really drawn by? Um, and so after graduating in hindsight, I feel like I can really, um, kind of speak to why was a good fit ultimately at an all-women’s college and why?
I really, I enjoyed my four years there. Um, and I think Smith is a, is a good fit. If you want to really specialize in a field. What I mean by this is there are so many ways of adding to just a major or a minor. Um, there’s really tons of resources, um, different kind of accolades that you can put on your resume, things like that.[00:16:00]
Um, just for example, with my art history background, I could have added a museum concentration. Uh, which was sort of, um, on par with like a certificate or a minor. And it would show that I, um, had been a docent in the museum. I had given tours, things like that. It was a really formal way of providing some, um, kind of tangible experience to your resume and your degree, other concentrations, like a book studies concentration.
Um, something that I participated in was the Smithsonian program. Smith has a really awesome semester, long internship connection with the Smithsonian museum Smithsonian Institute and DC, where you apply you’re accepted and you choose a museum that you would like to work in for full semester. Um, so I’m really interested in American art and I chose to work in the Smithsonian American art museum in their conservation center, which was really cool.
I hadn’t no. Um, I never really approached the stem side of art history. So looking at different types of glue consolidants, things [00:17:00] like that, really cool to work in a lab. Um, and sort of as part of that, nine to five internship, I also had to write a research paper, which I later published, um, really with the help of Smith faculty, um, encouragement from the program, things like that.
It was a really great way to throw yourself into a, um, into your major outside of just the classroom and really. Amplify it, um, outside of the humanities too, Smith has a really awesome engineering program. Uh, the picker engineering program is, um, a great way for engineering and stem students to get research while, uh, during their undergraduate studies.
It’s really rare to get research. Um, often you have to go on to graduate school or have to go to a really big university where they have those resources. Um, but almonds colleges really want to support you in your studies. They want you to come out with research. They want you to, um, just really network with other scientists or art historians out there.
Um, get your [00:18:00] research out there and that’s really encouraging. It really gives you kind of a leg up in the, in the field after, um, another great opportunity that I benefited from was the Praxis summer internship program. Um, this was a fund that you could apply for. If you had received an unpaid internship, um, and you really did need some funding to help you throughout the summer or something like that.
I worked at a historic home, very close to my, to my house. And, um, often for students, unpaid internships are very unfeasible. Um, it’s not very equitable. So Smith really tried to provide some resources for students so that they were able to have that experience. Um, just again, that sort of feeling of, um, mentorship and collaboration and really supporting one another, um, demonstrated through that.
Smith also has several graduate programs, which is really cool. They have, um, an MFA for dance. There’s a master’s for social work and the masters for playwriting as well. Just really cool because you get to interact [00:19:00] with graduate students at a very small liberal arts college, which is rare. Um, get to kind of hear what it’s like to go on to, um, a grad program after undergrad.
What does that mean? Talk with really excited students, um, and of course enjoy the benefit of their research and their guidance as well. Um, so really, if you want to, if you have an interest and you want to see it to the fullest and almost college is a really good idea because they’ll have those resources and that programming.
Um, and I love that at Smith, I found it really, really engaging. Um, so with this also really good fit, if you enjoy collaborating with a larger community of schools. Um, so Smith is part of something called the five college consortium, which have five colleges in a very close area, the pioneer valley, um, and that includes Smith at Holyoke Amherst college, Hampshire, and UMass.
And all of these schools interact very closely with one another. You have access to taking courses on their campuses and you can also, um, receive [00:20:00] certificates and, uh, different concentrations at different campuses. Um, so for example, there’s the five college certificate and Latin American, Caribbean and Latino studies.
Um, so you take courses, um, in that subject area on all five campuses, you really get to talk with a ton of faculty. Really good. If you want letters of rec for grad school later on to have, um, that much more mentorship as part of your application, really, really helpful. Um, they also have other programs, um, in the early music program, cognitive neuroscience program, that’s really helpful.
The stem to have this connection with, um, larger universities, like UMass Amherst, where they have big, big labs that you can, um, take advantage of. And Smith had his, like a ton of, um, engineering space, but for neuroscience, they perhaps didn’t have such a big labs. You can always go to UMass, um, and take some courses there and lots of other cool, like the astronomy astronomy curriculum and a ton more dance was a big part of that as well.[00:21:00]
During undergrad. I, um, I took a few courses at Amherst. I really liked it. It’s easy to get over there. They have a public transit system, which is, um, very easy to use, but I also enjoyed taking lectures and, um, I, I took a pottery class. My senior year at UMass was really fun to kind of hop on over there and do some studio.
Um, so you’re really connected. I mean, a lot of people will just stay on Smith campus and they love it. And, um, they have everything that they need there. But if you kind of like to maybe commute a little bit further or engage with other students, you got is definitely open to you, which is really, really cool.
Um, there’s also a Smith is a good fit if you thrive in a more personalized environment. So you’ll never have a class of 500 people you can go to UMass, or you can go to larger schools for that. If that’s, um, kind of like the lecture style that you want to engage in. But the average class size at Smith is about 19 and that’s really dependent on the class you’re taking.
For art history. Sometimes [00:22:00] we would have a class of four folks who are sitting around in a very collaborative seminar style. You’re really discussing with the professor. One-on-one, you’re sharing ideas. It’s a little bit out of your comfort zone. You do have to be kind of on the spot. You have to do the readings, things like that.
Um, but it is it really, you get the most. Experience when you’re kind of put on the spot a bit and have to defend your ideas and talk to the professor and other students, we can kind of zone out in class, but it really pays off in the end. Okay. Um, Smith is not a great fit, and this is something I talked about before, but if you want a party culture, and this is something to be very honest with yourself about, it’s not a bad thing to want a party culture, or to have kind of that like social experience, the, a big part of your time and under.
But Smith is just not the place for that. The sort of socialization that you do is really centered around your interests and your hobbies. You’ll meet in clubs. There’s definitely, you know, there’s, there are parties, but they’re varied. They’re [00:23:00] small, they’re look lives on campus. Um, and you really, you meet people and you meet peers through, um, you’re more like academic and hobby experiences, which is, I really enjoy it.
And I found, um, I made really good connections with other students that. One of the thing, things Smith is not a great fit. If you want to be in the middle of the city or Campton is a big town. It’s definitely not an urban center. Um, north Hampton was really fun or camp to is the town that, uh, Smith is in.
Um, it’s bustling. It has a ton of restaurants that has, um, a few museums. It’s very connected to the other towns that the five college consortium kind of take up pretty close to one another. Um, but it’s small. You’re going to go to farmer’s markets. You’re not going to go, um, to see the Rockettes in New York, but, um, it is possible to kind of go to a city during spring break or things like.
Um, so different takeaways that I have from making the most of your time at Smith, um, be [00:24:00] open to speaking up, meeting with others, getting involved. That’s my biggest, biggest takeaway is, um, really putting yourself out there, talking to professors, making connections with them, um, talking up in class and really engaging with others in that small seminar environment.
Um, you’re just going to learn the most from. Reaching out to those alumni, as we talked about that database is just awesome. You will make connections, you’ll get jobs, you’ll get internships that way. Um, but you’ll also learn about how to leverage a major or a minor or studies or whatever you’re pursuing on campus.
And sort of educationally talk to someone when you, maybe you join campus and, um, you think that you want to major in history. So you talk to an alumni who majored in history and now they’re in law and you ask like, Hey, like how did you get from point a to point B. And they’ll often tell you, it will be very honest and say, um, oh, I wish I had done this a little bit differently, or I see the career moving in this direction.
So I think you should add on this concentration or study abroad here or [00:25:00] something like that. It’s really helpful to have those conversations early. Um, being very honest with yourself of, I need to get a job after graduation. So how do I leverage the time on campus? How do I do that? And the alumni network will be so helpful in kind of discussing that and walking it through.
Um, Smith college has an open curriculum, meaning that there are no required courses during your four years on campus. No gen ed general education, any, you don’t have to take like a stem course or a math course. Some people see that as great. I’m going to take art history courses every single semester, and that’s all I’m going to take.
Um, it is really tempting, but. Leverage different incentives like the Latin honors, um, which is, uh, sort of a word you get after graduation that indicates that you two courses, um, in all the major. Areas throughout your time. So find a stem course or a math course that made me, um, connect your interests and, and put that on your resume.
Um, connect with the north Canton community. It’s [00:26:00] really great town. You’ll find. Um, when I was at Smith, I interned at a gallery. I worked at a cafe. I sort of expanded my Smith network into the town and really, really enjoyed it. It was a fun way of connecting with other people. Um, during your time at Smith, you’ll also, you’ll practice critical thinking, as we talked about before applying those different lenses, plan ahead, really look at your curriculum and what you’re going to major in things like that.
Um, and see how you can tack on different those concentrations and studies, talk to professors, things like that. And just overall, you know, that will help you make the most of your time and really leverage that experience.
Um, I think that there’s a lot of similarities between what makes a Smith, a good fit and what makes Wellesley good fit. Um, you know, they’re definitely different schools and, um, with like different personalities, but I, I, they’re also very similar. So, um, I think that Wellesley is a great fit if you’re looking to build an on-campus [00:27:00] community.
Um, and I just want to make the distinction like. Um, there’s a lot to do on like the Wellesley campus. There’s a lot of aurochs. You can start your own org if you want. And like at funding, um, you will like find a lot of really like passionate people looking to, you know, create something there. And that’s, that’s really one of the big drivers.
And if you go in with that mindset, then you’re really going to enjoy and you’re going to make really good friends. Um, also similar to Smith, you’re going to find like a rigorous learning environment and you’re gonna kind of find people with like a lot of the same values. Who were drawn to the campus.
Cause I think that’s like very much a unifying thing about all the schools is you kind of know that, like, even though you might not agree on everything, people go to these colleges. Cause they have a lot of similar values and they have like, you know, similar, I don’t want to say outlooks, but um, Hmm. I don’t know what the right [00:28:00] word would be here.
I think there it’s just like people who are independent. And really outspoken and really thoughtful. So I always thought that that made for like really, um, rich like conversations. Um, I will say the one liberal arts, not, sorry, not liberal as the one class I took at MIT. I wonder, I remember thinking like, wow, this conversation would be a lot more different and arguably more interesting.
Um, if it was at Wellesley like this. And I also think that if you’re looking for like that new England, liberal arts college feel, you know, if like Gilmore girls is your thing. Um, if you’re looking for like kind of that like classic new England, whatever, then you’re going to find it at Wellesley. It’s a beautiful campus.
The buildings are gorgeous. You feel like you’re living in a, um, in a castle, um, Um, if I hear that the kids are saying the word dark academia, these days, if that’s your [00:29:00] aesthetic, then you’re going to find it at Wellesley. Um, I will say it’s not a good fit if, um, you’re looking for an urban environment and I know that.
Um, unlike, uh, Smith, Wellesley is, uh, very close to an urban environment. It’s about 13 miles from Boston. However, it takes about an hour to get in by the bus, which is honestly pretty convenient. Um, and, uh, so if you’re looking for them more urban environment, then you might want to consider, uh, Simmons is a historically women’s college that’s right in the city.
You might also want to look at places like BU and Northeastern. Um, Tufts, because if you want to be like really immersed in the city, have close access to the T. Um, it’s going to be easier to do that there. And I think a lot of people who were not as happy with their time at Wellesley, um, they kind of tried to make it into a city school, which at the end of the day, it’s just not.
I also also say that, um, Wellesley does have dual enrollment with MIT. It can be pretty [00:30:00] convenient though. So if you’re going to try to do a program, that’s dual enrollment there, like engineering or finance or architecture, um, it can be done. It’s just going to take up so much of your time and like it’s just massively inconvenient.
So. My vote is you save yourself that trouble and you go somewhere that has that. So you can just like have your community all centered in one place, because if you try to make your community, both the school and in Boston, it’s going to be a lot harder
as for making the most of your time. Oh, there’s a lot to do there. There’s a lot to, you know, make the most, um, there’s a lot to be able to sink your teeth into, um, number one, get to know your professors. You’re going to have that opportunity in a way that your friends who go to big schools just won’t if you just are there because they want to teach, they want to care.
They, they want you to like them, your evils that you read at the end of the courses that determines their tenure instead of what re research they’re doing. Um, [00:31:00] and. I found by-in-large like Wellesley really cares about the quality of the professors that they hire. So, um, if you find like a couple of professors in your area of interest and you just really get to know them, they’re going to be valuable, lifelong resources and mentors.
Ullman at work, in my opinion has been like the most immediately useful resource to me out of school. Um, so, uh, Facebook groups are a really great way to connect with them. Like, uh, for example, I’m in, um, I’m in DC. So the Wellesley alumni, DC, um, groups, there’s like a, there’s an alumni chapter. They have events, that kind of thing, but I’ve also been able to get things like a housing.
I just got a. I just got a discount on a apartment in DC because I was able to, um, like house it for another Wellesley alum, uh, jobs, um, fellowship [00:32:00] opportunities. People are just like in the know, and they’re always looking to help others, which is, you know, really like the amazing part of like the amazing thing about being part of this community.
Um, Build relationships on campus. Don’t just focus on your best schools. I think that, um, like a lot of the women’s colleges have like really, you know, close networks in other places. And I could see maybe if you’re going to say Barnard and Columbia is like right across the street, that might be one thing.
But at Wellesley you kind of need a car to get anywhere. So I think if you really focus on creating a tighter community on Wellesley’s campus, you’re going to find yourself to be a lot happier. Um, schedule classes based on group professors and topics that interest you. I think it’s one thing to like, you know, obviously you want to focus on topics that you’re interested in.
If you’re given the choice between a professor that you know is going to be amazing and a topic that you know is going to be amazing. Always go with a professor because a good professor can elevate the topic from good to great that professor can, you know, [00:33:00] make it go from great to be over. Um, and Wellesley just has no shortage of great professors.
Um, career education is, uh, Wellesley’s uh, career center. They have a lot of resources there. A great starting. But you don’t just want to end there because they do have their limits and you’re going to find a lot more kind of success in finding out where does he want to go? Maybe you want to work at like a Google, like Google or a big tech company after you graduate.
Maybe you want to go to law school or get a PhD, or what have you like, whatever it is, there’s people who can help you their career. Education’s a start, but it’s not. And also, um, lots of resources for doing well. There’s like tutoring, there’s writing programs. If you find yourself to be particularly strong in one subject, you can, um, you can be a tutor.
You can be part of the writing instructor whose program. And I will also say that, like, there’s a lot of fellowships that like the career education [00:34:00] center can make you aware of lot that are sponsored by Wellesley. For example, my junior, the summer after my junior year of college, I, um, I did a funded internship in bono, Cyrus, Argentina.
Um, they have this program where like, um, several places in the United States and abroad Wellesley has these connections with, um, and, uh, they will, they will like fund your internship between four and $5,000 depending on your financial. For you to go and like how this experience and I got to work with a NGO and bono Cyrus, um, working to, you know, on economic policies and, you know, like, um, And I’m national policy on corruption.
I also got to help out at the G seven international summit, which was in one of Cyrus that year. And it was like a really amazing experience. I got to, um, I got to meet people like, um, diplomats from, [00:35:00] you know, all of the, the G seven countries. I got to see the president of Argentina speak. And it was just this really incredible experience that, you know, I never would have been able to do otherwise.
So there’s all these opportunities like that, and they are just waiting for you to find them. So, yeah, just, you know, make sure you look once you’re there and they will make themselves apparent to you. And even like, as an alum, there’s like fellowships for going to grad school, or there’s even one where it’s like, we’re going to give you $25,000 to just travel for a year.
And you know, like, and focus on a project you want, right as this application, then tell us why. And then people want it every year. There’s a, there’s a lot to, there’s a lot to dig into there.
awesome. So why don’t you talk about too? So the. Almost colleges will have often very specific supplemental essays. And we can be very daunting because you may not have heard of almost colleges. You may not have [00:36:00] had the opportunity to visit as soon as there’s just a few points to focus on. I know some of you are starting your essays.
Um, these are ways to kind of approach those, those essays. One is. All women’s colleges have very rich traditions that have built that alumni network that have, um, just made the experience really unique and fun. Talk about those, research them. If you Google like Smith college, Wellesley traditions, there’ll be a whole page on it.
Alumni love talking about them. They love celebrating them. And if there’s one that maybe speaks to you specifically, Um, incorporated it incorporated into how, um, maybe you have an extracurricular that is somehow representative of that tradition, or just a core value that you have, um, that would really speak to that for Smith college.
It was just like a couple of traditions that I always love. Um, IVD and illumination night or before graduation. Um, IVD is, uh, the day before, throughout the day. Um, all the graduates were [00:37:00] all white alumni from various, um, uh, graduating classes in the past come and they support us. And we walk along with a, um, a huge Ivy garlands around our shoulders.
And we’re kind of ushered into the graduating adult world by, uh, other Smithies and other alum. Um, it’s just a very, uh, heartwarming moment. And you know, that you are supported throughout. Throughout your career. And that you’ll have that. You’ll always be a part of Smith. Um, other, uh, traditions are T every Friday, um, Smith dorms, or we call them houses, have tea together at 4:00 PM.
It’s a great way to come back after a long week, enjoy some really yummy snacks. Um, in terms of like debrief about your time. It’s also part of that collaboration of just talking through what you’ve learned, or, you know, highs and lows of the week, and just kind of assess what’s going on and, and build that community a bit more.
Um, mountain day is a fun day. It’s a random day that the college president announces that we are, we don’t have classes and we get to go to apple orchards. And again, just [00:38:00] build that community. And otilia crumble day to day chromo was the first African-American student to graduate from Smith college. And that is a day given over to, um, lectures.
And, um, again, community building more serious talking about kind of the impacts of race and gender in the United States and how Smith can be a part of that discussion. Um, so really all that learning that happens. As well. Um, so research those traditions and try to find one that really speaks to you and incorporate it into one of those essays.
Another big thing to highlight is, um, at Smith you’ll be an independent thinker. That’s what those are Smithies is they’re all women’s colleges. They produce independent thinker is critical creative thinkers. Um, so showcase how you are that person, how do you, um, approach something differently or how.
Really apply a lens or, um, your own approach to a difficult topic. How would you solve something? Something like that. Um, really showcases to the admissions office that you’re ready, that you will engage thoroughly while you’re, um, at the college. And you’ll really [00:39:00] throw yourself into your studies and, and build others as well.
Also a really big question to not ignore is why and almonds college. Sometimes I think we, um, I was definitely nervous to approach this. I wasn’t quite sure how I wasn’t quite sure if that’s what they wanted, but they want you to acknowledge that you understand that this is a slightly different educational experience.
So talk about it. Talk about. You talked to an alumni of a college and you really enjoyed that conversation or can go into those traditions again, of, I see my core values represented in this college, through those traditions or through this, um, certain aspect of the college definitely address it front on, be very honest.
Um, and they, I think that goes over very, very well in essays. Um, I’m going to say I don’t really, I like Sophie covered it very succinctly. Um, when it comes to applying. For women’s colleges. And I know that I applied to several one. I was in, um, when I was in high school. And I think that, yeah, that absolutely covers the basis.[00:40:00]
Um, I will say Wellesley, um, has a focus on the Wellesley 100, which is like, if you go through, it’s a hundred reasons to apply to Wellesley. And I will say that like, having looked at that recently and being like, oh, I went to school, like she was in this class with me. Like she was my, you know, She was friends with like, you know, my, um, like my big and this organization, like, so, you know, I will say it’s pretty cool and surreal to see like how everyone is doing all these incredible things.
Um, but, um, I think it’s just, they want to understand like what the value add is it? Because I think a lot of times you’re going to see people who are going to say like, oh, where are you attracting guys? We’re subtracting CIS males from the equation. And I think like that’s a, you know, as attractor, but I think the better way to look at it is in this like specifically focused environment, it’s like, you’re, you know, you’re adding in that sense of community and that sense of like, you know, shared values and that sense of [00:41:00] comradery that can be harder to find at other bigger schools.
So if you, if they see that you understand that and you’re focused on that, then that’s a win. And I’m also gonna say that like, um, You want to make sure that you’re talking about like the school specifically and like maybe not just the location, maybe you really want that, like that Sonny Soquel experience.
And that can be a part of the reason that you want to play to scripts, but it can’t be like the main reason if you really want the New York city experience can be part of the reason you’re applying to Barnard, but then want to hear while you’re applying to Barnard and not say, you know, and why you or St.
Francis college or like Columbia. So. If you have that in mind, then you will be more competitive than you might otherwise be. Absolutely.
Okay. Well, thank you, Sophie and Lucy. So that now concludes the presentation part of our webinar. I [00:42:00] hope you found the information helpful and remember that you can download the slides from the link in the handouts. Moving to the live Q and a I’ll read the, I’ll read through the questions you submitted in the Q and a tab, which you can start to do now.
I’ll paste them into the public. Um, so everyone can see them and then read them out loud before our panelists give you an answer as a heads up, if your Q and a tab, isn’t letting you submit questions. Just double check that you joined the webinar through the custom link in your email and not the webinar landing page.
Okay. So I received a question and Lucia, I wanted to say. Um, maybe he might know something about this, but they wanted to know if you can explain a little bit more about Wesley Wesley in the MIT double degree. Sure. Yeah. So, um, double degree, the one that I’m away. So there’s dual enrollment. So, um, [00:43:00] Wellesley students can enroll at MIT classes and vice versa.
The only dual degree that I’m aware of is their engineering degree where you can start at Wellesley and finish at MIT. Um, I’m just going to be upfront. I don’t recommend it. I don’t think I knew like several people who came in wanting to do that, who just ended up like switching out. Um, my own experience was that the advisor there was kind of like, even, she was kind of like actively discouraging people to do it.
Um, I think it sounds like a good idea in theory, if you’re interested in doing like there, um, kind of the engineering, um, the dual degree, but I just, from what I understand, it involves a lot of inconvenience. And, um, if you’re interested in going that route, like a historically women’s college route, and you want to do engineering, you’re much better served by going to Smith because it just seemed like an incredible uphill battle.
And I think they’ve only had maybe. One person complete [00:44:00] it within like the last, you know, 20 years. So, um, there’s a lot of, uh, and I don’t know if I’m answering your question. Um, like, and just in terms of coursework, there’s like, you can take graduate classes at MIT. You can take a lot at MIT, but, um, like as far as dual degrees, uh, it’s not really like a set program.
And the one that they do have for engineering just doesn’t really seem to be. Like, I just don’t think that would be conducive to like having a good college experience because it would just be so much convenience. So I wouldn’t recommend it personally. Yeah. Okay. Thank you for answering that. Um, the next question I have is, um, what historically women’s colleges have division one crew teams.
Um, well, smaller liberal arts colleges tend to be I’m thinking I believe at Barnard, uh, does, um, shares athletics with [00:45:00] Columbia. So, and I believe that Columbia is D one. So that might be the place to look. Um, I don’t know, maybe, um, Sophie, if you could talk about like, does Smith share athletics with any, like, with say UMass Amherst or any DUI?
Yeah, I don’t think crew luckily, um, co uh, crew’s a big thing at Smith. Like they have a great facility on the Connecticut river. It was really big. It’s not division one. It’s division three. There are a lot of walk-ons. Um, it was a tight community though is quite a commitment too. Like they, they take it very seriously.
So. Um, I knew a lot of, uh, friends who they were very serious about crew in high school. Um, but they, you know, they went to Smith. They didn’t have the division one experience, but, um, they loved their time on the crew team. They really enjoyed it. And they went on to regattas and, and, and had that sort of similar experience without the necessarily the much larger time commitment, um, sports outside of crew definitely shared facilities with, um, UMass Amherst, which was the big university in Europe.
[00:46:00] Yeah. And I’ll say, um, my first year roommate, she was on the, she was a walk on for the crew team. It’s also something that’s taken very seriously, a lot of comradery on the team. Um, you, uh, there’s also like a, a less of option if you don’t want to like wake up at like 5:00 AM every day. Um, Yeah, I will say that like, um, and I know that one of like, uh, someone I knew in high school, like worked with like the crew coaches and she was looking at, um, like these D three options.
So, um, you can, you can definitely have that like really good sporting, like athletic experience without it necessarily being. Okay, thank you. Uh, next question, kind of relates to majors. Um, any, um, you know, what are some of the women’s colleges that offer international studies? Uh, Smith definitely had a great international [00:47:00] program and they, that was a, um, a great way of highlighting experiences for study abroad.
We had a Smith specific study abroad in Geneva where you worked with, uh, the UN directly and got, um, very in-depth like great resume building experience there. Um, I know Barnard also with their connections with Columbia and beyond, um, great international program as well. Um, Mount Holyoke, I would say definitely as well.
Lucy, are there others that jumped to your mind? Um, let’s see. I can speak my guess is that most, if not all of them would, because that’s a pretty standard liberal arts major. So I think you’d be hard pressed to find one that doesn’t have that. Um, as for Wellesley, they do have a fabulous international relations program.
However, the major. Um, as of the time that I graduated was only offered as a second major. So you could only do it if you were also doing, um, either political science or economics. And I believe the third one was maybe history. [00:48:00] So you had to have been majoring in one of those to also do that. Um, but even if you didn’t want to have the burden of the double major, you could also just like you would have a lot of success, um, like.
In the coursework of all of those, just taking international relations courses. Like, um, for example, I was really interested in, uh, you know, kind of studying Latin America. And I found that my, the coursework that taught that to me best wasn’t necessarily in the EIR department, but in like economics classes with more of a social policy focus and in Latin American studies classes and in history class, So I think regardless of, um, what your major is, they’ll find, you’ll find that there, I’m also going to add that.
Um, let’s say that like, um, I’m not sure, you know, question asker what your desired uh, thing to do with an IRR degree is, but, um, even if it’s not, if you want to do something specifically, like work for the UN or something like [00:49:00] that, you don’t need specifically an IRR degree to do that. Like, um, Anything kind of related, I think will make you a strong candidate, whether that be, you know, history, econ, poly size, something social sciences related.
So you have a lot of options. Great, great. I haven’t there’s there are a few major questions. Um, but the one that I’ll ask next is like, um, which women’s colleges have the computer science major. Uh, again, speaking from Smith, I just, the first top of my head, um, I know we had a great local chapter, four girls who code that was very, um, uh, connected with other universities and Wellesley I think has a great, I remember touring Wellesley and that I remember their computer science background was really, really impressive.
Um, Barnard, too Springs to mind. Um, they have really good facilities and are, um, focusing a lot on stem too and, and, and computer science and, um, work that background. Um, so those are the top three that spring to mind. Yeah. Yeah. Um, I [00:50:00] know that, um, I believe Smith is the only, um, historically women’s college with an engineering program that it’s for computer science.
I know that Wellesley’s a fabulous CS program. Um, I, I think I’ve read somewhere and I’m like, totally unverified. If it’s not true, then, you know, It’s not true, but, um, that Wellesley produces more female CS grads that Harvard does, which you know, like, and Wellesley’s a third of the size of Harvard. So it’s kind of like do better Harvard, but, um, like there, um, the class sizes are really small.
They offer a lot of individualized attention and they really try to make it so that. You know, if you want to major in it, there’s a lot of opportunities. If you just want to, like, are curious, you want to take some classes, you can do that too. But, um, the women in stem focus like the supports that you get at a historically women’s college are fabulous.
Second to none, in my opinion. That is [00:51:00] awesome. That is great to hear. Um, we’re going to take a slight pause so I can share with our audience a little bit about. College advisor. So for those who are in the room, who aren’t already working with us, um, we know that the college admission process is overwhelming for parents and students alike our team of over 300 former admission officers.
Any mission experts are ready to help you and your family navigate it all in a one-on-one advising session. And last year’s admission cycle. Our students were accepted into Harvard at three times the national rate and acceptance to Stanford at 4.4 times. Sign up for a free consultation with us by registering for our free web [email protected] advisor.com.
Again, that is app.college advisor.com. Their students and their families can explore webinars, keep track of application deadlines, research schools, and more all on our website. [00:52:00] Okay. So we have time for a couple of more questions and I’m curious, um, you know, do you all have any information you can share about scholarship opportunities?
Do students receive scholarships when they attend, um, your, you know, your. Yeah, that’s definitely been a, uh, first, a big focus over the year is period. And then recently, um, and a Smith and some other colleges, they are really amping up their scholarship support. So they are actually discouraging loans.
They want to make sure that they can support students, um, fully through scholarships and endowment. Um, so I know that was a big push this year. As we navigate COVID and, and, um, families have lost their jobs and they, there are resources the best way. So I worked in the admissions office at Smith. And the best way for you to learn about the scholarships is to honestly, to pick up the phone and call the admissions office and a specialist, there will talk to you and.
Um, walk you through some of the [00:53:00] options off, you know, always the websites are really comprehensive and, um, we’ll list external scholarships as well as scholarships that you’ll be considered for when you apply. Um, but do your due diligence early. See if your school, um, is part of the CSS profile, which is another way of gaining, um, some assistance through there.
Um, outside of just larger scholarships in general. Um, what I will say about Wellesley is that, um, like I think like a lot of, you know, quote unquote elite schools, um, Wellesley, uh, does not really offer merit pay state. Um, but it has a really generous, like need-based aid. I believe kind of the, this is true when I was there and Adam, I’m not sure, um, what it’s like now, but a lot of these schools, generally, if your family.
It makes under, um, if your household income is under 60 K a year, then you will not pay a dollar to go to Wellesley. Um, and then I think it kind of like graduates up, I think. [00:54:00] Um, and maybe if it’s around like a hundred K um, then you don’t pay tuition and this is all just me, like kind of rule of thumb rules.
And this was also in like 20 $15. So this is subject to change, especially with inflation and COVID and you know, a hundred other factors, but. Well, so you should have a like admissions, uh, office, like, uh, sorry. If financial aid calculator on the website college board also has those too. So if your family does qualify for need based aid, Then, if you want to just type that in and like, see then, um, then you should definitely do that and see if you might be eligible for that.
Other factors might be like, if you have a sibling who’s in school at the same time as you, your family’s estimated financial contribution is split in half. So they might be eligible for more aid then. So. Um, I was in terms of merit scholarships, um, like, you know, it was this private school it’s expensive.
Like it would be kind of difficult to cover that with like that many, um, you know, merit based scholarships [00:55:00] that come from outside. So I think that, um, neat, like me based is definite, like need-based is very generous if you qualify. So definitely take a look at that and see if you might be able to. Great.
Great. Okay. And then the last question I have, if you can just share with our audience, what was one of your favorite college memories? Just one that I know there’s so many,
gosh, um, So hard to choose. I really, really loved, um, again, art history. So the Smith college museum is, um, before, when I was a tour guide, it was rated second in the, in the country. Um, we were beat up by Oberlin, but, um, I loved walking around the museum and interacting with, um, both students and community members.
I found artwork on the wall that I had written papers about, and didn’t even know that it was in the collection. Um, so really I think again, just to call, [00:56:00] to, to look at those resources on campus and, um, uses a connection to, uh, talk with professors and open those doors is, um, was a big highlight. Um, and that’s really sweet when Sophie, um, let me see.
I think that, um, gosh, I’m, I’m scrolling through, I think probably, um, Senior week comes to mind. I think to see, like last week before, um, we all, uh, graduated. Um, I remember, uh, hosting, you know, me and my, um, hallmates we’re hosting a party in our dorm and I kind of got to walk through like all these people who I’d gotten to know over the years.
And we all kind of got to marvel at how much we had all changed and, um, you know, just like really celebrate specialists, that experience and, um, You know, it was just, it was just a lot of joy of like, look how far we’ve all come look [00:57:00] at all this hard work that we’ve done. And here we are now, um, I will say like maybe more like academic one was, I took a, um, I took writing classes, which is something that I had put away and I, you know, I think liberal arts education has a way of like making you really confront, like, okay, this work is too hard for me to not do it unless I really care about it.
So it made me realize, like, I really cared about writing and having a teacher sit me down and be like, you know, you are really good at, this was like a really validating thing for me. And it kind of made me reconsider what I had been interested in that whole time. So yeah. That’s, if you’re, if you’re trying to find your north star, I think that liberal arts colleges are a great way to.
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, one of the things I’ve kind of taken away is just like the small knit, like family community as well, and the access to specialized opportunities and yeah, that’s, that is so amazing to hear. [00:58:00] Um, so with that, that is now, we’re now at the end of our webinars. So thank you, Lucia and Sophie for sharing about your experience attending a historically women college.
Um, and so last thing I want to share with our participants is that we do have more webinars that are coming up for this month. So here is our March series and we look forward to seeing you at some more of our future webinars. Thank you again and have a great night. Okay. Thank you for coming. Thank you.