Historically Women’s Colleges
CollegeAdvisor.com (formerly Bullseye Admissions) presents its webinar on Women’s Colleges in a 60-minute presentation and Q&A with a Bullseye Advisor. Our presenter will provide information about colleges within the Seven Sisters, what makes women’s colleges unique, what sets each college apart, and more. Our advisor will share their experiences attending Wellesley College to tell you more about women’s colleges and answer your questions about the Seven Sisters.
2020-08-01 Historically Womens Colleges Webinar
[00:00:00] Welcome to the Bullseye admissions webinar on historically women’s colleges. This webinar is the first in our August serious. That has webinars that will help you get ready to apply to colleges. So to orient everyone with the webinar, timing and different chat tabs, I’ll start off with my main presentation.
And then I’ll answer your questions a bit later in a live Q and a, but feel free to submit them as you think of them. And I’ll get back to them. On the sidebar, you can download our slides in the handouts tab and you can start submitting questions as they arise. So during this presentation, you will notice that I refer to this group of schools as historically women’s colleges.
That’s cause it’s not entirely accurate to just call them women’s colleges anymore, since they now do admit transgender students. Also they have male transfers sometimes and things like that. So nonetheless, these schools are still. Largely centered around discussing and [00:01:00] combating unique challenges that women face as well as the women’s experience.
So to introduce myself, my name is the Laura and I graduated from Wellesley in 2018. So here is that slide. Lily is also here for tech support. So you can feel free to message her if you have any tech issues. If your audio is cutting out, the video keeps getting blurry and things like that. So just to start off with a bit about me I graduated from Wellesley, like I said, in 2018.
And since then I have been working in a couple of different fields actually. So when I first graduated, I was working in management consulting for about a year and a half. And more recently back in February, I moved on to international development. So now I’m actually based in DC or really Virginia cause I’m back with some family during quarantine.
And I also do some college consulting on the side. [00:02:00] So enough about me now to move onto the next slide. Let’s see. So basically this presentation, I will be centering it around the seven sisters colleges. The top ranked historically women’s colleges are referred to as the seven sisters. They were founded between 18 30, 7 and 1889.
So a while back most colleges nowadays and these colleges sought to give women access to a high quality education back when there was very limited options for women’s even go to college. So five of the seven are actually remaining women’s colleges today. And that’s Wellesley Mount Holyoke Smith, Bryn Mawr, and Barnard.
So before I get into it just wanted to caveat. I’m going to be talking about really five but it’s not a full list. So for those that are interested in other women’s colleges, here is a comprehensive list. Interestingly enough, there are about 50 women’s colleges in the U [00:03:00] S today. Back in 1960, there used to be like 200.
So it’s definitely been diminishing, but I hope after this presentation and from your own research, you will see the value of why it’s great that we still have women’s colleges today. So here is a quick comparison of the five remaining seven sisters. Here you can see their names where they’re located admissions rates and enrollment.
So when you take a look at this, you’ll probably notice a couple of trends. The first is that all of these seven sisters colleges are located in the Northeast. And they all have between 1000 and 3000 students undergrad. So they’re very small liberal arts campuses where you get a lot of individualized attention from professors.
So the first one I was going to talk about is Barnard college. One of my best friends actually went there and I got to visit her a few times when I was debating in college. So that was exciting to see one of them in person besides Wellesley. It’s located in [00:04:00] New York city, which is pretty awesome.
Students tend to take classes across the street at Columbia. They actually technically do get their degree from Columbia because Barnard is technically a sub school under Columbia. Interestingly enough, a thesis is actually required from all undergraduate students. So they believe all students should do a major writing assignment with a lot of research and collaboration before they graduate.
And they are taught majors are biological and biomedical sciences, psychology and English literature. So Bryn Mawr, I actually drove through Bryn Mawr, had a beautiful campus. I didn’t actually get a tour, but from what I’ve heard, it’s a great school. Popular majors at Bryn Mawr are social sciences, biological sciences, and foreign languages.
So there’s a couple of really interesting facts that I learned about Brinmar just by looking into it and talking to students that went there. The first is that back in the late 18 hundreds, Brinmar became the first American college to actually offer fellowships [00:05:00] to foreign students. Also Woodrow Wilson taught at Bryn Mawr at one point.
And they’re the only women’s college in the entire United States with an extensive graduate program. After you complete your undergraduate education. So next up we have Mount Holyoke. So they’re actually located in Massachusetts, like Wellesley is popular majors, econ, computer science and biology.
So a lot of stem they’re the oldest Hodge for women in the United States, which is pretty impressive. They were actually the first us college to use the ABC D F grading system. So definitely a pioneer there for better or worse. And lastly, Emily Dickinson, as you guys probably know a well-known poet attended Mount Holyoke.
So next up we have Smith also in Massachusetts, you might be seeing a trend here. Popular majors are poly psy research and economics. Fun fact, the founders of now and Ms. Magazine are [00:06:00] actually both Smith graduates. Smith was the first women’s college to incorporate a program for engineering and the Smith and poofs is the oldest, all female acapella group in the nation.
If I remember correctly, actually 40% of Smith’s students major in a stem field, which is double the national average for undergraduate women.
So finally, a college near and dear to my heart, Wellesley, a beautiful campus, as you can see, but obviously they all are popular majors, econ, computer science, and political science, a couple of things about Wellesley. So we actually had two secretaries of state graduate from Wellesley that would be Madeline Albright and Hillary Clinton.
We have very easy access to Boston and across read program at MIT. So during the pandemic, this is a bit different. We’re mostly having students stay on campus for their safety. However, I’ve heard that they’re still offering [00:07:00] all of the MIT course curriculum to Wellesley students. So you can take it on.
And finally Wellesley was actually the setting of the film, Mona Lisa smile. So if you haven’t seen it, you should check it out. Basically it’s set in the 1950s with Julia Roberts starring as a American history professor or actually art history professor.
So now we’re going to get to a poll just so I can get a sense of essentially what you guys are thinking about right now in terms of your college admissions process. So the question that I have for you guys is which historically women’s colleges are you currently planning on applying to? So I’m going to pull up the poll now.
Hey Lily, it doesn’t seem like my poll is showing up for some reason. Oh, great. Yeah. I’m just going to cue it right now. Yeah. Sounds great.[00:08:00]
So I’ll give you guys about 30 seconds to answer this.
The thing was, you guys have answered the poll. Laura, can you see the results or do want me to read them out loud? I actually can. If you could read them, that would be great. Yeah. So it looks like smoke. Most people are interested in Wellesley or they’re still deciding. And then after that, a lot of people are accepting people asking Smith college and grandma.
But that’s a good distribution of schools. Yeah. And that’s great to hear. And glad to hear some of you are considering Wellesley.
So this is an interesting part of the presentation. [00:09:00] I feel like the seven sisters are known to have a lot of very quirky traditions. So I wanted to just mention them briefly. So Mount Holyoke actually has this tradition called mountain day, which is when students get up at the crack of Dawn classes are canceled and they actually go hike Mount Holyoke.
Is that a fun thing to do at the beginning of the year? Another fun tradition is Bryn Mawr has this thing called lantern night. So essentially on lantern night, what happens is the students that are now sophomores and just completed their freshman year have lanterns of different colors.
It can be usually their class year or things like that. And they actually hand them off to the freshmen, symbolizing passing on knowledge as they start their new college experience. It’s cute. Another really cool tradition is that Smith has Friday afternoon tea. I know back in the day, Wellesley also used to have that, and I think that we should follow Smith and bring it back.
Cause that sounds amazing. And then finally, Wellesley and Barnard have this thing called [00:10:00] midnight breakfast, which is self-explanatory, but basically right before finals start, when students are starting to cram, it are just getting a little bit more worried about what’s ahead.
The school comes together and basically puts out this very elaborate breakfast with things like pancakes, fruit, ice cream, and then they just get to eat before they go into their finals. So I always really appreciated that at that time of year. So I think when you’re considering what college to attend, it can be a very personal decision.
And obviously I recommend that everybody look into women’s colleges, but I think that these pillars of post-college. Are true, not just for women’s colleges, but things that you should really be looking for in every college that you apply and consider attending. So the first thing that I believe that you really need to focus on when you’re looking for a college and what that will bring for you after is a quality education.
And I think I’ve shown you so far that seven sisters all have very great programs, very competitive [00:11:00] admissions, and have professors and a lot of, clubs, extracurriculars that are great to allow students to explore and develop as they go through college. A second thing that’s really important is refining your interests.
So because these colleges are liberal arts colleges, they require students to take a diverse curriculum and that allows them to explore and not just go in with one major and just not really see anything else, but actually take classes to develop their understanding of themselves and maybe decide, what’s careers they actually would like to do in the future.
The third thing that I would say as a pillar for coach post-college. Is having an empowered mindset. And I think women’s colleges in particular are great at inculcating this in their young students, because you are around a lot of students that kind of know what they want. They’re very leadership oriented and they empower people around them to also follow what their path is.
And the last thing I think is really important to conceptualize is having a strong reputation and network. So these colleges all do have, very strong [00:12:00] reputations and are very well sought after in academic circles. And also they have particularly powerful networks where women want to support other women.
They have very small student bodies who would actually mean something when you find somebody from this college and like you’re trying to apply to a job and things like that. And that’s something that I didn’t necessarily think about when I was applying to colleges, but I found the value of that after by, various applying to jobs, internships, and I’ll get into that a bit more.
So now I’m going to talk about particularly the benefits of historically women’s college. So the first one benefit that I think is really essential to the college experience is having this top ranked education. So like I said, you can see on the top left, all of these colleges have very high rankings which is important because it reflects the quality of the education.
And also what the perception is when you’re applying to jobs later down the road. They also have first tier professors who actually have a lot [00:13:00] of time to get to know their students that are not just focused on research and they have these very nurturing academic spaces to explore and express. So again, they have diverse class requirements and this empowering atmosphere and actually throughout my sort of journey into looking more into, Wellesley and what I liked about it and other women’s colleges.
I posted on the Wellesley network. And I asked loom alumi to actually tell me what they liked about Wellesley and being at an all-women’s college. So on the top, you can see somebody wrote a comment and they’re just talking about how they really enjoyed their Wellesley education. And they have friends that lasted them for decades afterwards.
So that was a nice response I got. So the second thing is that these colleges are all liberal arts colleges. So that is important for a couple of reasons. The first thing is that they have various small class sizes. So I would say my biggest class at Wellesley was my smallest class in high school, which was like 25 students for a math class, actually.[00:14:00]
Again, very engaging professors and also a ton of diverse clubs and leadership opportunities. So Wellesley in particular for a student body of 2000 had about 150 clubs, which is pretty impressive. So they really ran the gamut of everything from this sort of knockoff of Quidditch to, sports clubs and everything in between.
So as you can see on the right, there’s just more comments from Wellesley alumni and they were just talking about enjoying the academics and how they like to have in a small classroom environment.
So the third thing that really stands out to me about these colleges is this empowering environment that they have. First of all, in terms of the people that you surround yourself with, there’s a ton of female leaders everywhere you look both in terms of the administration, professors tend to be dominated by women too.
And things like that, that I know Wellesley in particular has actually never had a male president, which is something that we take pride in. It’s [00:15:00] cool, uncommon. Another thing is that we have more leadership opportunities and clubs, jobs, and classes available to women. So this is particularly helpful in fields that tend to be very male dominated and an all boys club, things like computer science.
Everybody in your classes is a woman. Your teachers are often women. And when you’re getting leadership in clubs, also women supporting you to run for president and things like that. And finally, I can’t stress this enough. You’re surrounded and inspired by intelligent and powerful classmates. So in my year alone, I had somebody that got awards from the UN for her communitarian work.
I had somebody called astronaut Abby who actually has her own Netflix movie and is inspiring young kids to get into stem fields. So there’s just a lot of people around me that really inspired me and had a very clear direction for what they wanted in their lives. And that helped me develop it as I was in college.
And the last thing I think is really good to [00:16:00] stress is this powerful reputation and network. So again, these names are very well-respected in academic circles and you also have these tight-knit communities in these small schools where you do have this shared experience of being all women and facing, all of the great things about that, as well as some of the challenges around that.
And at least for Wells, we have this really active Facebook page with thousands and thousands of people on it posting daily and dozens of spinoffs. People can post about any kind of job experiences they’re going through, or they need help with anything they can post about that. And it’s just this really wonderful platform where people can share experiences.
I have a couple of things more to say before I get to question answers, but I want to get into sort of, some statistics for you because I believe, as great as it is to have a wonderful college experience. It’s also important to think about, what is the best for your career what’s best for, who you’re going to be in the next five or 10 years?
My friends are really interesting things that kind of demonstrate how valuable women’s colleges are for your future. [00:17:00] So one of the things that I found out in this process, which I already knew, but it’s good to have, some facts surrounding that is that according to the national survey of student engagement, women at single-sex institutions are actually typically more engaged in campus.
Life participate more actively in the classroom in terms of how much they’re raising their hands and taking on group projects and things like that. And they actually report the highest levels of support in their development, which is pretty incredible. Also students at women’s colleges, graduate with majors in math and science at 1.5 times, the rate of women in co-ed institutions.
So I think that really shows that women are encouraged to explore all career paths and are not siloed into certain ones that are seen as, the traditional path that women might take. They’re also straight up twice as likely as graduates of co-ed colleges to attend medical school and earn PhDs.
I actually heard from one of my classmates that is working on her PhD right now that Wellesley is one of the top theater schools in the nation for [00:18:00] PhDs, which is pretty incredible. And I’ve also heard that Harvard business school just started a program where they’re particularly looking for graduates from women’s colleges to recruit into Harvard business school.
So if you’re interested in business, that’s a great route for you. And I think something that really reflect this empowerment attitude is what Wellesley’s motto. And Wellesley’s motto is something called, has said, sorry, apologies for my Latin. I took French. But essentially that means not to be ministered unto, but to minister.
So it’s this very empowering idea of leading and helping your community is with this education that you have and you bring forth with you into the rest of your life. So a little bit of background on me and how I actually ended up at Wellesley college was that in high school, I was a pretty decent student.
I took number of AP classes, had extracurriculars a couple of leadership opportunities, but I think the way that I stood out for my college admissions process, and again, [00:19:00] it’s different for everyone was I had this strong interest in writing. So for me, when I recognize the strength in myself, I tried to really emphasize it to the colleges that I was applying.
And Wellesley is actually particularly holistic when looking at applications. So it’s not just about your GPA, but it’s really about what you uniquely offer when you’re applying. So I tried to emphasize that by, talking about like highest and T scores for writing and talking about, really spending time on my college essay and things like that.
And just talking about in that essay actually, why I like to writing. So it was meta. But that was just my experience. So when I was at Wellesley, I was actually a particularly reserved person. And I found that right away, people were noticing me more because it was a small school and we’re taking it upon themselves to try to steer me into certain things that might allow me to express myself and develop throughout my college.
So the first class I ever took in college was actually this class called Supreme court shapes America. With a professor who was a [00:20:00] former lawyer who actually her name is Lynn BD, she just retired. And when I was in her class she noticed that when we were having our sessions, like talking about essays, that I was very engaged with her and was very interested in what she was saying.
So she actually recommended me to be a writing tutor. And that wasn’t something that I had actually thought of applying to, or was really excited to do. But just the fact that a professor noticed me in this small environment and then encouraged me I think really shaped, what I wanted to do in the future.
And it really changed my college experience. I think just for me just being at the school where everyone around me was really trying to motivate each other to succeed and understanding the shared struggles that women can have, especially, in college they’re developing it’s really an invaluable experience.
I would say. Another crazy statistic that I’ve heard thrown around. Is actually that women’s colleges make up about 2% of the overall college population. But their alluni actually represents 10% of female CEOs in the S and P and a full third of women in [00:21:00] fortune 100 boards. And also I’ve heard more recently when I’ve been working with people in politics that I believe 20% of people that are sitting in Congress right now that are women were actually from women’s colleges.
So pretty cool. And to talk a little bit more about this idea of a network, I think that’s something that also some anecdotes might help illustrate. Since I graduated, I actually had this experience where I was active on this Wellesley Facebook page. And I saw that one of our alumni had actually contracted COVID-19 and she was not doing well.
And people were really trying to help her and however way. So the community banded together and started messaging politicians, messaging, this big pharma company that was working on this experimental drug. And they actually were able to have either the governor or a Senator step in talk to the big pharma company, asked them to give her the medication and transfer it.
And then she also [00:22:00] was transferred hospitals. And this was all because of our network. Like I’m not even kidding. I think that Wellesley and women’s colleges have some of the strongest networks in the world where people really reach out for each other. And more of a personal experience for me is that a couple of months ago I actually had a relative in my family pass away.
We weren’t super close, but my grandparents were very upset by what happened. And I ended up posting on the Wellesley page trying to help my grandparents out by having people click on this little mini city that my grandma had made, that she just clicked on everyday as a little form of entertainment.
And I actually got 1000 people to go click on it, to show their support for my grandma. So I really just feel like ever since I graduated, I even just noticed the amazing network of, Wellesley in other sentence, sisters, colleges, more and more, it’s had an indelible impact on me. As I continue to develop I’d actually had so many friends that have gotten their first job opportunities by just calling it alumni, asking them for advice and things like that.
[00:23:00] So it just, it’s been really a great experience to see that since graduating. Another thing that’s not true for every college, but it’s true at least for Wellesley and Smith, as well as a couple of the other colleges, to some extent is this great financial aid. So actually Wellesley and Smith are both in the top 10 value schools in the U S news and world report ranking.
The endowment is actually over $2 billion and it’s very neat. So I’m about 60% of students are on financial aid. And the average aid package is about $50,000. And most of that is actually rewarded in the form of grants and it’s not asked for a repayment. So that’s something that I think is really important to highlight for students that are, trying to go to college, but also save money along the way.
And finally, it wouldn’t be a full presentation if I didn’t acknowledge some of the common like stereotypes and downsides of women colleges and just get into that and what that meant for me. So the first thing is in terms of social life, many of these colleges are a bit isolated from urban centers.
But however I [00:24:00] found that like a lot of these colleges also have colleges around them and exchange programs. So for Wellesley in particular, we actually were down the road from Babson, which is a business school and Olin, which focuses on engineering and students were actually able to take classes there if they wanted to get off campus.
And we also have this program where we can take classes at MIT, Brandeis, and VU. So if students ever want him to get off campus during the week, that was definitely not a problem. And the buses actually also ran on weekends. If they wanted to get off campus for more of a social reason, they could also leave.
And then also there’s the stereotype of, dating and a women’s college, if you want to date men and what does that look like? And I found that actually very large percentage of my friends did find themselves in relationships pretty fast because they knew that it was something that they wanted.
And for them, they were just able to talk to people at the local colleges and also go into Boston occasionally. And when they’re taking classes there, they are going to think that people as well. So overall just in summary, in terms of my experience and what I’ve seen from my friends who graduated from [00:25:00] Willis.
I could not really imagine having the same opportunities that I had both for education, self development and for my subsequent career, by going anywhere else. So I would definitely encourage you to look into these colleges as you continue your application process. So essentially that’s the end of our first part of the presentation today, which is giving you a background about who I am about how my experience was at Wellesley and what these seven sisters and other women’s colleges can offer.
And now we can get into the live Q and a session. So if you guys have any questions about particular things that you saw in the slide show or general questions about women’s colleges feel free to start populating the Q and a section as you wish.[00:26:00]
Laura, I’m seeing a few questions in the Q and a, do you need any help with selecting one or getting one into the public chat? Yeah, that’d be great. It seems like my screen is mostly just showing the control has been not the polls or the Q and a right now. Yeah. I’m just going to read off the first question that I sent.
What advantages do historically women’s colleges bring compared to regular universities? Why is it considered special besides its history? Yeah, so I would say in terms of advantages I think that women’s colleges really have this great emphasis on leadership opportunities. So I found that as a freshman, when I was joining.
People wanted you to be engaged immediately. And they had a lot of leadership opportunities open even in your first year. And also because we had so many different clubs, I found that if you stuck with the club for a year or two, you’re usually able to rise and then be able to be in a leadership position.[00:27:00]
So for me, in my experience, I was part of this thing called the Wellesley review which was the campus literary magazine. I did that my first year, second year, I was able to have some leadership in the sense that I was able to work on the prosection and help other editors, go through submissions and over time by sticking with it, I was able to then be editor-in-chief my junior and senior year.
And I think that at a bigger schools and it’s harder to have these leadership opportunities when there’s less opportunities to do so and less people around encouraging you. But at Wellesley, I found that most of my friends were actually able to have leadership opportunities. By the time they were solved.
Also hitting on something that I went got into earlier. I would say that just the network of alumni is very strong. Both because, women are very interested in supporting each other that went through the shared experience, but also just because these schools are relatively small, again, it’s rare to find somebody that went to your school when you’re, moving on into your career.
So that’s something that I’ve found really speaks to people. When you [00:28:00] mentioned that you went to a school that they did or similar to the one that they did. And finally, I would say that in particular, I think these schools obviously have this focus on women’s rights and they have a number of organizations that are focusing on that.
Cause when I was at Wellesley, I actually founded this organization called menstruation matters, where we were essentially trying to get free menstrual products to all the student student body. And we ended up getting funding from the administration, other sources that allowed us to actually meet them.
So I think that just, these are a couple of reasons that, women’s colleges have this unique experience and are really centered around what you want to accomplish when you’re there. Awesome. Next question I’m seeing is since historically women’s colleges tend to have a reputation for being much more focused on liberal arts, can you speak a little about their stem programs?
Yeah, so I think I spoke on this a tiny bit earlier, but I was talking about Smith as one example of a school that really emphasizes stem. And you can see that in the sense [00:29:00] that I would say probably all of these schools have a much greater degree of students that are actually in stem programs. So I think that’s great because.
If you’re trying to get a job after graduating, normally the way you get a job, isn’t just, applying and hoping it works out. Normally it’s having to know somebody for your first job opportunity I found. And I think that because he wouldn’t colleges have this network of undergraduates that do major in stem professions.
When they’re trying to then, get out into the real world, people are really interested in empowering them and helping them along this process, both in terms of providing advice that they have as well as, actually helping them get these opportunities. So I wasn’t, an English and political science major in college, but I would say the majority of my friends actually did major in stem.
The most popular major at Wellesley is econ followed by computer science. So they do invest a lot in these programs. Yeah. I have multiple friends that are computer science majors, a couple of med students now. And I think that they really felt like they were able to be supportive and they had the [00:30:00] small class sizes.
Professors often had office hours where they could ask them questions one-on-one. And for those that were still interested in having these bigger research opportunities, that’s when those networks of other colleges really helped them still get that extracurricular type of experience. And I had multiple friends that were taking classes at MIT doing actual labs at MIT and research over the summer.
So I think just if you want to get that research experience, Wellesley has a lot of great interpersonal things that they offer in terms of research, but also just looking at the other institutions that are associated with Wells, they can be helpful too, and other colleges so essentially pretty quick.
What was your major and did you just attend Wellesley for your undergrad? I believe I missed that in your presentation. Yeah. So at Wellesley I was actually a double major for political science and English. So both kind of humanities backgrounds, but I took a variety of classes that I really liked, and it was hard for me to actually settle on two majors.
And Wellesley actually only offers [00:31:00] undergraduate classes which is true for a lot of liberal arts colleges, I would say. But as I mentioned earlier in the presentation, there are one or two that do have these graduate programs. If that’s something that you’re interested in. Continuing. Awesome. Next question I see is what AP classes does Wellesley college accepts?
What was your GPA? Was it higher or lower than the average GPA accepted at Wellesley? Yeah, sure. So if it’s still the same as it was when I was applying back in high school while he tended to accept fives for their AP exams and sometimes fours the exams that I had taken, I believe AP gov as well as AP psych, which was accepted both of them.
However, like if you’re taking classes in your major, it’s oftentimes good to take the introductory class, just so you get a sense of what your college is really emphasizing with this field of study. And if it’s something that you want to continue. So for me, since I did not major in psychology, I jumped right into a 200 level child psychology class.[00:32:00]
But because I wanted to be a political science major, I actually just started with, basic political science and government and then went from there. And I guess in terms of the overall IPS that I took, I know I took two English, AP is I took a us history, AP I took world history, AP French, AP psych not psychology, so yeah, I just took a variety of AP is mostly humanities ones. I think I took one AP my sophomore year two APS, my junior year and three, my senior year. I remember correctly. And was there a second part to that question? Yeah, the second part was about GPA. They wanted to know what was your GPA, if you’re okay with sharing that and then if it was higher or lower than the average GPA accepted at Wellesley.
Yeah. So actually my GPA was lower than the average accepted at Wellesley. I think it was somewhere in the 20th percentile or something. So it was not particularly high back in high school. And I think that again, like what really helped me stand out and why I was able to get into Wellesley at that [00:33:00] time was finding something that I was really passionate about and then building that up in my application.
So again, I got, a perfect score. My writing sat emphasized that emphasize the five, like all my English class APS. And then also was trying to emphasize, through my actual college essay, why I like to writing and what I could do in terms of. And for me, I found that when I actually went to Wellesley as somebody that was a little bit concerned with, their high school grades weren’t necessarily top of their class.
I felt super supported because of a couple of reasons. So professors tend to offer her office hours like once or twice a week. And I really found that getting to know your professors could really help you understand what they were looking for. And also for me, because I was able to take so many classes that were essay based in a way that’s a little bit different than, high school.
You’re just constantly doing tests and essays and all kinds of things. I really felt like I was able to thrive in that environment and ended up graduating, Magna colada in that environment. Like just feeling very supported and [00:34:00] taking classes that I particularly thought resonated with me.
Laura, can you hear me okay? Yeah. I can hear you. It’s a little bit fuzzy. I think my audio cut, but as long as you can hear me, that should be okay. Next question I had for you was what kind of business majors does Wellesley. Technically doesn’t a business degree.
Oh, sorry. Yeah. So we offer an economics degree and it’s actually the most
So I guess I’m not seeing any other life. Do you need questions, Laura? Do you want to go through, oh wait, you just got one.
I’m seeing that people can’t hear you. Oh, you.
I’m gonna read off the next question. Okay. And then can you guys let us know if you guys can’t hear us talking? Next question that I have is
okay. Sorry. I got disconnected. So you guys are hearing my keyboard, but I’ll just like, not type when my mic is on. My next question I saw is what are some extracurriculars that you took or made you stand out? Yeah, so for me, [00:36:00] I think I had some diverse extracurriculars something that I did it’s a little bit uncommon was although I was interested in humanities and I was applying for that.
I did one stem extracurricular to show that I was well-rounded for this liberal arts and that was called pulsar search collaboratory. So basically you were looking for graphs of SARS in space and trying to compare different graphs and understand like which ones had the potential of being this sort of Pollstar neutron star.
So I think that was an interesting thing that I did. I also did a choir, so I I always had an interest in singing and I also took singing lessons and I thought that was something that was a little bit more artsy, not super traditional. I did French club. I also did first year mentoring type of stuff to show that, I had an interest in, campus community and things like that.
So I found that extracurriculars, like those kind of had different qualities in them and just generally showed different facets of my personality. Oh. And then one other thing I did was national honor society. And I also did red cross club for [00:37:00] bowling.
Awesome. So I’m not seeing any other live questions. So I’m going to go through some of the questions that you guys submitted when you registered. So that one question was what are some opportunities offered at women’s? Yeah, so I, I think I answered this one earlier, but just to reiterate, I would say that this emphasis on leadership having this strong network of people that graduated and also just having these clothes that are very passionate about women’s rights.
Next question. Going back to the live questions, I’m seeing a lot more coming in now. Is it good to get yourself involved in mainly extracurriculars that are female based and that are about empowering females? That’s a good question. I would say that’s not something that’s necessary, but I think as an angle, I would imagine that it would help.
Interesting fact about applicants of women’s colleges is that 70% of them going in weren’t particularly actually looking for women’s colleges, but they applied for a variety of reasons. Whether that [00:38:00] being financial aid or the fact that it was liberal arts and smaller and things like that.
So I think that the average person applies necessarily have this intense interest in women’s colleges. And I think if you have curriculum that is women’s focused, I think that would show that you resonate with this message from these colleges. So I think that’s a great idea. I wouldn’t say you have to do a bunch of them at once because I think you still want to have this authenticity and also having this diversity of experiences.
But if you want to do one or two, I think that would be a great idea. Another live question are taking different languages. Yeah, we actually have an amazing language program. I actually took French for a couple of years. It didn’t major in it, but I had, we had an amazing professors and yeah, we have a lot of different languages that are offered.
We actually also have a very large international student population. So I think it’s something upwards of maybe bigger than 10% of our students are international. So I had a bunch of friends that actually [00:39:00] came from around the world, which I think was a pretty unique experience and was really awesome to be able to to see it, to see we have this organization at Wellesley called Slater, which is actually this house particularly built for international students where they can go and go to events there and just talk about their experiences coming from different countries around the world and what that means when they’re going to college in America.
Maybe one more question before we take a quick break and have, students know, let students know how they can get involved with you. So I guess next question from the. It’s pre-submitted questions. Are the skills focused more on at women’s colleges, are there skills that are focused more on at women’s colleges and other colleges?
Yeah. Sure. So let me go to my, okay. So in terms of skills that are focused on more, I would say that there’s this big emphasis on speaking. So I think in some co-ed institutions, when there tends to be this dynamic right. Of, male students might tend to speak up first and be a bit louder and then female students [00:40:00] might be a bit uncomfortable.
But at women’s colleges, they really notice people when they aren’t speaking up and they encourage them to come out of their shell and participate in like classroom discussions and clubs and things like that. So I think that’s one skill that people generally are oftentimes pretty good at coming in, but also empower other people to embody as well.
And also I would say supporting other women is a big thing. So sometimes there’s a stereotype that people say in the media like, oh, women’s college is putting a bunch of people together. They’re going to be very like catty or gossipy or things like that. And that was the exact opposite of my experience.
I found that everybody had this really strong sense of community because we were all in it together on this campus, next to the woods and the lake. And we were all just like figuring out things and talking about our experience. So I think that’s something else that’s very important. And also I would say that networking is something that not all colleges emphasize for students, especially the female students that are there, but we have a lot of networking opportunities at Wellesley [00:41:00] when potential employers would come in to campus.
And also just like getting connected with people on LinkedIn that went to Wellesley or other all women’s colleges is something that you can do that really helps you stand out when you’re applying for jobs.
Awesome. Why don’t we flip the slide and you can tell people more about how they can work with you on college apps, especially for Wells and other schools. Both I essentially has different types of subscription plans. So the first type of plan is the starter plan, which is very affordable.
It’s about $50 per month. And essentially you get one hour of private advisers. And you matched with an advisor of your choice and it’s a monthly subscription, so you can cancel anytime within the following month, a second kind of plan that bulls-eye offers is a $99 per month plan. And that’s basically twice as many hours, two hours of private advising per month matching with an advisor of your choice and it’s a monthly subscription, so you can cancel it at any time.
And then also you can see on the right, you can connect with current [00:42:00] college students. There’s a scholarship search, which is very helpful. Financial aid, consult, counseling application strategy, building your college interest list. If you’re going into this pretty early on in your process exploring and researching college campuses, essay, planning, support, extracurricular, advising, building your leadership resume and interview practices.
Awesome. So I guess if you want to work with Laura or any of our other like advisors from other schools I’m going to send you guys a link where you guys can basically sign up and get started, so that should pop up on your screens pretty soon. And then after that we can get back to the QA and there’s no commitment by pressing the button just shows you on Brian’s schedule.
If you want to talk to somebody more about the programs for 20 minutes.
Okay. I’m not seeing a lot of live questions, so we can continue with the questions that you asked when you first registered. So another question I saw was how to get accepted when you’re an international student. Yeah. I thought this was [00:43:00] a great question. It seems like we have a number of international students that are in this webinar.
I actually reached out to a couple of my friends from Wellesley that were international students. And they told me a couple of things that are really helpful. So the first thing is it’s very important. If you can to interview with. Because, like I said, people that graduate Wellesley and other colleges like Wellesley are very interested in helping out other women and like seeing themselves in other people.
So if you do interviews, it can really help you stand out. If somebody finds you and really wants to help you succeed and help you get into the school, then they can be a really great ally for you. Another thing is that, if you have any kind of unique hobbies that maybe the average students, in the U S might not actually, partake in, you can mention that in your resume to show, show your diversity and show essentially like what, what you believe in what you value.
Also if you aren’t able to actually visit the campus in person be sure to research it. So when you’re, doing interviews or reaching out to the school, you still have a sense of, what the community is like and what the [00:44:00] surrounding area is like. And then also just embracing the idea of women’s colleges and what they particularly offer.
So really exciting. Anything that I went into in this presentation would help you stand out to show that you really believe in the mission of the school that you’re applying. Awesome. I’m going to give you a few seconds. If you guys want to submit live questions. We have a smaller group here, so anything that is asked, we can’t have Laura answer so you guys can get, direct answers.
Yeah, there are no more live questions. We’ll just get going. So another question that I saw when you guys registered was how to get scholarships. Sure. So I think the first thing that I would say about scholarships is that you really want to be seeking them out early in the process because there are a lot of scholarships that have priority deadlines.
So it’s good to get your name in there as soon as possible. Also you want to check out all the potential resources that are available to you, right? So the first thing you want to do is if you’re an international students looking at resources that are offered in your home country for scholarships also taking a look at your current school [00:45:00] and what their resources are.
And also just general U S entities that are offered to international students and other things. Also, if you’re not a native speaker, it can be helpful to have some of that is a native speaker of looking at your application to make sure that it reads correctly and reads, with this, with how somebody that was native would phrase things.
And there’s a number of different types of scholarships that you can have. So I suggest personally applying to as many as you can, that apply to you. So there’s things that are very small that are not as hard to get ranging from like 1000 to $5,000. And then there’s bigger ones that actually cover your entire tuition, like the Fulbright foreign student program.
And also just to just make sure you’re looking for scholarships that apply to your particular circumstances. So for instance, QuestBridge is great for low income students and that’s something that is heavily affiliated with Wellesley and other seven sisters. There’s something called posy, which is for students that are traditionally overlooked in the application process and tons of other different [00:46:00] scholarships that you can look into.
So I would suggest just making sure you come up with a comprehensive list, look at them both in terms of if you’re international again, home country looking at the college itself, as well as the resources within the U S awesome. I still have the last question come in. So that question was, would you say Wellesley’s more competitive or collaborative?
Really interesting question. Actually, I would say, I think that Wellesley is a lot more collaborative than competitive. Particularly just in my experience with the majors that I had, I felt like when you were asking people for advice within a class, they were always willing to help you. It never really felt like a competition.
Like people would go out of their way, if they made a study guide and you worked on a different part of the study guide to then talk to you about what they learned and you can share what you learned and things like that. If they’re, if they would also be very willing to recommend different classes.
So a lot of times, right before registration students would actually post asking for advice on which professors to take, [00:47:00] and they would always get a ton of Collins from other students. So I would say that it’s definitely a lot more collaborative. I did hear from some of my friends in stem classes that occasionally things could be more competitive, but it was never in the sense of anything that was really like immoral, like you sometimes hear about other schools where students might be like taking pages out of textbooks or things like that.
But it seems like at Wellesley people are all pretty academically oriented and are willing to share what they’ve learned with others. Awesome. Another last question that came in, what kinds of connections do you have with Ivy league graduate schools and considering the women’s college? My undergrad, but I’m worried about what kind of graduate school that I will be admitted to afterwards.
Oh yeah. I can definitely talk about this one. So Wellesley is very highly regarded, particularly in academic studies. So because it’s a small school, one of the downsides that you’ll always find is that not every single person will know what Wellesley is when you’re applying to things. But really anybody that’s in particularly prestigious graduate schools definitely will.
One of the things that [00:48:00] Wellesley is known for is that we have this policy of technically grade deflation, which just means that we don’t inflate our grades as much as other schools. I personally did not really have an issue with that. Cause I was always very careful when I was looking into class and looking into what kinds of things I wanted to get involved in that they were things I felt like I could succeed in.
But graduate schools know that and they always give Wellesley a second look because of that. And almost just Wellesley’s name is very well-regarded. Like I mentioned before, it actually is one of the top feeders for PhDs in the country and particularly in the Northeast, it’s very well regarded.
And my understanding Harvard in particular really likes and MIT really liked to see Wells and students because they tend to actually be on those campuses as undergrads, occasionally. And they’re very familiar with Wellesley’s curriculum. So those are some schools that especially give Wells and other another look if they see that on the application.
Awesome. I’m just still another question. Come in. So this one is it difficult to meet men regarding when you were attending a women’s college? Can [00:49:00] you repeat that question? Yeah. Is it difficult to meet men when you were attending a women’s college? So in my experience it really was not very difficult because we did have two schools at Wellesley and I think that this is the case for most seven sisters that were within like one or two miles.
So we always would be like, we always be aware if there was a party going on at that school, there would be a Facebook events. People would tend to take classes there and they’d build friendships that way with people at those schools. And also we had a shuttle that would bring us into Boston and take us to all the schools in the area.
So in my experience, people actually tended to be more oriented towards relationships because sometimes it was a bit of a longer commute. So they would be more serious about those kind of. But definitely did not find it to be a problem. It depends on the school where you go, Wellesley was lucky enough to be around two schools, very close, and then a bus bringing us to other schools.
I believe that’s the experience with most schools particularly Barnard. It’s no problem because you’re literally taking classes with Columbia students and you’re [00:50:00] across the street. So it does depends. And it can be a little bit more challenging at times, but if it’s something that you wanted to do and put yourself in, then I think it’s fine.
If you just reach out to people when you’re taking classes looking at what kind of friendships that you know your friends have. And it’s really not too difficult if you put yourself out there. Awesome. So another question from when you guys registered, so it can change gender students who are male be admitted to a women’s college.
Yeah. So if somebody is applying to a women’s college. That identifies as male before applying, they could not be accepted since they identify as male. But the procedure now is that Wellesley and most other women’s colleges, if somebody identifies as female, then they would allow them to then go through the normal application process.
When I was at Wellesley, actually at some point during, when I was at Wellesley we actually started letting in transgender students that were male to female. We didn’t have a lot, I think we had maybe two in my class. But I actually was able to work on writing tutoring with one of them. And it was a really great experience in hearing about, [00:51:00] just the diverse background that they had.
Yeah. That’s awesome. Continue with the registration questions. How did you know that a historically women’s college was the right choice for you? Good question. So I actually did not know that when I was flying and that’s something that I would say is common to most of the people that did go to Wellesley.
For me, I did know that I wanted to go to a liberal arts college. And Wellesley is, a top five liberal arts college. So I was very excited when I got into Wellesley. I was honestly a little bit tentative about going to a women’s college, cause everyone, on the media always talks about this traditional college experience that you’re looking for.
And I was a little bit hesitant, but I would say the experience of 95% of people that I know that graduated would not go back and change it for the world. Just because of when you’re there, you really see the value of these, like leadership opportunities that you have, these connections that you’re making.
And the fact that if you want to get off campus, like you’ll find a way to get off campus and still have a diverse experience. Meeting people at Cohen colleges. Actually in my [00:52:00] experience, one of the ways that I was able to do that was I was a debater in college on APTA, which is the American parliamentary debate association.
And that’s a really cool extracurricular that allows you to get off campus because we would actually be going to debate tournaments every Saturday, On the weekends I might be at Columbia. I might be at Harvard. I would be at places all across the country as a debater. And if you’re interested in traveling, there’s a lot of clubs and extracurriculars at most of these colleges that allow you to get off campus and meet different people from the Northeast.
Essentially. Another question, what’s something that you like dislike about Wellesley college? Yeah. So I would say something that I like as somebody that’s a post-grad now, why is this ability that whenever I’ve reached out to somebody that went to Wellesley, they almost always respond back to me very quickly and are excited about this shared connection.
So when I was in college, when I was applying to internships, I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. And I applied to a very broad spectrum [00:53:00] of things. And like when I was a sophomore in college, one of the places I applied was the department of justice because I’m from DC. So I was looking at things in the DC area.
And I actually talked to a Wellesley alone there who was really excited to hear that I went to Wellesley and, had certain positive impressions of me because of the fact that I went to an all women’s college. And we really bonded over that and then actually helped me get that internship.
And then I ended up going back the next year and getting a grant to stay at the DOJ. And also in terms of just this general reputation of going to, a well-regarded liberal arts college when I applied to my first job as a management consultant, I actually asked the person who had hired me afterwards, what they thought helps me stand out to get my first job since this job, I actually did not know anybody at the job.
It was, throwing a paper down, hoping that it would work out. And he told me that it was two things. The first thing was that, having, he said, if you got through the bureaucracy of the DOJ, then I think you could succeed here. And the second thing he said was because he went to Wellesley and got good [00:54:00] grades there, I knew that you were a, a smart, intelligent, hardworking person.
And both of those things, if you think about it were directly from Wellesley itself or the DOJ was from a Wellesley alum, so it just it’s really this path that continues to bring you into more and more opportunities once you go to Wellesley or similar liberal arts college.
Yeah. I can’t leave that one out. So I would say that although there’s ways around it, I would say that the social life on campus, isn’t always as crazy as your average coed school for various reasons. So I felt like it was just more effort to get myself out there, go to debate tournaments, go to Boston on this long bus ride.
But if you want to do that, you can still have it. It just takes a bit more work to get off of campus and things like that. Gotcha. Maybe one more question for, we should have asked things up. So maybe last question, what’d you historically women’s colleges look for in a student. Yeah. So I would say historically women’s college.
Or looking for somebody that, first of all [00:55:00] has, a pretty good high school backgrounds. They challenge themselves by taking hard classes, getting a pretty good GPA. But they also are very understanding and well-rounded institutions. Like I said, in, in high school, I was always challenged myself in doing a lot of, diverse leadership and club opportunities.
But I wasn’t the top student of my class and that’s not something that I really came into until I was in college. And I had these supportive professors to guide me along my path. And that’s when I started to get like really good grades in college. So I think they’re looking for somebody that has potential, and there are so many ways that you can demonstrate that in your process.
So for me, what I did again, was I just, tried to emphasize a certain skill of mine, which was writing and talked about that in my actual application. Emphasizing my scores that I got. And I also followed up, like when I visited Wellesley, I actually wrote them a letter. I spent a long time writing, talking about what my experience was like when I first saw Wellesley.
And I think that helped me stand out as well. So I think the number one thing colleges are looking for is they want somebody that [00:56:00] has. They want a baseline of really good grades, good extracurriculars and things like that, but they also want somebody that’s unique and add something different to the campus body.
So there’s tons of ways that you can do that. And I think just focusing on whatever you’re passionate about and just pursuing that in terms of whatever clubs you’re taking on or whatever other things that you do in your life really helps you stand out. Awesome. Thanks, Laura. I’m going to flip the slide and let you let Rebecca drop the presentation up.
Great. If you guys are interested in actually doing some sessions with us as bulls-eye so I have actually had a very long background in writing. So I was actually a campus wide writing tutor for three years, which I really enjoyed. So as a sophomore, I found that I was, I had this really great experience of getting to look at essays with people from all backgrounds talking about all types of things ranging from, classes like political science, econ, but also people that were applying to jobs.
And other things like that. So I got this really diverse set of essays and things I would get to look [00:57:00] at. Also I was able to be the editor in chief of the Wellesley review, which is the literary magazine for two years. So that process also involves reading a buttload of different app applications, as well as like people’s submissions to the magazine and just getting to do that.
And I think like in these experiences, the best thing that I gained was the ability to take yourself out of your own head and look at somebody else’s life and really find things about them that would make them unique. So when I was working with people on applications they might think that like I was there to be, a copy editor to make things sound a bit better, but that was never what I wanted to focus on with them when we only had, half an hour or 60 minutes, because my goal was always to use that time in the most effective way possible.
What I would usually do is I would try to understand their background and things that they actually might not have mentioned on their application that would actually help them stand out and just a very like random anecdote they might not have thought of or something that was a hobby they didn’t think was worth mentioning.
I would tend to really like to pull those [00:58:00] things out of them as well as then just evaluating, what is the main point of their writing? What are the subsequence they’re talking about and just doing it in a very efficient and organized way. And then something I didn’t mention before is that when I was applying to colleges, I really applied to colleges and I ended up applying to 20 colleges, which was it seemed like a good idea at the time.
Looking back was definitely overwhelming over winter break. But I got in the mindset of how do you write a very compelling essay in 500 words or less. And I think I’ve carried that with me even in more recent opportunities when I’ve been needing to write, short things that you have to really focus on what is your main point?
What do you want. So yeah, that’s just a little bit about me. Awesome. Thanks Laura. I’m going to send them the link for how they can actually schedule a scheduled meeting just with you on, if you want to elaborate a little bit while I’m sending out that link to everyone. Yeah. So you guys asked so many amazing questions in this webinar today.
I was very impressed that we hadn’t seems like 20 or 30 questions. A lot of times when you’re running webinars, people [00:59:00] don’t actually, ask a lot of questions, but I was very impressed. And then if you guys have any additional questions that you wanted to ask me, I’m very happy to answer them over email.
So if you have any questions about what it was like to be at Wellesley, or if you’re trying to look for a certain resource or things like that I’m very available over email. And if you also want to just get to know me more and maybe schedule a session to talk about your essay for the upcoming year you can click on the signup link that you can see above.
Awesome. Do you want to tell us about the next session that’s coming up also? Yeah. So actually our next session is coming up pretty soon it’s tomorrow. And it’s basically an ask an expert session where it’s discussing mastering the sat act and PSAC. Also from eight to 9:00 PM the person running the session is actually the president and founder of method test prep.
So he’s very experienced in this application process, as well as, just giving you some amazing study tips. So if anybody is available at Sunday at eight, I would recommend that you tune into that [01:00:00] session as well.