Quick Facts

Girls Swimming

1. INSPIRATIONAL ENVIRONMENT

Girls take center stage in all-girls learning environments.

Single-sex programs…create an institutional and classroom climate in which female students can express themselves freely and frequently, and develop higher order thinking skills.

—Dr. Rosemary C. Salomone, Columbia University’s Teacher College Record

The robust learning environment encountered by students at all-girls schools is highlighted by a recent survey of high school students. The girls’ responses provide unequivocal support for the value of an all-girls educational environment.

—Dr. Richard A. Holmgren, Allegheny College, Steeped in Learning: The Student Experience at All-Girls Schools

Emphasizing their ability to learn independently, alumnae of all-girls schools more frequently explore topics on their own, even when not required, compared to their coeducated peers.

—Dr. Tiffani Riggers-Piehl, University of Kansas City, Missouri, Fostering Academic and Social Engagement: An Investigation into the Effects of All-Girls Education in the Transition to University

We find that one hour a week of single-sex education benefits females: females are 7% more likely to pass their first year courses and score 10% higher in their required second year classes than their peers attending coeducational classes.

—Booth, Cardona-Sosa, and Nolen, Do Single-Sex Classes Affect Exam Scores? An Experiment in a Coeducational University

2. ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT

All-girls learning environments create a culture of achievement.

Girls’ school alumnae are more likely than coeducated peers to frequently seek alternative solutions to a problem.

—Dr. Tiffani Riggers-Piehl, University of Kansas City, Missouri, Fostering Academic and Social Engagement: An Investigation into the Effects of All-Girls Education in the Transition to University

Females especially do better academically in single-sex schools and colleges across a variety of cultures. …Single-sex schools help to improve student achievement.

—Dr. Cornelius Riordan, Providence College, Girls and Boys in School: Together or Separate?

More than 2/3 of girls’ school grads report frequently supporting their arguments with logic, which coed school grads are less likely to report doing.

—Dr. Tiffani Riggers-Piehl, University of Kansas City, Missouri, Fostering Academic and Social Engagement: An Investigation into the Effects of All-Girls Education in the Transition to University

3. BUILDS SELF-CONFIDENCE

A girl occupies every role in all-girls learning environments.

The majority – 60% – of girls’ school grads report higher self-confidence over their coed peers (54%).

—Dr. Linda Sax, UCLA, Women Graduates of Single-Sex and Coeducational High Schools: Differences in their Characteristics and the Transition to College

4. DEVELOPS LEADERSHIP SKILLS

All-girls learning environments empower students to become bold leaders.

93% of girls’ school grads say they were offered greater leadership opportunities than peers at coed schools and 80% have held leadership positions since graduating from high school.

—Goodman Research Group, The Girls’ School Experience: A Survey of Young Alumnae of Single-Sex Schools

Programs at girls’ schools focus on the development of teamwork over other qualities of leadership, while the qualities of confidence, compassion, and resilience also ranked prominently.

—Dr. Nicole Archard, Student Leadership Development in Australian and New Zealand Secondary Girls’ Schools: A Staff Perspective

At all girls’ schools, girls demonstrate great confidence in female leadership and become increasingly interested in leadership positions themselves. Preliminary data from coed schools suggests that girls become less interested in leadership positions with age.

—Dr. Katherine Kinzler, Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Chicago and Visiting Professor in the Department of Psychology at Cornell University

5. SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING & MATH (STEM)

All-girls learning environments champion the educational needs of girls as a group currently underrepresented in STEM majors and careers.

Girls’ school grads are 6 times more likely to consider majoring in math, science, and technology compared to girls who attended coed schools.

—Goodman Research Group, The Girls’ School Experience: A Survey of Young Alumnae of Single-Sex Schools

Compared to coed peers, girls’ school grads are 3 times more likely to consider engineering careers.

—Dr. Linda Sax, UCLA, Women Graduates of Single-Sex and Coeducational High Schools: Differences in their Characteristics and the Transition to College

Girls’ school grads on average report greater science self-confidence than coeducated peers in their ability to use technical science skills, understand scientific concepts, generate a research question, explain study results, and determine appropriate data collection.

—Dr. Tiffani Riggers-Piehl, University of Kansas City, Missouri, Fostering Academic and Social Engagement: An Investigation into the Effects of All-Girls Education in the Transition to University

6. DEDICATED TO HOW GIRLS LEARN

All-girls learning environments capitalize on girls’ unique learning styles.

More positive academic and behavioral interactions [were observed] between teachers and students in the single-sex schools than in the comparison to coed schools.

—U.S. Department of Education, Early Implementation of Public Single-Sex Schools: Perceptions and Characteristics

To be successful, students need more than just a feeling of support. That support must translate into actions geared toward student success. Nearly 96% of girls’ school students report receiving more frequent feedback on their assignments and other course work than girls at coed schools.

—Dr. Richard A. Holmgren, Allegheny College, Steeped in Learning: The Student Experience at All-Girls Schools

7. HIGHER ASPIRATIONS

Students in all-girls learning environments strive for greatness.

Girls at all levels of achievement in the single-sex schools receive a…benefit from the single-sex school environment in terms of heightened career aspirations—an effect unprecedented in any other portion of our study.

—Dr. Cary M. Watson, Stanford University, Sex Roles: A Journal of Research

Students at all-girls schools have higher aspirations and greater motivation than their female peers at coed independent and public schools. 99% of students at all-girls schools expect to earn a four-year degree. More than 2/3 expect to earn a graduate or professional degree.

—Dr. Richard A. Holmgren, Allegheny College, Steeped in Learning: The Student Experience at All-Girls Schools

8. EXCELLENT MENTORING

Students in all-girls learning environments are supported by a community of peers, teachers, and school administrators.

The overwhelming majority of girls’ school students agree to strongly agree that they feel supported at their schools: 95% feel supported by their teachers (compared to 84% of girls at coed schools), 90% report feeling supported by other students (compared to 73% of girls at coed schools), and 83% feel supported by their school administrators (compared 63% of girls at coed schools).

—Dr. Richard A. Holmgren, Allegheny College, Steeped in Learning: The Student Experience at All-Girls Schools

9. PREPARES GIRLS FOR THE REAL WORLD

All-girls learning environments engage students in activities that prepare them for life beyond the classroom.

When asked about their ability to work and live in a diverse society, 75% of girls’ school alumnae value improving their understanding of other countries and cultures and are nearly 10% more likely than conducted peers to have the goal to help promote racial understanding.

—Dr. Tiffani Riggers-Piehl, University of Kansas City, Missouri, Fostering Academic and Social Engagement: An Investigation into the Effects of All-Girls Education in the Transition to University

Nearly half – 45% – of all women graduating from single-sex schools rate their public speaking ability as high compared to 39% of women graduates from coed schools. A similar differential exists for writing abilities: 64% of girls’ school graduates assess their writing as high, compared to 59% of women graduates of coed schools.

—Dr. Linda Sax, UCLA, Women Graduates of Single-Sex and Coeducational High Schools: Differences in their Characteristics and the Transition to College

Graduates of girls’ schools count their tolerance of others with different beliefs and their ability to work cooperatively with diverse people as strengths.

—Dr. Tiffani Riggers-Piehl, University of Kansas City, Missouri, Fostering Academic and Social Engagement: An Investigation into the Effects of All-Girls Education in the Transition to University

10. FREE FROM STEREOTYPES

In all-girls learning environments there are no stereotypes about what girls like or where they excel.

Girls as young as six can be led to believe men are inherently smarter and more talented than women, making girls less motivated to pursue novel activities or ambitious careers.

—Dr. Sarah-Jane Leslie, Princeton University and Dr. Andrei Cimpian, New York University, Gender Stereotypes About Intellectual Ability Emerge Early and Influence Children’s Interests

All-girls educational environments negate this societal norm by providing opportunities for girls during a critical time in their growth and development. Not only do girls receive a wealth of avenues for self-exploration and development, they also see a wealth of peer role models. Girls need to ‘see it, to be it’ to make them more aware of the possibilities in their own lives and help set them on their own brilliant paths.

—Megan Murphy, Executive Director, National Coalition of Girls’ Schools

11. DEVELOPING HER VOICE

In all-girls learning environments girls are free to find and use their voice and speak without interruption.

Academic studies and countless anecdotes make it clear that being interrupted, talked over, shut down or penalized for speaking out is nearly a universal experience for women when they are outnumbered by men.

The New York Times, “The Universal Phenomenon of Men Interrupting Women.”

Girls’ school students are more likely than their female peers at coed schools to experience an environment that welcomes an open and safe exchange of ideas. Nearly 87% of girls’ school students feel their opinions are respected at their school (compared to 58% of girls at coed schools).

—Dr. Richard A. Holmgren, Allegheny College, Steeped in Learning: The Student Experience at All-Girls Schools

12. INCREASES CIVIC ENGAGEMENT

Girls’ school graduates are 10% more likely than their peers from coed schools to have a political discussion with friends. They also find it essential to keep current with the political scene.

—Dr. Linda Sax, UCLA, Women Graduates of Single-Sex and Coeducational High Schools: Differences in their Characteristics and the Transition to College

Graduates of girls’ school are more likely than conducted peers to plan to vote in elections and to publicly communicate their opinion about a cause.

—Dr. Tiffani Riggers-Piehl, University of Kansas City, Missouri, Fostering Academic and Social Engagement: An Investigation into the Effects of All-Girls Education in the Transition to University

An estimated less than 1% of girls in the United States attend girls’ schools, yet an impressive 20% of the women currently serving in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives graduated from an all-girls school. While only 23% of the current U.S. Senators serving are female, 13% of those women graduated from girls’ schools. Even fewer women—only 19%—currently make up the U.S. House of Representatives, yet an overwhelming 22% graduated from girls’ schools.

—National Coalition of Girls’ Schools

Girls’ school alumnae are more likely than conducted peers to have a goal of participating in community action programs and to think it’s essential to become involved in environmentally minded programs.

—Dr. Tiffani Riggers-Piehl, University of Kansas City, Missouri, Fostering Academic and Social Engagement: An Investigation into the Effects of All-Girls Education in the Transition to University