Why Choose an All-Girls Education?

Research shows that girls as young as 5 start internalizing gendered stereotypes, such as associating “brilliance” and “leadership” more as male traits than female traits. Between ages 5 and 10, there is a significant shift in girls’ attitudes about their aptitude in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and leadership abilities, which influences their learning interests throughout childhood, high school and college. However, when girls are surrounded by same-sex peers and near peer mentors in school, their classmates have a major impact on diluting those stereotypes and normalizing the effort it takes to become proficient in STEM fields and in leadership. 

At Roland Park Country School, when our youngest girls look up to our older girls, what do they see? They see young women occupying every single position of leadership. From an early age, our students learn from their female role models and peer mentors the limitless potential of women. And gendered stereotypes aren’t reinforced because everyone is an individual. The result is that our graduates report feeling smarter, more confident, and more engaged on their college campuses than female peers who graduated from co-ed schools. Our girls are educators, doctors, artists, philanthropists, parents, civic leaders, CEOs, and everything in between. Our world needs every single one of them.

The All-Girls Advantage

Our all-girls culture—rooted in the notion that female empowerment begins with girls empowering each other—benefits girls by enabling them to build courage and confidence in an environment where female leadership across all areas of study is the norm, not the exception. While gender equality is absolutely possible at co-ed schools, it is more effortlessly achieved in an all-girls environment. Our students have distinct advantages that an all-girls education offers compared to their peers from independent co-educational (co-ed) schools. And national studies support this. Specifically, graduates from girls’ schools have:

Higher confidence in STEM

Graduates from all-girls schools are three times more likely to consider engineering careers than their female peers at co-ed schools. And nearly half rate their math ability “above average” or in the “highest 10 percent,” compared to 37 percent of their co-ed peers.ii

A greater opportunity to achieve their full academic potential

More than 80 percent of students at all-girls schools consider their academic performance to be highly successful, compared to 75 percent of their co-ed peers. Girls who attend same-sex schools also tend to outscore their co-ed peers on the SAT. ii

A stronger sense of empowerment

Nearly 87 percent of students at girls’ schools said their opinions are respected, compared to 58 percent of girls at co-ed schools.iii Graduates from all-girls high schools are more likely than their co-ed peers to say they frequently support their opinions with a logical argument, take risks because they feel they have more to gain and take on challenges that scare them.iv

A deeper connection to their communities

Graduates from all-girls high schools are more likely to have a sense of social agency and civic engagement than their peers from co-ed schools. They are also more likely to have performed volunteer work in the past year and have goals related to community service and justice. iv

Alumnae of all-girls schools report higher levels of cultural competency over their co-ed peers when asked about their ability to work and live in a diverse society. They are also more likely to help promote racial understanding and rate themselves as more tolerant of others with different beliefs.v

Better engagement in social and political issues

Young women who experience an all-girls education are more likely to vote in local, state and national elections and use their voices more frequently to communicate publicly about causes that are important to them. v

More leadership opportunities after graduation

Eighty percent of girls’ school graduates have held leadership positions after high school. vi

i Nilanjana (Buju) Dasgupta, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Amherst. STEMing the tide: How female experts and peers act as “social vaccines” to protect young women’s self-concept in STEM. June 2018.
ii Linda J. Sax, Ph.D., University of California Los Angeles. Women Graduates of Single-Sex and Coeducational High Schools: Differences in their Characteristics and the Transition to College. March 2009.
iii Richard A. Holmgren, Ph.D., Allegheny College. High School Survey of Student Engagement. Spring 2013.
iv Tiffani Riggers-Piehl, Ph.D., University of Missouri, Kansas City. The Role of Single-sex Education for College-bound Women, Revisited. June 2018.
v University of California Los Angeles, Higher Education Research Institute (HERI), December 2018.
vi Goodman Research Group, The Girls’ School Experience: A Survey of Young Alumnae of Single-Sex Schools.

 
At RPCS, girls occupy every single position of leadership. It's always about the extraordinary presence of girls, and never about the absence of boys.

 

"Being in an all-girls environment made it so I felt free and comfortable to ask questions, to have a voice in a math or science class, and to be in front of the classroom."* Adena Testa Friedman, 1987, President and CEO of Nasdaq

* Bloomberg, 2017

"Roland Park Country School taught me confidence. I was never afraid to speak up, I learned how to right wrongs, and I faced challenges head on. It helped prepare me for the real world."RPCS Alumna, class of 1988