Embattled Sweet Briar named to list of top women’s colleges
Raleigh, N.C.-based College Choice has named three Virginia’s schools, including embattled Sweet Briar College, to its first ranking of the best U.S. women's colleges.
Hollins University in Roanoke ranked 24th on the list of 40 colleges while Mary Baldwin College in Staunton was 29th and Sweet Briar was 30th. They are the only women’s colleges in the commonwealth.
College Choice is an online college search resource.
Sweet Briar’s board has announced plans to close the 114-year-old college this summer because of financial problems. A group of alumnae, however, have challenged the decision, and Amherst County Commonwealth’s Attorney Ellen Bowyer filed a lawsuit on behalf of the commonwealth to stop the closing.
“Sweet Briar’s campus offers an immense, peaceful and scenic landscape for students to be inspired, find their passion and grow,” College Choice says in its description of the school. “Sweet Briar ensures a student-centered approach to education with average class size at 11 students. In addition Sweet Briar’s curriculum provides a wide scope of study combining liberal arts with career preparation and individual development and offering 46 degree plan options.”
At Hollins, College Choice says students “get the best of both worlds,” being near the Blue Ridge Mountains but also having accept to Roanoke cultural amenities.
“Hollins offers a student-centered approach to a liberal arts education, giving young women opportunities to grow through exploring, creating, collaborating, and active, engaged learning, developing a strong self-concept that paves the way for their success in career and life,” the listing says.
College Choice describes Mary Baldwin as “rooted in tradition and yet committed to personal fulfillment of its students, as well as their professional success,” noting that the school’s offerings include ROTC programs.
The top school on the list was Wellesley College in Wellesley, Mass., followed by Smith College in Northampton, Mass., and Barnard College in New York.