How Does Spelman College Rate in Selectivity With High-Ranking, Predominantly White Women’s Colleges?

Since 1960 the number of women’s colleges in the United States has dropped by about 75 percent. The difficulty that the nation’s highest-ranking women’s colleges had in attracting students in the late years of the twentieth century is illustrated by the fact that in 1995 Mount Holyoke College accepted more than 61 percent of all women who applied. In 2000 Bryn Mawr College accepted 61.5 percent of all applicants. More than half of all applicants to Smith were accepted. Even Wellesley College, the highest-ranked women’s college, was having a difficult time attracting students. In 2000 Wellesley accepted nearly 43 percent of all applicants. Spelman accepted 53 percent of all applicants in the year 2000. That year the top-ranking coeducational institutions accepted less than 20 percent of all applicants.

But since 2000 selectivity at Spelman and the high-ranking, predominantly white women’s colleges has improved. In 2005 Mount Holyoke accepted 52.3 percent of all applicants. Bryn Mawr improved to 46.3 percent. Smith has stayed about the same at 48 percent. Wellesley accepted 32.8 percent of its applicants in 2005, down from 42.7 percent just five years earlier. Spelman too has seen a vast improvement in its selectivity. Since 2000 Spelman has seen a 39 percent rise in applications. In 2005 Spelman accepted 39 percent of all applicants, down from 53 percent in 2000. Today, Spelman is more selective than three of the four highest-ranked women’s colleges.