Selecting the right university can be an overwhelming process for any high school senior. With so many college options to choose from, it’s important to narrow the field based on the factors that will boost your personal happiness and future success. While plenty of college ranking guides can help you choose a university based on your intended major or financial aid availability, we’re introducing our own list: the 50 best colleges for women.

We created this list based on data covering four key criteria: resources and support for female students, the percentage of women in STEM majors, alumni earning potential 10 years after graduation, and lack of sexual violence against women on campus.

To assess on-campus resources for female students, we relied on research from College Choice, which evaluated the top colleges as ranked by the Women’s Choice Award. In addition to determining the best support services for women, College Choice also factored in benchmarks such as female student satisfaction.

Next, we gathered data on the schools with the highest STEM majors from Best Colleges. We decided to incorporate the percentage of women in STEM into our ranking system as an indicator for which schools have made progress against a prevalent gender gap in science and engineering.

Additionally, we want our #WomenThatDo to be compensated fairly. Since few schools openly publish alumni earnings by gender, we referred to PayScale’s study on average earning potential 10 years after graduation.

Finally, we factored in campus safety and low sexual violence rates. We pulled data about campus assaults from Clery Act reports and then converted the raw number of incidents per 1,000 students. This system isn’t perfect; many assaults go unreported and higher incident rates can actually be a positive indicator that students feel comfortable pursuing justice through their school’s judicial system. To avoid penalizing colleges that actively encourage reporting and support the victims who come forward, we discounted this factor and valued it at half the weight of the other three data points.

Once we averaged these factors together, we arrived at the 50 best colleges for women. Check out the list below. Did your school make the cut?


As a woman, you deserve to attend a dream school that pushes you to excel, prepares you to be fairly compensated in your future career, and protects you from potentially dangerous situations. Because we believe college should be a comfortable and enjoyable experience, and have taken out the guesswork and created a system that allows you to choose your school based on factors that are important to you. You choose the path; we’ll point the way.