Why choose an all-girls school?

Because when girls feel known, understood, and challenged, they have the power to be their very best selves.
 
We believe in the power of an all-girls education. A wealth of research demonstrates that girls' schools prepare girls for success in a co-ed world, inspiring them to develop higher expectations for themselves, take calculated risks in the classroom, elect more advanced math and science classes, and develop critical leadership skills.

In other words: girls' schools help girls thrive. 

 

The Girls' School Advantage

Research sourced by the National Coalition of Girls' Schools has found: 

All-girls learning environments create a culture of achievement.

"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?

All-girls environments empower students to become bold leaders.

"93% of girls’ school grads say they were offered greater leadership opportunities than peers at co-ed schools; 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

Girls' schools foster interests in underrepresented STEM subjects.

Girls' school grads are 6 times more likely to consider majoring in math, science, and technology compared to girls who attend co-ed schools — and 3 times more likely to consider engineering careers.

—Goodman Research Group, The Girls' School Experience: A Survey of Young Alumnae of Single-Sex Schools
—Dr. Linda Sax, UCLA, Women Graduates of Single-Sex and Co-Educational High Schools: Differences in Their Characteristics and the Transition to College

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 co-ed schools.”

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

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

"Girls’ school students are more likely than their female peers at co-ed 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

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."

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

Girls' school students are highly motivated.

"Students at all-girls schools have higher aspirations and greater motivation than their female peers at coed independent and public schools. 98.7% 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

In all-girls schools, students are supported by a community of peers, teachers, and administrators.

Students at all-girls schools experience higher levels of support at school: 95% report feeling supported by teachers (compared to 84% of girls at co-ed schools), 90% feel supported by other students (versus 73% of girls at co-ed schools), and 83% feel supported by their school administrators (versus 63% of girls at co-ed schools).

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

At Agnes Irwin, we know girls.

Our curriculum and programming, powered by the research and efforts of our very own Center for the Advancement of Girls, ensure that everything we do is through the lens of what is best for girls. We know how they learn, how their brains develop, and what their social and emotional needs are, every step of the way. 

Leadership Development

We know every girl can lead. That's why our girls learn to see themselves as leaders from the first day of PreK — and why we created our Living Leadership in the Lower School program in partnership with Bryn Mawr College researchers. 

Learn more

Empowering Girls

"It is important for girls to see themselves as leaders, because that leadership identity is more likely to carry into adulthood when it is ingrained in how a female defines herself from the beginning," our leadership wrote in a Philadelphia Inquirer op-ed.

Read the article

Driven by Research

Agnes Irwin's Center for the Advancement of Girls is the force that infuses girl-centered research into our educational experience and works to empower girls and young women in our community and beyond. Think of it as our superpower.

Learn more

 

Agnes Irwin Voices

You don't have to take our word for it — hear about the Agnes Irwin difference from our community.

Hads Holmgren ’98

Hads Holmgren '98

FBI Unit Chief of Transactional Organized Crime
"Agnes Irwin prepared me for my role at the FBI. The leadership, collaboration, and organizational skills I learned at AIS prepared me to confidently deliver intelligence briefings — sometimes as the only female at the table." 

 

 

Donna Lindner

Donna Lindner

Lower School Director
Parent, Class of 2016

"When we started to see our daughter respond negatively to gender bias in her co-ed classroom as early as first grade, we began to rethink our decision to send her to a co-ed school. ... I am so grateful that we figured out sooner rather than later the importance and impact of a single-sex education at the youngest of ages for girls. As a result of coming to Agnes Irwin, my daughter knows who she is, knows her potential, and uses the power of her voice to make a difference in her life and the lives of others."

CC ’19

CC

Class of 2019

"When I started looking at high schools, I was really nervous about the idea of an all-girls school — all that concentrated estrogen. But when I visited AIS, I loved it... and that 'concentrated estrogen' has really been concentrated girl power. I've never felt more backed up and supported by every person I know."

Elizabeth ’19

Elizabeth

Class of 2019

"You have the freedom to be more outspoken, but not consciously. You don't notice the effects of an all-girls' education until others point out those positive characteristics in you." 


The Journey Starts Here

Discover how an Agnes Irwin empowers girls to experience the joy of discovering their best selves.