Deep Springs College to Accept Applications From Women for Its Fall 2013 Entering Class

Deep Springs College, in a secluded valley in the eastern California desert, is a highly selective educational institution which has a student body of only 26. The nearest town is 40 miles from campus. Students agree to stay on campus during the full academic term. Drugs and alcohol are strictly prohibited.

The college does not grant bachelor’s degrees but after two years at Deep Springs, a large percentage of the student body transfers to highly selective undergraduate institutions. In the past 10 years, 16 percent of students transferred to Harvard University, 13 percent to the University of Chicago, 7 percent to Yale, and 7 percent to Brown. In the past five years, the college had produced one Rhodes Scholar and five Truman Scholars. Tuition at the two-year school is free. But all students are required to work 20 hours a week at the college’s cattle ranch and alfalfa farm.

Deep Springs College students learning how to vaccinate calves in the college’s cattle herd

The founder of the college, Lucien L. Nunn made a fortune providing electricity to miners throughout the West. He envisioned a college where young men could learn and govern themselves without the distractions of modern society. Throughout Deep Springs College’s 95-year existence, only men have been admitted. However, last fall the trustees of the school voted to admit women, but no schedule was announced on a timetable for the transition to coeducation.

Now the trustees have announced that, despite a legal challenge to the transition to coeducation, applications from women will now be accepted for the class that will enter the college in the fall of 2013. In a statement the college said, “During a transitional period, the college plans to prioritize achieving gender balance in the student body. We plan to admit a coeducational class in 2013 that is at least one half female.”

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