After a Seven-Year Legal Battle, It Appears That Coeducation Will Be Coming to Deep Springs College

Deep Springs College, in a secluded valley in the eastern California desert, is a highly selective educational institution which has only 26 students. 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. 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.

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 100-year history, only men have been admitted. However, in 2011 the trustees of the school voted to admit women.

Some alumni of Deep Spring College initiated litigation to stop the move toward co-education and the legal battle has been waged ever since. In April of this year an appeals court ruled that the college could move ahead with its plans to admit women. The California Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal in the case.

After the California Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal, Dave Hitz, chair of the board of trustees stated that “the Trustees are pleased that the California Supreme Court decided not to review our case. This clears the way for coeducation at Deep Springs. The trust can now be modified to read, ‘for the education of promising young people.'”

However, the college was not sure when coeducation would actually become a reality. Last week, the board of trustees of Deep Springs College voted to admit women for the class that will enter in the fall of 2018.

Filed Under: EnrollmentsNews


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