Me, having sleep for dinner

For as much or as little as you pay tuition, either way, there exist many resources at Barnard for low-income students to survive. Bwog has compiled a comprehensive list of resources at Barnard to help you get where you need to go.

The most prominent resource for first-year students is the Barnard Bear Essentials Fund, which is financed by the Senior Fund. While there used to be a webpage with information about what can be bought by the College, it doesn’t seem to exist anymore. The fund is primarily used to assist first years in getting the bare essentials (haha, get it?), like soap, shampoo, and even better: winter clothing! E-mail the financial aid office asking about accessing the fund for winter clothing. They buy virtually anything–socks, tights, coats, gloves, boots–except sweaters for some reason. Get warm ASAP. Even if you already have a coat, use this as an opportunity to get an upgrade. On the same train of thought, Barnard also offers emergency funding for laptop damages. Don’t stress out if this happens to you–just email the financial aid office.

Ideally, this guide would be created so that you, as a low-income student, would never have to spend money. I will limit the possibility of spending to this suggestion: use Buy Sell Trade at Barnard. It’s a Facebook group that’s private, but ask literally anyone to add you and they will. It’s a great resource for cheap clothing and shoes, whatever you need. Don’t buy anything new ever again. Additionally, hit it up (or the Pay It Forward group!) when you need things short-term, like a saucepan or painter’s tape. There’s also Barnard Fat Buy Sell Trade so don’t feel limited by the overwhelming amount of Brandy Melville.

For those who are having a rough time at college, like many of us are, Furman Counseling Center is an excellent resource for short-term counseling. A number of staff at Furman specialize in trauma, eating disorders, sexual assault–just ask during your intake call that you be paired with someone with experience in your concerns. Furman also employs two part-time psychiatrists. You can get referred out when you’re ready, at which point, you can also request that your copay be covered if you can’t afford it. This is financed by a fund, so it may not always be possible, but Furman offers options for sliding scale or reduced fee therapy as well. They offer many support groups, most notably Women of Color Support Group which is every Wednesday from 5:00 to 6:30 in Elliot. You can find the complete list of support groups here.

If you need contraception, Primary Care offers free insertion for most contraception methods and cheap alternatives for emergency contraception ($15 in comparison to $40 and upward at leading drugstores). I got my IUD completely free with my insurance–insertion is covered by Barnard, while the type of contraception is covered by your insurance. If you have Aetna, it’s completely free. (Get the flu shot for free on Aetna, too!) Birth control is also $7 without insurance, which is much more affordable than other options. Plus, if you’re concerned about your parents seeing a bill, you can request that it be sent to your Barnard mailbox.

Dean Gedeon, the Dean of Student Success at Barnard, is here to hear all student concerns. Dean Tollinchi, who formerly held her role, began a textbook initiative in which she provided students with textbooks, and while I’m not sure if this is still possible, it is definitely worth talking to her about. Her office is in 105 Milbank for interested students.

If you go to financial aid for a textbook, you have probably, on more than one occasion, been redirected to the FLIP Library. While it is a resource that exists, the Milstein Center for Teaching and Learning offers many more exciting programs and opportunities. IMATS hosts workshops every Friday at 1 pm on computer programs, like Photoshop and Premiere Pro, and along with equipment that is already open to the general public, you can check out more exclusive after completing certain workshops. The Design Center allows students to try their hand at arts and crafts, so long as they complete training.

Lots of other low-income upperclassmen are also a great resource and always 100% willing to talk to younger students. There are many mentorship programs you might have missed out on, but the WBAR show Primerosas Podcast offers advice and resources to low-income students at both Barnard and Columbia. It plays 6-8 on Saturday mornings.

Y’all sleeping on these resources via Public Domain Pictures