What’s scarier than a no-bones day? Barnard’s approaching ED deadline…

This spooky, scary, spine-chilling Monday brought another SGA meeting. I hope everyone had a good Halloween weekend eve (the weekend before halloweekend? idk). With Barnard’s ED date (November 1) quickly approaching, SGA learned about the admissions decisions this year through COVID-19! SGA also received the updated Barnard thirst trap presentation with VP for Enrollment and Communications Jennifer Fondiller and Dean of Enrollment Management, Christina Lopez. Starting with introductions, then to a presentation, and finally a question and answer portion. Remember to check your emails for information about:

  • SGA office hours
  • Binder giveaway information
  • Entrepreneurship talk with James Gettinger (early-stage venture investor at Gutter Capital) 
  • Screenwriting to producing through Athena Film Festival with Bryce Norbitz 
  • Community Innovation and Entrepreneurship with leaders from Harlem and Washington Heights
  • And more! 

Moving to the presentation of the night, it seemed very similar to the one I watched last year when I applied to Barnard. There was a discussion of the four pillars that make up Barnard: liberal arts college, women’s college, being a part of Columbia University, and being a part of NYC. Demographics-wise, Barnard’s class of 2025 has 87% ranked in the top 10% of their class, 49% students of color, 18% first-generation college, and lastly 20% low-income/pell-eligible. There are 40 states represented in the class of 2025 as well as 35 countries represented and a total of 9% international students. 

The presentation then moved to virtual recruitment and the steps the Barnard admissions office is taking to appeal to students. Firstly the online opportunities for students to learn more about Barnard have expanded to include seven different virtual meetings to engage students: 

  • Live Virtual Campus Tours
  • Barnard Online: Live from New York – Live Virtual Information Session
  • The Bold Series
  • Intro to Student Life Chats
  • Barnard Regional Representative Chats
  • Opportunity Program Info Sessions
  • Interviews 

Some distinctions were also made regarding updates that are making this year unique compared to others: 

  • Test-optional
  • Questbridge
  • BSAS, Senior Interviewers and BAARS
  • Social Media: Use of blogs, videos, Instagram/Facebook, TikTok 
    • VP Fondiller mentioned that Barnard has received many applications already from students that fully discovered Barnard through social media! 

Financial aid commitments, goals, and priorities were also discussed. College is incredibly expensive and a huge part of accessibility is the cost which is why Barnard is need-blind with a commitment to meeting 100% demonstrated need. Dean Lopez also mentioned that there are many collaborations for students regarding financial accessibility with Access Barnard, Bursar, Lefrak Center for Wellbeing as well as the search for a new Financial Aid Director. 

Next moving to the Q&A section of the night, there were many thoughtful points brought up regarding the gender inclusivity portion of Barnard seeing that it is a women’s college. 

Christina Juste (BC 2022) asked how the language in Barnard’s gender affirmation can be revised to be more inclusive and clarifying for who is welcome at Barnard.

  • This aspect is voted on and created by the board of trustees so there isn’t much else the admissions office itself can do to change it. 

Steely Forrester (BC 2024) asked what the relationship is as a women’s college to identify as a woman since it is a requirement but also there are non-binary members of Barnard’s community

  • Dean Lopez and VP Fondiller both agreed that to apply to Barnard you have to check a box that says you ‘identify as a woman’ so while that wording may be ambiguous, it is for a reason to give everyone the space they need to apply and feel comfortable at Barnard.

Parker Watts (BC 2022) asked what if Barnard wasn’t centered around gender, what would Barnard be? Oftentimes Barnard is characterized as a women’s college and a women’s college only which overshadows many of the things students know and love about it. 

  • Dean Lopez touched on the significance of the four pillars: liberal arts college, women’s college, being a part of Columbia University and being a part of NY. If Barnard wasn’t a women’s college it would just be open to a much larger community and it would still retain the qualities that are emphasized already. VP Lopez mentioned the unique role of a liberal arts college within an urban city makes it a fantastic place to learn and grow.

Barnard campus via Bwarchives