If you’re a woman looking to pursue your academic passions before building your career, look no further than Barnard College. Perhaps you’ve already stumbled upon the college while looking at university rankings and wondered why Barnard’s ranking is so low. As a result, you might not want to apply there, but hear us out: it is a prestigious institution, and there’s more to what meets the eye. Keep reading as we look at all the factors that make Barnard a great school and everything you need to get in.
What is Barnard College Known For?
Barnard College is historically well known for being the first school in New York City to offer degrees to women. Situated in the Manhattan borough of New York City, it is a private liberal arts university for women established in 1889 and is one of the four undergraduate colleges that belong to Columbia University.
Since it’s affiliated with Columbia University, it is the most selective of the Seven Sisters schools and has set rigorous academic standards. Majors such as Biomedical Sciences, Literature, Psychology, and Social Sciences are popular among students.
If we were to use three words to describe Barnard College, they would be elite, expensive, and selective. But wait, it gets better. Barnard’s campus is beautiful with brick walls and grass, and it also has Columbia as another campus; you will always get the best of both worlds.
At Barnard, the world is at your feet because it embraces the responsibility to address gender issues in all their urgency and complexity, helping students overcome challenges and build personal strength.
The Barnard community comprises engaged students and encouraging teachers who work together in discovering and taking risks regarding new technologies, ideas, and fields. You will discover just how capable you are and transition into a creative, responsible, and resilient adult ready to serve and lead society.
Is Barnard College Difficult to Get Into?
Barnard admitted 1192 out of the 10395 applicants who applied for the 2021-2022 admission cycle. This means the Barnard acceptance rate currently stands at 11.4% and has decreased over the years. Additionally, Barnard does not offer the early action option, but you opt for Barnard’s early decision option, as this will increase your chances of getting in.
Although the Barnard admission rate is very low, it doesn’t necessarily reflect on your chances of securing admission. You should consider various aspects, such as your grades, extracurriculars, test scores, letters of recommendation, and more.
What Contributes to Barnard’s Low Acceptance Rate?
There are certain factors behind why Barnard’s acceptance rate is lower than most universities:
- It is affiliated with Columbia University, which is an ivy league school. Ivy league schools are the most prestigious universities in America and are extremely hard to get into due to their expectations of academic excellence, stellar personal qualities, and well-rounded community activities
- It is a highly respected liberal arts college and is part of the seven sisters schools. These schools are highly selective liberal arts colleges that are historically and exclusively women’s colleges
- It is a highly sought-after institution that offers an enriching and unique academic experience in one of the world’s most vibrant cities
- They are looking for women who really want to go to a women’s college
- Many females with excellent overall profiles apply here, making the application process competitive and rigorous
How to Get Into Barnard College: Criteria and Admission Process
Aspects such as your GPA, standardized test scores, extracurriculars, and mores are considered an important part of the admission process. Here are the requirements you must meet to get into Barnard:
Barnard’s GPA Requirements
Most schools have a minimum GPA requirement that you need to fulfill to submit an application and avoid getting rejected immediately. So, the question remains: What GPA do you need to get into Barnard? The institution considers GPA an essential aspect of your college application, and its average GPA for admission stands at 4.0.
You’ll need to secure A’s in almost all of your classes and be at the top of your class if you wish to compete with other applicants. Taking college-level classes, such as IB or AP courses, is recommended to showcase your ability to handle university academics.
Perhaps you’re a high school senior or junior with a GPA below 4. In that case, you can compensate for your GPA with a high ACT or SAT score to improve your chances of getting into Barnard.
Barnard’s SAT and ACT Requirements
Giving the ACT or SAT to apply to Barnard College is not mandatory. However, if you’ve given one of them, you can turn in your test scores, as they will be considered with your application. Barnard College typically admits students in the top 100% of all SAT takers, and the SAT composite score range is 1550-1425 for the middle 50% of students.
On the other hand, students who score 32 or above on the ACT (top 3% score nationally) are regularly accepted by the institution. The composite ACT score range is 34-32 for the middle 50% of students.
Barnard’s Extracurricular Requirements
Barnard College looks for students who wish to make it big and leave a mark on the world. This ‘mark’ doesn’t have to leave a global impact- it can also be personal or local. The university seeks curious, explorative, and independent-minded students who use their knowledge in practical life.
Prospective students are expected to have engaged with non-academic passions, such as thorough debate clubs, service work, or music competition awards. Whatever activities you participate in outside the classroom count as extracurricular activities, as long as you can tell how it contributes to your personal growth and apply a certain skill set to it. Still, not extracurriculars carry the same weight.
They can be divided into four ‘tiers,’ and you’ll need one or two ‘Tier 1’ or ‘Tier 2’ extracurriculars to improve your chances of getting into Barnard. Tier 1 activities exhibit exceptional achievement, talent, merit, or leadership, while Tier 2 activities are more common but still demonstrate high levels of potential and achievement.
Barnard’s Supplemental Essays
As with other schools, you have to write a personal essay submitted through the Coalition Application, QuestBridge, or the Common Application. In addition to this, Barnard wants its applicants to answer its institution-specific writing supplement questions. This is because these answers help them understand how you’ll contribute to their community both personally and academically.
It’s essential to mull over the questions and respond once you clearly understand what you want to convey. Barnard’s writing supplement questions change from year to year and become available every year in the summer.
Interviews for Barnard’s application are optional, and if you don’t request one, it won’t affect your application in any way. Still, if you opt for a Barnard interview and secure one with a community member, it is taken into consideration.
These interviews are first come, first serve and occur between June and December. For instance, if you’re an applicant for the Fall 2023 cycle, your Barnard interview will be conducted as early as the summer of 2022.
7 Tips to Increase Your Chances of Getting Accepted Into Barnard
In this section, we’ll look at some strategies you can adopt to improve your probability of getting accepted into the institution:
One excellent way of securing admission to your dream school is to portray what you have to offer and what you’ll contribute to the community and culture. Barnard College is interested in critical, curious, and intelligent thinkers who help their societies uniquely. So, don’t hesitate to showcase all you have to offer.
Take Challenging Classes and Aim for High Grades
As with many colleges, Barnard doesn’t state a ‘cut-off’ GPA, but it is known for accepting academically strong students. Most students who go there are at the top of their classes or get primarily As in their courses. Moreover, Barnard wants students who don’t shy away from challenging themselves and opt for advanced honor classes, such as IB or AP. Once you work hard, you’re bound to see the fruitful success of your efforts.
Ensure Your Essays are Meaningful
The Barnard Writing Supplements typically include two required questions and one optional one. Since the admissions committee wants to gauge how you’ll fit into the institution both personally and academically, these supplements can make or break your application. Consider the essays as your prime medium of telling your story. This story should showcase your authentic voice, character, passions, and strengths.
Be concise with the relevant information, and don’t try to overwhelm the admissions committee with too much information. Making an outline before you start writing your essays is always a good idea so you know exactly what to add. Once you write your first draft, show a teacher or a loved one and ask for their opinion. Write with intent, and don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through. Learn how to write an effective essay here.
Apply Through Early Decision
Around 55% of Barnard’s Class of 2026 was accepted through early decision. This means that you have a greater possibility of getting in if you apply through the early decision portal, and it increases your profile’s strength. Note that the early decision option is binding and shows your commitment.
Sure, there are some disadvantages to applying early because there are fewer financial aid packages and less time to apply. Additionally, if you get in, you won’t be able to apply to any other colleges.
Choose Teachers for Recommendation Letters Carefully
Barnard requires students to submit two recommendation letters from their teachers of a core academic subject, like Foreign Language, English, Science, Math, Social Studies, etc. There’s also an option to include two additional ones from mentors or instructors outside of the classroom environment. Since Barnard is a small institution with a high student-faculty ratio (1:9), it values what your teachers have to say.
Letters of recommendation represent the kind of peer and student you are, coming from instructors who can speak positively about your abilities and characteristics and know you well. At Barnard, professors and students collaborate closely both outside and inside the classroom. Don’t rush into asking a teacher to write a recommendation for you. Really take your time before you pick someone so you can obtain the most promising recommendation letter.
Thinking of your application’s narrative strategy shouldn’t be left to the last minute before the deadline submission. It’s in your best interest to start preparing your portfolio before your senior year, while test preps, extracurriculars, and academics should be focused on from the first year.
Go out and sharpen your mind while being involved in your area because Barnard admissions look for community collaboration and academic achievement. Participate in things you really care about.
Wrapping Things Up: Why is Barnard’s Ranking so Low?
Is Barnard prestigious? Yes. Now that you know why Barnard is a good school, you have all the more reasons to apply there. If you wish for a co-ed experience, you can always opt for some of your classes to be held at Columbia. It’s really the best of both worlds.
Barnard College’s reputation is stellar and contributes to the institution being so hard to get into. By ensuring you’re consistently at the top of your class and focusing on making a strong application, you significantly improve your chances of getting into Barnard.
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