Basically, the only REAL critique I have of Barnard is that it NEEDS to define its relationship to Columbia better. Do I go to an ivy league school? Sort of.. .maybe. The point is I don't really know. Half of my classes are columbia, I get As in columbia classes just as often as my columbia counterparts, but still many snobby people at columbia talk about how barnard girls are not as smart because our acceptance rate is higher than at columbia. This is elitist bullshit mainly, but it still bothers me. Barnard also gets rated a lot as if its an island, without all the resources that columbia has. (it was rated something ridiculous in U.S News, something like 29 in the US) this just isnt true in terms of so many things, including academics and financial aid (financial aid is GREAT) they've helped my family so much. So Barnard needs to just go for it and package itself as an ivy league school, because it is! Its professors go through the same tenure process as columbia, we take many of the same class, many of columbia departments are even house at columbia! So my request to Barnard is just to figure this out and define us more against these snobby people who think Barnard women are not as intelligent because of the acceptance rate. In reality our acceptance rate would be just as difficult as columbia's except for the fact that we have only females applying and not males and females, and this cuts our application pool in half.
I ended up going to Barnard because I knew that even if the school wasn't perfect, I would still be in the middle of New York City. As it turned out, the school experience itself was pretty amazing in ADDITION to being in the middle of one of the most exciting cities in the world. I will always appreciate having New York at my doorstep all through college, and I don't think many schools could replicate the tight-knit community of a small college in the middle of this urban jungle.
All of this is coming from someone who is introverted, somewhat socially retarded and who would rather spend a saturday night in watching a movie or reading a book. I resist change like a grumpy old man and perhaps did not have the smoothest transition possible. With all that in mind, I've found my own crowd of friends and I really do love it here. I dont regret coming to Barnard in the least. If I of all people can make it, I have no doubt anyone else can too.
Do not come to Barnard if will be unhappy if you don't get social events on weekends handed to you on a silver platter. There are TONS of things to do every second in NYC, you just have to get out and do them. I think going to an all girls school is a bummer, because I am used to having lots of guy friends. But if you really work hard to make guy friends at Columbia you will probably be okay.
Nothing really to say - however, just because Barnard is a small school doesn't mean that it has an awesome built-in support system. You have to be a pretty independent woman to go here and be happy/feel supported. Also you should probably like New York City as in a way you are giving up the campus feel in order to take advantage of living here.
We combine the tight-knit community of a small liberal-arts school with the resources that come with a big university like Columbia, which is very unique and special. Also, because Barnard is all girls, we each share a bond based on our experience at school with only one sex.
I've loved the 3 years I've spent so far at Barnard, and I'm looking forward to another great year as a senior. Even though Barnard isn't perfect, for me the good has definitely outweighed the bad. Given the choice, I would choose Barnard again.
diversity of student population, range of course offerings. it is both a small college and simultaneously part of a large university, which provides many opportunities not available in small colleges or big universities by themselves.
Barnard is awesome...there was no better place for me. No regrets in the least. The most important thing is to find a place that fits with you...and you'll know it when you find it. Best of luck with your college search!!
Don't be afraid of the all girls thing. I used to hate girls. But, I've learned that it can be really valuable to have a few close girl friends. The rest of the time, I'm always with the boys from Columbia.