Barnard College Top Questions

Describe the students at your school.

Kat

there are all types at Barnard. Cute girls, ugly girls, girls that dress up all the time, girls that never dress up, gay girls, straight girls, bi girls, athletic girls, non-athletic girls, girls that hook up alot, girls that never hook up. Seriously, I really think it would be hard for someone not to find ANYONE at all that they get along with, unless they were a complete idiot with no redeeming qualities, but then they probably wouldn't be at Barnard in the first place! Students are pretty divided along racial lines, but there is still definitely interaction. Most people are liberal. Me and my friends talk about how much money we're going to make, but its more in a wishing sense than in a concrete - (aka we're going into finance) way. Seriously, Barnard has something for everyone.

mayelin

My classmates are very different even though they have the similar background. Most of my classmates are white and range between upper and middle-class. Some are down to earth and are concerned with helping others, they understand if someone is underpriviledge. Others are not as tolerate and have narrow-minded views. But most of my classmates are very nice and they will go out of their way to help you out no matter if you are a first year or sophomore. They are giving and proud to be strong, beautiful Barnard women.

Cindy

They are incredibly intelligent

Elizabeth

Barnard students are brilliant, driven, capable, high-achieving; they consistently go above and beyond, both academically and with regard to extra-curriculars.

Kristin

They are eager to learn.

Carling

Barnard women are, in general, smart, driven, independent, outgoing, hardworking, have a healthy social life, can talk about anything from Corinthian columns to the election to new movies knowledgeably, and are overall just really amazing women.

Devin

the student body is not very diverse. there are a LOT of jews. as a German jew this is really nice for me but i can imagine that being anything else at barnard might almost feel a little uncomfortable. there are a lot of asians and indians also. in general, people tend to be a little more on the conservative side. but when you do find people from the LGBT community, these tend to be very liberal and liberated! there is a sizable amount of rich white girls at barnard which gets on my nerves, personally. wearing a name means a lot here. most barnard girls are politically active and/or at least highly aware and almost a little opinionated. the girls that go to this school are very intelligent young women which makes it a pleasure to interact with most any barnard girl. as mentioned before i have found the most wonderful friends here and i have had the most interesting conversations with very intelligent women here at barnard.

Emma

Most students (at least for freshman year) get very dressed up for class--it is New York City after all. Lots of very religious Jews, who tend to group together. Many, many different socioeconomic classes are present. Most students are fairly "left".

Rory

It's NEW YORK CITY. You will find all sorts of people in and out of campus. You have feminists, activists, people of all different backgrounds, from all over the world and country, all different gender preferences, different economic situations, GET USED TO IT. You wear what you want to classes, if you're a first year you have to live in the Quad, which are the residence halls inside campus, sometimes girls just roll out of bed and go to class in pjs if its a morning class. I don't recommend wearing an evening gown to class, but your style is you so whatever you feel comfortable in, just nothing trashy, please. You find the people you get along with. FOr me my motto this past year has been "Crazies attract the Crazies" basically because I find my close group of friends to be insane and I am too (not literally, but just in a carefree, fun, way insane). We're all loud and outgoing and somehow we all became friends on basically the same day.

Brett

Student's Body is very diverse, there are all kinds of racial, religious, and socio-ecomomic groups, therefore, whoever you are, you will not feel left out. Students wear very different outfits, depending on what your taste is like. You can never rule out meeting somebody who is racially, religiously or socio-economically prejudiced, but in general students are very respectful of their backgrounds.

Jacqueline

workaholics. but party-aholics, too. the range is huge. the secret is balance.

lucy

would appreciate more activism and work from the student body

Ruthie

The student body is extremely diverse in religion, ethnicity, geographical background and educational background. Barnard works hard to create an environment of acceptance. I don't think anyone would feel out of place at Barnard. It is more likely that someone would feel out of place in New York City. Some people show up in sweats every day. Some wear the typical leggings with boots and a skirt or sweater. Some people get dressed up for class every day. There is no expected dress code. Different types of students interact in classes and in the dorms. I think it really depends on your extracurriculars. If you choose to be part of an ethnic or religious group that is congruent with your own religion/ethnicity you will be surrounded by people who are the same as you. If you choose to branch out, there is plenty of opportunity for that. Four tables in the dining hall... breakfast: a table of swimmers who come over after morning practice; a table of girls frantic over their 9 am exam. Well, the dining hall is pretty empty in the morning. The campus is HUGELY politically active. I myself am not a politically oriented person. Had I known about the overwhelming political involvement, it probably would have been on the 'con' side of the list. BUT, now that I'm here, I have learned so much and I am a more educated and cultured person for it. There is a way to be politically aware without being overtly active. Columbia is LIBERAL.

Leslie

I'm not sure that there is a type of student that would feel out of place at Barnard. From what I have observed, there are many different types of girls at Barnard, allowing everyone to find their place to feel comfortable. Most students seem to be middle or upper middle class, but there are also a lot of students who receive financial aid and participate in work study programs or work on their own, making it difficult for me to judge what backgrounds many of my fellow students are actually from. I would say that most of the population is at least politically informed, and generally speaking the campus is left.

Devin

I haven't encountered any racial or religious problems. And most students wear what I like to call the "Barnard Wear". This is the common style of most Barnard students. It is a very comfortable wear that includes tights, ballet flats, and baby doll shirts.

Anais

a barnard girl is independent, self-sufficient and driven. Most are from New York and the tri-state area, or california. There are few international students, and it would be nice if this number were raised. They are usually from a very high socio-economic class, which can be intimidating if you are not. But they are not a snobby group at all. Barnard girls can be intimidating in the classroom, as they may be aggressive in seminars.

Amreen

Barnard is very diverse, although sometimes those diverse groups don't intermingle--although if you get involved in campus life (which you absolutely should) then you will have those experiences. I can't imagine anyone really feeling out of place, although those looking for the sports games every weekend and drinking constantly would not find that at Barnard. Students go out in to the city to socialize, drink, explore, etc. Students do dress up on campus--how you look does matter. Brand names are prevalent, sweatpants and a t-shirt/sweatshirt everyday is not common at all. Half of Barnard's population doesn't apply for financial aid-so yes, many students are well- to do, although there are also many middle class students, and a lesser amount of students from working class backgrounds. Students are definitely politically aware and some are active. Everyone is active in their own interests for sure, whether it be art, finance, business, music, education, scieces, politics, academia, etc. THe food at the dinining hall is good, and progressively getting better. Kosher and Halal are served.

Kris

Barnard has a really diverse student body. Again, this is coming from someone who went to a prep school with 90 kids in which I made up one of the 1.5 hispanics in my graduating class, so I'm not sure what other people might think. To me its certainly diverse. People here are from all sorts of racial and socioeconomic backgrounds, and while this may not be Lesbian College as many of my male friends like to imagine, there is certainly a prevalent gay community. The downside is that there arent a lot of boys, seeing as there are barnard girls AND columbia girls on campus. Its not too too hard to meet guys though. Just dont expect to meet tons through your classes. You have to join clubs and put a little more effort into it. There are also a good number of international students here, and I've found that a lot of students are from the New York area.

Ellie

While Barnard is quite liberal and one of the most welcoming environments I have ever experienced, it is not particularly diverse. Most students are white and middle to upper-class, and a shockingly high proportion are Jewish. (It's rumored to be up to 45%.) That said, Barnard does a great job at highlighting different cultures with an active Office of Multicultural Affairs, and blatant prejudice on campus is pretty much non-existent. Students coexist fairly harmoniously even though some races are represented more than others.

amanda

i think that there are a lot of different students at barnard. it's great for jewish students, with the Jewish Theological School program, great for Islamic students (being an all girls school with the benefits of a bigger university), great for lower income students (with HEOP, a program for NYC residents), and of course a wide range of other students. the city attracts a certain type of person, and therefore a certain type of student is likely to be found at barnard. a friend of mine once commented that you can see a distinct difference between the girls at barnard from columbia. we dress quirkier, and seem more "hipster". i feel that one a whole, however, different students don't typically interact. i was lucky to be paired with a great roommate with was indian (i am not), so i got to know all her friends and i went with her to a lot of events on campus that i wouldn't normally go to, which was great. even though the website says that more than half of the student body has financial aid, i feel that a lot of students come from rich families. students are politically aware, and most, if not almost all, are liberal (it is ny, after all).

Casey

very bright!! you will be schoked at the achievements of all these women. they inspire you daily.

Cat

Barnard's student body is a homogenous crowd, at least compared to my highly diversified high school class at a New York City public school. It came as a bit of a shock to me. Most girls, it seems, are highly social, very trendy and into clothes, and if you don't know anyone too well all kind of act the same at first. But they are all extremely busy and motivated, running around doing a million things, highly organized and intelligent, lively beings.

Blake

What similarities do I share with the Barnard student body? The three biggest ones: 1) we're women 2) We're intelligent 3) We're driven. However the similarities end there. Whether it is regarding politics, religion, class, hometowns, Barnard is extremely diverse. I would say there is a higher percentage of Jews, but it's new york city, it's expected. And we tend to be liberal, but once again, we're in nyc. When i'm in a classroom arguing liberal fiscal policies, I can be sure someone will have an opposing view and not be afraid to argue against me. When I'm arguing about the Iranian president's right to free speech in the dining hall, I can be sure someone will be there to debate my point. I admire my peers and love engaging in debates with them because I've learned so much from them. They are the future women leaders of the world, it's an honor getting to know them now.

Tess

Of course, as an all-women's school, there is a large lesbian population at Bnard. I would say most Bnard students are very active in the community and are socially-conscious: for instance, the Columbia community service umbrella agency is mostly Bnard students. Students who were all into frat parties and the "typical" college experience would feel out of place at Barnard. You have to be independent and willing to put yourself out there. Most people get dressed up for class - you don't see many Bnard students rolling ou of bed in sweat pants.

Hayley

Students interact well across race lines and and economic lines. Big jewish community at barnard that tends to seclude itself. Many barnard students come from all across the country. The school is world class and attracts women from all over the world. Barnard women are very fashionable and rumored to be gorgeous. (This is true!) Most people politically lean left, but there are plently of old money types too. Students talk about helping the world when they graduate, mostly. Though i would say there is a population that is interested in joining the finance and consulting world, and they are certainly interested in the money that will bring them.

Kristina

Barnard's student body is not terribly diverse. In fact, Barnard was rated as the third most Jewish college in the U.S. after Yeshiva and Brandeis...so as you can imagine, there are a lot of white, Jewish, liberal, middle-class girls running around. However, since I spent a lot of time on the Columbia campus and in the city in general, this lack of diversity doesn't really bother me and I interact with all different sorts of people. There is definitely a style at Barnard - students tend to look nice and fairly sophisticated compared to students at other colleges, probably because we are in the city...but you can still get away with sweatpants and a t-shirt. Overall, people are pretty friendly and it's easy to make new friends.

Claire

diverse, everyone is doing what they are interested in and are not worried about judgement from their peers but this can seem like they are too driven and don't ever leave the library. THere are about a million jewish girls at Barnard which can be overwhelming if you are not Jewish. People are friendly but it is hard to meet people because everyone is so busy and there is little community at the college

Alex

Barnard has a very diverse student body

Dylan

Barnard is very diverse- no one would feel out of place. Dress code caries- some students dress up to class, others wear sweatpants. I would say that students at Barnard dress up more for class than students from non-city schools. Most Barnard students are from NY, NJ, CT, MA, CA. Overall, not pretentious or money-obsessed. If anything, the complete opposite.

Megan

The entire campus is very very liberal, as are most of the faculty. Oftentimes I wish there were opposing views just to spice up the conversation. The campus is pretty diverse in terms of race, however for the most part economic status is pretty universal. Many Barnard students are from very wealthy families and are extremely privileged.

Avigail

Barnard has a huge Jewish community. Barnard women can self-segregate at times. Predominatly affluent. Politically liberal.

Ryan

I wish there was more racial diversity and more integration between students. The Jewish community is very isolated. I would mind having some Jewish friends. A student that comes from a low income household would definetly feel out of place. Students go to class as if there going to step onto a runway. IT'S JUST CLASS. "Different types of students" usually do not interact.

Louise

There is definitely a strong LGBT community on campus, and a large Jewish population. Most students are white and middle-class. Most students are liberal and politically aware. But all kinds of people are represented on campus. People wear really trendy clothes to class or jeans; there's definitely a mix. Most students are from the Northeast (New York, New Jersey, Mass), and there are also many students from California. I think most people would be able to find a niche here.

Katie

As is a lot of New York there is a very large Jewish population at Columbia University and Barnard College. I am always surprised how many extremely religiously devote people I meet here. I think this is because at Barnard you can really do your own thing. If you need to practice religious holidays no one will judge you. If you want to go out and party every night no one will judge you for that either. I'm not saying everyone gets along here, but in general people can do their own thing if they need to/want to without any criticism. And there are groups for everyone.

Pauline

If you pick your friends well, you should have no problems. I haven't had any.

Charlie

Barnard has a wide range of students. There is a gay/bi community here just like anywhere else but what I didn't know when I came here was that there was such a large Jewish Orthodox community. There is also a large Asian community. I do notice that many of the groups stay together and that does bother me sometimes. The students here are rather liberal.

Molly

The women at Barnard are incredible diverse and people are generally very accepting of one another. There is a large Jewish population and also a very active LGBT community. Barnard students tend to be very politically liberal, but there are definitely exceptions to that rule.

Alex

There is racism. There is prejudism. But where does this not exist. Actually I have found Barnard to be a very accepting school. YOu must remember that we are an all girls school so there will be drama but overall the school is nothing like high school. There are groups of friends but people are inviting and welcoming and most of the time genuine people. But people are people and you will not always run into the nicest people. Also this being a difficult school, the stress levels are high and people as people always are, are very competitive. But the school overall is wonderful and I have made some wonderful friends.

Kendall

Barnard girls are characterized by their refusal to eat in public. They look at you like you're crazy if they see you eating (quel horreur!) or if you decline to join their group diet (so antisocial!). Furthermore, they act as though not eating in public makes them somehow morally superior to you, even if you're thinner than they are (not that being thin makes one morally superior either; I'm merely trying to point out that they, like all living beings, clearly do eat, and probably more than I do).

Laura

Barnard students are mostly politically active liberals. We sometimes forget conservatives exist for the lack of them on campus. And those who are not politically active feel very out of place here and uncomfortable during the frequent politcial discussions. The hallways on my floor are covered with campaign posters for the '08 election right now. And the CU Democrats is a really active group on campus. There is a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds, but not much middle ground. There's a lot of rich kids that have been to private school their entire life and don't object to dishing out $200 for a textbook. Actually, most students here went to private school. There is also the crowd that has a huge financial aid package and couldn't afford Barnard otherwise. It's sometimes daunting to be around so much wealth and can be uncomfortable when your wealthier friends want to go out and do something expensive (as everything in New York City is!) and you have to explain to them that you can't afford it. It is a foreign concept to many students here to not have a bank account filled with their parents money whenever they need or want it. Some students dress up for class, but usually only because they have a job or internship right after or before it. And some students wear pajama pants or sweatpants. Most students just wear normal clothes: jeans, tee-shirts and sweaters.

Parker

Although Barnard is fairly diverse in all sorts of ways, it is predominantly left-wing and predominantly Jewish. The great thing is that, though you may be in the minority as a Buddhist or a conservative (or lesbian or black or from a low-income family... etc...), there's very little chance that you'll feel discriminated against either by students or by the faculty or administration. On the contrary, I think Barnard students are exceptionally open to different kinds of backgrounds and are genuinely interested in learning from each other. The one thing I have noticed is that there are VERY few black professors at Barnard. Maybe one or two. It's outrageous and the school should be doing more to recruit faculty that is just as diverse as the student body.

carly

Nice, a cool mix of people.

Veronica

The campus is predominately liberal, although we do have a vocal Republican minority. Politically, everyone gets very involved in campaigns and local issues (such as the Manhattanville expansion controversy). Students here are usually Harvard level students who are too laid back, undecided, or lazy to go there, and who spend their weekends alternately cramming for their finals and papers and cheking out the museums they get into for free and shows they get for half price.

Simone

see above. although I'd say people tend to be on the wealthy side there is a sizable population of kids on workstudy. most students are from the tri-state area.

Amelia

Partially because Barnard is so integrated with the Columbia community, there are student groups of every conceiveable type on campus. Most of the students are very politically aware, and the majority are quite liberal.

Isabelle

There are a mix of students, however, they are predominately wealthy and white with some variations.

Reese

There's a huge Orthodox Jewish population at Barnard. There's a lot of athiests. There's a lot of girls from poor families, but more from wealthy backgrounds. Some girls are into fashion and others just wear sweats to class. People tend to stick with their own cliques, but have all sorts of friends. A lot of people are from NY/NJ/CT and a lot are from CA.

Tristan

Barnard is somewhat diverse, although the majority of the students seem to come from the middle- upper class in terms of financial backgrounds. There are many different religious groups, although the majority of students are Jewish or Christian. African American or hispanic student groups are huge minorities. Many communities remain insular although many students make an effort to befriend students who are different to them. Many students are politically aware, and most are left politically.

Brittany

In terms of students and diversity, most people are friendly with oneanother, though there will always be groups or cliques: African Americans, multiethnic, Asian Americans, Eastern Europeans, Latin Americans, the athletes, the dancers, the trust-fund kids, the Orthodox Jews, the pre-med kids...there will always be groups people migrate in, but this is because they identify with oneanother, and thus spend time together. Its not exclusive, and people often have friends from all different groups. Thats what I love about Barnard; the diversity and the friendliness. You can be yourself and others will also embrace that, whatever you choose. There are Barnard women from all over the country and the world. I have friends from the city(Staten Island, Brooklyn, the Bronx), New Jersey, California, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Maine, Tokyo, India, Spain, Miami, etc. Most of them come from more liberal areas, because it is a very left wing school. Students are very politically aware and active, and take part in rally's/protests...speak their minds to make change. Last semester, there was a racial incident on campus where a noose was hung on an African American teacher's door. There was alot of protest and rally from the college/university, as well as the surrounding neighborhood to let everyone know that intolerance and hate is not tolerated...thats pretty much the only thing that is not tolerated. In terms of groups to join, there are so many. I am African American, so I attended a few BOSS(Black Organization of Soul Sisters)meetings. I was not an active member though, because my life primarily revolved around dance, both academically and extracurricularly. There is a student group for almost every racial, ethnic, religious, special interest group. There will be a niche for you, I promise. And if for some reason you feel that there is an area lacking, you can always start up your own group and get funding from the college. In terms of socio-economic status, there are people from all classes as well, because even though its expensive, there is alot of assistance given/financial aid. I want to say that no one would feel out of place at Barnard. I think there is a place for everyone. Obviously though, if you didn't like the city, didn't want a small school, didn't want all girls(though thats not as big a deal as you would think) and didn't want a liberal, opinated environment full of diversity, where everyone is different and special, then you might feel a little out of place. But only a little, because you would quickly find out that Barnard is like no other, and would be fun years of trying something new.

Sarah

The student body at Barnard is incredible; the women here are smart, gorgeous, articulate, and interesting. Students here are usually political aware and conscious of what's going on in the world.

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