Bryn Mawr College Campus Life Reviews

On-Campus Housing
Excellent

61%

Very Good

28%

Average

9%

Poor

3%

Terrible

0%

Off-Campus Housing
Excellent

0%

Very Good

11%

Average

25%

Poor

25%

Terrible

39%

Campus Food
Excellent

39%

Very Good

39%

Average

19%

Poor

3%

Terrible

0%

Campus Facilities
Excellent

48%

Very Good

41%

Average

7%

Poor

4%

Terrible

0%

Class Size
Excellent

70%

Very Good

28%

Average

3%

Poor

0%

Terrible

0%

Activities
Excellent

31%

Very Good

35%

Average

15%

Poor

10%

Terrible

9%

Local Services
Excellent

29%

Very Good

37%

Average

21%

Poor

10%

Terrible

3%

Academics
Excellent

48%

Very Good

35%

Average

13%

Poor

3%

Terrible

1%

Overall Review for Bryn Mawr College

Excellent

41%

Very Good

29%

Average

29%

Poor

0%

Terrible

0%

We Asked Students, What's your overall opinion of this school?

Penelope

Bryn Mawr is an okay school academically. US citizens who attend Bryn Mawr tend to have mediocre SAT scores/high school grades. The year I applied, the median SAT scores were 1960. International students who attend tend to have much higher scores etc. since internationals are held to a much higher standard as far as college admissions go. The math department dumbs down its major to A) cater to the whims of students and B) inflate the number of math majors so they can claim that the reason there are so many math majors at bryn mawr is that it is an all-women's college. The sheer dishonesty of that was a huge turn-off for me. Bryn Mawr mostly attracts women from very privileged backgrounds who were median students in high school OR women from lower income backgrounds for whom attending Bryn Mawr is a big deal (again, this applies to the US student population - the internationals are much smarter and of course, there are some domestic students who are an exception to this rule). There is very limited on-campus recruiting so if you are gunning for a front-office job at a bulge bracket bank etc., that will not work out for you. The very few companies that do come to campus are not prestigious. I heard the line, "this is the hardest thing you will ever do" in regards to Bryn Mawr coursework a lot - I would have to assume those people suffered from brain injuries as coursework is extremely easy and it is not hard at all to get an A.

A

As an alum, my experience with Bryn Mawr came with benefits and many downfalls. Like other PWI and liberal art schools, Bryn Mawr can be an incredibly traumatizing and depressing experience for students with multiple marginalized identities. This is especially the case if you're from a large metropolitan city background. It can hard to adjust and I don't think I ever was able to adjust to BMC's toxic culture (it's more than just making friends and "finding a sense of belonging" - which BMC likes to focus on). At the end of the day, I decided to make the school fit me instead of me fitting the school. It's a hard and exhausting decision and should not be idolized. From start to end, many barriers were placed on my path academically. This meant accepting that Bryn Mawr didn't have what could fill me up academically and socially. This meant pursuing other interests and alternative indirect paths to be able to follow my dreams/accomplish my goals (and endless fighting for what I want to do in life, not getting the opportunities I needed, etc). As an alum, I obviously survived - thank GOD! BUT, I did not thrive at Bryn Mawr, perhaps the way I could have in another school. I can't say that I will ever take my kids to visit this school as an alum. All I would be able to give them is compassionate honesty, and I would say "I made it work for me". PS - if those reading this can relate, - the hood kids, the low income kids, the poc kids who took on endless leadership positions and got 4.0s by making a way out of now way. Know that if you can get into Bryn Mawr, I'm sure you can get into many other elite institutions. You have options and YOU DESERVE BETTER. Even when you choose Bryn Mawr, you STILL have options. Make sure Bryn Mawr is not "making a way out of no way" pt 2 - because it doesn't have to be for you.

Kristiana

Bryn Mawr is an AMAZING environment. Of course there is always room for improvement, especially in terms of accessibility and issues of inclusion and exclusion on campus. But the people here are amazing, and the professors (at least in the English department) are wonderful.

Grace

Bryn Mawr is an awesome place to go to school. The Tri-College Consortium allows students to take classes at nearby Haverford and Swarthmore, which is great when Bryn Mawr's small size means that you might not otherwise have access to a specific course. Students can also take classes at the University of Pennsylvania, which has numerous subjects not included within the offerings of the other three colleges. Bryn Mawr has the closest relationship with Haverford, which is right down the street. BMC and Haverford students can participate in extracurricular activities and courses on the other campus, and can even choose to live on the other campus. A regular shuttle makes transportation between the two campuses quick and easy. As a small women's college, Bryn Mawr holds a unique niche in the collegiate world. Rather than being detrimental, most BMC students view these traits as the very ones they value most about their school. Being a women's college allows students to focus on their academic studies and form tight-knit relationships with their peers that might otherwise not occur. Despite numerous stereotypes about women's colleges, the environment fosters support rather than cattiness, there are plenty of men on campus because of the college's relationships with other institutions, and although there is a well-established LGBTQ community on campus, it doesn't dominate the social scene, and not every student is a part of it. Bryn Mawr's proximity to Philadelphia allows students to take advantage of all the city has to offer, although many students don't regularly travel into the city. Many professors at Bryn Mawr are fantastic, although everyone occasionally has a negative experience with a professor or a course. Bryn Mawr has several academic offerings that distinguish it from comparable small liberal arts colleges. Each first-year student is enrolled in a course their first semester known as an "Emily Balch Seminar". These writing-intensive courses are capped at around twenty students, and are centered around subjects ranging from Chinese civil resistance to the meaning and legacy of the musical "Hamilton". Additionally, the Honor Code prohibits students from speaking about grades with their classmates, which encourages students to compete only with themselves. Additionally, this Honor Code allows students to even take courses unproctored in their dorm rooms, with the agreement that they will do so only with the materials provided. Traditions are central to the Bryn Mawr community. The four main campus traditions are Parade Night, Lantern Night, Welcome the First Years, and May Day. Each of these traditions serves to bring the community closer together, particularly through inter-class bonding. Bryn Mawr is a beautiful liberal arts college just outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is home to a community of 1,300 intelligent, socially aware, and involved women. I'm so happy I chose to attend Bryn Mawr. While initially I applied here without giving too much thought to actually attending, when I visited campus in April, I knew that this was the place I wanted to spend the next four years. At what other college could I find buildings which resemble that of Hogwarts, or students who offer up sacrifices of candy to a statue of the goddess Athena before finals? Where else could I design a college experience to be exactly as I liked; both in a big city and in the suburbs, at a women's college or a co-ed liberal arts school, or even an Ivy League institution? I encourage any girls thinking of attending a liberal arts college to consider Bryn Mawr. It has so much to offer- top-notch academics, small class sizes, a supportive student body, and access to a city full of entertainment and job opportunities that's just a short train ride away.

Ivana

There is so much about this school that I will treasure for a lifetime. The class sizes are small, which allows students to really build relationships with the professors and with each other and form lasting friendships. Everyone is always respectful to everyone else and the students are well supported by the administration. The students lead each other and your peers come from all types of backgrounds and countries. When you want to take classes at other schools, they are very accessible by the Haverford Blue Bus and the Swarthmore van. Even taking Upenn classes are doable by the train. All of the dorms are unique in their own way and while pursuing a science major with a premed track, I was able to be involved in the music department at Haverford College. Bryn Mawr allows you to follow your passion with like minded intellectuals in all of your classes who will inspire you to be the best of who you are.

Kimberly

It's definitely a school for a specific type of person, but ultimately there are a lot of safe spaces for students of color, queer students, and disabled students. The reigning ideology is pretty liberal, and can sometimes get liberal elitist, but ultimately you shouldn't come here regardless of what political party you're in if you can't handle constructive conversations about problematic behaviors of all political parties.

Anu

Bryn Mawr is a women's college in Pennsylvania. It is a school of politically aware, academic women who love to get involved and are kind to one another. The students are friendly, the professors are helpful, the facilities are top notch, the food is ranked among the best college food, the campus is absolutely gorgeous and even the non-teaching staff are like family!

Bess

Bryn Mawr's academics and passion for knowledge is unmatched. The student body actually cares about learning more, and it is not taboo to speak about what one's learned in a class. I enjoyed the friends I made, as well as being a part of Acapella and working at the campus center's cafe- 'Uncommon Grounds'. I loved that job a lot. Personally, I did not thrive at Bryn Mawr, which is why I am transferring after one year there. I'm transferring because the campus resources, (health and dining), did not reach a lot of my needs. The health center closes extremely early, and sometimes turns people away. They also do not provide a lot of mental health help on campus, where many students of color who come from different backgrounds need it. Once, I needed help when I broke a bone on campus, and the health center was closed at 5:00 pm. I called them and was sent to a voicemail, and campus safety told me to get an uber to the hospital. LOL. Also, the dining services and staff are AMAZING! The food is delicious. But they close so early, and a lot of the times there aren't enough options for vegans and vegetarians. Lastly, I've had tough experiences with professors at Bryn Mawr. They have been stubborn, hard to reach, or very rude in general. That was only with a handful of professors though, so don't take my words too seriously. The community there is tough, sometimes it is hard to find a group to fit in with. I found that many of the students there were very fake, and did not show compassion or care to others. (But that's on most college campuses I suppose). other then that, great school. It just doesn't fit for everyone.

Anon

It's for a specific type of student- know what you're signing up for. Incredibly liberal/socialist.

Marita

Bryn Mawr College is a beautiful place to live. The campus evokes a Hogwarts style that makes everyone feel like they are living in the movie. Academically, you will have thousands of options. The community is very welcoming! You will never feel left out! Traditions are everything at Bryn Mawr. It is the perfect Liberal Arts College.

Madison

It seems like a really great college with very motivated students. People are really focused on making their experience there the best it can be, both academically and socially. There is really a community of people at Bryn Mawr who support each other.

Rachel

Bryn Mawr is a college with a small community that you have to work to be a part of. There is great ability to be heard on campus as long as you go through the right channels. So many clubs and organizations to join, but it is difficult once the semester begins so you have to start early in the fall. The campus is constantly muddy, so don't bring any shoes you actually like. The students are generally really liberal and understanding of race and sexuality which provides a comfortable atmosphere. The black students are a tight knit group and although there isn't Greek life, affiliation groups are easy to find. Clubs are easy to start at the beginning of any semester. As for academics, the STEM departments aren't the best, but classes can be taken at Haverford where they are more rigorous. Professors are hit or miss, depending on an individual's learning style.

Julia

Bryn Mawr College is a fantastic school full of great people. Its atmosphere feels very loving, safe, and welcoming to almost all students, and the college offers a plethora of opportunities both inside the school on campus, off campus, and even out of state.

Callie

Bryn Mawr is the right college for a very specific type of person. It's incredibly difficult to make friends, whether you're introverted or outgoing. The students are friendly, but at the end of the day, most go home alone. It can be incredibly isolating especially if you're the type of person who waits for people to come to you rather than being the aggressor in a friendship. People here are very antisocial, and although the administration and student government likes to paint itself as very inclusive, they keep their mouths shut when it comes to actual issues being discussed. There isn't a lot of progress being made at this school. The political atmosphere can sometimes be stifling, since the people who speak up the most are the most extreme, and no one seems to be willing to engage with them. The nearby college, Haverford, isn't much better, although from what I've seen they talk less about politics because there are strong "anti-SJW" and "SJW" groups on campus that like to shut down conversations before they can go anywhere. Off-campus housing is non-existent if you want a one-bedroom near the college that costs less than 1500 a month. PARKING both on and off campus is a total nightmare. On-campus housing is pretty, though! Pretty old. There are mice and cockroaches and leaky faucets and weird sounds. Granted, they've been fixing up some things lately (my dorm, which hasn't had drinkable water since it was built in the 1900s, finally got one- just one- single water fountain this semester), and they just built a new dorm building, which has much larger single rooms but is hot as hell and the walls are literally paper thin. You can hear every single word of someone's conversation next door. Usually the students aren't the type to stay up late and have in-room get-togethers, but it's been known to happen. Like off-campus housing, dorm regulation is non-existent. Someone spills something in the microwave? Guess what, it's your problem now. If it happens more than once, the hall might even get a delicately-worded e-mail about it from one of the peer advisors! That's about it, though. Wanna make the bathroom a cesspool? Who cares! Leave it to the janitors, whom we have sooo much respect for- so much respect that you can't complain when they smoke directly outside dorm entrances. These things might seem like small potatoes, but trust me, they build up when they are consistently annoying and consistently unaddressed. Administration is sneaky. You have to be 100% certain of what you want before you set up a meeting with anybody. One of the first things administration did was try to convince me that I shouldn't apply for financial aid, which was crap. Also, the school isn't need-blind in the application process, which probably explains the high percentage of students who pay full tuition. What else can I complain about, hmm... the food. The quality is amazing- it's more like restaurant food than college food. But the last source of food on campus closes at 8- 7 on weekends- and after that, if you get hungry, you'd better hope you stockpiled food or you're willing to go out in the cold and dark to walk all the way to Acme, the only local grocery store. Plus, whoever runs the food part of reslife is constantly changing regulations without warning AND without notification. Make a friend on the kitchen staff, because that's the only way you're going to know about policy changes beforehand. There is NO administrative transparency at all. Don't trust the website!! It's currently 2017 and absolutely none of the policies listed there have been updated since I was a freshman in 2015. Also, they claim that they're open for breakfast from 7:30 to 10:30, but what they don't tell you is that after 9 (which is when it used to close) they stop making everything except the eggs and bacon. Moral of the story: think very, very hard before you come here. I made a last-minute decision to come here because I felt 'right' on campus, but that feeling can and will go away. PS: PE. So much PE. What kind of college even still has a PE requirement?

J.

Bryn Mawr was not the school I expected to attend. I originally only applied because it seemed like a nice middle road between my Ivy League reach schools and my state school safeties. However, after one year here, I have absolutely fallen in love. I've had incredible professors that have encouraged and supported me in my academic endeavors, I've met so many wonderful people from a diverse array of backgrounds, and I've been able to pursue my love of theatre through performing on campus. Traditions tie the campus together and provide an unforgettable experience. Bryn Mawr was certainly not the school I thought I would attend, but now I can't imagine going anywhere else!

Stephanie

A good college, but for particular people. When they say it's small, they mean it - you can feel it. There are days where I swear I see maybe 5 people outside the dining hall, and days where I see a ton. Small wealthy suburban, easy access to essential stores/a train stop. The dorms are lovely and if you make the best of it, it's not bad at all, but my current dorm has really thin walls. Rooms and noise level vary even in the same hallway. Everyone mainly gets loud/parties on weekends, and most people leave campus to party. What I love most about BMC is the amazing support esp from your dean and also the sizable amt of opportunities offered to students. If you have a solid goal in mind (often involves grad school), you're set, and the school fosters fantastic minds. You really aren't taught by TAs but by your actual, book-writing, researching profs. Downside is that there are not as many class options and conflicting class times, but that comes with the small school package. Classes tend to be good and informative. For the most part people are kind and very intelligent, but I feel ironically that though the college is notably diverse in some ways, it can use vast improvement in others, like open-mindedness. A girl was cyberbullied and dropped out within a few months of my first semester here. Objectively I feel like the students can be aggressive, though their hearts are in the right place. They really value respect of identity here and it's great, but is something I feel people need to remember is still for some a new topic which takes education and patience. The honor code is real and people mostly follow it, but the dorm kitchens are a free-for-all. Overall, I've had both fantastic and terrible days while I was here. The student body has strong views and stands by them. It can get cliquey, and either loud or deathly quiet. But if you like the traditions, the small-scale world, the personal touch, and the east coast, Bryn Mawr is an incredible school and the campus is beautiful. Do know what you're signing up for though before you come, and take things with a grain of salt.

KyungIn

Definitely an amazing college experience as I wanted to be at a place where I can focus on studying yet am able to go into a more lively area (Philadelphia) if I wanted to. Bryn Mawr is definitely academics heavy, but you would definitely benefit a lot from it.

Susannah

Bryn Mawr has amazing courses and professors. There is always something unique and interesting to learn about- things I never even imagined you could study-. The professors are great and are pretty accessible. There is a lot of work you have to do, but this isn't a problem for me. I have found a lot of things at Bryn Mawr to be highly frustrating, however, and even though I am still glad I came here, I wish I had known about this. There is a hierarchy amongst students. Although they preach "sisterhood", which is problematic from the start because not everyone here is a sister, I have found that there is a culture of following a handful of the more popular students who happen to get involved in almost every application based position on campus. CDA's, Student Government, Customs, Workshops, etc. I have found that there is a large underbelly of students who go virtually unheard because of this, and many of them have interesting inputs and a wide diversity of experiences. Therefore, the idea of student advocation ends up rather being the self-advocation of only a handful of students. I don't blame these students and I like many of them. I just think it's bad judgment on the institution. Another thing that I felt a little cheated on is the idea that you will be supported by "the school" as a person. I have learned in my time at Bryn Mawr that it is a breeding ground for mental health complications. A significant portion of the student body faces struggles every day, and often the councilors or psychiatrists only exacerbate problems. I went through a rough period and finally called in for both a psychiatrist and counselor for appointments. I had to wait multiple weeks for an appointment with the counselor and two months for the psychiatrist. The counselor says inappropriate things constantly and I will probably stop seeing her and start going to a local therapist. Before coming to college, I was a very self-reliant and autonomous person. I would often come home to an empty house and lived with just my mom. I would cook and shop and walk to school myself. During this time, I was an incredibly happy person and people enjoyed my presence. When I came to Bryn Mawr, I felt coddled and yet unseen at the same time. I wanted to live in a single next year, but because we had a lottery, I was unable. I know for a fact that I would be healthy and happy again and wouldn't need the counselor or psychiatrist's help if I were able to have that autonomy back. Despite emailing my counselor, telling her that my mental health has spiraled and that I am worried for next year. However, I know other's who were able to get them with fewer problems than myself with sleeping in the same room as another person. (I am not an antisocial person- that's the thing- I'm like usually really friendly and happy but I've become a total pessimist- and when I try to be responsible for my own success, I am halted because Bryn Mawr likes you to fit a mold). I feel the single thing is just one example of the many ways I feel suppressed as an individual in this institution. There are many rules, both written and unwritten here, both sanctioned by the school itself as well as passed along through students, and they are not all healthy. People don't talk to new people on the sidewalk or even like go outside. There is no one having fun on campus on the weekends. People do socialize in their rooms and the dining hall, but I almost always hear gossip in these places. Overall, yes, the classes are great. Yes, if you are a queer white woman the clubs are great. Yes, it is a pretty campus. But if you are like me and you grew up navigating a city by yourself and not having many rules or expectations but still having high (self-induced!!) responsibility and happiness, expect this place to feel like an extremely stressful, frustrating, and academic summer camp.

Leah

After I visited Bryn Mawr I could not imagine attending another college. From the moment I walked into the admissions office they made me feel welcome. I considered applying ED, but had not done an overnight, so I visited a 2nd time and did the overnight. I was so glad I did! I loved the classes I attended, the students made me feel so welcome. I came home and applied ED! I can't wait to spend my next 4 years as a Mawrter!

Turanoom

Bryn Mawr is a great liberal arts school where the professors are very encouraging and the students are very goal driven and supportive. We have a honor code that really helps build trust and creates a friendly environment. So far, my experience has been amazing with all the different on campus activities, close relationships with professors and large amount of resources to help students succeed. Bryn Mawr is a beautiful campus and there are so many intelligent students who really motivate you to achieve your best. It was definitely an adjustment freshman year as it for everyone, but eventually I started to really begin enjoying college and the great classes the college has to offer.

Jillian

Being accepted at Bryn Mawr College was like finally receiving a letter to attend Hogwarts. (And trust me, I have been waiting a long time for that one.) Do you doubt my college is as amazing as Harry Potter’s alma mater? It has the same medieval gothic style, with a ornate Great Hall, central bell tower, hidden cloisters, and stone castle dormitories. There are traditions which certainly seem magical, from the Greek-chanting at Lantern Night to the carnivalesque May Day. Of course, there are no unicorns or giant arachnids on our college grounds, only well-groomed gardens and dog walkers. We may not be allowed to keep pet owls, but they are the school’s mascot, and are carved into building facades across campus. While there are no roaming ghosts, there is an imposing statue of Athena where students leave whimsical offerings. I have never met a teacher as creepy or cruel as Snape or Dolores Umbridge, which is good, since class sizes are small and teachers encourage students to visit them during office hours. The food also does not appear from thin air or come to life, though it is delicious, and is ranked number ten by The Princeton Review. Furthermore, Philadelphia is only a twenty minute train ride away, perfect for those who enjoy the muggle world but lack their own flying car! Though I may have to give up my dream of training to be a wizard, I am constantly amazed by my good fortune in attending Bryn Mawr.

Paige

Hard work but so worth it. Beautiful campus with great queer community and wonderful faculty.

Jordan

While I think this may be a place for some people, it has proved to not be the place for me socially. Academically, I've found what I love to do. The abundance of undergrad research opportunities and the support from the research professors is something I really appreciate about Bryn Mawr. Socially, I feel slightly isolated, but not because I've been actively isolated. I found that Mawrters tend to keep to themselves or within their close knit groups. It's a beautiful campus and the classes are quite stimulating. I find that I'm thriving here because I knew what I wanted out of my college experience, but would be a little more weary if I had been expecting opportunities to dabble in a bunch of different things. After being here for three semesters, I realized that this is not the place for that.

Mikiah

It is an amazing school! Academically I feel very challenged already, and the opportunity for other more challenging courses is definitely there, especially at the partner schools. The dorms are beautiful, food is pretty great, professors are always available, and I always feel very safe on campus.

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