Bryn Mawr College Top Questions

Describe the students at your school.

Cassie

People here are incredibly diverse in every way possible. Practically anyone can fit in at Bryn Mawr. The only people who wouldn't fit in are complete slackers who only care about grades or incredibly vocal conservatives.

Maggie

Diverse, Confident, funny, audacious, friendly, supportive...you name it. Even though students are characterized with a wide range of characters, the students here are mostly sane.Therefore, you will expect little crazy scenes here on campus.

Emily

Bryn Mawr is an international community, and welcomes LGBT students with open-arms. We are conscious of all kinds of gender constructs and are constantly trying to educate ourselves and each other on issues of diversity. I come from a lower middle class family in New Mexico, and although I think a lot of Mawrters don't realize their economic privilege, I've never felt left out of anything because I don't have as much money. I met my closest friends during work-study as a freshman.

Jillian

The women here are either very intelligent or make up abstract themes about a reading we are going over in class.

Stephanie

My classmates are kind, considerate, academically-oriented, liberal, feminist, open, intelligent, and honest.

rachel

quircky ecentric strong willed not afraid to dress or act how they want

Megan

It really is the people that make Bryn Mawr. For the most part, everyone is incredibly nice. People will literally go out of their way to help you, say, carry a box to your room or something. I also like that although we can pretty intense, everyone will totally wear sweatpants or pajamas to class. The social honor code means for the most part, people will respect each other's stuff and each other (although we are also known to be passive aggressive). One of the best things about Bryn Mawr is the Customs Program. Although dorms are all mixed (with all classes living together, which I really like), the freshman on a hall are grouped together with two Customs people, generally sophomores, who sort of guide them not just through the first week but through the whole year. I think of my Customs group as a family of sorts- like family some people will be your best friends and some people you won't necessarily get along with- but you are all kind of going through the same thing together. I love the community at Bryn Mawr, since everyone pretty much lives on campus all four years, I've made very close friends that I think my friends who attend other colleges or unis where the students live off campus missed out on.

Sandra

They were the awkward one's in high school who came to Bryn Mawr College to succeed. Some are surprisingly dumb and some are extremely smart. Some really love this school and some really hate it. Most love it in the end because it has to do with psychology where you put a lot of input into something and you convince yourself you really like it. Honestly, I don't really mesh with the people at Bryn Mawr. I actually had to "change" myself to adjust to their personalities...not be myself.

Alex

Bryn Mawr is SOO accepting of sexuality and race! I've stumbled to class in pyjamas more times than i wish to recall... ok, im exxagerating... some people dress REALLY well. but for the most of it clean, comfortable jeans and pretty shirts/ sweaters. if all else fails, the bryn sweatshirt and jeans.

Emily

The student body is beautifully diverse, a real mosaic in everything but gender. All colors, all beliefs, all socio-economic levels are welcome on campus. If you are not open minded, this is not your school. If you want to learn from others and thrive in a diverse environment, you can hardly do better than Bryn Mawr. Students are politically aware, many are politically active, and there is a definite leaning to the left. The students I interact with the most, as a political science major but also as an athlete, are far more interested in the contributing to the greater good than how many digits their salaries will be one day. Mawrters are incurable humanists. This doesn't mean they all wear hemp and Birkenstock's; those are there, but right alongside J. Crew blazers and Banana Republic jeans. It's diverse, it's all diverse.

Alex

most are the type of girls that were just too "big" for their high schools and needed more stimulation.

Lorie

In all honesty, there have been clashes here and there in the past year based on issues about race, political and religious affiliations. The clashes though were dealt with amongst the student body withing the Self Governing Association. Everything that needed to be said was said in that forum (we have SGA meeting every Sunday). As uncomfortable as it was at times, I do respect the fact that everybody dealt with the issues sensibly and in an open manner. That's definitely a way better option than keeping it in and having tragic outcomes in the end. Bryn Mawr College is really diverse! I LOVE IT! About 80% of students come from out of state and 10% are international students! How often do you get to meet someone from Greenland or Lichtenstein!

Cameron

Racial tensions on campus are something of great discussion. It seems that in the past 3 years, a number of events among different students of various racial and ethnic backgrounds have sparked a heated and emotional campus-wide discussion on race, class, religion, and ethnicity. A republican would feel out of place at Bryn Mawr. Students make the general assumption that everyone is a liberal, democratic, LGBTQ-friendly, open, and aware person. Students wear whatever the hell they feel like wearing. People usually wear shoes, though depending on the class, classroom, and professor, shoes do sometimes come off.... I don't think anyone's ever headed to class completely nude, though I wouldn't be surprised if it's happened in the past. I believe that the majority of Bryn Mawr students are from the Northeasters US. There is a decent population of International students as well. Financial backgrounds are not often discussed. I'd guess that middle-class students are most prevalent. There are definitely a few upper class students who make their class visible (through cars, clothing, accessories...) and known, however it's much less likely that you'll find lower and middle class students making their class "visible" to all. I come from a lower-middle class background and often found myself in uncomfortable situations not being able to afford trips to the mall or eating out, or getting team t-shirts.

Dale

Groups on campus can be VERY pushy. Students wear what they want to class- from what the jcrew, ralph lauren, and gucci to bm sweatpants and t-shirts. If you want a football team cheerleader feel, DON'T COME HERE. Everyone on campus interacts pretty well, with some exception. A lot of the student population is international, so it's always great to learn about other cultures. Financial backgrounds are from all areas. Politics is huge at BM. But you don't have to get involved if you don't want to. Most of the students are completely left. But if you aren't, don't worry, people are usually very respectful for whatever your beliefs are.

Jordan

Ok, so Bryn Mawr is a hella expensive school. Most people here are, therefore, hella rich. But I wouldn't say that about myself, or my friends, and the Financial Aid office is GREAT, guarenteeing to meet 100% of demonstrated need. I know a ton of people here on full academic scholarship, through the Posse program. I think some BMC students try to act "richer" than they are, if you get my drift...perhaps by trying to dress snazzier, or tending to have their nose in the air. I think BMC can be very classist sometimes. Everyone is really accepting of people different from themselves. We have some problems with race, but I think its from general ignorance. Any other times there are problems on campus, its because we are incredibly outspoken (and somtimes stubborn) women. We hold fast to our beliefs, which are overwhelmingly left. Mawrtyrs for Obama is huge on campus, although the Bi-Co Students for Hillary group held some huge events which hundreds attended. I once heard someone describe College Republicans as "a support group"

Harper

I think that the Bryn Mawr community is very diverse in terms of religion, sexual preferences, political ideas. That is why we have a bunch of student organizations to represent all these different groups. It is very likely that you'll find at least one group you are interested in. You will feel out of place, first, if you are a party animal. You will feel out of place if you are a social butterfly or something. You will feel out of place if you are not the kind of person who will work their hardest (academically).

Mawter

Everyone says that Bryn Mawr is a "very diverse environment." I, however, find this to be not at all true. However, take this into account: I came from a high school that was so diverse that there virutally were not minorities. We were 30% white, 30% black, 30% hispanic and 10% Asian. So, understandably, Bryn Mawr isn't as diverse. We do have a lot of international students and we are very diverse as far as socio-economic class goes. On my hall we had people from the highest SES level to the lowest. I think that most Mawters are, statistically, from New York, New Jersey, Pennslyvania, Boston-area and then California. I feel that quite a few are from my area - Montgomery County MD. A lot of students are politically active, but I feel that the vast majority simply aren't, which is unfortunate. Some people simply didn't care about the primaries, didn't vote, didn't read the paper, couldn't even name two candidates. However, many many many people are involved in politics. Last year we had America Ferrara and Kate Walsh come and visit to talk about politics with us. (We're pretty left-ish).

Stephanie

I believe that a racial minority student from a racially and culturally diverse background or school setting would feel out of place at Bryn Mawr because it is a predominantly White institution.

Aarthi

I was engaged in a two-hour long debate about the social merit and detriment of Sex and the City. This didn't happen in a classroom...I was sitting on the floor of my dorm, eating chocolate, and arguing fiercely with my hallmates. That's Bryn Mawr. Intense discussions about everything and anything are spontaneous. Fights about polarizing issues are common. Political conversation is normal conversation. I love Bryn Mawr for these reasons. My friends and peers are willing to extract meaning from topics both mundane and important, and I respect and enjoy their company with this in mind.

Alia

Very very cliquey. Everyone has their own groups so it gets very suffocating. People are generally very bored on weekends if you stay on campus. Students have no social life. People are very gossip-y. the school is way too small for its own good- everyone knows everyone and its hard to avoid people you hate.

Louisa

For a school with such an emphasis on diversity, we are not all that diverse. There is a bit of latent racism that has reared its extremely ugly head in the last couple of years. The LGBT community is very vocal and active, but can be less than welcoming to those who do not consider themselves part of that community. I have heard that it is difficult to be religious on campus. Most of the students seem to be from the east coast of the US, though there are a large number who come from elsewhere. Also, most of the students seem to be from mid-to-upper middle class and wealthy backgrounds, which can be very strange for students from other backgrounds (My family is very mid-middle class, and the majority of my friends from my hometown are lower-middle class and working-class; it's weird to be with people who can afford to order-in food most nights of the week, for example).

Quinn

Bryn Mawr's a mostly liberal campus. There have been some racial snafus in the past couple of years, and the college responded by beginning a pilot Social Justice program. There's a range of socio-economic groups on campus, but in my experience it's not a big deal; I had a roommate who'd never worked a vacuum because she had a live-in housekeeper, and another who, like me, had worked AS a housekeeper, and we all get along just fine. A significant number of students do work study, so it's far from unusual. It's not a terribly religious campus, but with its Quaker past, it never had any sort of strong institutionalized religious presence to begin with. The LGBT community is prominant and supportive but not exclusive or overbearing. It's not a particularly slouchy campus, but it's not too dressy-dressy either; most mawrtyrs are more interested in being taken seriously as intellectuals than being pretty pretty princesses. Because we're all women, friends do tend to stick together, but that doesn't mean that social groups are rigid or unwelcoming.

Maggie

At Bryn Mawr, we have artsy women. We have more athletic women. We have politically passionate women. We have the fashionable girls. We have the capies. But these groups are actually pretty permeable. You can be part of different groups and have friends in different groups. But if I had to categorize Bryn Mawr, that's how I'd do it. There are a lot of women with money who attend Bryn Mawr. Bryn Mawr is on the Philadelphia Main Line and is not a cheap school. It sometime feels like a school of women who attended prep high schools and have vacation houses in the Hamptons or something. But there are the girls who work to get to Bryn Mawr. They take multiple jobs during the summer and try not to spend too much money during the school year. But I think, socially and academically, these women are on pretty much the same plane and are pretty hard to tell apart. Once you get to Bryn Mawr, your personal money doesn't really matter anymore. At Bryn Mawr we have many international students, though our student population is mainly composed of white Americans. We are really LGBT supportive and are predominantly politically left.

Nico

Students at Bryn Mawr, for the most part, like to be aware. There are many many awareness groups and events on campus. There are many religious groups on campus, and diversity talks every week, as well. Students at BM are from all over the place. There are a lot of international students (including myself) and a lot of people from the West-coast (one of my best friends) as well.

Meg

No student would feel out of place at Bryn Mawr. A Mawrtyr needs to be open minded and accepting of students of different racial, religious, LGBT, socio-economic, etc. groups on campus. Bryn Mawr girls are there because they are smart, they have potential, they work hard, and they want to learn no matter what titles of human division they can be given. The key is to be open minded and to learn about people you may not have worked with before.

Shelby

The student body at bryn mawr is very open and friendly (minus around finals time). Our social honor code makes the campus a safe place to learn and live. I have made some of the most amazing friends here that I know I'll stay in contact with for the rest of my life.

Allison

There is a fair amount of diversity here in terms of people with various religious, racial, socio-economic backgrounds and sexual orientations. There is at least a fair amount of interaction between people from various groups, maybe not as much as there should be. Students come from around the country and there are a fair amount of international students. Students are predominantly left.

Catherine

Most Bryn Mawr students are Liberal. I do feel that a very conservative (politically) person would feel out of place. Most students are either from the west coast or the north east, and they are usually from upper middle class backgrounds. Bryn Mawr students are very pollitically active/aware and very pollitically correct. I feel that there is a group for everyone on campus and if you can't find one than you can form your own.

Sarah

Women's colleges attract all different types of people, and everyone gets along for the most part. I love walking on campus and seeing Mawrtyrs I know, but also seeing grad students, post-bacs, Haverford and Swat students, and members of the Bryn Mawr town community. It's definitely a healthy mix of people.

Brett

I really like the student body. It is very diverse and open.

Sarah

Very diverse, which often creates tension, but is excellent for learning things you would never know from your hallmates, teammates, and classmates. The majority of people here are liberal and democrats. More than 50% of students recieve financial aid, though it seems as though the wealthy students are becoming more prevalent.

Andy

Bryn Mawr prides itself on diversity of all kinds, and is probably more diverse than many campuses. There is no one type of student that best fits the majority of students here as everyone comes from different backgrounds. This is a very politically liberal campus that embraces many different ideas and people, except for more conservative ones.

Emily

The students run the spectrum from women who would have been in sororities to women who were ostracized in high school. The honor code here makes Bryn Mawr a safe space for people to express themselves in the truest form.

Ryan

There are several religious groups in the tri-co and bi-co and even on BMC campus. There are many special events for religious groups all year round. The school is now non-affiliated, but was originally Quaker (which is where our Honor Code originates). As far as clothing goes, there are many different styles prevalent on campus. Some people opt to attend classes in gym clothes or sweats, while others go full out in designer clothing and freshly applied make-up. There are all different levels and styles of dress. most students are predominantly democratic, which could possible uncomfortable for republicans.

Jack

Great students, very dedicated to learning. Of course, there are some less-than-intelligent people, but you'll find such people anywhere. The campus is as diverse as an (almost) single-gender school could be, in my opinion. In addition, I haven't met anyone here who isn't extremely friendly and open-minded. And that's not just in terms of people in general, but among their peers at other colleges and universities, as well.

Annalee

Students here are very diverse in ethnicity, region, and socio-economic class. However, they are mostly liberals. There are some extreme liberals. There are many different student types on campus, though I see a few more upper-class, North Eastern prep/boarding/day school students than I would like to. Some wealthier students do not seem to comprehend that many of their peers lacked the opportunities they had as children, nor do they understand that many students had to fight a lot harder to get accepted and remain here. But there is little intentional class snobbery here, and many of the most disadvantaged students are the among hardest workers and the most involved community members here.

Katie

As I mentioned Bryn Mawr is a very nice place to be LGBT, or any sexuality for that matter. We have numerous clubs and organizations around everything from race to religion, and we try hard to oftn be in dialogue with the rest of the community.

Marissa

Bryn Mawr students are passionate and politically aware. There are a lot of close communities and clubs, but no one is exclusive. Almost everyone is friendly and will start a conversation on any topic at a moment's notice. There are no real "cliques." A "typical" Bryn Mawr student might be someone lounging in a T-shirt and jeans, constantly studying, but always approachable.

Chris

If you are looking for a huge party school, Bryn Mawr is not for you.

Sarah

One of the most positive social experiences I've had here was through the Customs program, which guides your living situation freshman year. All dorms have members of all classes in them, which I think is very beneficial for integrating between classes, but the frosh on each hall are grouped into a "customs group" with two or three sophomore "customs people" who guide you through the early weeks and provide support and friendship. This is a very helpful bonding process, and my best friends here are from my customs group. This isn't always the case, but it's an excellent support network nonetheless, along with Hall Advisers and other people in place to facilitate community within the residences. The dorms are awesome as well, by the way. The student body makeup is very different I think from most schools. It's very different from my high school, for one thing, where there were "cliques" and defined social stratification. That doesn't exist at all at Bryn Mawr. There are different groups on campus, such as the Self-Government Association, South Asian Women, and different athletics that have a lot of members and sort of have their own subculture, but no group has any sort of superior status over another. I think this may be because for one thing, most Mawrtyrs were either nerds or cool nerds in high school, and also most people are involved in many different activities. For the most part, though, people just have a group of friends that they spend most of their time with. Students themselves tend to be liberal, politically aware, and socially concerned. There are some conservative students on campus, but not many. Really the only type of person who would be completely out of place would be a homophobe or a Paris Hilton fan. Just about anyone else could find people like them and be comfortable here. To class, there are people who wear very high-class designer outfits, people who could be wearing their pajamas, and the majority in casual clothes. There are a lot of students from Pennsylvania and New Jersey, but at least 2/3 are from other states or international. There is a pretty high contingent of international students. Financially, the majority of students are well-off, and some are extremely well-off, but these distinctions are not really apparent, there are plenty of low- and middle-class students, and the college gives excellent financial aid. I myself am on almost full-tuition and fees need-based financial aid, and I've never felt particularly uncomfortable with that.

Sara

Mixed. most certainly. There are some groups on campus that are more vocal than others, but you've pretty much gotten everything. If you identify with something, are interested in something, most likely, there is someone else here who is also interested in it and has already probably started a club about it.

Laura

There aren't too many people that would feel out of place at Bryn Mawr. People wear polo shirts and jeans, pj pants, skirts, dresses, suits, exercise clothes and everything in between to class. Students here are from all over the world and from many different places within the United States. If a student wants to be active in just about any campaign it is very easy to be with our multitude of clubs. The campus is pretty left and democratic, but there are definitely republicans.

Crystal

The students at Bryn Mawr are mostly white. However, there are many non-white students and many international students. Many religions are represented here, but it seems that the 2 largest are atheist/agnostic and Jewish. I could be totally wrong, but that's what it seems like to me. There's a large LGBT community on campus. For socio-economic there seems to be mostly middle-class students, with smaller numbers of upper-class and lower-class students. All of the different types of students interact.

Reese

Minorities are generally accepted, especially LGBT. There are a lot of clubs on campus for different ethnic and racial groups. There is a kind of economic imbalance and there's definitely the sense that most people are relatively well-off. Dress is often very casual but it's not odd to dress nicely. Not everyone is preppy. There is a certain amount of de facto segregation but it's not universal and students of different backgrounds often interact comfortably. People do NOT discuss how much they'll earn one day.

Jerry

Generally diverse, open and accepting. That isn't to say that we can't be just a stupid as the next person. Students are vocal and active, in politics and other causes, and aware of the world outside our "bubble".

Tiffany

There are too many "others" it breaks down community and self-segregates. I am proud these groups are proud but for pity's sake work with out differences not make them the forefront of every discussion. Conservative, upper-class, White, religious women will have a hard time conforming to the Bryn Mawr of present day. Students wear everything from pjs to prada. Yes and No - Students of different types interact when they have to through clubs, dining halls, classrooms - in the public sphere yes - in private hardly ever. High Table - "Capey" weird girls who are socially ambiguous, androgenous and study classics. Hate everyone who doesn't read sci-fi, wears a cape, or can write in latin. Insert Culture/Race here - Pride - If you aren't in a culture/ethnic/race of those at this table - you can look but don't sit. The Loner - running in for something to eat before class - sits at the edge of an empty table and will leave the minute someone puts their key card down. Usually what happens in the upper classes. Freshman - Will stick exclusively to their customs group (assigned friends on their hall) until the morph into loners, high table or and aforementioned culture group. Students are mostly from NY, MASS, PA, NJ, VA, CT, FL Financially it runs the spectrum from super wealthy to low socio-economic standing - causes major tension. Most students are neo-conservatives posing as liberals. The kind who wear fur and are strict vegetarians. Students don't speak of how much they will earn someday - but it is assumed - it is the unsaid - the rich will keep getting richer and the everyone else - well there is teach for america....

Stephanie

Bryn Mawr students come from so many different backgrounds, it would be impossible to address them all. There are students from 48 states and numerous countries outside the US. Everyone has had a different upbringing, regarding religious beliefs, politics (though most students at BMC are of the liberal persuasion), financial situation, etc. Somehow, though, we have all found common ground in this amazing school, and I personally could not be happier to be here.

Steph

Bryn Mawr is a very diverse environment. There are all sorts of minority groups on campus, so there is a spot for everyone to fit in. Students wear whatever is comfortable to class, for most this is jeans or sweats, but some students like to dress up. Most of the students come from the North Eastern United States, probably the largest population of students are from Pennsylvania and New Jersey. There is a wide assortment of financial backgrounds present on campus. Most students on campus Democrat, and have a general sense of current events.

Alyssa

I don't think any kind of student would feel out of place at Bryn Mawr. We've got everything from super quirky to calm and cool. I was expecting that there would be a typical Bryn Mawr student. I suppose I envisioned that person to be someone a lot like me since I saw myself fitting into the campus culture so well. Needless to say, it is impossible to describe a typical Bryn Mawr student. I've met people who are the polar opposite from me. We all seem to share a desire to learn but other than that, we're as diverse as can be in every sense of the word. Although there are distinct groups of friends, Bryn Mawr isn't a clickish or exclusive community. Most people tend to get along with one another and students often belong to several social circles. People tend to become close with those who live in their dorm, students in their major department, students in their clubs or on their teams, and their co-workers from on-campus jobs. There are a lot of ways to meet new people and if Bryn Mawr starts feeling too small, students turn to the consortium schools to mix it up.

Dylan

LGBT are very accepted here on campus. Only hard-working and open-minded people belong at Bryn Mawr. There is a lot of class interaction - freshmen and upperclassmen are very friendly with each other. Upperclassmen really try hard to welcome the freshmen and to make them feel comfortable. There are many students here who are politically and socially aware, but there are also the few who aren't. However, what is most important is a willingness to learn from each other. We are predominantly leftists. Most Bryn Mawr students come from fairly well-off families.

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