News | Administration

Barnard admit rate drops to 21 percent

Updated, 10:07 p.m.

Barnard sent acceptance letters to just 21 percent of its applicants on Monday, the lowest admit rate in the college’s history and the lowest among U.S. women’s colleges.

Dean of Admissions Jennifer Fondiller said she sees the rising applicant numbers and decreasing admissions rates as signs of a “strong upward trajectory” for the college, which she attributed to efforts to make the college more visible and more accessible to prospective students.

“There are pockets of the country out there, and even in the New York area, who haven’t heard of us,” Fondiller said. “When they think of schools in New York City, they think of Columbia or NYU.”

“There are more and more strong students now realizing that Barnard could be a fit for them,” she said.

Last year, Barnard’s admit rate was 24.9 percent. Because of a higher-than-expected yield, the class of 2015 rounded out at 610 students. With this year’s 3.9 percent admit rate decrease, the Office of Admissions expects the class of 2016 to return to the usual size of 580 to 590 students.

While many colleges, including Columbia College and the School of Engineering and Applied Science, have eliminated the suspense of waiting for the mailman with electronic acceptances, Barnard still notifies its applicants by mail. The 1,141 admitted students should receive the envelopes Tuesday or Wednesday.

The lower admit rate is also a sign of increased programming directed at high school juniors. Students can come to Barnard for an open house in either the fall or the spring, where they participate in workshops ranging from how to craft a résumé to how to write a college essay.

Fondiller also thinks that in addition to Barnard visiting high schools directly, the college’s “stellar students” are going back to their high schools and talking about Barnard more often. The number of applicants for the class of 2016 was 17.8 percent higher than the number of applicants two years ago.

Applicants also demonstrated more interest in the female-focused leadership projects that President Debora Spar has promoted, like the Athena Scholars Program, Fondiller said.

“It makes sense that the rate has decreased, especially as society keeps putting more and more emphasis on having a college education,” Liora Hostyk, BC ’14, said.

Hostyk said that she thinks that the number of applicants will continue to increase, especially due to the increased publicity for the college generated by recent events featuring Oprah Winfrey and Gloria Steinem, as well as President Barack Obama’s upcoming commencement address in May.

Rishu Chen, BC ’13, agreed, noting that “more and more people realize there is another option” in a single-sex school.

“I think going to a women’s college nowadays is a precious experience,” she said.

jessica.stallone@columbiaspectator.com

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Anonymous posted on

My daughter, hopefully, will receive one of those precious acceptance letters in the next few days, or perhaps she will be rejected or ,once again, be offered a wait list status. Dean Fondiller certainly has a lot to be thankful for in the quality  and quantity of the applicants. I am not sure, however, the accolades belong to any specific initiative of President Spar or to the ravings of returning students or anything other than plain demographics, the ease of the common application and the fact that a lot more applicants were rejected at their first choice college selections.The reduction in the acceptance rate, backed up with a large waiting list, ensures that the class of 2016 will be the desired size. The statistics do not tell the full story yet. If too many of those accepted go elsewhere and too many of the admits are ultimately from the waiting list those pats on the back may need to be rethought.

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Anonymous posted on

I completely agree harry.  I think that it is disgusting the way the spec disre*spec*ts those who are not accepted.  To gloat over their ernestly failed attempts to get into Barnard is nothing short of de*spec*able.  How can they endorse such social darwinism: To accept, nay, to revel in the rejection of those who were not "fit" enough, as if some grand scheme of "progress" not only excuses, but justifies the degradation of those deemed "inferior".  If the hunger games were real, is it going to far to suggest that the spec would celebrate the elite victors, and scoff at those who were concerned for the welfare of those who were inferior?

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Anonymous posted on

Please go find another news organization to bitch about. We are all really sick of your stupid commentary.

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Anonymous posted on

I just got my acceptance packet in the mail today! :)

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Anonymous posted on

WOOT HERE I COME BARNARD CLASS OF 2016!

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