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General Policies

Need-Based Aid

All federal financial aid administered by Barnard College is based on demonstrated need as determined by the Federal Methodology formula. However, need for institutional aid is determined using a Barnard Need Analysis formula which takes into consideration all sources of income and all assets. Barnard gives no merit scholarships. The College believes that the primary responsibility for financing educational costs rests with each student's family, and all College aid is supplementary to family resources. Once need has been established, Barnard meets the full-need of all eligible students with a combination of grant, loan, and job opportunities. A student who is admitted to Barnard with a Barnard College Grant may expect grants in future years, provided that she continues to meet economic and academic eligibility and reapplies each year.  Awards are for the academic year only. A student can receive Barnard aid for a maximum of eight semesters. Each semester a student is enrolled is counted towards the eight semesters of eligibility whether or not aid was received.

Incoming first-year students are not eligible to apply for institutional need-based aid after an admission decision has been made.  If you think you will need financial aid to attend Barnard, you must apply at the same time you apply for admission.

Academic Requirements

All students who receive financial aid, whether from federal, state, or Barnard College funds, must be enrolled degree candidates in good standing. They must also be making satisfactory academic progress toward the degree. Students will be considered to be making satisfactory progress if they have maintained a 2.0 cumulative GPA and have completed a sufficient number of courses to proceed to the next academic level (sophomore, junior, senior). A student cannot receive aid for more than two semesters at any given level. The minimum standards for satisfactory progress are as follows: 

Academic Level: Points Completed:
First-Year Fewer than 24
Sophomore 24-51
Junior 52-85
Senior 86 or more

If the aid recipient has not met these criteria in the prior year, she will lose aid eligibility. A student must be taking at least 12 points each semester to receive financial aid from the College. The only exceptions are second-semester seniors who require less than a full-time course load in order to graduate and students enrolled in the JTS double degree program. A second semester senior who needs fewer than 12 points to graduate may be eligible for a portion of her grant if she is registered for a minimum of 6 points. Eligibility will depend upon the number of points taken and the total Family Contribution. Half-time students are eligible for aid from some federal and state programs. No student, except under extraordinary circumstances, will receive more than a total of eight semesters of financial aid. Requests for a ninth term of aid must be made in writing to the Dean of Studies.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Student's academic records are reviewed every semester by the Committee on Programs and Academic Standing in accordance with the academic standard defined in the Barnard College catalog.  For the purposes of federal financial aid, students may not receive assistance for more than one semester while on academic probation and may not receive assistance if her cumulative grade point average is less than "C."

Resident or Commuter Status

All students who live on campus will have their financial aid based on a full resident budget. This includes a multiple room and the standard meal plan for first year students and the quad meal plan for upperclass. Students who decide to live off-campus or commute from home will have their Barnard grant reduced by approximately $12,000 to reflect the costs of a commuter. The parent contribution will remain the same. It is the student's responsibility to notify Financial Aid when she decides not to reside on campus. A student who chooses to reside in a single room must cover the difference between the cost of a single and a double room from her own resources.

Aid to International Students

Students who are not U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents are considered international students. Barnard College is able to award a small number of need-based scholarships for international students in each first-year entering class. Applicants who wish to be considered for aid must complete the College Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile Form. International students who did not apply for financial aid at the time of admission will not be eligible for financial assistance in future years at Barnard. Barnard will continue to aid renewal students who demonstrate need and were admitted as financial aid applicants. Refer to the application instructions for international students.

Readmitted Students

An aid recipient whose withdrawal from the College is approved in writing before she leaves may be considered for financial aid as a renewal student if she meets the published deadline of April 28th for submission of application materials. Students must be re-admitted by the Dean of Studies Office before their financial aid decision will be released. If while on a leave of absence, a student matriculates and receives aid for courses at another institution, the number of semesters of Barnard grant aid will be reduced accordingly.  A readmitted student will not be eligible for financial aid if she is in default on a Federal Perkins Loan or a Federal Direct Loan or if she owes a repayment on a Federal Pell Grant or a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant. 

Transfer Student Aid Policy

When considering transfer students, Barnard has limited funding available.  Spring transfers are not eligible for Barnard College Grant aid.  Fall transfers are reviewed with an awareness that need may be a factor in a student's ability to attend.

A student who received Barnard aid upon transfer to the College may only apply for aid for the difference between eight semesters and the number of semesters for which she has received transfer credit.  Barnard College is unable to assist international transfer students.

Independent and Married Students

A student may be eligible for federal aid as an independent student if she is: 

  • 24 years old by December 31;
  • a veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States;
  • an orphan or ward of the court; 
  • a graduate/professional student; 
  • a married student; 
  • a student with legal dependents other than a spouse. 

For those students who meet these criteria and are applying for Barnard College Grants, financial information from parents is still required. The requirement relates to Barnard's view that education is the primary responsibility of both parents and students. A student who marries while in College is still considered as dependent of her parents for Barnard financial aid purposes and parents must continue to supply their financial information. However, a student who is married at the time of admission may be eligible for Barnard financial aid based on the joint resources of the student and her husband. 

Aid to Students Whose Parents are Divorced, Separated or Never Married

Barnard's policy for determining the financial need of students from divorced or separated families is based on the general principle that parents are responsible for the post-secondary education of their children to the extent that they are financially able. Divorce or separation of the natural parents does not absolve either parent from this obligation. If a parent is remarried, the financial circumstances of the entire new family unit are considered pertinent to the natural parent's ability to contribute to the cost of a Barnard education. The student's custodial parent must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the CSS Profile Form. The custodial parent is the parent with whom the student lived with most in the last 12 months. 

The noncustodial parent must complete the Noncustodial Parent's Profile (online) and submit a copy of his or her Federal income tax return with W-2 forms. If your noncustodial parent owns a business and files a tax return for that business, include a copy of the partnership/corporate return.

For students whose parents are living together, but were never married, we require financial information from both parents in order for the student to be considered for institutional grant aid.

Withdrawals and Refunds

A student who withdraws during the semester may be eligible for a refund from the College if she has been enrolled for less than 60% of the term. If a student has been enrolled for more than 60% of the term, she is not eligible for a refund of tuition. The refund formula measures the actual amount of time enrolled during the semester, and is determined by the number of days enrolled divided by the total number of calendar days in the semester. For example, there are 108 days in the fall 2014 term of the 2014-15 academic year. If a student withdraws on the 50th day of the semester, her charges and financial aid will be prorated to reflect the fact that she has been enrolled for 46.30% of the semester. (This is the result of dividing 50 by 108.) 

If a student withdraws prior to the start of the academic year and incurs no charges for tuition, fees, room and board, the tuition deposit is forfeited. If a student has incurred charges, the tuition deposit will be applied toward those charges. 

If a student is a recipient of Federal Title IV financial aid, refunds to Title IV programs must be the first priority and must be returned in the following order: Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan, Perkins Loan, PLUS Loan, Pell Grant, and SEOG.

A student is not eligible for a refund until all Title IV funds and other scholarships, as required, are reimbursed, and any outstanding balances with the College are cleared.

A prorated award is considered a full semester's award thereby reducing by one the eight semesters of eligibility for Barnard aid.

Unofficial Withdrawal Policy

An unofficial withdrawal occurs when a student ceases to attend classes and does not make official notification of the withdrawal. These students never went through a formal process to withdraw, but did not complete the period of attendance on which their federal aid eligibility was based.

Barnard College is required by federal law to identify and report any student who has unofficially withdrawn from the College and is a recipient of federal student aid. As a result of this requirement, it is the policy of Barnard College, that all faculty must identify students who have never attended class.

If a student is identified as not attending classes, she is immediately sent an email from the Dean of Studies Office asking for an update and with information regarding the College's official withdrawal policy.  If we are unable to contact the student after attempts from members of our Dean's Evaluation committee, the student is considered an unofficial withdrawal.

The student's last date of attendance is based on documented academically related activity, or if in such a case of circumstances beyond the student's control, the date that Barnard College determines is related to that circumstance.

Billing and Disbursement

The payment for fall term tuition, fees, room and board is due August 1 and the payment for the spring term is due December 1. Financial aid grants and loans are divided in half and applied to each bill to determine the balance due. Students use job earnings to cover personal expenses. If a student's grant and loan aid exceeds College charges, she is due a refund and must file a refund request form in the Bursar's Office after fall and spring registration. For questions regarding your bill, please contact the Bursar at 212-854-2026 or bursar@barnard.edu.

Student and Family Resources

All income, which the applicant and her family expect to receive, must be reported to the Financial Aid Office on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and the CSS Profile Form.  The College reserves the right to adjust any financial aid award on the basis of additional resources and information. 

Treatment of Outside Scholarships

Each financial aid recipient must notify the Financial Aid Office of all outside scholarships which she receives. Notification should include a copy of the award certificate or letter from the scholarship donor indicating the type and amount of the award. Barnard allows 100 percent of all outside scholarships to reduce a student's Self-Help portion of the package.  Outside awards in excess of the Self-Help expectation will reduce the Barnard Grant dollar for dollar. Scholarship checks made payable to the student should not be cashed by the student. Those checks must be endorsed by the student and sent to the Financial Aid Office.  Refer to other sources of outside scholarships.