Barnard’s financial aid process is designed to foster quality, access, and diversity. Policies are committed to making Barnard a realistic option for families, regardless of finances, and to ensuring qualified applicants are able to afford to attend.
The Office of Financial Aid assists each family using grants, loans, and job opportunities to meet 100% of demonstrated need, and provides relevant advice on financing a Barnard education. All aid is based on financial need. While every family’s income and assets are evaluated uniformly to determine family contribution, individual circumstances are also taken into consideration. For this reason, The Office of Financial Aid welcomes contact from families and works hard to help each make the best financial choices.
If a college or university practices "need-blind admissions," it means that there is an invisible “firewall” between the admissions and financial aid offices. Admissions officers are unaware of a student’s financial circumstances when evaluating an application or debating an application in committee, maintaining “blindness” to financial circumstances until a favorable decision is made.
Here at Barnard, admissions committees make decisions about a student’s eligibility for admission based on many factors, with a firewall separating those decisions from ability to pay for the bulk of our applicants. For our first-year applicants who are US Citizens or Permanent Residents, this firewall is opaque until the moment when an offer of admission is being assembled, at which time the Office of Financial Aid is notified of the decision, and a letter which stipulates the student’s financial aid award is included with the offer of admission. Barnard is need-blind in our review of first-year admissions applications for US Citizens and Permanent Residents.
In our review of applications from international citizens and applications from all transfer students, we will consider a student's financial need in our admissions decision making. Students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents are considered international students for financial aid purposes. Barnard is able to assist a small number of international citizens who are first-year applicants and are aware that need may be a factor in our review of these applications. Barnard is unable to assist international transfer students.
When considering transfer students who are US Citizens or Permanent Residents, Barnard has limited funding available and we are again aware of financial need when reviewing admissions applications. Spring transfers are not eligible for Barnard College grant aid. Spring transfers are only eligible to apply for federal and state aid. Fall transfers are reviewed with an awareness that need may be a factor in a student’s ability to attend are are eligible for both Barnard College grant aid and for federal and state aid.
For all students, Barnard remains committed to meeting full demonstrated need.
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, an Institutional Methodology formula which takes into consideration all sources of income and all assets.
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 demonstrated need of all eligible students with a combination of grant, loan, and employment opportunities. Barnard's policy for awarding financial aid seeks both fairness and the ability to meet 100% of demonstrated need as designated above, therefore we do not offer merit scholarships.
Barnard's financial aid counselors have a great deal of experience and are committed to the goal of helping each family make the best financial choices. Please contact them with questions, especially if your finances are complicated.
The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA) requires that, by October 29, 2011, institutions participating in Title IV federal aid programs provide a net price calculator for families to estimate affordability.
The calculator uses institutional data to provide estimated net price information to students and their families based on individual circumstances.
This site provides general guidance for a variety of more complicated financial circumstances. If you have specific questions about how Barnard might evaluate extenuating circumstances, please contact us directly.