Application Review Philosophy: Transfer Applicants
We're incredibly proud of all of our Barnard students. Each one of them is passionate, curious, driven, empathetic, and brilliant. But how exactly do we find young women with these traits who will be a good fit for our community? At Barnard, we read each and every part of each and every application in order to review each student contextually and holistically. Read on to see what we mean by this and glean some tips about how to prepare your best application possible for Barnard and why you might be interested in transferring to Barnard.
Why Transfer to Barnard?
Barnard has long welcomed transfer students from colleges and universities in this country and abroad. Some of our most well-known alumnae, such as Margaret Mead ’23, Zora Neale Hurston ’28, and Lauren Graham ’88, entered Barnard as transfer students. Around 80 transfer and visiting students matriculate to Barnard each fall and 20-50 enter in the spring.
Transfer students find Barnard to be a welcoming community. The flexibility of our curriculum, along with the type of students we attract — goal-oriented and eager to make their mark on the world, articulate without being unapproachable, confident without being arrogant, and ambitious without being ruthless — make us a perfect match for many transfer students' goals and interests. With a supportive community, flexible general education requirements, and a diverse student body, there are many ways for students to fit in quickly.
Contextual and Holistic Application Review
We're going to be asking ourselves a lot of questions as we read your application. Why are you interested in transferring to Barnard? Are you academically prepared for Barnard's rigorous classes? What sort of interests do you have that you will bring to the Barnard community? How will you impact your classmates and positively contribute to the living and learning community of our school? To answer these questions, we carefully consider every part of your application: School records, recommendations, writing, and test scores, in addition to talents, abilities, interests, and personal history. The admissions committee is seeking students of proven academic strength who exhibit intellectual voracity and strong potential for further scholarly growth.
While admission is highly selective, it is also holistic; no one criterion or score determines acceptance. We consider each applicant in terms of their personal qualities, intellectual capacity, and the rigor of the curriculum they have pursued, as well as their potential for achieving at Barnard. We review each applicant in the context of their school, community, and individual story, meaning that we will never compare applicants to each other. We want to see how you have pushed yourself and succeeded with the resources and opportunities that have been available to you.
Preparing Yourself Academically
To be well-prepared for Barnard, it is important to think about the academic community you are hoping to join. Barnard's general education requirements cover a wide range of subjects: literature, the social sciences, language and the arts, lab sciences, and quantitative areas. For this reason, the most successful transfer students have both high school and college transcripts with strong outcomes in a rigorous curriculum. To strengthen your profile as a transfer student and ensure that you will be more competitive in our applicant pool, we recommend selecting courses in college that might be transferable to a liberal arts and sciences college like Barnard. Look at your relative strengths and weaknesses, and choose classes that will enable us to view your application in the best light. Remember, we hope to see how you might contribute to our intellectual community, and your choices tell us what kind of a student you will be.
Review of Applicants Who Previously Applied to Barnard
If you applied previously to Barnard, whether it was as a first-year applicant or the previous year as a transfer, you will need to submit an entirely new Common Application or Coalition Application. However, we will have access to your prior application materials other than the Common or Coalition Application.
For previous first-year applicants, if you submitted official standardized test scores when you first applied, and you have not taken the exam since, we would still have this information on file. Letters of recommendation and supplemental materials would still be on file. We would not have your final high school transcript, so this must be requested from your high school. In addition, current and past college transcripts must be requested.
For previous transfer applicants, all dated materials (transcript, College Report, academic letter of recommendation, etc.) must be resubmitted to reflect the most up-to-date information. We will use previously submitted standardized testing and final high school transcripts that have been sent to us for previous applications. And, remember, we also have your old essays, so this is a chance to inspire us with the new perspective you have gained as a wise transfer student.