Barnard College Policy on the Admission of Students with Disabilities

Mission and Philosophy

Barnard College seeks to enroll women of proven academic ability who present evidence of personal achievement and who have used fully the resources available to them.  We seek students with diverse backgrounds, interests and talents, and we encourage candidates with visible and/or invisible disabilities who meet these criteria to apply to the College.  While admission is highly selective, no one criterion determines acceptance.  Each applicant is considered in terms of her individual qualities of mind and spirit and her potential for successfully completing the Barnard requirements for the degree.


Section 504/ADA

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. Barnard's 504/ADA Coordinator, in conjunction with the 504/ADA Access Committee and the Office of Disability Services (ODS), works to ensure that reasonable accommodations are made to provide programmatic and physical access.  Barnard accepts test scores from nonstandard administrations of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), as approved and administered by the College Board.  Students who require nonstandard administration of the SAT should make all necessary arrangements with their guidance counselors well in advance of special application deadlines.



While the College makes no pre-admission inquiry about an applicant's disability, this knowledge can often be helpful in the admissions process.  Barnard recognizes that the decision to self-identify any disability is a personal one and we respect an applicant's decision not to do so.  We do, however, encourage all applicants with visible or invisible disabilities, such as learning disabilities or chronic medical conditions, to self-identify and to provide us with further information.  Details such as those below help us to understand the applicant's profile more fully:

  • the history and treatment of her disability
  • how she has learned to meet different demands in light of her disability
  • disability-related needs regarding test-taking and other academic accommodations utilized at the secondary level
  • what skills she may have developed as a result of her disability
  • the relationship, if any, between her disability and her academic record

We can then make an informed and fair decision in regard to her readiness for the challenges of a Barnard education.  Such information may be disclosed via email, in a letter, phone call, or interview with either the Admissions Office or ODS.


Disability Services

The Office of Disability Services can arrange for applicants to meet with enrolled students or alumnae with similar disabilities to discuss life at Barnard via the E-mentors program.  ODS can make available a number of services to admitted students. Such reasonable accommodations may include help in securing disability-related housing, personal aides and equipment; note-taking; text recording and reading; tutoring; specialized examination conditions; and other assistance.  Meeting with ODS staff prior to applying to Barnard will enable students with disabilities to make informed decisions about matching their disability-related needs with services available to meet those needs.  For more information contact ODS, 105 Hewitt Hall (212/854-4634 voice/TTY or email or refer to the website at