Every fall semester, Barnard’s campus buzzes with the excitement of new students, transfers, and those returning to Morningside Heights. Year after year, New York City’s only all-women’s college has broken its own application record, and this year is no exception — the College received 12,009 applications, compared with last year’s 10,395, and admitted 9% of those applicants, beating out last year’s lowest record-breaking admissions rate. Of the 1,080 students admitted this year, 66% chose to enroll.
A diverse cohort, the incoming Class of 2026 represents 29 countries — such as Australia, Colombia, Indonesia, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, and Zimbabwe — 41 states/territories, and Washington, D.C. Nineteen percent identify as first-generation college students, and 24 were recruited via Barnard’s first year partnering with Questbridge, which connects the College with high-achieving, low-income students from around the country. Whether it’s academics or sports, these first-years cover a lot of ground: Nearly 300 students expressed an interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), with 39 coming from Barnard’s Pre-College Program, 10 from the Pathways Bridgewater Scholars Program, and six from the Science Pathways Scholars Program (SP)2. A total of 16 athletes will join the community to compete in a range of sports, including rowing, track and field, and swimming and diving.
“We are so excited to welcome the Class of 2026 to Barnard,” says Leslie Grinage, Dean of the College. “The creativity, interests, and knowledge they will bring to campus will only be strengthened over the next four years, and our entire community — faculty, staff, and alumnae — are honored to be a part of their journey into adulthood.”
Learn more about the incoming Class of 2026 and why the College is so excited to welcome them.
ATHLETES IN ACTION
More than a dozen athletes from around the world will join the Columbia/Barnard Athletic Consortium to compete in NCAA Division I athletics, including sabre fencing, squash, swimming, and track & field.
CHAMPIONS OF CHANGE
From Arizona to Pakistan, first-years find ways to create space for others wherever they are in the world, such as starting a nonprofit to provide all-girls schools with educational supplies; working with a senator to ban corporal punishment in schools; co-founding E-Waste Warriors and recycling over 10,000 pounds of electronic waste; and establishing Chicas for Change to empower female students inside schools.
The Class of 2026 follow their own leads and interests, such as raising goats, working as a sushi chef, training for a pilot’s license, and launching a rural COVID-19 care packages initiative.
Before Barnard, many members of the Class of 2026 had already acquired diverse skill sets. One first-year was an a capella captain, field hockey player, debate club president, and swim teacher; another founded a two-week musical theatre summer camp; and there’s an inaugural Bridgewater Scholar cohort participant who is also an owner of a convenience store.