NEW YORK, March 23, 2017 – With acceptance season underway at thousands of colleges and universities nationwide, Barnard College, the country’s most selective women’s college, has admitted 1,139 young women from around the world to its Class of 2021. The admissions office received a record-breaking 7,716 applications, marking an eight percent increase from last year and a 30 percent increase over the last five years. This year’s class is also the most competitive; the admittance rate, at 14.8 percent, is the lowest in the College’s history, down from 16 percent in 2016 and 10 percentage points from just three years ago.

“We are thrilled to welcome the extraordinary Class of 2021 to campus this fall,” said Barnard’s Dean of Enrollment Management Jennifer Fondiller. “These students embody the Barnard spirit—brimming with passion, curiosity, academic excellence and the desire to make a difference in the world. Young women are continually drawn to Barnard for its leadership initiatives, world-class faculty and unique opportunities to participate in research and internships that deepen understanding of their chosen fields of study.”

Accepted students to the Class of 2021 hail from 47 states and 39 countries. More than half of the students who applied—57.5 percent—identify as women of color, demonstrating the impact of Barnard's commitment to racial and global diversity; 49.8 percent of the admitted students identify as women of color, an increase of six percent from the previous year and the highest percentage ever accepted. More than 48 percent attend public high schools, while 36 percent attend independent schools and 14 percent attend religious or parochial schools. 101 of the accepted students have a Barnard connection—a mother, grandmother, aunt or sister; by contrast, 12 percent are first-generation college students, the first in their families to experience higher education.

Students who enroll will undertake a recently-developed curriculum called Foundations, which emphasizes technology and digital learning; international and global learning; and the importance of quantitative and empirical reasoning. They will also be among the first to enroll at a liberal arts college with a distinct technology requirement. Furthermore, while enrolled, students will study the local—Barnard’s connection with New York City—and the historical, and develop skills to examine social difference.

Founded in 1889, Barnard was the only college in New York City, and one of the few in the nation, where women could receive the same rigorous and challenging education available to men. Today, as the world-renowned liberal arts college for women at Columbia University, Barnard remains devoted to empowering extraordinary women to become even more exceptional. For more information on Barnard College, contact Barnard Media Relations at 212-854-2037 or