Dear Members of the Barnard Community,

Today, I’m thrilled to announce that Barnard has been selected by the Schuler Access Initiative to receive a $20 million matching grant to help our efforts to support students of all backgrounds attend our College. Each dollar raised for financial aid for Pell-eligible and undocumented students will be matched 1:1 by the Schuler Education Foundation. Our aim is to raise $40 million for financial aid over the next several years with this initiative, resulting in the creation and expansion of hundreds of scholarships.

Barnard’s selection to the Schuler Access Initiative is a testament to our success in supporting and graduating students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. We’ve increased our percentage of Pell-eligible students: 21% of the Class of 2026 are Pell-eligible, compared to 14% of the Class of 2021. We’ve also been intently focused on increasing opportunities for social mobility and building a pipeline for lower-income students. In 2019, Barnard joined the American Talent Initiative. And in 2021, we joined Questbridge, a national program that identifies high-achieving, low-income students and helps match them with their top-ranked college choices. We welcomed our first Questbridge cohort a few weeks ago.

 We know access to college is only the beginning, and we must support equitable living and learning environments throughout the college experience. The creation of Access Barnard in 2020 - a campus hub that supports students who identify as international, first-generation, and/or low-income - is one step in this direction. 

Barnard’s selection to the Schuler Access Initiative further affirms our longstanding goal of elevating women and those with marginalized identities regardless of financial means. I encourage you to read the official announcement for more details and information on how to support this initiative. I extend my deep gratitude to the Schuler Education Foundation for recognizing Barnard’s important commitment to investing in the socioeconomic diversity of our community.


Sian Leah Beilock