Price vs. benefits

For many, discussions surrounding college cost emphasize price without acknowledging long-term benefits. In making this kind of life decision, it is important for students and families to consider both price and benefit in determining value. Factors such as the direct support and mentoring a student receives at Barnard and the lifelong affiliation with and access to a vibrant network of alumnae must also be part of that consideration. These factors are in addition to the actual educational experience. If the benefits and outcomes of the educational experience outweigh the cost, then the investment is worth the value of a Barnard diploma. Each student and family must determine whether their economic circumstances can make this investment possible.


A lifelong investment

Barnard is committed to making the educational experience exceptional, offering opportunities to work with top-notch faculty, learn in new and exciting ways, and take advantage of experiences that go far beyond the classroom walls. Our commitment extends to helping families afford an education here. If a student is interested in Barnard, but feels the cost may be beyond her means, we urge her to apply for financial aid. We strive to make a Barnard education affordable through tuition payment plans, work-study, loans, and grants.

Financing a college education affects the whole family and, for many, requires exploring unfamiliar financial territory. By working with our financial aid office and learning about financing options, families are able to build a sound financial plan, permitting an educational experience that will provide intellectual and financial advantages for life. Each Barnard student graduates with a powerful curiosity about the world strengthened by the ability to ask the right questions and analyze the answers. Barnard students acquire skills in demand by employers of every description and are well prepared for advanced study.


What is the value of a Barnard education?
“Barnard taught me how to be comfortable NOT knowing. It taught me how to ask questions, how to push myself into the unknown, and how to survive there.
Sarabeth Berman ’06, urban studies major; vice president public affairs, Teach for All
“Without the scholarship money I wouldn’t be at Barnard at all. I’m here, and it’s so exciting that I can be here and make my dreams a reality.”
Jada Ashley Hawkins, junior from New Orleans, Louisiana; computer science major, economics minor
“When Rhea left our family household in Manila to join Barnard as a freshman, she was a girl. Now she is a woman.
Mary Gordon ’71, best-selling writer, New York State Author, Millicent C. McIntosh Professor of English at Barnard
“It is impossible to put a price on a world-class education.”
Giles Harrison, father of a Barnard junior
Women’s college alumnae are more likely than other alumnae to have graduated in four years or less.
Women’s college alumnae are more likely than other alumnae to believe the financial investment they made in college was worth it.
Women’s college alumnae rate their alma maters higher than other alumnae do for helping students develop self-confidence and initiative.

Lifelong benefits of a Barnard education

By the time they graduate, Barnard students have gained abilities that will serve them well in a career and in life. They are able to:

• think critically and independently
• solve problems effectively
• communicate persuasively, both in writing and speaking
• make sound decisions
• work as part of a team
• understand global, political, and social issues
• know the importance of civic engagement
• ask the right questions
• speak up for their beliefs
• understand and respect other cultures
• create innovative solutions
• lead with confidence
• network with others
• work across disciplines
• deal with the ambiguous
• learn and adapt to change


What others are saying about Barnard

“Barnard College is a well-managed, ably led, and vigorous academic institution. . . . The College has a highly regarded faculty of teacher-scholars who are exceptionally committed to the students and programs of the institution and admirably hardworking. The students are able, lively, and independent.”  —Accreditation report of Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools


“Barnard College has a proud history and a bright future. The faculty is devoted to excellence at the highest level in both teaching and scholarly activity. The students are engaged and committed, loyal to the institution, and appreciative of their relationships with faculty and staff members.”  —Accreditation report of Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools