Financing your education
Barnard represents an investment not only in your future, but also in your intellectual growth and personal transformation. We are committed to offering a Barnard education to all students, regardless of financial circumstances. We are need-blind in our first-year domestic admission process and award financial aid based on demonstrated need. We make every effort to meet demonstrated need, working closely with each family to answer your questions and help you make the best financial choices.
Financial aid forms and deadlines
If you think you will need financial aid to attend Barnard, you must apply at the same time that you apply for Early Decision or Regular Decision admission. It’s important to meet all financial aid deadlines. Browse the forms and deadlines.
Smart Financial Decisions
Families should begin honest conversations about finances at the start of the college process. The Federal Government and colleges and universities expect families to be responsible for the portion of college costs they can reasonably afford, determined using standard financial aid formulas, both federal and institutional. As students research colleges, learning the ins and outs of the application process, so should families research college costs, financial aid policies, and educational financing options.
Helpful resources for research can be found in the local public library, in most college counseling or guidance offices, and on the web. Many high schools host free financial aid nights. Families may want to investigate savings plans, financial aid estimators, loan and outside scholarship opportunities, and make smart decisions about applying so that the best choices are available. The Net Price Calculator should provide the details necessary for families to evaluate next steps. Finally, honest, clear, and informed conversations will help these decisions go more smoothly. When the tuition bill is due, families will have choices and will be more prepared to answer questions about how to pay.
Questions and answers
How does Barnard’s financial aid process work?
Barnard’s financial aid process is designed to foster quality, access, and diversity. Our policies reflect our commitment to making Barnard a realistic option for families, regardless of finances, and to ensuring qualified applicants are able to afford to attend.
The Office of Financial Aid assists each family using grants, loans, and job opportunities to meet 100 percent of demonstrated need, and provides relevant advice on financing a Barnard education. All aid is based on financial need. While every family’s income and assets are evaluated uniformly to determine family contribution, individual circumstances are also taken into consideration. For this reason, the Office of Financial Aid welcomes contact from families and works hard to help each make the best financial choices.
What do “need-blind” and “need-aware” mean at Barnard?
If a college or university practices "need-blind admissions," it means that there is an invisible “firewall” between the admissions and financial aid offices. Admissions officers are unaware of a student’s financial circumstances when evaluating an application or debating an application in committee, maintaining “blindness” to financial circumstances until a decision is made.
Here at Barnard, admissions committees make decisions about a student’s eligibility for admission based on many factors, with a firewall separating those decisions from ability to pay for the bulk of our applicants. For our first-year applicants who are US citizens or permanent residents, this firewall is opaque until the moment when an offer of admission is being assembled, at which time the Office of Financial Aid is notified of the decision, and a letter which stipulates the student’s financial aid award is included with the offer of admission. Barnard is need-blind in our review of first-year admissions applications for US citizens and permanent residents.
In our review of applications from international citizens and applications from all transfer students, Barnard is “need-aware.” That means we will consider a student's financial need in our admissions decision making. Students who are not US citizens or permanent residents are considered international students for financial aid purposes. Barnard is able to assist a small number of international citizens who are first-year applicants and are aware that need may be a factor in our review of these applications. Barnard is unable to assist international transfer students.
When considering transfer students who are US citizens or permanent residents, Barnard has limited funding available, and we are aware of financial need when reviewing admissions applications. Fall transfers are eligible for both Barnard College grant aid and for federal and state aid. Barnard is able to award a moderate number of fall transfer students with need-based aid (grants and/or loans). Spring transfers are not eligible for Barnard College grant aid and are only eligible to apply for federal and state aid. We strongly recommend that transfer applicants who will need aid apply for the Fall term.
For all students, Barnard remains committed to meeting full demonstrated need.
How does Barnard determine need-based aid?
All federal financial aid administered by Barnard College is based on demonstrated need as determined by the Federal Methodology formula. However, need for institutional aid is determined using a Barnard Need Analysis, an Institutional Methodology formula that takes into consideration all sources of income and all assets.
The College believes that the primary responsibility for financing educational costs rests with each student's family, and all College aid is supplementary to family resources. Once need has been established, Barnard meets the demonstrated need of all eligible students with a combination of grant, loan, and employment opportunities. Barnard's policy for awarding financial aid seeks both fairness and the ability to meet 100 percent of demonstrated need as designated above; therefore, we do not offer merit scholarships.
• Percentage of all Barnard students receiving some form of financial aid in 2014-2015: 50
• Average total grant for first-year students in 2014-15, including federal, state, and institutional grants: $41,722
• Average total grant for all Barnard students in 2014-2015 including federal, state, and institutional grants: $38,901
• Average financial indebtedness of recent graduates (class of 2014): $16,964
• 2014–2015 tuition and fees: $46,040
• 2014–2015 room and board: $14,660