There is only so much a student can learn through a brochure or website, and visiting a campus can allow you to really tap into the energy of the school and see if it is the right fit. When I was going through this admissions process years ago, I didn’t have the means to visit campuses. My parents couldn’t afford to take time off work to drive me, nor could they afford plane tickets. One of my top choices was all the way across the country in California, and there was no way this young girl from Detroit, MI was going to make it out there!
But now, many colleges have fly-in programs to assist students like me. Colleges realize that while there are many students who are able to make the trip to visit their campuses, there are many from underrepresented backgrounds who are not able to take advantage of these incredibly informative Open House programs. If you find yourself attending an Open House event this fall, during your visit I advise you do what I call a “pulse check." Check in with yourself while you are listening intently to the panel speakers, having conversations with current students, experiencing a meal in the dining hall, or observing a class. Does your heart start to race with anticipation and excitement? Can you see yourself there for four years? Or are you left feeling unchallenged and comfortable. Sometimes experiencing that energy, or what I like to call the “butterflies” in the pit of your stomach, may be just the indicator that you are in the right place!
When I joined the admissions team at Barnard, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to plan our fly-in program, Barnard Bound. Fly-in programs were designed for students from underrepresented backgrounds (those who identify as students of color and/or are first in their families to attend college), especially those that could not otherwise afford to visit, so they can experience these “butterflies” for themselves. It is my way of providing high school seniors from circumstances like my own that invaluable opportunity. Barnard Bound students come from all over the country, and even from right here in New York City. For many of them, it is a flurry of firsts: first time in New York, first time on a plane, first time away from home on their own, first time on our campus, and first time experiencing a Women’s College. There is so much excitement during the weekend; students are hosted in the residence halls by current students (sleeping bag time!), learn about admissions and financial aid, take tours of campus, visit classes, explore New York City, and meet lots of current students. While it is a whirlwind of a weekend, there are many tears when students leave on Monday. And, for many, the “butterflies” take hold.
This weekend, I am delighted to open our campus to our 2016 Barnard Bound class. My hope is that they leave with a full understanding of Barnard, become exposed to the remarkably transformative experience of a Women’s College, and gain more confidence and a deeper comprehension of the college process. Although I wish I had that experience when I was younger, it gives me great honor to be able to provide it for others. The admissions team is thrilled to welcome our 2016 Barnard Bounders to campus. If you are joining us, get ready for a fantastic weekend!
We can't wait to meet you!