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My D and I just toured Barnard, which she liked very much. I have some reservations. As a graduate of a women's college myself, I value the traditions and identity of my college and I feel that I was a part of something special. My classmates and I didn't want to be anywhere else. We chose our college for what it was, not for its affiliation with another institution.
Here's my problem. Half the prospective students and parents on the tour today asked more questions about Columbia than about Barnard, to the point where I felt like asking them to go across the street and take a tour over there instead. I don't question Barnard's academic excellence; I just don't want my D to apply to or attend a place where half the students really want to be somewhere else. I would hope that the Barnard admissions committee is pretty good at weeding out these wannabees, but I'm not so sure. So, how do Barnard students feel about their school? Are they proud of it on its own merits as a women's college and a liberal arts institution, or are a substantial portion of them only there because they really wanted Columbia but felt they could not get in? Is this an issue at all?