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Barnard vs Wellesley??

sendhelpurgentsendhelpurgent 0 replies1 threads New Member
edited September 15 in Women's Colleges
I'm having so much trouble trying to decide between these schools; I love both so much.

I'm into chemistry and biology, and I want to do research in stem cells or CRISPR, and I've had experience in biochemistry research, which I may want to continue.
I love classical studies, and I want to conduct research on women in antiquity or science during the classical era. I'm fluent in Latin, but need help with my Greek.
I also want to study abroad, either to Athens or Rome or another area with ancient history, or perhaps to Germany or Japan, as I have always been fascinated with these countries and I've taught myself their languages.
I need a good pre-med program, and I hope to go to NYU or Harvard medical school (a long shot, ik) or another prestigious med school.
I also want to get involved in some science/classical studies/premed clubs and orgs, and perhaps start my own nonprofit (depending on how much time I have)

I love small class sizes, intimate and roundtable learning, building relationships with my professors

I need financial aid to conduct research, do internships, and study abroad.

I'm not really concerned about the rigor of the school, but maybe the more rigorous, the better? My stats are above the 75 percentile of both colleges.

I also need some help understanding the campus vibe--b/c of covid19, I can't visit campus.
I really really want a great alumnae network with excellent connectivity, but both have them.

Additionally, I like having fun: walking around cities, shopping (but not spending lol), eating (anything but vegan), partying/drinking, even playing videogames or touring museums

I would also love I great support network -- I'm low-income (questbridge finalist), from Tennessee, and I have no idea what I'm getting into haha

Any other nuances anyone can offer would be so amazing, please help me decide!
edited September 15
15 replies
Post edited by CCAdmin_Vic on
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Replies to: Barnard vs Wellesley??

  • CaliMexCaliMex 2248 replies35 threads Senior Member
    Flip a coin. You really can't go wrong with either!

    The campuses feel very different. Do you have a preference for either?
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  • college_querycollege_query 4505 replies367 threads Senior Member
    They are both fabulous institutions.

    I think the biggest difference is setting. Barnard is urban and has all that NYC offers; Wellesley has a large traditional campus with lots of trees and a lake. While it is near Boston, it is definitely not the same as being right in a city.

    Did you have a chance to visit either of them? My D attended Wellesley and her first time on campus was when she moved in. She applied through QuestBridge but was not a finalist. She did receive aid that enabled her to take non-paid summer internships, and her generous need-based aid applied to her study abroad.

    She found it to be academically rigorous, but she loved her classes and the faculty. The alumnae network has been incredible.

    I think both schools will have strong academics, small class sizes, and an empowering environment. Perhaps you can look at videos from both institutions and see if one looks like a setting you'd prefer for your undergraduate education?
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  • screenname220screenname220 11 replies4 threads Junior Member
    I also got into both and might be biased since I'll prob end up at Barnard or Columbia but Barnard all the way! I mean it def depends on what you want in terms of setting. Wellesley has access to Boston but is in a suburb and on campus feels like you're in the woods. Barnard is in NYC but in Morningside Heights so it's kind of like a college town. However, access to NYC is way more convenient than access to Boston at Wellesley. If you're into boys Columbia is across the street, if you're not into boys Columbia is across the street! You can join clubs, take classes there, and eat at their dining halls. To me, Barnard is the best of both worlds!! Access to a huge research university, but also access to a tight-knit women's college. I think both are pretty diverse, but Barnard has 60% POC in 2024 amits. You'll have awesome access to research at both Barnard and Columbia and if you want the extremely rigorous classes Columbia has you covered. I'd say Barnard all the way! But Wellesely is great too!! If you want an awesome community of smart women Wellsely has that and IMO seems like the people would be like slightly more down to earth but I could be totally wrong!
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  • CaliMexCaliMex 2248 replies35 threads Senior Member
    If you are strapped for cash, living in NYC might be harder. I imagine Barnard students go out to restaurants, bars, and coffee shops more than Wellesley students do, which can add up over time.
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  • silverpurplesilverpurple 420 replies56 threads Member
    If you like NYC, pick Barnard! I am alumna of Barnard. You have your own neighborhood and access to the whole city by walking or subway. You also have Riverside park if you want to go for a peaceful, quiet walk. You should google earth the neighborhood.
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  • screenname220screenname220 11 replies4 threads Junior Member
    After further consideration I think Wellesley might be better for you. The campus is beautiful and I could be incorrect but I feel like there'd be less pressure to go off campus and spend money. Not that you have to do that at Barnard. The people at Wellesley truly seem like they are there to learn and change the world and it seems like a super special community. You'll find small classes at both, but if you want to get in smaller classes faster Wellesley ,might be the move. Both are great it just really depends on what you're looking for! Also, Barnard has had so many awesome virtual sessions that you should def watch if you haven't! Good luck!!
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  • formerfirstgenformerfirstgen 50 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I was dirt poor when I went to college. Visiting Barnard with my daughter last fall, I imagined what that campus would have meant for me. Financially tough. So many cool things to do that cost money. Choose Barnard if it is your dream to live in NYC. And then plan on how to manage spending money. Walking around a city is free. So there is that. Also - this Covid 19 bummer might impact NYC in to the fall.
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  • International DadInternational Dad 345 replies10 threads Member
    I think Wellesley is better for you, Wellesley its like 40 minutes to Boston, nice college city, more relaxing than New York, you can walk and eat and having fun with less money.
    Good Luck.
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  • silverpurplesilverpurple 420 replies56 threads Member
    While Barnard and Columbia have tons of free daily activities, speakers and shows on campus it is true about the need for expendable money to socialize at Barnard. When i went my friends would frequently spend $20 on dinner or drinks off campus a few times a week. I frequently wouldn’t join friends on Saturday night when taking taxis to the Village to watch live music. You can burn $50 a night like that.

    OTOH cash jobs are beckoning such as bartending and babysitting and personal assistants. I got as much work as i wanted.
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  • chance11chance11 24 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Hello Everyone, glad I found this post. I am a parent of a rising senior and my daughter is also interested in Barnard and Wellesley.

    One thing I didn't see it covered on Barnard is being in NYC so close, how safe or unsafe do you feel walking during the day vs night?

    Thanks!
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  • whidbeyite2002whidbeyite2002 354 replies1 threads Member
    @chance11, parent of a former Columbia student here. The area around Barnard and Columbia feels pretty safe. That said, I would go out in groups and not cut through Morningside or Riverside Parks after dark.
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  • DustyfeathersDustyfeathers 3707 replies85 threads Senior Member
    As someone who lives in the neighborhood for a long time, Morningside Park is not good after dark. CU has shuttle buses to go to the opposite side of Morningside Park and elsewhere. There's no real need to go there. During the day Morningside Park is usually fine. You can cut through there to get the A train which is a fast way to get downtown.

    Riverside Park is okay after dark within reason. There's a cafe at about 105th street and an active dog run. People play volley ball on the sand there. At 120th street there're 10 tennis courts. During the season, it's active. I wouldn't make a habit of going by myself to any park in NYC after dark, Central Park included. That being said, there are often activities in the parks that attract many people -- concernts, outdoor movies, theater, and cafes. Use your noggin and don't go where there aren't people. Like, don't go running in the dark by yourself or cutting through dark, woodsie areas where you can't be seen.

    The streets around CU/Barnard are fine. Very little if any crime. There's an app called Citizen that can alert a person to any crime happening in their vicinity wherever they are in the city. My app rarely goes off for the CU/Barnard area.
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  • chance11chance11 24 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Thank you @whidbeyite2002 @Dustyfeathers for the input. I feel Barnard has NYC close at hand (I live in SF when I grew up so I am fairly good at being cautious my whereabouts but not my suburb girl) and having CU right next door (co-ed). I see these as advantages without completely needing to adjust to an all woman's college like Wellesley. My daughter has never attended a single sex school but feeling the empowerment at studying an all woman's college.

    I like Wellesley with campus vibe but to reach to Boston it's a 40 minutes bus ride from what I heard, even taking classes at nearby you need to budget the times for traveling (maybe except for Olin). Yeah definitely not under-estimating their endowments & alum network.


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  • waverlywizzardwaverlywizzard 303 replies0 threads Member
    As you search just be aware that colleges and life will be very different this year. Wellesley cancelled all varsity sports this fall, curtailed the van to the area mall. Life will be very different due to covid-19. Students on campus will live in singles. While this sounds nice, it is still an uber ride into town for coffee and an even further public transportation ride into Boston and back. You have to be really comfortable spending all your time on the campus.
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  • MassmommMassmomm 4278 replies85 threads Senior Member
    You can walk to the town of Wellesley. It's not an Uber ride. But Wellesley is a very expensive town and many of the shops reflect this. The campus is lovely, though.

    If you want to be in or near a big city, choose Barnard. If you don't mind a large suburban town with access to a city, choose Wellesley.
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