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Articles / Applying to College / Will Barnard Meet Full Need of Indian National Applicant?

Oct. 1, 2017

Will Barnard Meet Full Need of Indian National Applicant?

Question: Hey! I am an Indian national applying Early Decision to Barnard College for enrollment in Spring 2018. Somebody told me that if you're admitted ED to a college, they have to meet your entire aid requirements. So I just wanted to ask, is that true? And if not, what is the process of awarding of aid in ED?

For starters, Barnard does not have Early Decision for spring. So you would have to plan to enter in the Fall of 2018, if accepted.


Secondly, Barnard is “need aware" for non-US citizens. So your financial need will be considered when your admission decision is made, and the admission process for Indian students—ESPECIALLY those who seek financial assistance is EXTREMELY competitive. Typically, an international student who needs financial help must be MUCH stronger than her “competitor" applicants who hold US citizenship or permanent residency or who are not seeking financial aid. And the bar is set even HIGHER for Indian applicants because so many Indians hope to attend America's most elite colleges, such as Barnard.

If you ARE admitted to Barnard, the college promises to meet 100 percent of your “demonstrated need." But do note that this need is assessed by the college's own formula. It is not based on what YOU think you require. Also note that Barnard has only limited funds for international applicants, which is why the competition is so very stiff. If your high school grades and your SAT or ACT scores fall above the Barnard median range, and if your extracurricular accomplishments are special and/or your life story is unique, then you may be one of the lucky applicants who receives financial aid at Barnard. But if your credentials don't put you at the very top of the Barnard applicant pool and you are seeking financial help, then your Early Decision “chit" might be better spent at a less selective institution.

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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