Notes on Barnard as a Seven-Sister College

                                                      The Seventh Sister – The New York Sister

Last sister by  virtue of the date of its founding —
By virtue of its being the last to join the group (in 1927)

But different from the other six in many other ways

Extensive planning that went into their respective founding lacking with Barnard
Affiliate status/relationship with a major university but with its own faculty) unique

Initial capitalization – absence of

Modest size of Plant/Campus
Campus of 5 acres

The only highly urban setting
Closest to it – Radcliffe
Wellesley and Bryn Mawr – suburbs of major cities
Vassar and Smith – small towns
Mt. Holyoke – country setting
Religious Auspices
Vassar/Smith/Wellesley/Bryn Mawr/Mt. Holyoke – all with denominational affiliations
Radcliffe – more attenuated
Barnard — none

Geographically concentrated
More religious heterogeneity
Less presence of clergy?
More with competing philanthropic interests


Student demographics
Geographically concentrated
Preponderance of  commuters
Fewer fathers with professional occupations/ownership positions
Parents less likely to be college graduates
More likely from immigrant or first-generation family
Less likely to ne Mainline protestant; more likely Jewish  and Catholic

1952 S/S Study by ETS

Single Applicant Appliers:
BC – 64% —
twice as high as BM/S/V/W/ (32%)
half again higher than Mh/R (43%)

Public School Applicants
Barnard – 72% — Smith and Vassar – 46%; B/M and Wellesl3y 55%
Group – 55%


Faculty identity
Greater scholarly engagement in humanities and social sciences; men more likely to
leave for  university positions
Incidence of faculty with university identities

Leadership pattern
All its heads have been women; not so of all the others except Wellesley


Alumnae Occupational Outcomes
Barnard graduates more likely to be gainfully employed after marriage

The poorest Sister

Still the least successful in securing alumnae giving

Since the 1990s
The most successful in competing for students in the 21st century