Featured Image

Barnard College to Accept Transgender Women

Barnard College recently became the most recent women's college to begin accepting transgender applicants.

Last month, Barnard College made a momentous announcement: the school will now accept transgender women. According to the school’s Transgender Admission Policy, “Barnard will consider for admission those applicants who consistently live and identify as women, regardless of the gender assigned to them at birth. We will also continue to use gendered language that reflects our identity as a women’s college.”

Furthermore, “This admissions policy does not affect students who transition during their time at Barnard. Once admitted, every student will receive the individualized support that is an essential part of the Barnard experience.”

Barnard’s decision to begin admitting transgender women was the result of months-long conversations among the Board of Trustees, led by the Committee on Campus life. “As expected, a wide range of passionate and deeply held beliefs were discussed and debated. But on two main points, the responses were compelling and clear. There was no question that Barnard must reaffirm its mission as a college for women. And there was little debate that trans women should be eligible for admission to Barnard.”

In an interview with The New York Times, Debora L. Spar, the president of Barnard, elaborated on her own position on the decision.

“When I first started hearing from trans students, I think as a human being, I couldn’t help but sympathize,” Spar said. “I think once you understand the human dimension of this, you want to do the right thing. The harder question then is, what is the right thing?”

Barnard is the most recent women’s university to conclude that admitting transgender women is the right thing to do. Bryn Mawr College, Mills College, Mount Holyoke College, and Simmons College were among the first schools to admit transgender women.

Policies regarding transgender women at women’s colleges vary from school to school. In the New York Times piece, Lynn Pasquerella, the president of Mount Holyoke, said she believes that anyone who has had the experience of being female, in whatever capacity, should have a place at the school. Other schools have more restrictions regarding their acceptance of transgender women. For example, Hollins University’s student handbook states that “the university considers sex reassignment to have occurred when an undergraduate student ‘self identifies’ as a male and initiates” medical and legal processes to transition from male to female. The handbook goes on to note that, “Recognizing the changing landscape as it pertains to individuals on the transgender spectrum, this policy will be reviewed on a regular basis.”

Indeed, we are living in a dynamic and fascinating time for the L.G.B.T. community. Between the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on same-sex marriage and high-profile figures such as Ellen Page, Neil Patrick Harris, Laverne Cox, and Caitlyn Jenner making headlines for sharing their stories with the public, America may be becoming more accepting of that community in general. And thanks to Barnard College and similar women’s schools, it seems that American higher education is becoming more accepting of transgender women in particular.

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

Tags:
Barnard College campus diversity college diversity LGBT students transgender students womens colleges

About Stephanie Farah

Stephanie Farah

Stephanie is a former writer and senior editor for Carnegie Darlet and CollegeXpress. Stephanie holds a BA in English from the University of Texas at Austin and a master's in Journalism from the University of North Texas. At various times she has been: an uncertain undergrad, a financial aid recipient, a transfer applicant, and a grad student with an assistantship and a full ride. Stephanie is an avid writer, traveler, cook, and dog owner. 

 

Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
CollegeXpress Logo

$10,000

Are you our next winner?

Register now for our scholarship giveaway

Jessica Rinker

Jessica Rinker

Student, Fairhaven High School; CollegeXpress Student Writer

My high school counselor introduced me to CollegeXpress freshman year. It has made such a difference in high school, and I plan to continue relying on it in college. CollegeXpress is my go-to because it addresses each aspect of being a student. There are the articles you’d expect regarding college applications and financial aid, but you will also find advice on things like de-stressing and maintaining relationships while balancing a heavy course load. CollegeXpress will also keep you updated on current scholarships through e-mails each Saturday. (They don’t harass you with any product promotion like so many other sites do.) CollegeXpress is a lot like an older sibling who has already conquered the challenges you are facing. Now, they are reaching out a helpful hand. I say take it.

Alexandria

Alexandria

High School Class of 2021

For a long time, I've been searching everywhere to find the perfect website I can get scholarships and information from. Needless to say, I could never find the right one. That was, until I found CollegeXpress. Through my journey of finding the right scholarships for me, I was able to find articles about different things. They've all been helpful, especially in times like this! I was even able to connect with some of my favorite colleges! I love CollegeXpress. Thank you!

Heather McCarty

Heather McCarty

High School Class of 2020

CollegeXpress has helped me with the college application process. The tips and tricks for important essays were so helpful. I also gained useful knowledge about college life. Even though I’m fully online, CollegeXpress has helped me develop a sense of how college is in person. The experiences from college students that were featured on their Instagram page have shown the good, the bad, and the “secret” life on campus from a reliable perspective. Not to mention, they relieved my feelings of anxiety about the workload. I can now understand how it can be stressful, but it takes self-control and willpower to get assignments completed on time and with quality.

Keydi Banegas

Keydi Banegas

Scholarship for Students of Color Winner, Class of 2022

CollegeXpress is a great application that helped me search for many different scholarships, and it narrows the scholarships depending on how you set your profile. Not only that, but it helps you choose different colleges to apply to by finding matches through the description of your profile. It was the best experience for me.

Makiyah Murray

Makiyah Murray

High School Class of 2021

The college application process has been a stressful one, but CollegeXpress has eased some of that stress with its readily available college resources. At the beginning of the process, I frequently used the college search feature, and now that I’m almost done applying, I’ve started using the scholarship search. Both of these resources have made it easier to find relevant information.

College Matches