Barnard College clarifies admissions policy with respect to transgender people

Barnard College last Thursday announced that it will begin to accept applicants who "consistently live and identify as women, regardless of the gender assigned to them at birth” for the fall 2016 semester. The new policy also allows students who are assigned female at birth but transition while at Barnard to continue to stay at the university and receive a Barnard degree. However, the new policy explicitly excludes any student that does not identify as female, including students identifying as male, non-binary, or gender non-conforming, at the time of application, regardless of their sex assigned at birth.

In a statement posted to the school's website, Barnard College president Debora Spar wrote:

"The vote on this policy is the culmination of a full year of conversations. The Board, led by the Committee on Campus Life, discussed the issue of transgender enrollment at each of its meetings this year… 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."

With this announcement, Barnard College joins a growing list of women's colleges such as Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, Mills College, and Simmons College in having updated their admissions policies to take transgender women's applications into consideration.