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Northeastern vs Barnard: Which College is Right for You?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Group of students talking.

Northeastern vs Barnard: Which College is Right for You?

Choosing the right college can be a challenging decision. You need to consider various factors such as academics, campus life, location, financial aid, and career prospects. Two prominent colleges that you may be considering are Northeastern University and Barnard College. In this article, we’ll compare Northeastern vs Barnard based on various criteria to help you make an informed decision as to which is right for you.

Introduction: What to Consider When Choosing a College

Before we dig into the details of the colleges, let’s first discuss what you should keep in mind while making your decision. Firstly, determine your priorities and goals for college. Are you looking for a specific program, a great location, or a vibrant campus life? Evaluate the colleges based on those criteria.

Secondly, consider the cost and financial aid options. College can be expensive, and you want to make sure you can afford it. Finally, assess your own personality and values. Do you want to be in a small, close-knit community or a large, bustling one? Do you prefer urban or suburban environments?

Unknown person using a laptop.

Another important factor to consider when choosing a college is the academic rigor of the institution. Some colleges have a more challenging curriculum than others, and it’s important to choose a college that will challenge you academically and help you grow as a student. Additionally, you should consider the resources and support available to students, such as tutoring services, academic advisors, and career services. These resources can make a big difference in your college experience and help you achieve your goals.

Finally, it’s important to consider the culture and community of the college. Each college has its own unique culture and values, and it’s important to choose a college that aligns with your own values and interests. You should also consider the diversity of the student body and the opportunities for cultural exchange and learning. A college with a diverse student body can provide a rich and rewarding experience, both academically and socially.

Northeastern University: Overview and History

Northeastern University is a private research university located in Boston, Massachusetts. It was established in 1898 and has since grown into a reputable institution. Northeastern is known for its co-op program, which offers students the opportunity to gain work experience while studying. The university has nine undergraduate colleges and offers more than 90 majors and minors.

Aside from its academic programs, Northeastern University is also recognized for its commitment to research and innovation. The university has several research centers and institutes, including the Center for Drug Discovery, the Global Resilience Institute, and the Institute for Health Equity and Social Justice Research.

Furthermore, Northeastern University has a diverse student body, with students from all 50 states and over 140 countries. The university also offers a variety of extracurricular activities, including over 300 student organizations and 18 NCAA Division I sports teams.

Barnard College: Overview and History

Barnard College is a women’s liberal arts college located in New York City. It was founded in 1889 and has since become one of the most selective colleges in the United States. Barnard is affiliated with Columbia University but has its own campus and faculty. The college offers over 50 majors and minors in various fields.

Barnard College has a long history of promoting women’s education and empowerment. It was the first college in New York City to offer women the same rigorous education as men. Today, Barnard continues to prioritize women’s leadership and gender equity, with a student body that is diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic background.

In addition to its academic programs, Barnard offers a wide range of extracurricular activities and resources for students. These include over 100 student-run clubs and organizations, a robust athletics program, and a network of alumnae who are leaders in various fields. The college also has a strong commitment to community service and social justice, with many opportunities for students to get involved in activism and advocacy.

Campus Life at Northeastern: Housing, Dining, and Extracurriculars

Northeastern has a vibrant campus life with plenty of opportunities for students to engage in extracurricular activities. The university has over 350 student clubs and organizations, including a radio station, a theatre group, and a robotics club. The campus offers several dining options, from traditional dining halls to food trucks. Additionally, Northeastern requires all students to live on campus for their first two years, which creates a tight-knit community and fosters relationships among peers.

Furthermore, Northeastern provides a variety of housing options for students, including traditional dormitories, apartment-style living, and even themed housing communities. These communities are designed to bring together students with similar interests, such as sustainability or entrepreneurship, and provide a unique living experience. The university also offers resources and support for students who choose to live off-campus, including assistance with finding housing and navigating the rental process.

Campus Life at Barnard: Housing, Dining, and Extracurriculars

Barnard also has a rich campus life with various extracurricular activities for students to participate in. The college has over 100 student-run clubs and organizations, ranging from the Barnard Science Fiction and Fantasy Society to the Barnard Dance Collective. The dining options at Barnard are diverse and cater to all dietary needs. The college offers on-campus housing for all four years, which allows students to enjoy a close-knit community with their peers.

Barnard College's front building

Additionally, Barnard College has a strong commitment to community service and social justice. The college offers various opportunities for students to engage in community service projects and activism, such as the Barnard Reach Out program and the Athena Center for Leadership Studies. These programs allow students to make a positive impact on the world and develop their leadership skills.

Barnard College also has a beautiful campus with many green spaces and historic buildings. The campus is located in the heart of New York City, which provides students with endless opportunities to explore the city and its cultural offerings. Students can take advantage of the college’s location by attending concerts, museums, and other events in the city.

Academic Programs at Northeastern: Majors, Minors, and Special Programs

Northeastern offers a wide range of academic programs, including majors, minors, and unique interdisciplinary programs. The university has a strong focus on experiential learning and encourages students to apply their knowledge in real-world settings. Some of the most popular programs at Northeastern include business, computer science, engineering, and health sciences.

In addition to the popular programs mentioned above, Northeastern also offers a variety of specialized programs. These include majors in fields such as architecture, journalism, and music, as well as minors in subjects like environmental studies and global social entrepreneurship. The university also has unique interdisciplinary programs, such as the combined majors in computer science and game design, and the combined majors in psychology and criminal justice.

Furthermore, Northeastern has a strong commitment to international education and offers a range of study-abroad programs. Students can choose from over 130 programs in more than 30 countries, allowing them to gain a global perspective and enhance their cultural understanding. The university also has partnerships with international institutions, providing opportunities for research collaborations and exchange programs.

Academic Programs at Barnard: Majors, Minors, and Special Programs

Barnard is a liberal arts college, which means that students are required to take courses across various disciplines. The college offers over 50 majors and minors, including classics, dance, environmental science, and urban studies. Barnard also has a renowned writing program and hosts the Barnard Women’s Leadership Conference.

In addition to the majors and minors offered at Barnard, the college also has several special programs. One such program is the Athena Center for Leadership Studies, which offers courses and workshops focused on developing leadership skills. Another program is the Barnard Career Development Office, which provides resources and support for students as they navigate their career paths.

Barnard also has a strong commitment to research and scholarship. The college offers opportunities for students to engage in research projects with faculty members and hosts several research symposiums throughout the year. Additionally, Barnard has partnerships with several research institutions in New York City, providing students with access to cutting-edge research facilities and resources.

Faculty and Class Size Comparison between Northeastern vs Barnard

Northeastern has a student-faculty ratio of 15:1, and the average class size is 25 students. The university boasts a diverse faculty that includes Pulitzer Prize winners, Fulbright Scholars, and members of the National Academy of Sciences. Barnard, on the other hand, has a student-faculty ratio of 10:1, and the average class size is 16 students. The college has a distinguished faculty that includes a Nobel laureate in Physiology or Medicine and a MacArthur Fellow.

Despite the differences in student-faculty ratio and class size, both Northeastern and Barnard prioritize small class sizes and individualized attention from faculty. Northeastern offers a variety of resources to support student success, including tutoring services, academic advisors, and research opportunities. Barnard, as a women’s college, places a strong emphasis on empowering women in leadership and providing a supportive community for its students.

Additionally, both institutions have a commitment to diversity and inclusion. Northeastern has a multicultural center and offers a range of cultural events and programs throughout the year. Barnard has a diverse student body and offers resources for students from underrepresented backgrounds, including a first-generation student program and a scholarship for undocumented students.

Research Opportunities at Northeastern vs Barnard

Both Northeastern and Barnard offer ample opportunities for research. Northeastern has several research centers and institutes, including the D’Amore-McKim School of Business and the Roux Institute. The university also conducts research in various fields such as health, sustainability, and security. Barnard has several research institutes and laboratories, including the Athena Center for Leadership Studies and the Barnard Center for Research on Women. The college also encourages research in fields such as neuroscience, environmental science, and women’s studies.

In addition to the research centers and institutes, Northeastern also offers students the opportunity to participate in co-op programs, where they can gain hands-on experience in their field of study while conducting research. These co-op programs are available in various fields such as engineering, computer science, and health sciences.

Similarly, Barnard offers students the chance to conduct research through its Summer Research Institute, where students can work on independent research projects under the guidance of faculty members. The college also has partnerships with several research institutions in New York City, providing students with access to cutting-edge research facilities and resources.

Internship Opportunities at Northeastern vs Barnard

The co-op program at Northeastern provides ample opportunities for students to gain work experience while studying. The university has partnerships with over 3,000 employers worldwide and offers a range of co-op opportunities in various fields.

Barnard also provides several internship opportunities for students in industries such as finance, journalism, and fashion. The college has partnerships with leading organizations such as Goldman Sachs and Vogue.

Additionally, both Northeastern and Barnard offer resources and support for students to secure internships and co-op positions. Northeastern has a dedicated co-op office that assists students with resume building, interview preparation, and job search strategies.

Barnard has a career development center that offers similar services, as well as networking events and workshops to help students connect with potential employers. These resources are invaluable for students looking to gain practical experience and build their professional networks.

Admissions Requirements for Northeastern vs Barnard

Both Northeastern and Barnard are highly selective colleges. Northeastern has an acceptance rate of around 18%, while Barnard’s acceptance rate is around 11%. The average SAT score for admitted students at Northeastern is between 1430 – 1550, while the average ACT score is between 33 – 35. For Barnard, the average SAT score is between 1425 – 1550, and the average ACT score is between 32 – 34. Both colleges require transcripts, test scores, essays, and letters of recommendation.

Scholarship document, admission paper or letter on table.

In addition to the standard admissions requirements, Northeastern also offers an optional interview process for applicants. This interview can be conducted in-person or virtually and is an opportunity for the applicant to showcase their personality and interests beyond what is included in their application materials. Northeastern also values demonstrated interest, so attending information sessions or campus tours can positively impact an applicant’s chances of being admitted.

Barnard, on the other hand, places a strong emphasis on a student’s academic achievements and intellectual curiosity. In addition to the required essays, Barnard also requires applicants to submit a graded writing sample from a high school English or history class. This writing sample allows the admissions committee to evaluate the applicant’s writing skills and critical thinking abilities. Barnard also values diversity and encourages applicants from a wide range of backgrounds to apply.

Financial Aid Packages offered by Northeastern vs. Barnard

Both Northeastern and Barnard offer generous financial aid packages. Northeastern offers need-based and merit-based aid, and the average financial aid package is around $39,739. Barnard also offers need-based and merit-based aid, and the average financial aid package is around $54,445. Barnard guarantees to meet 100% of demonstrated financial need for all admitted students.

It is important to note that the cost of attendance at Barnard is higher than Northeastern, which may account for the higher average financial aid package. Additionally, Northeastern offers a co-op program, which allows students to gain work experience and earn money to help offset the cost of tuition.

Both schools also offer various scholarships and grants to help students pay for their education. Northeastern has a scholarship program specifically for first-generation college students, while Barnard offers scholarships for students with exceptional academic achievements or talents in the arts.

Campus Location Comparison: Boston vs New York City

One of the most significant differences between Northeastern and Barnard is the location. Northeastern is located in the heart of Boston, a vibrant city known for its rich history, world-class universities, and thriving tech industry. Barnard is located in New York City, the cultural and financial center of the United States. Students at both colleges have access to various cultural and recreational activities, internships, and networking opportunities.

However, Boston and New York City offer different experiences for students. Boston is a smaller city, which allows for a more intimate and tight-knit community. Students can easily navigate the city and explore its various neighborhoods. On the other hand, New York City is a massive metropolis with endless possibilities. Students can discover new things every day and never run out of things to do.

Another difference is the cost of living. New York City is notoriously expensive, with high rent prices and a high cost of living. Students at Barnard may need to budget more carefully to afford living expenses. In contrast, Boston is more affordable, with a lower cost of living and lower rent prices. Students at Northeastern may have an easier time managing their finances.

Student Diversity Comparison between Northeastern vs Barnard

Both Northeastern and Barnard are committed to diversity and inclusion. Northeastern has a diverse student body, with students from all 50 states and over 140 countries. The university has several diversity and inclusion initiatives and offers various resources for underrepresented students. Barnard is a women’s college but is open to transgender students and students who do not identify as female. The college has a diverse student population, with students from over 48 states and 39 countries.

Despite their commitment to diversity, there are some differences in the student populations at Northeastern and Barnard. Northeastern has a larger percentage of international students, making up about 20% of the student body, while Barnard has a higher percentage of students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, making up about 45% of the student body. Additionally, Northeastern has a larger overall student population, with over 27,000 undergraduate and graduate students, while Barnard has a smaller student population of just over 2,500 undergraduate students.

Both schools also have different approaches to promoting diversity and inclusion. Northeastern has a multicultural center and various student organizations dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion, while Barnard has a social justice institute and a center for research on women. Both schools offer courses and programs that focus on diversity and inclusion, but the specific areas of focus may differ between the two institutions.

Athletic Programs Comparison between Northeastern vs Barnard

Northeastern has a Division I athletic program and competes in the Colonial Athletic Association. The university offers 18 varsity sports, including basketball, hockey, and soccer.

famle student inside a locker room and carrying a basketball

Northeastern is also known for its rowing and track and field teams. Barnard does not have a varsity athletic program but offers several club and intramural sports, including fencing, basketball, and volleyball. Barnard is also part of the Columbia University Athletics Department, which allows students to participate in Columbia’s athletic programs.

Conclusion: Which College is the Right Fit for You?

Both Northeastern and Barnard are excellent colleges that offer unique and rich experiences to their students. The right fit for you depends on your individual preferences and goals. To summarize, Northeastern is a larger university with a strong focus on experiential learning, while Barnard is a small liberal arts college with a comprehensive curriculum. Northeastern is located in Boston, while Barnard is located in New York City. Finally, both colleges offer outstanding opportunities for research, internships, and career growth.

Want to learn more about comparing Northeastern with other top and well-known Universities and Colleges in the country? You’ve come to the right place. At AdmissionSight, we have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process.

AdmissionSight can help you put your best foot forward when applying to college this fall. Contact us today for more information on our services.

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