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Julian Scott
Julian Scott

Sarah Lawrence College


Congratulations to the incoming class of 2027! The admissions team has been busy, and regular decision packets are hitting mailboxes this week. Share your excitement by tagging us in your @sarahlawrencecollege selfie... see you this fall! #sarahlawrence #sarahlawrencecollege #classof2027 #acceptance #regulardecision




sarah lawrence college


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Spring break looked a little different for eleven Sarah Lawrence students this year. Instead of spending the week away, they chose to participate in @slccommunitypartnerships #alternativespringbreak program and spent their time converting a 200-year-old Quaker Meeting house into a two-family home and rehabilitating an African American Church that was flooded during Hurricane Ida in September 2021 with the @fullercenterny. Read more about their work and alternative spring break opportunities at the link in our bio! #sarahlawrencecollege #sarahlawrence #springbreak2023 #community


Sarah Lawrence is a prestigious, residential, coeducational liberal arts college. Founded in 1926 and consistently ranked among the leading liberal arts colleges in the country, Sarah Lawrence is known for its pioneering approach to education, rich history of impassioned intellectual and civic engagement, and vibrant, successful alumni. In close proximity to the unparalleled offerings of New York City, our historic campus is home to an inclusive, intellectually curious, and diverse community.


Talented, creative students choose Sarah Lawrence for the opportunity to take charge of their education. In close collaboration with our dedicated, distinguished faculty, students create a rigorous, personalized course of study and connect their passions across a wide array of disciplines. They graduate knowing how to apply the knowledge, skills, and critical thinking necessary for life after college.


Through the National Student Clearinghouse, Sarah Lawrence College has graduate school attendance of our alums. For specifics about rates of attendance, fields of study, and colleges attended, download our graduate school information sheet.


Sarah Lawrence College is a private liberal arts college in Yonkers, New York.[3][4] The college models its approach to education after the Oxford/Cambridge system of one-on-one student-faculty tutorials. A Sarah Lawrence scholarship, particularly in the humanities, performing arts, and writing, places high value on independent study. Originally a women's college, Sarah Lawrence became coeducational in 1968.


Sarah Lawrence College was established in 1926 by the real-estate mogul William Van Duzer Lawrence on the grounds of his estate in Westchester County and was named in honor of his wife, Sarah Bates Lawrence. The college was originally intended to provide instruction in the arts and humanities for women.[5] A major component of the college's early curriculum was "productive leisure", wherein students were required to work for eight hours weekly in such fields as modeling, shorthand, typewriting, applying makeup, and gardening.[6] Its pedagogy, modeled on the tutorial system of Oxford University, combined independent research projects, individually supervised by the teaching faculty, and seminars with low student-to-faculty ratio, a pattern that it retains to the present, despite its cost. Sarah Lawrence was the first liberal arts college in the United States to incorporate a rigorous approach to the arts with the principles of progressive education, focusing on the primacy of teaching and the concentration of curricular efforts on individual needs.[6]


Harold Taylor, President of Sarah Lawrence College from 1945 to 1959, greatly influenced the college. Taylor was elected president at age 30, maintained a friendship with the educational philosopher John Dewey, and worked to employ the Dewey method at Sarah Lawrence. Taylor spent much of his career calling for educational reform in the United States, using the success of Sarah Lawrence as an example of the possibilities of a personalized, modern, and rigorous approach to higher education.[7]


The first president of the college was Marion Coats from 1924 to 1929. She was a friend of Vassar College president Henry MacCracken and William Van Duzer Lawrence. Coats had traditional views of women's role in society that were at odds with her progressive approach to women's education. Cristle Collins Judd was introduced as president in 2017.[19]


The college has a number of international programs in four countries. Sarah Lawrence makes all practical efforts to preserve its most characteristic elements, such as one-on-one interaction with professors, small classes, and an emphasis on qualitative comprehension, in its programs overseas.


Sarah Lawrence offers nine graduate programs, each of which confers the Master of Arts, Master of Fine Arts, or Master of Science degree upon its graduates.[25] In contrast to highly specialized, research-oriented PhD doctoral study, these programs reflect the emphasis on interdisciplinary studies and the close student-teacher relationship that have come to be characteristic of the college's undergraduate program. Intensive work with faculty members, small seminars, and one-on-one conferences form the foundation of the curricular model. According to their own literature, the programs make an effort to balance the "theoretical (usually discussed in seminars and conferences) with the practical (in the form of fieldwork, practicums, research or creative work). This experiential work is most often conducted not in isolation, but in the midst of a community. Interdisciplinary work and ideas are encouraged, as is an ethic of social responsibility." There are approximately 298 graduate students at Sarah Lawrence.


In 2007, criticism of rankings of U.S. colleges and universities, particularly their perceived impact on the college admissions process, gained national prominence due in part to the March 11, 2007, Washington Post article "The Cost of Bucking College Rankings" by Michele Tolela Myers, a former president of Sarah Lawrence College. As Sarah Lawrence College dropped its SAT test score submission requirement for its undergraduate applicants in 2003,[30] thus joining the SAT optional movement for undergraduate admission, the college does not have SAT data to send to U.S. News for its national survey. Of this decision, Myers states, "We are a writing-intensive school, and the information produced by SAT scores added little to our ability to predict how a student would do at our college; it did, however, do much to bias admission in favor of those who could afford expensive coaching sessions."[31] At the time, Sarah Lawrence was the only American college that completely disregarded SAT scores in its admission process.[32] As a result of this policy, in the same The Washington Post article, Dr. Myers stated that she was informed by the U.S. News & World Report that if no SAT scores were submitted, U.S. News would "make up a number" to use in its magazines. She further argues that if the college were to decide to stop sending all data to U.S. News & World Report, their ranking would be artificially decreased.[31][33] Sarah Lawrence College now maintains a test-optional policy, with typically over half of applicants submitting their scores.


On June 19, 2007, following a meeting of the Annapolis Group, which represents over 100 liberal arts colleges, Sarah Lawrence announced that it would join others who had previously signed the letter to college presidents asking them not to participate in the "reputation survey" section of the U.S. News & World Report survey (this section comprises 25% of the ranking). Despite this public stance opposing these rankings, the 2019 edition ranked Sarah Lawrence tied for the 65th best liberal arts college in the nation.


In 2022, Forbes rated it 467th overall in its America's Top Colleges ranking, which includes 660 military academies, national universities, and liberal arts colleges. That same year, Washington Monthly rankings ranked Sarah Lawrence 155th in the liberal arts college category.


Political activism has played a crucial role in forming the spirit of the Sarah Lawrence community since the early years of the college. As early as 1938, students were volunteering in working-class sections of Yonkers, New York to help bring equality and educational opportunities to poor and minority citizens, and the Sarah Lawrence College War Board, organized by students in the fall of 1942, sought to aid troops fighting in World War II. During a time when the college's enrollment consisted of only 293 students, 204 signed up as volunteers during the first week of the War Board.[34] During the so-called McCarthy Years, a number of Sarah Lawrence's faculty members were accused by the American Legion of being sympathetic to the Communist Party, and were called before the Jenner Committee.[35] Since that time, activism has played a central role in student life, with movements for civil rights and against the Vietnam War in the 1960s and for student and faculty diversity in the 1980s. Also in the 1960s, students established an Upward Bound program for students from lower-income and poverty areas to prepare for college.[36] Theatre Outreach, the Child Development Institute, the Empowering Teachers Program, the Community Writers program, the Office of Community Partnership, and the Fulbright High School Writers Program are among the many programs founded since the 1970s to provide services to the larger community. In the late 1980s, students occupied Westlands, the main administrative building for the campus, in a sit-in for wider diversity. Students occupied Westlands again in 2016, in a sit-in supporting improved wages and safer working conditions for the college's recently unionized facilities workers. For many years, the college has been considered as being at the vanguard of the gay rights movement and many other progressive causes.[citation needed]


Much of the 42-acre (17 ha) Sarah Lawrence campus was originally a part of the estate of the college's founder, William Van Duzer Lawrence, though the college has more than doubled its size since Lawrence bequeathed his estate to the college in 1926. The terrain is characterized by dramatic outcroppings of exposed bedrock shaded by large oak and elm trees. Many of the older buildings are in the Tudor Revival architecture style that was popular in the area during the early 20th century, and many of the college's newer buildings attempt an updated interpretation of the same style. The campus is divided into two distinctive sections, the "Old Campus" and the "New Campus": the first is roughly contained within the boundaries of the former Lawrence estate, and the area of the second was acquired sometime after the college's earliest years. 041b061a72


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