By Tessa Berenson
June 4, 2015

Barnard College, a women’s college in New York City, announced Thursday that it would accept transgender women.

“In furtherance of our mission, tradition and values as a women’s college, and in recognition of our changing world and evolving understanding of gender identity, Barnard will consider for admission those applicants who consistently live and identify as women, regardless of the gender assigned to them at birth,” the school said a statement.

The new policy does not affect transgender students who transition during their time in college, but transgender men who were born female but identify as male at the time of the application will not be able to apply.

Debora Spar, the president of Barnard, told the New York Times that the decision came after more than a year of discussions. “When I first started hearing from trans students, I think as a human being, I couldn’t help but sympathize,” she 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’s decision puts it in line with other women’s colleges with similar policies, such as Wellesley and Smith.

Write to Tessa Berenson at tessa.berenson@time.com.

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