The Editor of Glamour on 2021’s College Women of the Year

college student


Glamour editor Samantha Barry on the magazine’s new twist on a historic initiative

For more than 60 years, Glamour has recognized extraordinary women in its College Women of the Year edition. Past winners have included everyone from a 1961 Barnard graduate named Martha Stewart to poet Amanda Gorman, then a Harvard sophomore.

This year, the magazine will select its honorees from students enrolled at community colleges across the U.S. I spoke to Glamour editor-in-chief Samantha Barry all about it.

Katie Couric: Samantha, I remember the college issue from back when I was a kid growing up in Arlington, Virginia. It’s been a staple of Glamour for years. But this year, you’ve taken a different approach. Why?

Samantha Barry: Obviously the pandemic has changed so many things. It has absolutely changed the lens through which we approach our content. When we sat down this year to discuss College Women of the Year we knew it’d look different since schooling has looked so different lately. We revisited past years and noticed that the majority of our honorees came from Ivy League and other private four year institutions. Those schools can be inaccessible for so many students for a myriad of reasons. After some research, we learned that 41% of enrolled undergraduates are in community college. That’s a significant percentage! So we decided to focus on those stories and voices this year.

What are you looking for?

We want to see women of all ages and backgrounds: moms looking for a degree to enter or reenter the workforce, veterans home from duty and searching for a new career, women who are looking for some more experience for a career pivot or specialty…You can still achieve great things on an “untraditional” path and those are the stories we’re looking for in 2021. 

When will the issue publish?

This is all digital! We’re accepting nominations on a rolling basis and hope to announce our honorees in early summer.