Students Say

One big draw to Bennington College is its “Field Work Term program, where students intern every year for seven weeks to gain practical experience related to their academic interests.” This mandatory program provides a “real-world” opportunity many students appreciate. “It’s a huge advantage upon graduation, because with a degree from Bennington, you automatically have four internships or jobs on your résumé—and that’s only if you do absolutely nothing during summers.”

Overview

Applicants
1,032
Acceptance Rate
72%

Test Scores

SAT Reading
610 - 730
SAT Math
560 - 670
ACT Composite
27 - 32

Deadlines

Early Decision
November 15

Early Decision II
January 15

Regular
January 15

Other Admission Factors

Academic

Rigor of Secondary School Record
Academic GPA
Application Essay
Recommendation(s)
Non-Academic

Interview
Talent / Ability
Character / Personal Qualities

Overall

Students Say

One big draw to Bennington College is its “Field Work Term program, where students intern every year for seven weeks to gain practical experience related to their academic interests.” This mandatory program provides a “real-world” opportunity many students appreciate. “It’s a huge advantage upon graduation, because with a degree from Bennington, you automatically have four internships or jobs on your résumé—and that’s only if you do absolutely nothing during summers.” An even bigger draw for some students may be Bennington’s Plan Process. “Bennington’s greatest strength is the opportunity that it gives its students to design our own educations, that we are encouraged to study what we are truly passionate about.” This is ideal for students without a clear career focus, as well as those who are “frustrated with the “core requirements” style of education that high school shuttled [them] through” and want to “personally craft your own education tailored to your interests.” As one student explains, “I had no idea what I wanted to do or what I wanted to study. I needed to be free to explore however I please.” A flexible academic plan and yearly internships mean “students are constantly revisiting and reevaluating the questions of ’What do I want to study and why?’” Students are given “not only the freedom to explore a wide range of disciplines but the ability to discover and study [their] passions in depth.” Bennington’s professors received high praise. “The professors here are universally outstanding. Because of Bennington’s teacher-practitioner model, which requires professors to be active professionals in their fields of instruction, students at Bennington are privy to professors who not only are immensely knowledgeable in their fields, but are also so excited to teach about them.” “Most professors treat you as a future colleague rather than a student, which helps foster the experience of learning a skill or ability to analyze.” The school’s small size has a lot of benefits: “Classes are mostly discussion-based, small, and seminar style. Lectures are kept to a strict minimum, and classes are rarely more than twenty people.” But being small “can occasionally impact the curriculum—for example, few art history classes being offered one term. However, Bennington tries to accommodate this, and thus I took a private art history tutorial with a professor instead.”

Faculty and Class Information

Student/Faculty
8.6:1
Total Faculty
107
with Terminal Degree
72

58
Men
49
Women
15
Minority
3
International

Most frequent class size
10 - 19
Most frequent lab / sub section size
2 - 9

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
87%
Graduate in 5 years
97%
Graduate in 6 years
67%


Degrees

Bachelor's
Master's
Post-Bachelor's certificate

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available
Yes

Career Services

Alumni Network
Alumni Services
Classes
Interest Inventory
Internships
Opportunities at School

Coop
Experiential
Internship

Prominent Alumni


Michael Pollan ’76
Environmentalist, In Defense of Food, The Omnivore’s Dilemma

Melissa Rosenberg ’86
Writer/producer, The Agency, Dexter; Screenwriter, Twilight Saga

Helen Frankenthaler ’49
Abstract Impressionist, 2001 National Medal of Art

Joan Tower ’61
Grammy Award-winning composer

Jonathan Lethem ’86
Writer, Chronic City; MacArthur Genius Award winner

Alan Arkin ’56
Oscar-winning actor, Little Miss Sunshine; SAG award, Argo

Gay McDougall '69
First U.N. Independent Expert on Minority Issues

Dates

Financial Aid Rating
83
Application Deadlines
Feb 15
Notification Date
Mar 26

Required Forms

FAFSA
Forms CSSProfile
Forms Divorced Parent
School

Financial Aid Statistics


Average amount of loan debt per graduate
$26,073

Undergraduates who have borrowed through any loan program
57%

Financial aid provided to international students
Yes

Expenses per Academic Year

Tuition
Required Fees
Average Cost for Books and Supplies

Tuition / Fees Vary by Year of Study
No
Board for Commuters
Transportation for Commuters

Available Aid

Financial Aid Methodoloy
Federal and Institutional

Scholarships and Grants

Need-Based
 

Need-Based College/University Scholarship or Grant Aid from Institutional Funds
Need-Based Federal Pell
Need-Based Private Scholarships
Need-Based SEOG
Need-Based State Scholarships

Non-Need-Based
Institutional non-need-based scholarship or grant aid is available

Federal Direct Student Loan Programs
Direct PLUS Loans
Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans
Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

Federal Family Education Loan Programs (FFEL)

Is Institutional Employment Available (other than Federal Work Study)
Yes

Direct Lender
Yes

Overall

Students Say

Bennington students are “a body of individuals.” They are “hipsters, artists, and the next generation of geniuses having a good time and doing real, amazing things in the world.” They are “driven and passionate about their work,” and “everyone here is so amazing and artistic.” “Students tend to be pretty liberal, open, and tolerant. Most students genuinely care about their studies, and they pride themselves on their intellectual nature and academic successes. Most students are artistically aware, and they enjoy discussing literature, film, music, etc.” Although “it’s not a super diverse place ethnically or politically, in terms of diversity of interests, it’s wonderful.” “Everyone truly wants to be here and is engaged in their work.”

Student Body Profile

Total Undergraduate Enrollment
660
Out of State
97%

International
Foreign Countries Represented
35

Demographics

66% female
34% male
97% are out of state
95% are full time
5% are part time

Overview

Students Say

Life at Bennington “centers around work,” which is fine with students since “it’s work we really enjoy.” Located in an “absolutely, positively stunning” and “very cozy” campus in the small town of Bennington, Vermont, students spend a lot of time on school grounds. The “unique housing” where students “live in houses instead of dorms” builds a “strong community.” The arts are very popular on campus. “There’s always a concert, or an opening, or a show going on somewhere, and we like to support each other by going to as many events as we can.” “Dance, live music, and drama are really well attended here because the work that goes up is just so good.” Some students find transportation a challenge; “People do make it to Boston and New York City for performances and weekend getaways, though the surrounding area is much more accessible.” “Outside of campus one can walk around the quaint town with lots of shops and restaurants.” “We also go out for dinner a lot at local restaurants.” “Students love eating and cooking together. The atmosphere is pretty relaxed and conversational.”

Campus Life

Undergrads living on campus
94%
Help finding off-campus housing
Yes

Quality of life rating
91
First-Year Students living on campus
99%

Campus Environment
Suburban
Fire safety rating
94

Housing Options

Dorms Coed
Theme Housing

Special Needs Admissions


College Entrance Tests Required
No

Interview Required
No

Special Need Services Offered


Student Activities

Registered Student Organizations
37
Number of Honor Societies
0

Number of Social Sororities
0
Number of Religious Organizations
0

Sports

Athletic Division
Other


Student Services

Health
LGBT Support Groups: Psychological Services offers support and referrals. There is also a student organization called “Women Here and Mobilized” that has programming throughout the year.

Sustainability

With 500 acres of woods, ponds, fields, and wetlands, Bennington College has a campus immersed in the environment. Students at Bennington study the nature around them in science classes, hike through the woods for recreation, and even grow their own food in the Student Garden. As such, it shouldn’t be a surprise that sustainability is a prominent goal at Bennington. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) highlighted Bennington as a model for how colleges can effect change in their communities. Students in the “Solving the Impossible” course helped the Village of North Bennington transition to more energy-efficient lighting, resulting in a 60,000-pound reduction of carbon emissions. In fact, the school itself recently achieved a 50 percent reduction in carbon emissions with a campus-wide conversion to a biomass heating system. In 2011, Bennington signed the ACUPCC and set itself the goal of reaching complete carbon neutrality by 2030. The school is exploring forest management strategies as well as constructing new green buildings, like the Center for the Advancement of Public Action, to meet this ambitious carbon objective. Bennington’s reputation as a rural hippie paradise is reflected in its green campus life. The school encourages students to travel green with its bike share programs and carpooling incentives. The dining hall works hard to provide healthy, sustainable, organic, and delicious food from local sources. There is even a work-study position dedicated to working with dining managers to source more food sustainably. In 2010, PETA named Bennington one of the ten most vegan-friendly colleges in America. Students also are engaged in endowment divestment; their feedback has been an important consideration in how the College manages its investments. And they find lots of support in launching their sustainability-focused careers. During an annual internship term, students work with such organizations as the EPA, Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, and the Nature Conservancy; a 2013 graduate won a Fulbright Fellowship to study biogas, research he began at Bennington.

Green Rating
86
School Has Formal Sustainability Committee
Yes

Sustainability-focused degree available
Yes

School employs a sustainability officer
Yes

Public GHG inventory plan
Yes

% food budget spent on local/organic food
15%

Available Transportation Alternatives

Bike Share
Yes

Condensed Work Week Option For Employees
Yes

Incentives Or Programs To Encourage Employees To Live Close To Campus
Yes

School Developed Bicycle Plan
Yes
Data provided by Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), STARS®, as of February, 2014.

Campus Security Report

Campus Security Report

The Jeanne Clery Act requires colleges and universities to disclose their security policies, keep a public crime log, publish an annual crime report and provide timely warnings to students and campus employees about a crime posing an immediate or ongoing threat to students and campus employees.

Please visit The Princeton Review’s page on campus safety for additional resources: http://www.princetonreview.com/safety

The Princeton Review publishes links directly to each school's Campus Security Reports where available. Applicants can also access all school-specific campus safety information using the Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool provided by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education: http://ope.ed.gov/security


Other Information

Campus-wide Internet Network
Yes

Email and Web Access Available
Yes

% of Classrooms with Wireless Internet
100

Number of Computer Labs / Classrooms
14

Average Number of PC's per Lab
8

Network Access in Dorm Rooms
Yes

Network Access in Dorm Lounges
Yes

Fee for Network Use
No

Student Web Pages Permitted
Yes

Student Web Pages Provided
No

Partnerships with Technology Companies
No

Online Class Registration Available
No

Personal computer included in tuition for each student
No

Require Undergraduates to Own Computers
No

Undergraduates that Own Computers
95%

Discounts Available with Hardware Vendors
No

Description
We do not have any special agreements with hardware vendors, but Apple and Dell offer higher ed discounts.

Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Courses
No

Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Campus Radio / TV Stations
No

Campus Visits Contact

Contact
Marta Stringham
Visit Coordinator

Address
Office of Admissions
One College Drive
Bennington, VT 05201

Phone
8008336845

Email
admissions@bennington.edu

Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
Center for the Advancement of Public Action
Visual and Performing Arts Center
Edward Clark Crossett Library
Student Center
Commons Dining Hall and Lounge
The Center for the Advancement of Public Action, designed by internationally renowned architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, is a major new, green academic facility on the Bennington campus. It invites you to put the world's most pressing problems at the center of your education, or to incorporate it into your work in other disciplines.

Most Popular Places Off Campus
MASS MoCA Art Museum
Clark Art Museum
Bennington Battle Monument and Historic District
Outlet stores and shopping in Manchester, VT
Numerous ski and recreation areas
Located in the buzzing and picturesque southwestern tip of Vermont, Bennington borders New York's capital region and the Berkshire region of western Massachusetts. The College is a short drive to its southern neighbors Williams College, The Clark Art Museum, and MASS MoCA and to the shopping, outdoor adventure, and literary offerings just to its north in Manchester, Vermont. Saratoga Springs, upstate New York's cultural hub, is 45 minutes away.

Campus Tours

Campus Visiting Center
Monday-Friday; some Saturdays
9-5; 10-2 Saturdays
8008336845

Campus Tours
Appointment Required: Yes
Dates: Year-round
Times: During admissions office hours
Average Length: 1 hour

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews
Yes

Information Sessions
Available

Times
9-5; 10-2 Saturdays

Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Arrangements
Contact Admissions Office

Advance Notice
1 week

Contact Email Address for Visit
admissions@bennington.edu

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Arrangements
Contact Admissions Office

Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays
Available

Arrangements
Contact Admissions Office

Limitations
1-night stay; only specified days

Transportation

Types of Transportation Available to Campus
The Albany, NY, airport and Albany/Rensselaer Amtrak train station are approximately 40 miles from campus. For transportation from the airport or train station to campus, please contact Alternative Limousine Services (866-212-5466) or CLS Transportation (802-447-1609).

Driving Instructions to Campus
From the Albany area, follow Route 7 East toward Vermont. Continue onto Bennington Bypass. Continue onto VT 279E/Bennington Connector. Take ramp to VT 67A N/N Bennington Rd, and turn left onto VT 67A N/N Bennington Rd. Follow for less than a mile (Home Depot is on your right). After second set of lights, the College entrance is on the right. Turn right, through the gates, onto College Drive. Follow College Drive up the hill to the Campus Safety booth (on your left). Visitors' parking is located to the right across from the Campus Safety booth. From the New York City area, take I-87 to I-787 North (Exit 23) toward Downtown Albany/Rensselaer/Troy. Take Exit 9E (Troy/Bennington) and follow Route 7 East toward Vermont. Follow the directions from Route 7 listed above.

Local Accommodations
Less than 1 mile from the college is a Hampton Inn (51 Hannaford Square; 866-372-8688 or 802-440-9862). This facility was built in 2005 and features an indoor pool. One mile away is the inexpensive Best Western New Englander (220 Northside Dr.; 802-442-6311). This facility has an outdoor pool and lawn games in the summer. Four miles from campus is the Vermonter Motor Lodge (West Rd.; 802-442-2529), which is open from May through December. A double room is inexpensive, and for a relatively modest rate you can enjoy mountain views. The lodge also has its own pond and cottages. About 5 miles from the school is South Shire Bed-and-Breakfast (124 Elm St.; 802-447-3839). This wonderful Victorian mansion has 5 rooms in the main house that are moderately expensive and 4 (somewhat more pricey) luxurious accommodations with Jacuzzis and fireplaces in the carriage house. The Henry House Inn located in North Bennington (802-442-7045; www.henryhouseinn.com lt;http://www.henryhouseinn.comgt;) is a charming establishment. It was built in 1769, boasts six fireplaces and 25 acres of forest and meadows.
Bennington College campus - Image 0
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Key Stats

1,032
Applicants
660
Size
72%
Acceptance Rate
1280
SAT Scores

Rankings & Lists