See what students say:

Academics

A small, private liberal arts college tucked away in Southern Vermont, Bennington College maintains an academic philosophy that encourages a particularly high level of “independence,” “creativity,” and “critical thinking” among its student body. Bennington offers small, discussion-based classes, no core requirements, and individualized plans of study. Instead of majors and minors, students participate in a “Plan Process,” where they design their own four-year curriculum with a strong “support system of advisors and committees.” Faculty members are working practitioners in their field who are “driven and passionate,” “highly accessible,” “engaging,” and “often feel like personal mentors.” Students also note that their relationships with faculty feel less typically “hierarchal,” with “transparent pedagogy,” opportunities for midterm feedback, and student-professor relationships operating on a first-name basis. Coursework is generally “reading and writing intensive,” and it’s far more common to see students working on a “project or essay” during finals than cramming for an exam. Students are also required to complete a “field work term”—each student spends seven weeks in an internship that can set them on a professional path and give them valuable connections that are useful after graduation.

Student Body

Students at Bennington are by and large “passionate,” “independent,” “creative,” “liberal,” “hardworking and driven.” “Students here are the very definition of unique,” says one student. “There are many students who have interesting style, hobbies, and interests and it creates a really exciting atmosphere.” While student’s individualized academic plans are interdisciplinary in nature, providing opportunities for broad studies across the liberal arts and sciences, students report an emphasis on “niche work” by an “introspective” and “extremely eclectic group of students with a unifying sense of oddness.” With just over 700 students, the small student body is “tight-knit.” Some note that, given the self-directed nature of students’ work and projects, students can “create a bubble,” with work that can be overly “abstract.” Yet “the community is very accepting, constructive, and there is little peer-pressure or competition.” One student reports that “there’s very little separation between social life and the classroom, in a way that can often feel intense.” If issues related to “racial power dynamics” and “socio-economic class structures” arise, Bennington’s small, “interconnected community” means “people have to work through these [issues] and understand them in different lights to move forward.” “Bennington’s students care as much about interpersonal and social relationships as they do work,” says one student. “This isn’t to the detriment of academia or the work itself but...an invigorator of collaboration and conversation.”

Campus Life

Bennington College students often have a “high workload in many disciplines, so a majority of time is spent studying or producing work.” While some say that Bennington students “are very social...spend a lot of time together...” and “tend to work in communal spaces” instead of private rooms, others point out that students can be especially focused on their personal work and projects because they are so “passionate.” Make no mistake: Bennington, Vermont is small-town living. With a car, you can go into town and see a movie, take mountain hikes, go on “runs through North Bennington,” or “swim in Lake Paran when it’s warm.” But students have plenty of opportunities to socialize on campus. These might include Friday and Saturday night dance parties and “formal and informal” evening events spotlighting speakers, musicians, and other visiting performers. Other on-campus activities include “trivia nights and karaoke,” and “film screenings and art shows.” The residential houses at Bennington “are small and foster unique cultures and communities, so many students are comfortable relaxing with housemates in the house common rooms.”

Overview

Applicants
1,465
Acceptance Rate
57%

Test Scores

SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
25th-75th percentile
(enrolled students)
620 - 710
SAT Math
25th-75th percentile
(enrolled students)
590 - 680
ACT Composite
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
27 - 31

Testing Policies


ACT Writing Policy
ACT with or without Writing accepted

SAT Essay Policy
SAT with or without Writing accepted

Deadlines

Early Decision — November 15

Early Decision II — January 15

Early Action — December 1

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

Selectivity Rating


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Faculty and Class Information

Student/Faculty
10:1
Total Faculty
125
with Terminal Degree
67

65
Women
60
Men
14
Minority
2
International

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


Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
56%
Graduate in 5 years
67%
Graduate in 6 years
67%

Majors

  • ARCHITECTURE AND RELATED SERVICES.

  • Architecture.
  • Environmental Design/Architecture.

  • AREA, ETHNIC, CULTURAL, GENDER, AND GROUP STUDIES.

  • Asian Studies/Civilization.
  • Gay/Lesbian Studies.
  • Latin American Studies.
  • Women's Studies.

  • BIOLOGICAL AND BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES.

  • Biology/Biological Sciences, General.
  • Ecology.
  • Environmental Biology.

  • COMMUNICATION, JOURNALISM, AND RELATED PROGRAMS.

  • Communication and Media Studies.
  • Communication, General.
  • Digital Communication and Media/Multimedia.

  • COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGIES/TECHNICIANS AND SUPPORT SERVICES.

  • Animation, Interactive Technology, Video Graphics and Special Effects.

  • COMPUTER AND INFORMATION SCIENCES AND SUPPORT SERVICES.

  • Computer and Information Sciences, General.
  • Computer Graphics.
  • Computer Science.

  • EDUCATION.

  • Education, General.

  • ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE/LETTERS.

  • Creative Writing.
  • English Language and Literature, General.
  • Writing, General.

  • FOREIGN LANGUAGES, LITERATURES, AND LINGUISTICS.

  • Chinese Language and Literature.
  • Foreign Languages and Literatures, General.
  • French Language and Literature.
  • Italian Language and Literature.
  • Japanese Language and Literature.
  • Spanish Language and Literature.

  • HEALTH PROFESSIONS AND RELATED PROGRAMS.

  • Pre-Medicine/Pre-Medical Studies.

  • HISTORY.

  • History, General.

  • LEGAL PROFESSIONS AND STUDIES.

  • Pre-Law Studies.

  • LIBERAL ARTS AND SCIENCES, GENERAL STUDIES AND HUMANITIES.

  • Humanities/Humanistic Studies.
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies.

  • MATHEMATICS AND STATISTICS.

  • Mathematics, General.

  • MULTI/INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES.

  • Biological and Physical Sciences.
  • International/Global Studies.
  • Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other.
  • Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution.

  • NATURAL RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION.

  • Environmental Science.
  • Environmental Studies.

  • PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES.

  • Jewish/Judaic Studies.
  • Philosophy.

  • PHYSICAL SCIENCES.

  • Chemistry, General.
  • Geology/Earth Science, General.
  • Physical Sciences.
  • Physics, General.

  • PSYCHOLOGY.

  • Psychology, General.

  • PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AND SOCIAL SERVICE PROFESSIONS.

  • Public Policy Analysis, General.

  • SOCIAL SCIENCES.

  • Anthropology.
  • International Relations and Affairs.
  • Political Science and Government, General.
  • Social Sciences, General.
  • Social Sciences, Other.
  • Sociology.

  • VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS.

  • Acting.
  • Art History, Criticism and Conservation.
  • Ceramic Arts and Ceramics.
  • Cinematography and Film/Video Production.
  • Dance, General.
  • Design and Visual Communications, General.
  • Directing and Theatrical Production.
  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General.
  • Drawing.
  • Fashion/Apparel Design.
  • Film/Cinema/Video Studies.
  • Fine/Studio Arts, General.
  • Intermedia/Multimedia.
  • Music Theory and Composition.
  • Music, General.
  • Painting.
  • Photography.
  • Playwriting and Screenwriting.
  • Printmaking.
  • Sculpture.
  • Technical Theatre/Theatre Design and Technology.
  • Theatre Literature, History and Criticism.
  • Visual and Performing Arts, General.
  • Voice and Opera.


Degrees

Bachelor's
Master's

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available
Yes

Career Services

Alumni Network
Alumni Services
Classes
Interest Inventory
Internships
Opportunities at School

Coop
Experiential
Internship

Notable Faculty


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

Academic Rating

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
56%
Graduate in 5 years
67%
Graduate in 6 years
67%

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available
Yes

Career Services

Alumni Network
Alumni Services
Classes
Interest Inventory
Internships
Opportunities at School

Coop
Experiential
Internship

ROI & Outcomes

Information from PayScale:

Starting Median Salary (Up to Bachelor's degree completed, only)
$45,800

Mid-Career Median Salary (Up to Bachelor's degree completed, only)
$90,100

Starting Median Salary (At least Bachelor's degree)
$45,200

Mid-Career Median Salary (At least Bachelor's degree)
$85,800

Percent High Job Meaning
37%

Percent STEM
5%


Students Say

Bennington College is about “the exploration and formation of a career, based on the unique interests of each individual.” The Field Work Term (FWT) search process is “often based on students' own resources (family, faculty, friends),” but the FWT office is always “working to provide more resources (financial, alumni) that may make this process more coherent.” The faculty “pushes [students] to think about the future,” and “if you're passionate about getting a job after graduating it's actually very easy,” as Bennington has “a lot of opportunities” for after post-college success. The school's Life After Bennington (LAB) program arranges for alumni networking and for LAB Talks, which are career development workshops for individual fields, plus mock interviews. Based on employer evaluation submitted to Bennington College, 97 percent of employer report being satisfied or extremely satisfied with their Bennington Field Work interns. Ninety-four percent say they would hire a Bennington intern again.

Dates

Application Deadlines
Jan 3
Notification Date
Mar 27

Required Forms

FAFSA
Forms CSSProfile
Forms Divorced Parent
School

Financial Aid Statistics

Average Freshman Total Need-Based Gift Aid
$40,246

Average Undergraduate Total Need-Based Gift Aid
$36,862

Average Need-Based Loan
$3,558

Undergraduates who have borrowed through any loan program
65%

Average amount of loan debt per graduate
$27,470

Financial aid provided to international students
Yes

Expenses per Academic Year

Tuition
$53,160
Required Fees
$700
Average Cost for Books and Supplies
$1,000

Tuition / Fees Vary by Year of Study
No
Board for Commuters
$6,890
Transportation for Commuters

On-Campus Room and Board
$15,610
Comprehensive Fee

Available Aid

Financial Aid Methodology
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
No

Financial Aid Rating

Overall


Student Body Profile

Total Undergraduate Enrollment
775
Foreign Countries Represented
52

Demographics

1.89%
Asian
3.77%
African-American
9.84%
Hispanic
58.36%
Caucasian
4.04%
Unknown
17.12%
International

65% female
35% male
98% are out of state
93% are full time
7% are part time

Overview


Campus Life

Undergrads living on campus
98%
Help finding off-campus housing
Yes

First-Year Students living on campus
100%

Campus Environment
Village

Housing Options

Dorms Coed

Special Needs Admissions


College Entrance Tests Required
No

Interview Required
No

Special Need Services Offered


Student Activities

Registered Student Organizations
43
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.

83/99
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

Car Sharing Program
No

Carpool/Vanpool Matching Program
No

Condensed Work Week Option For Employees
Yes

Free Or Reduced Price Transit Passes And/Or Free Campus Shuttle
Yes

Incentives Or Programs To Encourage Employees To Live Close To Campus
No

Indoor And Secure Bike Storage, Shower Facilities, And Lockers For Bicycle Commuters
No

Reduced Parking Fees For Car And Van Poolers
No

School Adopted A Policy Prohibiting Idling
No

School Developed Bicycle Plan
Yes

School Offers A Telecommute Program For Employees
No

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

% of Classrooms with Wireless Internet
100

Fee for Network Use
No

Partnerships with Technology Companies
No

Personal computer included in tuition for each student
No

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.

Campus Visits Contact

Contact
Marta Stringham
Admissions Assistant for Visit Coordination

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.


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