About

See what students say:

Academics

Student autonomy and an individualized curriculum are at the heart of a Bennington College education, and some say that the school’s “greatest strength is how non-traditional it is.” Here, students map out Plans for study and application, rather than adhering to the traditional declaration of a major. “Having access to such interesting and strange subjects is an opportunity unique” to the school, and the one-on-one guidance each student receives is “a game changer in terms of getting experience in your field.” With the help of a personal Plan committee, students work toward obtaining several fundamental Capacities such as inquiry, research, and communication. All students also spend six weeks a year in a fieldwork term, completing an internship or experience where the practical outcomes of their education can be seen: “This experience is life changing, and one of the reasons why I wanted to come to Bennington,” says a student. “Nothing is handed to you here, but there is freedom to do whatever you want if you have the energy to go out and get it,” which students see as a learning experience in and of itself. There is a great “trust in the students to create their own path and make good decisions.”

Students and professors “are encouraged to be on a first name basis with each other” and there’s an appreciation for how teachers work to “succinctly encapsulate your journey, work, and experience in the course within a paragraph that is archived for futurity.” Studies tend to be “very interdisciplinary and focus on a lot of unconventional and experimental ideas,” and professors “will also often bring their colleagues in to discuss and connect with students.” The “flexibility and nimbleness of the institution allows for maximum creativity and independence,” and to many, that makes this a dream school, in that “students can literally dream up their course of study, and do work important to them.”

Student Body

This is a place that is “full of people open to self-expression and being who you are, whoever you may be,” where students are “very, very LGBTQIA+ accepting” and “most people are a part of the community.” This “colorful cast of wonderful, intelligent people who question the world around them in very significant ways” are “as ‘liberal’ as a liberal arts college could get.” The campus “is very inclusive and diverse which is astonishing considering the student population is not very big,” and there is a “politically conscious student body that is generally very engaged in their areas of interest and work.” Almost “the entire student body lives on campus for all four years, meaning communal living on campus is ever adapting and improving.”

Campus Life

Housing at Bennington is just as untraditional as is its approach to degrees and grading: instead of dorms, there are houses of 30–45 students each, which means leads to “real connections with your housemates instead of just coexisting.” The dining hall staff are incredibly accommodating, and there are “food options for vegans, vegetarians, meat eaters, and halal.” A shuttle service provides ease for “grocery trips, exploring town, pickup and drop-off to and from the Albany airport and Amtrak train station,” and “it’s really easy to bike, walk around, and do any outdoor activities safely.” As one student says, “If you are inspired by nature, Bennington is the place to be.” That said, organized athletics can be hard to find: “There are sometimes sports happening, but not really.” Instead, Vermont is “known for natural swimming holes, skiing, and maple syrup tapping which students become involved in seasonally.” There are, however, “many opportunities to involve yourself in student leadership if you have the ambition” and “a whole bunch of clubs” for budding improv artists, comic-book fans, creative writers, and Dungeons & Dragons roleplayers.

Contact & Visit

Campus Visits Contact

Contact
Kat L'Esperance-Stokes
Admissions 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
Commons Dining Hall and Lounge
Visual and Performing Arts Center
Edward Clark Crossett Library
Student Center
Center for the Advancement of Public Action
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
Blue Benn Diner
The Robert Frost Stone House Museum
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. The college also recently acquired the Robert Frost Stone House Museum. In addition to functioning as an historic house and museum, it has also been integrated into educational programming and experiential learning opportunities for students in literature, museum work, historic preservation, and environmental studies.

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.

Admissions

Applicants: 2,824
Acceptance Rate: 48%
Average HS GPA: 3.60







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