See what students say:


Bennington has a rep for "academic freedom" and creativity, driven by its Plan Process, which allows students to determine their own course of study, which "gives you agency in every aspect of your education." Faculty advisors and committees provide support and guidance throughout the process, and students receive "detailed, written evaluation" instead of grades (professors will provide letter grades at students' request, to help complete graduate school applications). One student praises the Plan Process for giving her the chance "to carve my own path for my education and have a close connection to my faculty." "Everyone at Bennington is encouraged and determined to be themselves and pursue their individual interests." Within Bennington's "tight community," "students are active participants in the educational process, learning to take initiative, self-advocate, and approach work with intention." The faculty "put their soul into the classes," which enjoy an 9:1 student/professor ratio. "My professors are engaging, brilliant, motivated, and present. I'm grateful to have them as my mentors." "Professors are well-informed, enthusiastic, and clearly love their jobs." Informally, "there is an unspoken rule that all professors go by their first names; this really fosters a friendly and equal relationship between teachers and students." "Classes are strongly discussion based" and the "small class sizes make it so you receive a lot of personalized attention in and out of class." While the college demonstrates "remarkable adherence to the real liberal arts (grammar, logic, and rhetoric)," Bennington provides a forward-looking "alternative education that puts an emphasis on personal and professional development." While some students feel that course "registration could be much smoother and less stressful," the classes themselves are "rigorous and intimate," and "the work assigned is almost always very interesting." In addition to their self-directed studies on the "beautiful campus" in Vermont, students love the school's annual seven-week Field Work Term, which places students in professional internships off-campus: "For our mandatory Field Work Term period, we have to find internships in the real world every year." The combination of the Field Work Term and the Plan Process, according to students, produces an "individualized education that actually means something." In short, according to its undergrads, "Bennington is about community living, cooperation, planning your life ahead, and designing your own education."

Student Body

Students here are quirky, interesting, and self-aware. One reports that "my circles and I think about interconnectedness, interfaith spirituality, wellness, political activism, sustainability, music, body awareness, ritual, dance, feminism." "A typical Bennington student works hard, is passionate, takes some risks, has obscure taste in music, is willing to talk about important issues." Students describe themselves as "very alternative. Art school kids. We are a motley crew of rockers, flamboyant gays, science nerds, outdoorsy people." It's true that "we wear Birks, we're into tree-hugging, dodgeball is our favorite sport," and also that "students will find the right people at Bennington. We're very supportive of one another."

Campus Life

There's a small, tight-knit community here and it's not hard to have fun while carrying a great conversation anywhere onor off-campus, says one student of life at Bennington. "Also, the place is gorgeous." There are no traditional dorms here: "The houses we live in are really great. Each house has a personality and unique communities are built in every house." Don't be fooled by the college's tiny size: Students report enjoying a stunning array of "gatherings at friends' houses, potlucks, dinners, drinks, movies, or open mics with friends," "plays, dance recitals, jazz improv sessions, poetry readings," "bands and concerts, art exhibits, rollerskating," and "dance parties." "The party scene is pretty wide," certainly wide enough to contain many different social motivations: "Drinking is popular, but there is very little peer pressure to drink and students who do not wish to partake have numerous things to do for fun." Bennington students tend to be more interested in intellectual engagement than keg parties: "I read widely and often and take pleasure in talking to my friends over a meal about the things we've been learning."


Acceptance Rate

SAT Reading
25th-75th percentile
(enrolled students)
620 - 710
SAT Math
25th-75th percentile
(enrolled students)
570 - 668
SAT Writing
25th-75th percentile
(enrolled students)
583 - 690

Concordant SAT Scores

SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
650 - 730
SAT Math
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
590 - 700

ACT Composite
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
26 - 31

Testing Policies

ACT Writing Policy
ACT with or without Writing accepted

SAT Essay Policy
SAT with or without Writing accepted


Early Decision — November 15

Early Decision II — January 3

Early Action — December 1

Regular — January 3

Other Admission Factors


Rigor of Secondary School Record
Academic GPA
Application Essay

Talent / Ability
Character / Personal Qualities

Selectivity Rating

Get a personalized plan for a competitive application from an admissions expert.

Learn More

Faculty and Class Information

Total Faculty
with Terminal Degree


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

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
Graduate in 5 years
Graduate in 6 years


  • Architecture and Related Service

  • Architecture
  • Environmental Design/Architecture

  • Area, Ethnic, Cultural, and Gender 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, General
  • 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 Clinical Sciences

  • 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

  • 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 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


Post-Bachelor's certificate

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available

Career Services

Alumni Network
Alumni Services
Interest Inventory
Opportunities at School


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
Graduate in 5 years
Graduate in 6 years

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available

Career Services

Alumni Network
Alumni Services
Interest Inventory
Opportunities at School


ROI & Outcomes

Information from PayScale:

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

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

Starting Median Salary (At least Bachelor's degree)

Mid-Career Median Salary (At least Bachelor's degree)

Percent High Job Meaning

Percent STEM

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.


Application Deadlines
Jan 3
Notification Date
Mar 25

Required Forms

Forms CSSProfile
Forms Divorced Parent

Financial Aid Statistics

Average Freshman Total Need-Based Gift Aid

Average Undergraduate Total Need-Based Gift Aid

Average Need-Based Loan

Undergraduates who have borrowed through any loan program

Average amount of loan debt per graduate

Financial aid provided to international students

Expenses per Academic Year

Required Fees
Average Cost for Books and Supplies

Tuition / Fees Vary by Year of Study
Board for Commuters
Transportation for Commuters

On-Campus Room and Board
Comprehensive Fee

Available Aid

Financial Aid Methodology
Federal and Institutional

Scholarships and Grants


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

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)

Direct Lender

Financial Aid Rating


Student Body Profile

Total Undergraduate Enrollment
Foreign Countries Represented



64% female
36% male
98% are out of state
96% are full time
4% are part time


Campus Life

Undergrads living on campus
Help finding off-campus housing

First-Year Students living on campus

Campus Environment

Housing Options

Dorms Coed
Theme Housing

Special Needs Admissions

College Entrance Tests Required

Interview Required

Special Need Services Offered

Student Activities

Registered Student Organizations
Number of Honor Societies

Number of Social Sororities
Number of Religious Organizations


Athletic Division

Student Services

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.


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.

School Has Formal Sustainability Committee

Sustainability-focused degree available

School employs a sustainability officer

Public GHG inventory plan

% food budget spent on local/organic food

Available Transportation Alternatives

Bike Share

Car Sharing Program

Carpool/Vanpool Matching Program

Condensed Work Week Option For Employees

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

Incentives Or Programs To Encourage Employees To Live Close To Campus

Indoor And Secure Bike Storage, Shower Facilities, And Lockers For Bicycle Commuters

Reduced Parking Fees For Car And Van Poolers

School Adopted A Policy Prohibiting Idling

School Developed Bicycle Plan

School Offers A Telecommute Program For Employees

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:

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:

Other Information

Campus-wide Internet Network

Email and Web Access Available

% of Classrooms with Wireless Internet

Number of Computer Labs / Classrooms

Average Number of PC's per Lab

Network Access in Dorm Rooms

Network Access in Dorm Lounges

Fee for Network Use

Student Web Pages Permitted

Student Web Pages Provided

Partnerships with Technology Companies

Online Class Registration Available

Personal computer included in tuition for each student

Require Undergraduates to Own Computers

Undergraduates that Own Computers

Discounts Available with Hardware Vendors

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

Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Campus Radio / TV Stations

Campus Visits Contact

Marta Stringham
Visit Coordinator

Office of Admissions
One College Drive
Bennington, VT 05201



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

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

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews

Information Sessions

9-5; 10-2 Saturdays

Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Contact Admissions Office

Advance Notice
1 week

Contact Email Address for Visit

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Contact Admissions Office

Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays

Contact Admissions Office

1-night stay; only specified days


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; lt;http://www.henryhouseinn.comgt;) is a charming establishment. It was built in 1769, boasts six fireplaces and 25 acres of forest and meadows.

Articles & Advice