Bennington College - 9/24/18

Bennington College

Founded in early 1930's. First college to have visual and performing arts at the same level as other liberal arts; modern dance was "born" on their campus.

Plan Process: work with advisor and committee of faculty members to design their course of study. Very personalized approach. They have disciplines but no core or distribution requirements.

Original research is required for science students and advanced study is required  no matter what topic you study.

650 students; 13 students average class size

Unique quality: 1) Field Work Term in Jan. & Feb.; a  7-week term when everyone participates in internships, volunteerism or work. It's a graduation requirement and the goal is to incorporate real- world work into each student's educational career. Students complete Field Work Term all four years unless they are studying abroad. Some students stay in Vermont but they'd love students to see the world so some go international. The college can award grants up to $2,500 for these experiences.

Financial Aid: merit scholarships - all applicants automatically considered; 90% of students receive some form of aid. It always comes as a combo of grants, loans, work study. They will work with students if the aid package isn't going to work

FAFSA and CSS Profile required

Located in southern Vermont; close to New York and MA border. 12 miles up the road to Williams. Can take courses at Williams. Bennington's campus is really pretty. All dorms are called houses and meant to feel like a community. First year students live with upper level students so there's no separation. They have official quite housing, official loud housing.

Supplement: academic, analytical paper (ideally a graded paper) - they want to get  a sense of how you think critically. Helps them contextualize your transcript. They ask you for a book recommendation.  Why Bennington? They want something personal - why are you specifically interested in the school?

They have plans to grow to 1,000 students over the next 10 years. They were on the "hottest college list & up & coming colleges" in Forbes. 

Narrative evaluations given by professors. Students have the option to also receive a letter grade or pass/fail.