About

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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.”

Contact & Visit

Campus Visits Contact

Contact
Amy Squiers
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
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. 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: 1,344
Acceptance Rate: 61%
Average HS GPA: 3.49







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