Can I just say that you all make Bennington so AMAZING! I don't think any other college is as personalized as Bennington! I visited last year and still cannot get Bennington out of my mind due to how AMAZING the tour and interaction with everyone on campus was!! Can this count as a question?
Without GPA, does Bennington have valedictorians or class rankings? If so, how are they done?
We do not. At a school where everyone is pursuing an individualized set of objectives in their education, that breed of competition has very little point. My work is closely related to that of some other students, in my disciplines and in ones I don’t study. For instance, the other person on campus who has a plan most like mine, that I’m aware of, is a computer science student, whereas I study conflict resolution, literature, and biology. Then there are plenty of students, inside my disciplines and out of them, whose work has very little to do with my own. There’s no reason we should be judged against one another, as a whole-school population or within arbitrary subgroups. Bennington prefers to work in a spirit of cooperation, wherein everyone’s work and conversation feed all of us in our various pursuits.
I will note, though, that plenty of Bennington students have GPAs; grades are opt-in here, not entirely absent. So if that’s something you need, for scholarships, grad school, or your own sense of your progress, you can have it pretty easily.
do you love bennington? Why would you choose bennington vs. other colleges?
I do love Bennington, but as we all know love can also suck. Like when you realize that the person you love is not as perfect as your image of them. But love isn’t all bad! It gives you someone to ramble to about things no one else cares about.
As a playwright, I will now turn to the theater to communicate this emotion. Take it away, Young Jean Lee:
Go where works for you. Bennington will work for you if you’re self-directed and fascinated by most things. Bennington allows you to sculpt the experience to be the perfect for you, but you have to be willing to sculpt (it takes two to tango! metaphors!). It’s something you grow into here, but it is also something you want to have, at least a little bit, from the beginning.
In my experience, Bennington students ramble to one another about things no one else cares about. When I communicate with students from other colleges — friends from high school, people I met over Field Work Term — the enthusiasm isn’t there enough to ramble and the conversation falls flat, for me. So come here if you can see yourself rambling.
I have a confession to make: I do not have it all together.
Sure, I’ve been coordinating my outfits expertly this term and have been flossing my teeth pretty regularly but my confession stands firm. Because recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about my Plan and the cold hard truth that it no longer reflects who I am and what I want my role to be during my time at Bennington.
Basically, I don’t know what I am studying.
While Alan and I discussed how my Plan is in shambles, he read me this incredible excerpt from his:
“The intellectual community, I believe, has been chasing its own tail just as I have, and requires other methods outside of strictly defined academic documents to find satisfying truths within. A good script contains many truths and its malleability is celebrated as different directors reappropriate it. We find solace within a play’s catharsis by experiencing pain so profound it transcends the words it was made of.”
I friggin’ love this quote. It gives me hope. It contains self-reflection and realization and is just plain beautiful.
A Plan in shambles is a fine place to be here at Bennington. I’m not worried (well, maybe I am a little bit…) because my dissatisfaction with my Plan means that I am critically thinking about making the most of my education. I am not following a path that I don’t believe is best for me, even if it’s a path I previously created for myself.
I have learned many things here: how to operate a camera, the art of essay writing, the history of theater, just to name a few. However, these things are taught everywhere. The most important skills that I have learned from Bennington are to think, re-think, reflect, and take action. Not because someone else is requiring that from me, but because I demand it of myself.
I couldn’t have learned that anywhere else.
All the best,
email me if you want to talk about being lost: firstname.lastname@example.org
I haven't taken my SAT in the October Round. I'm planing to take it in November. Will that affect my early decision application? What's the difference between Early Decision and Early Action?
Bennington doesn’t require SAT/ACT/standardized test scores, so no, taking the SATs in November will not effect your application in the slightest.
In terms of the different types of admissions options, Early Decision applications are binding - meaning that if you get accepted, you are required to attend. You also find out early whether or not you were accepted. Early Action applications are non-binding - meaning you apply early and hear back early, but don’t have to respond with your decision until the regular decision date (May 1st).
If anyone here is in the art program... how rigorous would you say the art classes are/do you feel like you learned a lot from them?
hello i am an arty
How hard are you willing to work? Art courses (actually, most courses at Bennington) tend to be as intense as you make them, especially with more labor-intensive stuff like ceramics or printmaking or animation. There probably isn’t much in terms of just one-off, no-work classes, but I guess you could slide through a drawing class, say, doing the bare minimum and maybe get a marginal pass, but what’s the point of that?
Some of the courses I’ve learned the most from have also been the most intense and, at times, frustrating, both in assignments and critiques. I’ve worked for hours on certain assignments just to get (helpfully) torn apart in class critiques. Usually, a few hours later (or a few weeks later if i got really mad!!) I’d realize just how much more helpful my getting torn apart was.
So yeah, as with any class here, if you’re willing to work and you’re open to critique, art classes can be immensely helpful. Or, if you’re just taking a course because you’re curious about, I dunno, how to silkscreen, you could have a good time and learn how to do the thing without it being the most intense course you’re taking that term.
Every time I meet with poetry faculty Michael Dumanis, I cry — no, I swear it’s a good thing — but honestly, I hold it together until roughly 30 seconds after the meeting ends, and then sniffles turn to full-on ugly sobs…generally due to some truth bomb that he has dropped into my lap (as all good educators tend to do). But there is one meeting that stands out in particular to me. It was right after my past FWT, which was an independent study where I was writing every day about anorexia and femaledom, etc…but the poems were not turning out the way I had wanted them to at all, and I was (to say the least) extremely frustrated. Michael was my advisor for the project, and when I showed him the final pages, he looked them over for a moment, considered the air, and then declared: “There’s a painting I need to show you.” The painting was Landscape with the Fall of Icarus by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. I’ve linked to it below:
You may know the painting, but I didn’t…it took more than a moment for me to understand. At first, it appears to be a simple pastoral scene overlooking a beautiful ocean, with a peasant (honestly not sure if he’s a peasant…I don’t study art history I’m sorry I’m sorry) driving his horse…there are many very cute sheeps, it’s great, and then….do you see it? In the right hand bottom corner? Yeah. That’s right. There’s our little guy. Yknow. The mythic one. Michael pointed out the little pair of legs and said, “You know what Parke? Sometimes the only way to get to the point is to circle around it.”
That’s when I started choking up a lil’ bit.
The very fact that we do not notice Icarus for so long is what part of what makes the painting a work of art. It manages to simultaneously concern itself with the myth as well as depart from it. The eye is drawn all the more because Icarus is not the center of the frame; our attention requires intention. Oftentimes when we try to go directly for “the point” of what we are trying to communicate, it comes out flat, deflated, not how we intended it at all. But if we create a rich environment to surround it, and we come at it from an angle, or we approach it in a new and interesting way, we see it from a vantage point we never have before.
This is how I view the Bennington education. It can be frustrating at times to feel as if you are “circling around the point” — why study history if you ultimately want to do literature? Why take a dance class if you’re a math student? What is the point of all of this cross-disciplinary stuff other than it being very “hip”/”trendy?” I have heard adults speak about my choice to study liberal arts as if I’m some dilettante who has the privilege to dabble without committing to any one thing — that I am “preparing myself to be a “worldly person” who has no “real” concerns (such as finding a job/making money/getting housing/supporting myself in general, etc). That could not be further from the truth. If you want to study something specific, you can go at it head on. You can go straight for the point. But when you do this, it creates a narrow line of vision between yourself and that thing. You have little to no periphery to color your vision — if that is even what you are actually interested in (because of course, at the tender age of 18, you’re expected to know what you want to do with the rest of your life, right?) You may not know how to make the necessary connections you need without creating an environment for yourself — a creative environment comprised of various passions that help to build the landscape to uphold your “point,” if you will.
After that meeting with Michael, I stopped writing head-on about anorexia…and lo and behold, once I did, the poems ended up concerning themselves with the disease more than they ever had before; they required a more sophisticated level of interpretation in order to get at the root of their meaning. So. Don’t be afraid to circle around the point. Don’t be afraid to get a little off the path of expectation in order to have a bigger picture or a clearer vision. You will know for you where Icarus lies.
Hi Bennington! Two quick things: 1. I was recently named a National Merit Scholar semi-finalist, and I was wondering if this is something I should include on my application, or should I leave it out since it's a purely stuffy, academic-y thing? 2. I have the chance to do my interview next Sunday in NYC, and I really want to because I'm so excited for, but would it be detrimental to my chances if I do it so early? In other words, will they forget about me by the time of admission decisions?
hi faeyerotiggular two quick answers
1. National Merit is pretty d*ng impressive and definitely would NOT hurt to mention on your application! We won’t even get that jealous
2. If you don’t feel confident about interviewing right now and are able to set an interview up later, go ahead and wait. The counselors here are pretty smart and it’s likely that they won’t forget who you are, and it’s even more likely they won’t forget who you are if you have a really awesome conversation with them during your interview. So if you’re ready, go for it! If not, wait!
To the person asking about support for those with eating disorders: I don't have an eating disorder, but I do have self harm issues and I've never felt as supported as I do at Bennington. I'm not aware of specific support groups for such things, but this is really an amazingly open and supportive place for issues of that type. I haven't hurt myself since I've been here, and I largely blame that on my community. (I'm not sure if you're willing to post this, but I thought it needed to be said)
Thanks, anonymous poster. It’s good to know that others on this campus feel their issues are being supported. We want to keep that going! For those who wouldn’t necessarily turn to their friends: psychological services is a wonderful place to go if you’re feeling that your problems are becoming a life-taking-over-amoeba, or even if you just need some advice. In a college environment where self reflection is not only encouraged, but expected, it’s important to take care of yourself as things come up (which they undoubtedly will). I would hope that if an incoming student believed there wasn’t enough support/conversation around a particular topic or concern, they would feel empowered to create that space for themselves. Bennington requires its students to stand up for and go after what they need, and that need can be emotional, social, spiritual — not just academic. The hope is that we are staying present with ourselves and recognizing those needs instead of glossing over them or pretending they don’t exist.
Are you happy you chose to go to Bennington? Why? Is there thing you love/don't love about it that would be good for a perspective student to know?
Hey there! Since the answer to this question will vary from student to student, I’ve asked my fellow Monday morning interns to give their input:
Sam: "I love the people. I am surrounded people who seem to be as curious about the world as I am. No other place I’ve been feels the same way. But I hate that I woke up shivering this morning!"
Nila: "I love Rollerama so much!! (when Greenwall becomes a giant roller rink with a disco ball once every term.) It’s by far my favorite event on campus, and there are a lot of them to choose from."
Matt: "I love the view. Nothing beats it. Also the classes and the people and Rollerama. There isn’t a whole lot to dislike about the school but you might want to ask me again in a couple months when I start googling the freezing point of blood to assure myself it can’t happen."
Glennis: "I’m happy I chose to go to Bennington. I love the student input––we shape the school. When I wasn’t happy with the tables in the dining hall I was able to talk to people and figure out a solution." (Glennis makes tables and chairs!)
As for myself, my favorite part about Bennington is the collaboration and sense of community within the student body. Students often work together to put on performances, create projects, or organize events; In my experience, the students are very much interested in each other’s work and are more than willing to offer their time and skills to create something really great. The downside is that––because everything is so interesting––I have to come to terms with the reality that I can’t take every class and participate in every student group.
But of course, the best way to get a real sense of life at Bennington is to visit!
I was wondering how important self-motivation is to thriving at Bennington. Self-motivation is important to any college experience, but I do know that some give more independence than others. I do pretty well academically, but I'm not one of those people who grew up dying to get out on their own, and I've always been more comfortable building on existing ideas than creating new ones. I know Bennington values creativity, I do too, but I sometimes wonder if I'd really fit in.
This is a pretty essential question on the Bennington model of education. Persistence is the key to the experience here, and the Plan Process is the structure by which students acquire that ability towards inquiry and action. Yet, the key word there is “process.” The Plan is an ongoing thing at Bennington, and it’s not about throwing students on their own to figure everything out. The goal of The Plan Process is to engender self-reliance and independence of thought and action, but you work with your faculty adviser, your plan committee, your teachers, and even your peers to figure out what it is you want your education to be. So, the school does not lack for support, and the support is not given begrudgingly. It’s a tough thing to do, and everyone knows it. Motivation is a hard-fought battle for students here. I’ll quote one of my professors here, and this has sort of been a mantra of my education at Bennington. When it comes to the work, she always just says, “Do the do.” For me, this is what I come back to when I’m writing an essay, when I’m struggling to finish a poem, when I’m not understanding a character I’m playing: “Do the do.” It wasn’t something I came to on my own, but rather one small piece of a 4-year long process to understand what propels me to work and what work I want to do. And what’s more, that piece was a gift, one that spoke volumes.
The “self-motivation” is not necessarily unique to the Bennington experience (to me, it is more so a prerequisite of a normal college experience), but it does require persistence, curiosity, and creativity. And again, it’s all a process.
I've heard Bennington is really isolated, does this effect students negatively or is it okay?
The honest answer to this question is both. Existing on top of a hill above a little town can cause a feeling of claustrophobia. With this, it’s the same thing that makes our school unique, and I find that the lack of opportunity outside the campus contributes to the opportunities inside the campus. For example, because most people live on campus, we are able to have strong house communities - where freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors all live together and there’s no segregation between classes. The seclusion inspires all kinds of on-campus events and social gatherings, in which people really have the ability to bring their ideas to the Bennington community and can to make them happen. Also, for those that want to experience other communities from time to time, there are many towns to visit nearby - Williamstown, Manchester, Albany - and it’s about a 3 hour trip to NYC. Basically, your experience here is what you make it!
P.S. the seclusion is what gives us this crazy beautiful view!!
The ones where they keep the lights on are VAPA, CAPA, a set of study rooms in the library, and Jennings. You can wander through most of the other buildings but you’ll need the above pictured sweet twisty keys if you want to go in the rooms. Also, Campus Safety does not recognize the use of sweet twisty keys. Your mileage and disciplinary sentencing may vary. Alan, additionally, wishes me to remind you that in the Bennington educational philosophy, “freedom” is defined as “not the absence of restraint.”*
* “…but rather the fullest possible substitution for restraint imposed by others for restraint imposed by the self.” This applies equally to the Plan process and the availability of banned housebreaking instruments via the internet.
If I wanted to compete in forensics/debate but I couldn't sustain a group at Bennington, could I join the Williams College debate team?
Well, if you check out the Williams College Debating Union FAQ you will see they say “Everyone!” can join - but according to Ashley, our Williams alum turned Bennington admissions counselor, their club is not one of the biggest and is likely just formed by a small group of Williams students.
But hey, don’t give up on Bennington yet! We don’t have a formal debate organization on campus yet but new clubs are always forming and often get rolling with surprising momentum. Our fencing and ultimate frisbee clubs are only recently formed groups but have gained enough traction to travel and compete. So, persevere and maybe even face our friendly purple cow neighbors at the podium one day.
I'm a senior in high school looking around for colleges to attend for creative writing. I'm curious to know what it takes to get into Bennington.
Well…what does it take to be an engaged and fulfilled writer?
1. Willingness to be wrong
2. Acceptance of failure
3. Not just theorizing about the craft, but DOING IT as much as possible
4. Learning from your elders and peers (and strangers)
5. Reading all the time/soaking up information/just plain lovin it
6. Practice! Trying out mimetics/mimicking styles
7. Taking care of yourself so you aren’t dead (hard to write if you are dead)
8. Pushing the limits of what has been done before you (this means learning and knowing what has come before you)
9. Engaging in a literary culture (going to events, hearing authors speak, etc.)
10. Also not writing! You are so much more than one thing!
If you are committed to living this list, then you probably have what it takes to get into Bennington. I’d be happy to talk to you more about it, since it’s what I’m striving towards as well….lemme tell you…it aint no walk in the park(e).
is the bennington admissions staff big on recommendations?
he’ll yeah! we’re so big on recommendations that we require two of them! they’re so cool because we like to get the scoop the whole scoop and nothing but the scoop on you! of course it’s cool to hear what you have to say about yourself, but sometimes we wanna know what other people have to say about you (as a student, no less!)
I'm so excited to visit soon! Anything you recommend I ask or do while on the bennington tour?
We’re so excited to meet you! Before arriving, make sure to check out this fantastic list of really important and helpful questions compiled by Alan. Also, ask your tour guide about Jennings ghost stories and climb for candy.
It’s important to know that the tour is an individualized experience. Mostly likely it will just be you and your tour guide plus any parents, friends, or buddies you bring along. So…. ask lots of questions! Inquire, share stories, tell us what you’re up or about an experience you’ve had that’s shifted your understanding of yourself.
What have you, and people you know done for field work term so far? Any amazing experiences?
No amazing experiences allowed —
Just kidding. I feel as though Field Work Term requires amazing experiences. Even if on the surface the job seems to be mundane, there is a certain magic in knowing the work you are doing away from school informs and supports your academic pursuits at Bennington. There’s no way to categorize Field Work Terms as each experience is subject to the individual student. So here’s a swath of some favorites from the //kids in the admissions office// //wednesday afternoon shift// //go team!//
This last winter, I was in Tokyo working with an alternative education think-tank. I was working with some peers to develop a theater piece on the cultural disparities between Japanese and American life. To put it simply… My first time out of the country. I miss Tokyo so much and cannot wait to go back. - Jeremy ‘16
My sophomore year I went to Bolivia to learn and exchange fiber arts skills with a community of traditional textile artists. My days were spent weaving, knitting, crocheting, taking long walks in the Andes, laughing and trying communicate in my second language. I was able to go back this past summer to visit for a couple weeks and dance in the annual fiesta. Wish I was there now! - Selina ‘15
This past fwt I spent working in a neuroscience research lab in the lovely Eugene, Oregon. The lab was researching the neurocircuitry of decision-making in Caenorhabditis Elegans, a really really really tiny nematode. I had a ton of fun working in the lab but I think the best part was actually living and cooking for myself in a beautiful microhome, and commuting to work every day. - Alex ‘16
Omg ok so my very first FWT was spent at a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in upstate New York - a huge and important time for me personally and academically. My days were spent learning how to meditate (and doing it daily), making eggs for Tibetan monks and nuns, making and lighting 1,000 butter-lamps every weekend, filling offering bowls with safron water, incense, and flowers, collecting German alternative pop-rock music from one of the ex-Alaskan-fisherman monks, and converting hours of footage of the community’s many aid trips to Nepal from VHS to digital. -Chloe ‘16
Does Bennington accept CLEP scores for college credits? or if I have a 700+ score in SAT chemistry or math level II, will I get any kind of credits or exemptions? Thanks in advance!!!
Unfortunately no, we do not accept CLEP or SAT scores as college credits. We do accept some AP scores, but this will have to get discussed and approved by someone in the Dean’s Office. Here is a link to our complete credit transfer policy.
What is the drama application process like? Other than the common app and supplement is there an audition and what is that like?
The drama application process is the same as all our other application processes because we only have one application process.
Basically, you’ll get an email after you submit the Common App stuff telling you how to access your Bennington supplement page, which is where you’ll upload whatever you want us to see—stuff like acting reels, portfolios, etc… So we don’t have any formal application auditions. If you want to be in a drama production once you get here, there are auditions for those, but nothing before then.
Hello all, I'm already part of the 2018 ganga, and am wondering if there is any kind of AAA like eating disorder related group in place. I've always struggled with my image, as do roughly 80 percent of women on average, and have no problem talking about it. Is Bennington aware of this problem, or more importantly, are they trying to help and talk to those in the student body who have similar disorders? Thankyou lots!
What a great question — coming from LA, I was raised under the (fairly subconscious) impression that beautiful = skinny….until I got to Bennington and realized I was being force fed (oh ho ho) a bunch of crap. In fact, my creative thesis at Bennington concerns itself greatly with eating disorders, so I end up talking to a lot of people on campus about body image/self image. We don’t necessarily have an official “support group” per se, but one of the defining factors of the Bennington social experience is the ability to actually “go there” about anything…truly anything…we *want* to have those conversations. So please come and talk up a storm…it’s so important that we create a space where these issues can be voiced. It’s up to us to reclaim our pride in our bodies and feel beautiful :)
Do students ever get awarded full ride scholarships to go to this school (or close to that amount like 75% or above)? I would like an honest answer. Thanks.
The answer to your question(s) is YES. We do have a significant number of students who receive significant financial aid. It’s all need-based, so you’ll most likely get what you need once you get accepted. If you are an accepted student and you need 75% or above, then Bennington will try to make it happen.
Bennington gave me the most financial aid out of any school I applied to and I know that this was true for many of my friends as well. Additionally, when it was still not enough, the Financial Aid Office renegotiated my aid so I could attend. Each year I can renegotiate my aid based on my family’s need.
If you have questions regarding applying for financial aid, feel free to email the financial aid office email@example.com or give them a call at 800-833-6845. They’ll be glad to answer your questions and to work with you on your financial aid application.
Our main piece of advice is NEVER let the price of a school stop you from applying. Many of the schools that are the most expensive are also the schools that give the most financial aid. Additionally, many schools have waivers for the admission fee (including Bennington!).
Money can be scary, but don’t let it stop you from applying from colleges that you are passionate about.
Hi, I'm applying for fall 2015, and I really want to come visit the school, but I'm having trouble deciding when to come because I have to work around my school schedule, and I want to come when the students are there. The problem with that is that my school schedule is the same as Bennington, and I'm not sure I can miss school. Any recommendation on the best times to visit?
It’s definitely best to visit when there are students around. The fall is absolutely beautiful here, but so are the winter and spring so really anytime is great. Students won’t be here from December 13th to February 23rd because of Field Work Term and winter break, but all other times campus is hopping with activity. If you can swing it, it is definitely worth a visit to campus, but we also have admissions counselors that hold interviews all around the country. Looking forward to (hopefully) seeing you on campus!
I just want to go here. I'm applying as a transfer student for next fall, i'd be a junior. Any application tips? (also, any doctor who/ Sherlock fans :3)
Hey there neverendingjoy8!
Be yourself! We love to hear what interests you and what you are passionate about. Tell us why you want to transfer to Bennington — how will it be different from your current college experience and why is it the right place for you? Think about and share with us what you imagine your plan in. As a junior transfer at Bennington you dive into your plan process pretty quickly after arriving, so it’s good to start thinking about it early on.
As far as Doctor Who / Sherlock goes, I’ve never seen either, but know of people around campus who are obsessed and can talk about them for hours!
SAT scores are optional on the application. My scores were pretty high above average, except in math. I don't know if sending them will hurt or help me. Thoughts?
First of all, kudos on your SAT performance. You’re absolutely right that submitting SAT scores are an optional part of the application, but that doesn’t mean we don’t look at them. We love to learn more about you as much as possible, so feel free to send along anything that you think reveals who you are to the admissions counselors. The reality is that just a mere number/score may only show one aspect of who you are, we are interested in the complete picture. The key here is that we find the students that best fit the Bennington College educational philosophy and those who will come here, be valuable members of the Bennington community and be successful in their own way. So by all means send those SAT scores if you want, we won’t ignore them. But also remember that not sending them will not by any means affect whether or not you get accepted. There are students here who submitted their SATs and there are those that didn’t. It’s not an important factor. Your choice.
If you have questions on how to submit your work/other non-required materials, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 802-440-4312 and we’ll be happy to talk to you.
How do you set up your Field Work Term? Do you meet with an adviser? Can you set it all up on your own?
There are lots of different ways to think about Field Work Term; you can focus on the location, or specific job you’d like, or you can begin with a general area of interest. The process is really self-motivated. If you have an idea for what kind of internship you want to do and you already have a specific place in mind, you will just need to write a proposal and submit it to your adviser and the Field Work Term office. If you are more lost and don’t have ideas (like many of us), then you have time to set up meetings with your adviser and the Field Work Term office and they will help you on the search for the perfect opportunity. There is an online database called WorkLink which has internship jobs posted from all around the world, and also resources from past Bennington Students’ Field Work Term Positions.If you need it, there is lots of guidance available!!
Someone mentioned a ghost story about a baby that can crawl faster than you can run at Bennington. Can I have the full story?
The Office of Admissions can neither confirm nor deny such reports.
That being said, I would recommend keeping an eye out for baby-sized objects moving rapidly across the lawn, especially just after sunset. All I can say is that vigilance is the key to success at this institution. Vigilance and a commitment to survival.
Hello. I am currently starting the school application and was wondering if there was anything you recommend I need to do to increase my chances of acceptance? Thx
Show us who you are! Be honest, be open, and remember that we will look at everything you send us with attention and enthusiasm. So don’t be shy, pack that application with anything and everything that would help us get to know YOU! The good, the bad, the odd and absurd, the hilarious, the everything. Let loose baby.
How many people from Bennington (the city) apply to Bennington (the college)?
That is a fabulous question indeed. We currently have no students from the town of Bennington, but we do have a handful of students from the surrounding area; Shaftsbury, Arlington, etc., as well as from farther north - places like Burlington and the most glorious and beautiful Northeast Kingdom. (NEK! NEK! NEK!)
We love Vermonters here at Bennington. Myself in particular, probably with a bit too much gusto… Always looking more applicants!
I found Bennington last night and it seems somewhat perfect for me. I've never been one to excel when it comes to academics, but I'm passionate about all forms of art. Bennington seems like a perfect fit. I'm just worried about fitting in. I'm not what seems to be the typical "kinda skinny only shops at urban outfitters liberal4life" artist. I would generally vote republican, I like hunting, and don't really care about feminism. Would I be ostracized/completely alone?
(I ran out of room but feel the need to explain a little more) I’m gay, so naturally I’m a very open and accepting person, but I also know what I like. I’ve been harassed a lot as a gay man who doesn’t fit the stereotype, and would prefer to spend my time/money elsewhere if that’s what’s going to happen. I don’t shove my beliefs down anyone’s throat… Just, different strokes for different folks, you know?
Hello halloooo, and thank you for writing in with such a good and important post/question.
After talking with the other admissions interns in the office and reflecting on my own experiences and impressions of these sorts of things, I would say that the main ostracized/not-ostracized factor would be the level of mutual acceptance and respect for everyone’s opinions/the way the opinions are presented, rather than the actual opinions/identifiers themselves. Because a lot of people here do have pretty similar political/social ideals, it’s actually extremely helpful and interesting when there are people in the community who have different ideas - it can get a bit tiresome to always be having discussions without much friction.
In your later post you mention being a very open and accepting person who doesn’t try to shove his opinion down other people’s throats - perfect! That’s really all that could prevent you from being accepted and welcomed into the community. My suggestion would be to come visit, take a tour, sit in on a class, and eat lunch with students, to see how the general vibe feels to you. But certainly know that not every single person is liberal here, and CERTAINLY not everyone fits into that "kinda skinny only shops at urban outfitters liberal4life" social stereotype. We like variety.
Best, please come visit, and e-mail me if you have any other questions/concerns (email@example.com),
Do Bennington students interact with SVC students since they're so close?
Yes, yes, yes! Bennington students are able to take classes at SVC and vice versa. Also, starting this term Bennington students are allowed to play on SVC’s sports teams. Chernoh Jalloh ‘15 is participating on their soccer team this fall! There is also talk of a Bennington — SVC mixer at Ramunto’s this term. So, yes lots of collaboration and interaction between Bennington and SVC!
I got a SAT score of 1990 with 1380 on CR plus Mathematics. I have major concerns regarding financial aid. So what are my chances of getting somewhat close to full aid/full aid ?
Here’s the problem:
Bennington doesn’t have a mathematical equation that we can plug your scores into and get your financial aid package. That would be nice. But, it would also mean that all students would be judged solely on their test scores. Which isn’t really how it works here. Students up for aid are looked at holistically because an SAT score really gives us no information on how you’ll fit in here. Your chances of getting a larger financial aid package increase the more excited you are about Bennington and the more passionately you pursue your own interests. If you still need additional info give the Financial Aid office a ring at 802-440-4325.
What are the intro to dance classes like for someone who is uncoordinated and a terrible dancer? Are we expected to enter the class with any degree of experience?
If you enter a beginning dance class, you are not expected nor required to have any sort of experience. There may be students who do have more experience, but you will certainly not be alone as a beginner. Everyone I asked in the office loved the dance class that they took. Dance classes can be a ton of fun, and I would highly recommend trying them out.
I'm an international student wishing to apply to bennington to study a mix of industrial design, sculpture, and cuisine. I know the school offers varied courses in many subject matters but how feasible is this combination?
Short answer: totally feasible!
Sculpture plays a huge role in Bennington visual arts. There are plenty of classes that you can take that will definitely catch your fancy, and you will be surrounded by other students who also share your passions. You can make your sculptures as useful or useless as you like.
Glennis is really into making furniture (through sculpture), and was looking into industrial design in her earlier years. There are some awesome courses on 3D modeling and construction that would be helpful. We also have some awesome equipment in VAPA: a laser cutter, two 3D printers, and a CNC machine (I don’t know what this is, but Glennis tells me it’s exciting).
For cuisine, there is the farm on campus, and you could also take a term off to study at a culinary school. Or you could pursue something during your Field Work Term, a seven week opportunity for students to find an internship! You could also pick up a shift at the Dining Hall, but something tells me that this isn’t quite what you’re looking for. What kind of cuisine are you into? Feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and tell me all about it.
yeah take a comic book and put in your real book so it liooks like youre still studying!!!!!
But for real, I’ll say this: we get your transcript at the end of your senior year. Your whole transcript. So if Bennington or another college you’re going to sees that in the spring before you graduate your grades go from all A’s to all C’s or something, it won’t just be dismissed as “lol senioritis”
I dunno, actually try to like your senior year! I know it can be hard to, but does school have to be a chore? Is Skool not Kool? Is ball not life? A few (two) other interns have also posted about senioritis in the past. Julia’s bulleted list is especially helpful.
Are there any comedy troupes or stand up open mic nights at Bennington?
We have a raucous handful of students that work in comedy - incredibly smart people that always leave me in stitches. Bennington offers a couple of outlets, most notably a bimonthly open mic night. Last year, some students started a comedy evening on one of our house porches - very well attended, but I’m not quite sure if it’s still up and running. And while there have been murmurs of interest in a comedy/improv troupe, nothing has really gotten off the ground (in my time here, anyways…). But know that if you have any desire to start a group like this on campus, it is absolutely feasible. Interest varies from term to term, but there’s almost always something in the works that culminates with a wonderful and unusual evening of funny, funny people. There are plenty of student contacts that would love to sit down with you and dream up some new experience for comedy@bennington.
Remember though: there’s always something underneath. I’ll leave you with a radio project by my dear friend and fellow intern Emily Gaynor on what it means to be a funny woman. Enjoy!
Hello! I hope you are all enjoying the summer! I have a question about dance at Bennington. I know that dance is very strong at Bennington and I was wondering if there are classes for those who are less than stellar when it comes to dancing. Are there beginner classes offered at Bennington or locally outside of the college? Thanks
Ahh yes, have no fear - dance (like all other disciplines) has 2000-level and 4000-level classes. EVERYONE is welcome to take the 2000-levels - these classes are more introductory and accessible, though generally even people who have done a lot of dance throughout their pre-college lives will still have to take them, in order to get a feel for the building blocks of the sort of dance we do/teach at Bennington. On that note, most 2000-level classes do have a range of levels of expertise and comfort in them (some have absolutely no prior experience), which I think is great - those who have more experience always seem to be helpful, open, and definitely nonjudgmental of those who have less experience. The 4000-level classes are for more advanced work; people who are pointedly pursuing the given discipline.
My first term I took a 2000-level contact improv dance class, which completely altered/influenced my ideas of what I wanted to pursue academically. Super fun, super accessible, very warm and open folks.
We get questions about Bennington’s incidence rate and handling of sexual harassment and assault fairly often, so today the intern body took some time and came up with a more comprehensive response than we can give off-the-cuff while on tour.
On written policy level, our rules governing such matters are available here. Campus Safety’s particular take on sexual harassment and assault, and campus crime statistics, are available here, and the updated 2013 figures should become available toward the end of this month. The statistics, of course, only cover reported assaults; according to the US Department of Justice, less than 5 percent of college sexual assaults are reported to campus security forces or law enforcement. Bennington does have in place several of the strategies that the DOJ report outlines to encourage reporting, but we also want you to be aware of the context of our statistics.
So. Sexual harassment and assault do happen at Bennington, as at all colleges. We are a great place to live and work, but we are not immune to this. Generally speaking, we are a safe school at which most everyone knows most everyone else. Due to the structure of campus life — the intimate size, the community-based housing setup, the lack of Greek life, the fact that students mostly socialize on campus and don’t go out clubbing — certain factors don’t apply. No one in the office has ever heard of rape drugs like GHB or rohypnol being used at Bennington. No one on campus has to fear walking around alone at night. And if you ever do feel threatened at a party or event, your house or the Campus Safety booth are only ever a few minutes’ walk away. Again, because the vast majority of socializing and partying occurs right on campus, it’s rare for anyone to have to feel stranded in a bad place. These factors together lower our rate of sexual assaults a lot.
In particular, we want to make reference to Ken Collamore, the director of Campus Safety. He’s a great guy and, more importantly, a safe person to go to when you need help. In our various encounters with him, he has never been anything but supportive and respectful of confidentiality. Also available ‘round the clock is Bennington’s team of sexual harassment advisors, who work with students in a confidential manner.
That’s about what we’ve got on this, but back in May, interns Alana and Arden posted about this topic, and provided a bunch of other helpful information. We encourage you to visit their post as well.
Personally, I have made sure to be in at least one dance class per term because I have found them to be grounding and influential to my work in visual art. So there are many ways to be involved with dance at Bennington.