Faculty Member Liz Deschenes Receives Rappaport Prize

Probably an odd question but are you allowed to bring a kayak to Bennington? hahaha — Asked by Anonymous


There aren’t any rules against it as far as I know, but I wouldn’t recommend bringing anything that big. There isn’t really anywhere you’d be able to store it other than on top of your car or in your room, and I dunno if your roommate would be a fan of that. There are also maybe… two and a half months? that you’d really be able to kayak in decent weather while you’re here.

kayak responsibly!

kagan ‘16

Do most students bring a car? I was thinking about bringing a bike actually... — Asked by Anonymous

Enough students bring cars that it’s pretty easy to get a ride to wherever you need to go (within reason!!!!!!) There’s also a rideshare group where people can ask for/offer rides to further away places like NYC and stuff. Someone may even let you BORROW their car as long as you’re a safe driver and not a Rude Dude


Hey, so I'm looking at Bennington's website for the application deadlines and stuff. I'm that rare student that absolutely has her heart set on a school before senior year even begins. Anyway. I noticed that the application deadlines for Early Decision and Early Action (which I'm definitely planning on doing one of) are both before the FAFSA becomes available. How does this work for students like myself that absolutely need financial aid? Is there another form that's sent in later? — Asked by ggordonliddyvevo

First off, you’ll be considered for $cholarships right off the bat, so you’d find out about that with the acceptance letter.

In terms of other aid, Bennington has a financial aid application in addition to the FAFSA (opens January 1) and CSS (DUE December 10) for you to fill out when you apply with questions similar to the FAFSA, and you’d get an estimated institutional and federal aid award based on the Bennington form and CSS with your letter, so as long as the numbers on your FAFSA and CSS Profile are consistent with what you put on the Bennington application, the aid you recieve in the spring should be the same as the estimate you get with your letter.


(you can check all the financial aid deadlines here)








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Well here is the amazing new Alumni Relations blog which unites Bennington past and present. Check out where we’ve been and where we’re going.

I'm visiting this Friday and just wonder what's in store? And some places I could possibly check out while I'm in the area — Asked by fin-de-mundo


most likely, you’ll show up and have an info session with one or even two of the admissions counselors where you will be filled in on everything at once! in thirty minutes! Then, you can expect a tour with one of the interns (glennis! sarah? me??) where you can ask all of your questions while we walk around and look at the campus and classrooms and houses, etc. It’ll be a bit quiet since most everyone’s gone for the summer, but also very pretty?


glennis says Lake Paran, like a five minute drive from campus, in North Bennington

sarah says the Village Chocolate Shoppe, in downtown Bennington, on main street (we can give you better directions once you’re here)

michaela says the Park McCullough House in North Bennington, super pretty right now and it’s right next to the Mile Around Woods, hella dece if you feel like going for a walk.

and I’m telling you right now, buddy, eat at Ramunto’s (if you like pizza.) Also in downtown Bennington. If you don’t like pizza, we’ll work together to figure something out when you get here.

there’s always Chili’s!

Kagan ‘16

Hi! I saw another question asking about sports at Bennington, and I have a similar question regarding figure skating. I am a figure skater and would love to know if there is by chance an ice rink near Bennington at all? Thanks so much :) ~Johanna — Asked by Anonymous

Hey Johanna, 

There isn’t an ice rink in Bennington, there is one about a half hour away in Manchester, VT. However, when it gets cold Lake Paran in North Bennington freezes. No guarantee that there won’t be snow on the ice, but its there for you if you want it. My friend, and fellow intern, Selina is an amazing skater and she has skated outside before. 

Also, not on ice, but requires related skills: Roller-rama, our super fun rollerskating event that happens each term. The school gets a ton of roller skates and we roll around Greenwall, one our our performance spaces, for a while. There is a disco ball, candy, and lots of other fun. Selina and the other figure skaters are always the stars of the night. 

Hope that helps!


You know, sometimes the answers come before the questions do. Makes my research a bit easier. Thanks Abby!

You know, sometimes the answers come before the questions do. Makes my research a bit easier. Thanks Abby!


P.2 of my question about calculus in Cambodia - Do you think it would be that big of a deal to not have it, or should I make it a great priority to continue working on it while in Cambodia? I could try and make it a priority, but realistically it will be a lot easier to keep up with British Lit, because I won't need internet OR the computer (just a few novels! and same goes with Physics, history, and khmer, since they are all offline- though I plan to finish those before I leave..) — Asked by Anonymous


I actually never took calc, and I wasn’t even travelling ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Class-wise, Bennington doesn’t require anything beyond what you need to take in order to graduate high school. Volunteering in Cambodia seems like a pretty legit excuse, so just do what you can. 

tell cambodia i said what’s up

kagan ‘16


Images of a Summer Weekend at Bennington

Sometimes we do things on weekends! It’s fun.

For example: hike up Bald mountain, bake bread, eat food while reading John Donne, farm, eat food while hanging out with friends, and take pictures of things.

Other adventures not pictured might include: waiting for the bus with Sam, listening to This American Life while mending jeans, and trekking into town to do the laundry. Who knows — if you stop by this summer to pay us a visit, you might see some of these people, or some of these eggplants! 

Wishing you a lovely summer,

Sylvia M. ‘16

Is it more expensive to live in singles? — Asked by Anonymous

nope! Same price. Singles that are available are first given to juniors and seniors and then, if there are open spaces, there is a lottery for sophomores. 


How popular is intramural soccer? From some previous answers it seemed that intramural sports weren't too popular in general... — Asked by Anonymous

I’m so sorry if I’ve given you the wrong opinion - what I meant was that swimming as I do it isn’t something where other people come regularly. (To be totally honest, I like having the time to myself and it can get stressful to share it with people)

Sports are popular here. I mean, we aren’t the University of Michigan or anything, but we do have an intramural soccer team that is big and plays schools like Marlboro and Simon’s Rock among others. We also have an Ulitmate Frisbee team that plays in tournaments with Dartmouth and UVM to name a few schools. 

Truly intramural sports, by which I mean happening within Bennington, are things like volleyball, basketball, and dodgeball (crazy competitive and very very popular). There are lots of people who go rock climbing both at the gym and on real rocks as well as a bunch of people who go biking most days. We live in a really beautiful place and a place that lends itself to being outdoors. Camping, canoeing, snowshoeing etc. (plus gear rental from the rec barn on campus)

Of course, not to be forgotten, not a specific sport but the annual house gym competition. Every time you go to the gym you get a point for the house you live in. The house with the most points at the end of the term wins something (I’m not sure what, my house hasn’t won). 


P.S The Ultimate team is a great example of a couple of students who were interested in something and then started a team. It club is only 2 years old. 

Any dorm decorating advice? — Asked by Anonymous

I highly recommend colors.


But I also just like colors a lot, so I asked around the office: Glennis says less is more. Also draperies above beds are a fire hazard (she’s a firefighter, so I take her word on it). Maybe something like this?

Evan says he hung some special pieces of art on the walls, folded the legs of his bed under his mattress and slept in a happy pile of blankets on the floor. Very den-like. 

Check out the Bennington rooms series for real-life rooms here at the college, and how they’re decorated by real-life students. Inspiration galore!

Happy decorating,

Sylvia M. ‘16

Hey there! Are there many minority students on campus? — Asked by Anonymous

Good, and difficult question.

I suppose I would have to ask you first, what do you mean by minority? Racial? Ethnic? Socioeconomic, gender, sexuality… There are a lot of qualifiers for what it means to be a minority. 

That being said, I can speak to my own experience (and this is my own story only, so no promises of everlasting truth here, just what I have experienced). At Bennington, it can be hard to qualify people by your assumptions about them — how they look, how they act, where they come from… All of these things don’t necessarily tell you how they identify. What can tell you how they identify? That person. 

Bennington by the numbers fluctuates pretty wildly. Since there are between 700 and 800 of us students here on campus every year, the addition of 10 people who identify as trans* on paper will change the percentage very quickly. The same goes for those who identify as female, as biracial, international students, etc. As an admissions intern, I personally am very excited for the huge percentage of incoming freshman from overseas. This year we’re going to be very globally diverse! And that means more global awareness for all of us, I hope.

Feel free to Google Bennington by the numbers, and read up on us all you want, but also know that this place fluctuates intensely in the way of numbers, because the student population is not huge, and that what is recorded on paper/ electronically does not reflect the human being and their lived experience. 

In the end, I find that what is most important is that you will be accepted and celebrated here for the person that you are. And if you find that there is more of a conversation to be had about what it means to be a minority (I think there always is — communication rocks!), there is a group on campus called Kalopsia, that puts on events based on the idea of getting minority voices heard, and getting the community to talk about what minority status looks like and feels like at the college. I deeply respect and admire the work of this student-led group, and am very inspired by what I have heard from them.

I hope this begins to answer your question, and also that your question does not end here. Keep asking. Keep talking about it. And thanks for asking. (Please feel free to e-mail me at sylviam@bennington.edu, if you want — there is always more to this conversation than a simple question and answer.)

Sylvia M. ‘16