Posts tagged College Application

Hi there, I am Nayeem-an international applicant applying under the regular decision. So far people from Bennington College have been the most friendly ones I have encountered. And the more I read about Bennington the more I grow feelings for it. I feel it will be a perfect fit for me. Now the thorn in my way is my financial need. It's creating an anxiety day by day. So I was just wondering if there's someone like me in tapped in who got in with similar circumstances-just for the peace of mind. — Asked by Anonymous

Hey Nayeem!

As a fellow international student, I can try to give you some peace of mind. I didn’t consider attending (or even applying to) Bennington because I had so many worries about my financial need and my potential financial aid. This was a mistake! My advice is this: DO NOT WORRY. If you have a strong desire to come to this school, or any school, do not let financial need prevent you from even trying. You’re allowed to be excited, you’re allowed to grow feelings for a school, but try to not let the financial woes bring you down! Calm down, take a deep breath, and don’t worry! I know how stressful this process can be, but I can assure you that worrying too much about it won’t help anyone, especially yourself and your ~inner peace of mind~.

Once you have your financial aid package figured out, feel free to contact the Financial Aid Office if you want to talk about different options and/or ways to improve your aid.


~Carlos ‘14

So it's been a while since I stalked this tumblr, but I just read someone who posted a while ago about whether or not it was a good idea to post a long research paper (I think he/she said like 50 pages?) in his portfolio. I too have a super long (but awesome!) research paper. Is it too late for me to upload it onto my portfolio? (I applied RD). — Asked by Anonymous

Hello there friend!

You can definitely submit your super long (but awesome!) research paper! Whatever you think will show us a better representation of yourself, and puts you in a revealing, and positive, light!

~Carlos ‘14

is there anyone there who got in and didn't do too hot in high school? i don't feel, overall, that my grades are an accurate representation of myself as a person (i had health issues, blah) and i'm having major anxiety about applying because a few teachers have basically told me that without good grades and sat scores i won't get in to bennington. can you give it to me straight? i just want to know if i should give up on getting in, even though i love you guys. — Asked by Anonymous


Straight off the bat: DON’T GIVE UP ON GETTING IN. Just don’t.

We want to know what kind of student you are, and grades don’t really show that (they try, but the problems with the standardization of the capabilities of human beings is another response entirely). 

Submitting SAT scores is optional when applying to Bennington, so on paper, you can say that the school does not even require SAT scores to admit a student. We want to know what you’re passionate about, why you’re attracted to this school, what wakes you up/keeps you up, etc etc. A 3.2 or 3.8 or 2.8 GPA does not show this. 

If you want to come to this school, apply. Period.

And yes, there are many students who didn’t do too well in high school who happen to prove that they are amazing students when doing the things that they actually want to study/make/do for the time being :)

Keeping it real since ‘92,

~Carlos ‘14

I'm going to submit some of my creative writing along with my application, but I'm finding it so hard to chose out of everything! Do you have any advice on how many things to submit and maybe what kind of criteria I should consider? — Asked by Anonymous

Hello there!

I think you should submit as many things as you want that can show us who you are, what you’re interested in pursuing, what kind of work you like to do, etc. Submit anything that you’re proud of. Submit work that you’re satisfied with, work that makes you happy, work that taught you something.

But in the end, show us work that can help us see who you are, my friend. 

Here’s a penguin! He’s pretty cute and happy all the time, I find.


~Carlos ‘14

Hi! It's me again. This time my question is about the analytical paper required of all applicants. I don't have any such existing, as my school in Vietnam does not use them. Well I suppose I shall have to write one anyway, but I have quite no idea how to. What topic to write about, how to write, how many words/pages are expected,.... I emailed Nick at nforcier@bennington. edu but he hasn't replied :(( And I'm not sure I can do it in time for the ED/EA deadline (haven't decided which) — Asked by Anonymous

Hiya! Nick has informed us that he is getting back to you right now! 
In general, when students don’t have an analytic paper available for the application, they would speak to their designated counselor (who in your case is Nick since you are an international student! :]) and that counselor would talk to the student about another submission option.

Rachael ‘15

I must have been stalking this blog for quite a time. I am a senior now and the app process is going on like crazy, but only now I find Bennington .-. Too bad, I heard that expressing interest early helps. Well, better late than never, I am expressing my infatuation now. Another "too bad", I am an international student (from Vietnam) whose EFC amounts to ten thousand dollars at most. This is quite desperate... — Asked by Anonymous

Hey there!

I don’t think you should feel bad! As a fellow international student who discovered Bennington almost on accident, I too went through the same kind of internal struggle, emotional turmoil, applicant angst, whatever you want to call it. Applying to college can be very stressful.

My advice? APPLY! Why wouldn’t you? If this school speaks to you, if you’ve been interested in how things are done here, then you have everything to gain and nothing to lose. I know it can be daunting and intimidating, but I can assure you, we’ll do our best to make sure the process is as comfortable as it can be. 

Don’t despair my friend.

~Carlos ‘14 

What kinds of things do you look for in admission essays? — Asked by Anonymous

The reason I’m not asking a counselor to answer this question is that I think they would all say different things. There are just too many ways for an essay to be good. Having said that, I read applications when I was working here over FWT in preparation for phone interviews (though I really had no say in anything at all). The ones that were the most fun to read and the most engaging, were always the ones that were the most sincere. Saying “be yourself” is tacky, but like…….*-~*~-be yourself-~*~-*! If you act like you are someone you aren’t then you’ll start to look the same as everyone else. And you aren’t the same as everyone else. You are cooler than them.

In terms of the academic essay, show us that you’re a thinker. Research papers are helpful, too, but that only shows us how you compile and organize. Give us an argument for something; something with a thesis that you argue for or against.

-Alan ‘15 

Hey! I saw on a site called collegeessayorganizer that Bennington has TONS of supplements. How many are required for admission? What is the main essay prompt? Thanks a lot! -Mikaela — Asked by Anonymous

Not to worry! There’s just one supplement to take care of, and I’ll explain it in a little more detail. First of all, Bennington uses the Common App, so everything in the general application applies to our school as well. The main essay prompt is pretty fluid - I think there are a few different prompts on various subjects that you can write about, but there’s also the option of basically writing about whatever you want. Even though that’s a pretty big idea to wrap your head around, I think it might be the easiest (and most fun) option just because it gives you the opportunity to write about something you’re really excited/passionate about.

As for the Bennington supplement, you can actually take a look at the document itself right here. Mostly just some short-answer questions and then a larger (optional) prompt to write another essay, draw a picture, share some knowledge bombs, whatever floats your boat. It’s the Think Out Loud section at the bottom of the supplement.

Anyway, I hope this is helpful. If you have any more questions about the application process (or anything else Bennington-related (or, hey, even life advice)) feel free to email me at

-Evan ‘13