Posts tagged Transfer

Hello Bennington Admissions interns! :D I've had a question that's been bugging me about Bennington. I know Bennington's transfer out/in rate is very high, and I do really want to make sure attending Bennington is the right choice for me. So, what are some of the reasons people leave Bennington for? — Asked by Anonymous

Hi, asker of good and difficult questions!

Well… This is a question we get on tour quite a bit. And it’s a hard one to deconstruct, because there are as many reasons to transfer as there are students who transfer (shifting financial capacities, home life, health, academic structure, a need to travel the world in a hot-air balloon, and all sorts of other things can inspire a person to take time off). My personal philosophy and the philosophy of the institution are in perfect agreement when we say: any person who has been a student here, for however long they were here, is an alum. To be a student at Bennington is to be constantly asking yourself  what is it that you truly love, what are you actually about, and why? Part of being a Bennington student is allowing yourself to follow the fruit of that self-reflection wherever it may lead, whether that path is on campus or not.  In the same way, many students here who have transferred in also have come here through a similar process of self-reflection — they found that what they were most inspired by could be best explored here on campus.

Is this the right choice for you? When I was looking at colleges I found it helpful to imagine my choices not so much as which institution I wanted (that angle wasn’t helpful — they were all great), but which version of me I wanted to become. I could imagine myself following a very different path at each college, and how I would grow and change and the kind of woman I might become at each place. In the end, only you can know, and maybe a visit will help? Also, feel free to e-mail me to talk more about it if you like. (that’s I wish you the best of luck!

Happy April,

Sylvia M ‘16

So I know its sort of late, but I'm applying for a spring transfer and my professor who's writing my recommendation would prefer to send a written letter, (he's old fashioned that way) is that possible? — Asked by Anonymous

Yes absolutely! Send us your snails! Er… snail mail! 

Tell him that he can send it in to this address:

 Bennington College Office of Admissions 

1 College Drive

Bennington VT, 05201 USA

And don’t forget your stamp! (Extra points if it’s snail related)


~ Ananda ‘16

wooops, I meant to specify for Spring Transfer! Happy Halloween! — Asked by Anonymous

Oh no! Sorry dude! Spring Transfer application is due November 1st!!

Rachael ‘15

Are transfer applications due tonight or tomorrow? — Asked by Anonymous

Howdy friend, happy halloween! 

The priority deadline for the transfer application is March 15th. We accept through the summer as space becomes available, but I would recommend getting everything in by the priority deadline. That way you will be notified by May 1st! 

With love from a transfer student!

Rachael ‘15 

How does the plan process' Change for someone looking to transfer to Bennington? — Asked by Anonymous

Nothing changes within the structure of the Plan Process or what’s expected of you and your unique Plan as a transfer - the process really just may seem sped up. For example, if you transfer to Bennington as a sophomore, you’ll still have to write your Plan your first term here, with the rest of the sophomores. Some students choose to work around this and give themselves some more time by transferring over, a term or two behind - as a second term freshman for example.  

~~Doug ‘16~~

Dear Bennington Students: I'm a prospective domestic spring(?) transfer student. I understand that transfers are unpredictable, and of transfers, Spring transfer transfers are even more confusing. Are any of you transfer students? If not, do you have any friends who are transfer students? What are some of their challenges and hardships? What about finaid? I come from a very very low income family and I'd like to apply to schools that can offer transfers financial assistance. Thanks! ~Yana — Asked by Anonymous

Hey Yana,

I am (was) a transfer student (I graduated, aren’t-ya-proud). I can speak a little bit to that process. Coming in as a spring transfer isn’t all THAT different from coming in in the fall - of course the timing of your application is different, and you’d arrive on campus in mid-February - but the only significant difference in terms of the adjustment period is that you wouldn’t be at New Student Orientation like fall transfers and freshmen are in August. Student Life does coordinate a little mini-orientation for spring transfers, so you’ll still get the whole Bennington intro, just in a smaller format.

As far as challenges? I mean, it’d be new. It’s probably pretty different from where you’re at now. Which is probably why you want to transfer in the first place. Because Bennington is a small school and transfers are an even smaller subset of the student body, the Dean’s Office, Student Life, and Academic Services take a really directed approach in terms of orienting you to the Plan process, FWT, etc. Coming in as a transfer, I never really felt isolated or ‘different’ from freshmen and other transfers - you’re sorta all lumped in together and you each get individual care and consideration. Before you arrive at Bennington, you’ll have a conversation with someone from the Dean’s Office about your academic history and interests as a way of helping you to pick your spring semester classes in an intentional and thoughtful way. That conversation also serves as a primer for the Plan process. Depending on how many credits you transfer to Bennington, the Plan changes slightly in terms of pace, but not in terms of what it asks you to do: deeply and honestly self-reflect and consider what guiding questions are the most compelling and enriching to you, and consider with equal thought and care how the classes Bennington offers allow you to pursue answers to those burning questions straight to the ends of the earth.

As far as Financial Aid, transfers (fall or spring) are considered on the same criteria as anyone else: merit and need. I won’t go into the gory details here (because now I’m rambling), but for guidance take a look at this post by Liam on how Bennington considers financial aid. Additionally, you can find some basic facts and figures on our Financial Aid FAQs page. And then, if you have further unanswered questions, you can always feel free to email them to They don’t bite.

Anyway, I hope I’ve begun to answer some of your questions. If you have any that are as yet unanswered, you can always email me at, or the transfer admissions counselor Sarah McAbee (‘07) at Good luck with the transfer process!

-Evan ‘13

how do i transfer credits from another college — Asked by Anonymous

I enlisted the help of Sarah McAbee, admissions counselor extraordinaire, for this question. She said basically said that it depends on who is asking. 

  • If you are a prospective transfer student you should:
  1. email Sarah and chat because she is awesome (
  2. You will get a credit transfer award when you are accepted that will tell you which credits transferred. 
  • If you are an incoming student check out this form
  • If you are a current student call Academic Services ASAP and chat with them (802-440-4400)

Best of luck!

-Glennis (and a lot of Sarah)

what is benningtons policy on earning credit via clep tests? do they accept transfer credits that were earned because of this exam? — Asked by little---darling

I hadn’t even heard of the “CLEP test” — if you asked me to use it in a sentence I would probably say “I got the results from the CLEP test back and the results were negative — but I asked one of the counselors and got the scoop.

Bottom line: we don’t, unfortunately. For more information about transferring credits as a transfer, check out this page. There is a note about credit by exam in the middle of the second paragraph, though not CLEP specifically.

You should note, though, that since we don’t have required classes, there is nothing you can “clep” out of (we think its hilarious that people use it as a verb), so you aren’t really at a disadvantage and you won’t be stuck in some abysmally boring intro class.

-Alan ‘15 

How many transfer students usually get accepted? What makes a good candidate? — Asked by Anonymous

The transfer admit rate can vary quite a bit from term to term but Sarah, the transfer counselor (, says we usually accept around 50%. 

In terms of what makes a good candidate it isn’t much different from what makes a good incoming freshman, strong performance in academics, strong thinking and writing, curiosity, passion, and motivation. 

-Glennis (with help from Sarah)

As a newly accepted transfer student, when will I get to sign up for fall courses? Are there spots saved for transfers in 4000 level courses? Thanks! — Asked by Anonymous

You’ll be signing up for courses over the summer at the same time as the rest of the incoming class (Freshmen & Transfers all together), which, if memory serves, happens sometime between mid-May and June. The actual date is a mystery and is somewhat predicated upon factoring in who’s all actually coming as part of the class, which classes have openings, etc. (work with us here)

As far as spots saved for transfers in 4000-levels, I think that has a little bit more to do with the individual professors. While I’m not 100% sure if they are required by the school to save a certain number of spots (if any), what I can tell you with certainty is that the entirety of 4000-level registration is based around conversation with the faculty whose classes you’re interested in. If there’s a particular class that looks enticing to you, it never hurts to shoot the professor an email explaining your interest/background in the topic at hand, and once you arrive on campus you can just march straight to their office in person and explain why you think you should be in their classes. They love hearing from students who are interested, can bring something new to the table, and can offer fresh perspectives within the class setting and on project work.

Hope that helps!

-Evan ‘13

Eeeeeep. So I'm freaking out. I recently fell in love with Bennington but about 2 months too late since I'm finishing up my senior year. Is there anyway I could still apply or transfer in the spring? I'm really beating myself up for not discovering this mystical place sooner :( — Asked by littlesurfergirldontsurfnomore

Aw, bummer. I’m sorry to hear it. Unfortunately, as you’ve probably already guessed, the freshman application period for this fall is 100% closed, since we’re currently in the process of sending out decisions to fall 2013 applicants.

However, you should know that a spring transfer is still very much a possibility. In order to qualify as a ‘transfer student’ (for application purposes), you’ll need to have graduated high school and enrolled at another college for at least a term. Spring transfer applications are due by November 1st (along with the FAFSA and financial aid app) and notifications are sent out in early December. So keep that in mind, if you keep researching Bennington and continue to be intrigued.

Also, come visit us! Regardless of whether you decide to apply for next term or next year or even not at all, visiting campus really is the best way to get a sense of what Bennington is like on a daily basis. You can sit in on a class, get a personalized tour, eat lunch with students, and (my favorite) just wander and explore. You can schedule a visit on our website or call Admissions at (802)440-4312 to have us schedule one for you.

Whatever you decide, best of luck!

-Evan ‘13

Hi! I absolutely love your blog, it's incredibly helpful. I was wondering what the housing options were for transfer students? On-campus, off-campus, anything in between? Thanks :) — Asked by bymyfae

Hey there! Transfer students have the same housing options as undergraduate students; which is to say that the vast majority live in on-campus housing.

If you’re accepted as a transfer, you’ll fill out a housing request form sometime over the summer before you get here. Based on the information you provide about your interests, preferred quiet hours, roommate personality stuff, etc., you’ll be placed in one of the 18 on-campus houses with other undergrads. It’s also possible to live off-campus, but there’s a separate requirement process for being approved for off-campus housing, and I don’t personally know of anyone who’s transferred in and been able to live off-campus in their first term. Long story short, if you’re interested in transferring, take a look at some of the other posts on this blog regarding student housing - anything that applies to undergrads applies to you, also.

-Evan ‘13

Is it possible to receive a response to your application before the time that Bennington lists for notification? — Asked by Anonymous

I suppose it’s possible, although I’m unaware of a circumstance in which that’s ever been the case. The times Bennington lists for notifications are the deadlines for Admissions to make their decisions for that given cycle, so you should count on hearing back from us within a week or so after that date.

Just to recap, those dates are as follows:

  • Early Action - Feb. 1
  • Early Decision 1 - Dec. 20
  • Early Decision 2 - Feb. 1
  • Regular Decision - Apr. 1
  • Fall Transfer - May 1
  • Spring Transfer - early Dec.

Hope this helps!

-Evan ‘13

So this is my dream school, but my dad wants me to go to NYU. i need to find a billion legitimate reasons why this school is the best choice for me. I've already written that list. But just to be safe, I want to prove to him that if I wanted, I could transfer to NYU my second year at Bennington Undergrad. So I was wondering, what are my chances of being accepted as an NYU transfer from Bennington? Has this happened in the past? — Asked by Anonymous

Hey there,

For safety’s sake, you should check out NYU’s admissions requirements for transfer students. You can find some information about applying there as a transfer student here. If necessary (hopefully not) you could apply after one year of study at Bennington. Working hard and doing well - whether you transfer or not - should provide you with ample opportunities. Hope this helps!

~ Holly, ‘13

I'm thinking about transferring to Bennington. I was wondering if you can tell me a little bit about transfer students and their experiences? Are there a lot of transfers? — Asked by Anonymous

Here is a small collection of answers to transfer questions we’ve given in the past - it might help flesh out the process and experience a little bit.

According to our website, approximately 10 percent of the student body has transferred to Bennington. As someone who transferred into Bennington as a second-semester freshman, I’ve always felt like the transfer experience is pretty cohesive. I’ve never had issues finding classes or fitting in or anything like that; I was able to hit the ground running once I got here and never really had to worry about it.

Hope this helps. Email me at if you have any more specific questions about the transfer process.

-Evan ‘13