Posts tagged admissions

how long is the time I get my acceptance letter to the time I have to tell admissions yes or no? — Asked by Anonymous

Hello there! 

So, it depends on when you apply. Here are some dates that might be helpful.

But in terms of when you have to let us know of your decision:

Early Decision 1: Feb 1st

Early Action: May 1st

Early Decision 2: March 1st

Fall Regular Decision: May 1st

+ All transfer and Spring entry decisions should be made within 30 days of the acceptance letter. 

Any more questions? Please be in touch!

Naima ‘15

Hi! I'm applying early action and am very excited (Bennington is my first choice). Is it possible for me to attach an art portfolio? If so, where and what are the parameters? — Asked by Anonymous

Yes, it’s 100% possible! Actually, we just launched something called the “dimensional application” - which you can learn more about here. Through this application, you can upload any work that you feel reflects you as a person & what you’re passionate about. There aren’t any “parameters” to what you attach - just put thought into selecting work that you feel demonstrates who you are and how you could thrive here at Bennington.

If don’t choose to participate in the dimensional application and decide to apply via Common App, you will receive an email inviting you to access your personal application status page, where you can upload a portfolio. Again, there are no limitations there - you can attach any documents/files/images you would like to.

!!! you do you !!!

Nila ‘17

Is it better to have an interview on campus as opposed to when the rep visits your school? Like does it look better for you? ( I have already done the tour and the info session and visited campus twice) — Asked by Anonymous

Glad you asked.  Here’s the rundown: if you live in the southeastern states or Montana, it’s crucial that you interview in person; those counselors place a lot of weight on it.  If you live elsewhere and have more than six freckles on your left arm, a school-visit interview is your best bet, and if fewer than six freckles, a phone interview.  It you have exactly six freckles or if you do not have a left arm, you must interview via Skype.  Unless you live in the southeastern US or Montana.

No, but really, whatever.  We don’t measure people’s commitment to getting into Bennington via some sick metric of how much they’re willing to drive/fly to see us.  We do encourage people to visit so that they can really see the school, but if you’ve already done that, then it is 120% up to you how you interview.

-Ray ‘15

In regards to transferring in, how important are the letters of recommendation? I've been in and out of my current university for several years due to a family illness, so it's been unrealistic for me to build strong relationships with many professors. I am positive that I can get one very strong recommendation, but finding a second will probably require teeth-pulling. — Asked by Anonymous

Letters of recommendation are certainly something we place weight on, but that doesn’t mean you’re out of options.  Go ahead and get that one that you know you can, and then maybe expand your frame.  There are other people in your life, I’m sure, who can speak to your character and competence — bosses and coworkers, scoutmasters/other volunteer-y stuff, friends of the family, etc.  Your teachers from high school might also be good sources.  Get together one or two of those, and include them in your supplement.  Or don’t.  I can’t give you any guarantees of what will or won’t make you application look best to Bennington; I can only say that we understand difficult circumstances, and… well, this is corny, but if you find yourself unable to dig a tunnel, build a bridge instead.  We’re all about getting at what’s important in unconventional ways.  

-Ray ‘15

So, I am really averse to the people I go to high school with. And, I live in a city that I really hate (mostly because I hate cities). As a result, I have spent much of high school wallowing through the day to day, and I feel like my last four years and my application-- barring my writing where I try to express some of these grievances-- just comes off like a rich private school kid. Bennington looks like utopia, but I'm worried I'm not "self-defined" enough to fit in. What can you tell me? — Asked by Anonymous

We urge you to really think about what it is about cities that bothers or discomforts you because Bennington, VT is really almost the complete opposite of an urban area. Doug is from Los Angeles, CA and while he also felt like he wanted a different experience in geography and landscape, he’s become aware of many things he took for granted about living in a city, as well as the things he misses, that he now seek in cities close by like NYC. Bennington may very well be a “utopia” or a dream for you because despite it not being a city, there are beautiful things to discover about this environment.

We get a lot of questions like this one on the blog. “Because I’m X I don’t think I’ll fit in at Bennington.” The honest answer is that we have never met a prospective student passionate about Bennington that will not fit in here. In terms of self-definition, we’re not sure what you mean by that, but I think Bennington is a process of self-definition. We design our majors, so if you come here than you can work on your passions, your interests and what defines you. Lots of students come in with ideas of what exactly they want to do, and then they totally rediscover themselves and change their minds. No one comes in or leaves Bennington 100% self-defined. People define themselves throughout their lives and complete self-definition would allow no room for growth.

For now remember that here at Bennington, the admissions staff is really interested in who you are, what you’ve done, and how well you fit into the Bennington community. So don’t worry too much about one part of your application, take advantage of your strengths, share your story, set up an interview (optional), submit additional works you’ve done (if possible), and just make yourself stand out in whatever way possible. The truth is, there is no defined formula into which we plug our applicants and see what the outcome may be, each and every student is looked at individually, and all aspects of the admissions process are fully weighed and considered.

That being said, of course Bennington is competitive and grades are an important part of the application, but also don’t forget that sometimes the story behind those grades is relevant. The admissions staff will look at everything you submit and will by no means compare you with other applicants (because that’s really not the point). So like Chernoh says to all applicants, just apply and worry about the outcome afterwards. Don’t undervalue any part of the application, give it your best shot. There’s always light at the end of the tunnel if you walk far enough.   

Hope this helps!

Chernoh, Doug, Varney, Maddy and Arden

Hello! I am interested in the visual arts section and would like to know what kinds of works we have to put in our portfolio, and maybe if there is a way to look at portfolio's from the past years? And is it okay if I don't have great drawing skills? Thank you! — Asked by Anonymous

Hey!! Don’t worry about “drawing skills”, just put in any work that you feel good about. There is nothing specific that we’re looking for. I really do mean that— we are much more interested in your love for visual arts than any technical “skill” you may have. The portfolio is just another way for us to learn more about who you are. I’m sure we’ll love love whatever you have to show us.

Here the admissions counselor blog that posts some of the portfolio portions of Bennington applicants!

Nila ‘17

(here are some foxes)



We’re open on Saturdays now, and if we have time for this photo-op not enough of you are visiting us!  Come brighten our weekends!
Also, tours are entirely parkour-based now, so if you’re not ready to go hard, be ready to fall behind.*
-Ray ‘15
*This is not in the least true.  Tours are conducted at whatever pace is comfortable for those taking them, and very few of our tour guides are versed in parkour.


We’re open on Saturdays now, and if we have time for this photo-op not enough of you are visiting us!  Come brighten our weekends!

Also, tours are entirely parkour-based now, so if you’re not ready to go hard, be ready to fall behind.*

-Ray ‘15

*This is not in the least true.  Tours are conducted at whatever pace is comfortable for those taking them, and very few of our tour guides are versed in parkour.

do you love bennington? Why would you choose bennington vs. other colleges? — Asked by Anonymous

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.

Alan ‘15

I've heard Bennington is really isolated, does this effect students negatively or is it okay? — Asked by Anonymous

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!

Nila ‘17

P.S. the seclusion is what gives us this crazy beautiful view!!image

Why does Bennington have to be so perfect? :) — Asked by Anonymous

imageOh….purrrrrrrfect you say?????????????

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. — Asked by Anonymous

Well…what does it take to be an engaged and fulfilled writer?

Let’s see…

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).

— Parke ‘15

is the bennington admissions staff big on recommendations? — Asked by Anonymous

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!)

go get those RECS


I'm so excited to visit soon! Anything you recommend I ask or do while on the bennington tour? — Asked by Anonymous

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. 

Can’t wait to get to know you!

-Selina ‘15

What is the drama application process like? Other than the common app and supplement is there an audition and what is that like? — Asked by Anonymous

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. 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 — Asked by Anonymous

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.


Rachael ‘15