Posts tagged admissions

Don’t be Afraid of Financial Aid

We’ve gotten a lot of ?’s about financial aid recently because money can be $cary. We totally get it and also scared too. Only human over here though we seem cyber.

Speaking of humans, our first piece of advice is to call financial aid. Talking to humans and not computers can also be scary but they’ll be able to help you on an individual basis way better than we can. Their digits are 802-440-4325. This is a great idea for all questions. Self advocacy can be fun!

That being said we can give you some more general info:

Merit aid is based on the strength of the total application not just a student’s grades or test scores (so maybe your art portfolio made us rethink existence or something). Upon applying, all students are considered for need and merit based scholarships, no extra paperwork necessary beyond the FAFSA and other federal documentation you’d be filling out already.

in 2012-13, 90% of first-year students received a grant or scholarship, the average award being $25,791. And that’s money you don’t have to repay.

Are there hidden costs? I’d look at our budget here. I’d also just say that it is easy to not spend money on campus. I don’t carry cash and I’ve gone weeks before without spending a dime.

Field Work Term? I can’t predict how much it will cost for you. Grants are available. But also, if money is a concern, do something where you will make money, even if it isn’t the dream. It will still be a great experience. You aren’t required to fly to France, you can live with Mom and Dad.

alan & emily!

Is the poetry program contemporary? (that poem posted was decent but I'm looking for like Dickman and Heany and Brock-Broido style of being taught) — Asked by Anonymous

We have programming in all ranges of poetry (and writing in general) — contemporary, archaic, and otherwise — the lit faculty work hard to balance the curriculum each term.  The Poets at Bennington Series lends itself to the contemporary, since we can’t ask dead poets to come talk and teach here (I mean we can ask…but…turns out no matter how much you knock on Frost’s grave, he just doesn’t respond…the nerve…)

I wouldn’t say any particular “style” is taught to students here…unless you consider being truthful a style.

— Parke ‘15

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Addendum: 

Hello and hi, 

Honestly, the best way to describe the poetry program at Bennington might very well be “all inclusive”. In my four years here, I’ve studied Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Whitman’s self-representation in Leaves of Grass, Olena Kalytiak Davis’ work, Jericho Brown, Dean Young’s poems and essays, CD Wright, Alex DImitrov’s use of social media platforms in poetic contexts and so much in between. There are courses with more direct focuses, like this term’s Dickinson & Whitman class, but there are also classes that address broader questions, like The Making of a Poem course taught this past fall, where, through contemporary texts, we analyzed what it means to make poetry, what poetry’s function or purpose is, and how it reaches its “goal”. 

I should also mention that the Poetry at Bennington program is always taught in conjunction with at least one poetry class. Visiting poets have a short residency including a reading, lecture, and Q&A session, and from time to time, students are able to workshop their poems 1-on-1 with the visiting poets. 

(Also,can you send us your favorite Dickman poem? I’ve never heard of them. )

~ben ‘14

Vt spring running. This is actually why I go to bennington.

This is harmon hill on the stretch of the long trail that heads south from rt 9 just outside of downtown bennington.

This could be you.

"VC" Dailey

Memorized this poem for class last week.  Love me some recitations.  Emily Dickinson is pretty much my homie by this point in the term.

— Parke ‘15

Memorized this poem for class last week. Love me some recitations. Emily Dickinson is pretty much my homie by this point in the term.

— Parke ‘15

On a scale of 1-10 how much friendly, platonic snuggling is done at Bennington? This is crucial to my decision. (I'm mostly joking) — Asked by Anonymous

10.

Especially with Liam.  Liam loves cuddling.  His Plan is in Cuddling.  Cuddling and Performance Studies.  Don’t forget to give him a snuggle when you come visit.

— Parke ‘15

Have you ever met Amy Hempel on campus? She is my favorite, favorite, FAVORITE writer. And I read that she works there. — Asked by Anonymous

Ooooooohyeah yes yes Lady Hempel often comes and teaches/speaks during the MFA program periods.  She isn’t a faculty member for undergrads, but she is BFFs with our spring term faculty member, Doug Bauer (check out his book: http://www.uiowapress.org/books/2013-fall/what-happens-next.htm).  I read her book, Reasons to Live, in his Masters of Style lit class, and damn.  Mama knows how to write.  It’s possible to work for the MFA program over FWT, in which case, you could potentially meet her!

Keep on readin,

Parke ‘15

Now is the time…the future draws nigh…..decisions……decisionsssssssssss…magical decisions………where shall destiny take you???? TO BENNINGTON??????? 

— Parke & Alan aka PALAN

Now is the time…the future draws nigh…..decisions……decisionsssssssssss…magical decisions………where shall destiny take you???? TO BENNINGTON???????

— Parke & Alan aka PALAN

Regular Decision Decisions (??) come out tonight…guess who’s going to be in the office……that’s right….get in? don’t get in? GIVE US A CALL
Your admissions hotline (and we mean *hot*)
— Alan & Parke (we’ll be here 8 pm to 10:30 pm EST…waiting oh so patiently…)PS they let us order a pizza and it has feta

Regular Decision Decisions (??) come out tonight…guess who’s going to be in the office……that’s right….get in? don’t get in? GIVE US A CALL

Your admissions hotline (and we mean *hot*)

— Alan & Parke (we’ll be here 8 pm to 10:30 pm EST…waiting oh so patiently…)

PS they let us order a pizza and it has feta

Hard to have a bad day when you walk into this…Swan house represent.

Hard to have a bad day when you walk into this…Swan house represent.

Sage City Symphony warming up for the youth composers concert featuring compositions by students from bennington, williams and the college of saint rose. 

Liam

Sage City Symphony warming up for the youth composers concert featuring compositions by students from bennington, williams and the college of saint rose.

Liam

In Defense of My Undergraduate Playwriting Degree | HowlRound

As a result of an awesome FWT, I have been able to publish an article on a widely read online journal. It is also really relevant to you as you college search… but first a bit about the organization.

HowlRound: A Center for the Theater Commons is based at Emerson College. HowlRound is a story of artists and theater makers sharing dissonant opinions, engaging in in-depth dialogue, and promoting best practices with the hope of ensuring a vibrant future for our field. Our stories live in a theater commons—shared resources available to all.

They strive to create commons-based theater, as accessible as a public library. The internet helps: we have a website with a fully archived online journal featuring contributions from over 600 different writers (and 25,000 average monthly readers) as well as an online TV channel, HowlRound TV, that features livestreamed performances, panel discussions, and conferences. They also moderate twitter discussions every week using #newplay and track the development of new plays through our New Play Map. To put it briefly, they facilitate; both by making voices available and by giving more artists a voice.

Working with them has been a privilege, and I’m honored to be featured in their journal section.

-Alan ‘15

So when we start filling out housing info and the questionnaire for roommates, would it be weird to ask to have a student of color as a roommate? I understand the possible prejudice presumed by asking for such a thing, but I mean when majority of the campus is already white, is requesting to be with a non-white student that inappropriate? — Asked by Anonymous

I guess my question is, why is having a student of color as a roommate important to you? At the end of the day, you can put whatever you want on your housing questionnaire — I mean, I definitely put all the rappers I would marry on it (meaning TI….and only TI…) and they couldn’t have made a better placement for me.  To flip this on you, what would you think about a white student requesting only a white student as a roommate, and potentially missing out on being friends with you? (This is me assuming you are a student of color, although that is woefully generalizing in itself.)  You can also speak directly to Student Life about the issue — I’m sure they have dealt with these sort of questions in the past and would be happy to help out.

— Parke ‘15

So I have a few, for the most part unrelated, questions for you because you seem like about the coolest people ever. What's the theater program like in regards to how serious it is? Do people major in theater and stuff? Secondly, are there parties? Do you guys 'go cray,' so to speak? And lastly, I saw what you said about the socio-economic diversity (hooray), but is the student body also diverse racially/sexual-orientationally (shhh that's totally legitimate English)? Thanks a boatload. — Asked by Anonymous

Do we go cray?

DO WE GO CRAY?????!!!???!?!?!??!?!

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Um, probably.  I’d say we’re like at least, based off of the latest statistics from the Princeton Review, 11% cray.  Depends on the season.

Ok…to your questions….this is most likely going to be long…

1. Racially/sexual-orientationally diversity-ally…ok I’m gonna go on a mini rant for a little bit and ask the question I’ve been wanting to ask for a long time about this subject: what drives the fear behind the diversity question?  Not to be purposefully incendiary here, but at Bennington we’re taught to ask the question behind the question (CRAY)…yes of course there are students from tons of different backgrounds.  But there are a lot of factors: 1) who actually wants to apply? In some racial/social/economic situations, from what I’ve been told [do not take this as fact, please] going to a liberal arts college is a bit of a no-no (“What, you need to go to fancy school? The schools around here aren’t good enough for you?”) 2) Who decides to go based off of who we accept 3) trends trends trends…”types of applicants” (I hate saying that…but you know what I mean…this is all sticky, terminology-wise) shift year to year; we’re small enough that each new freshman class totally changes the various levels of *fill in the blank* diversity on campus.  What you’re asking is a complicated question, but I have a question to ask you: what is it that people actually want when they say they want diversity?  Because a college could hand pick a student from each state, or different economic backgrounds, different religious preferences, different sexual orientations, and end up with a student body that is ultimately taught to think in the exact same way…is that diverse? I’m not going to pretend Bennington is the most diverse college in the country, by any means.  We couldn’t be.  We are roughly 700 students.   But I do think we are taught to notice, respond to, and think about diversity, not just in terms of the labels that codify people, but in regards to how we make our work.  I can’t talk for everybody else, but I can tell you from my own experience, that when I give a tour, I’m looking for someone with a spark in their eye, a thirst to learn, and a penchant for questioning/trying new things — I’m not judging them based on how they identify.  Bennington is not for everyone, but if it’s for you, and you want to come here, and you want to work, and you want to maybe suffer a little bit because ow learning is hard, then we want you to come here.  

2. Theatre education and the quality thereof: we do not have majors here at Bennington (CRAY), but yes, a TON of students study theatre on this campus.  Coming from a pretty formal theatrical education before Bennington, and having been someone who considered conservatories (many students at Bennington have), I can say I am more than satisfied with my choice — in fact, I am elated.  Because Bennington doesn’t force you to choose one direction of study (in fact, it’s often discouraged), you can indulge as a theatre student in all different facets of the work: playwriting, directing, technical theatre, acting, dramaturgy, set design, performance studies, theatre history, you name it.  And none of it is a light overview, you’re not going to be reading out of textbooks — you’re getting down and dirty on day one.  As the directors always say, you can talk all you want, or you can get up on your feet and do it, yeah?  Considering that theatre is so interactive and collaborative, it never made sense to me why conservatories (although not all, I’m sure) make you focus on one area.  Part of working in this field is being able to adapt yourself to the needs of the particular production you’re working on — that exact group, space, and timeframe — I mean, isn’t the ephemerality of the work what makes it so beautiful?  So you have to prepare yourself best you can for that.  Another thing — all the faculty at Bennington are working artists (CRAY) so they know what’s up…and they’ve studied with the best.  I remember walking into my first term Actor’s Instrument course to find that my teacher had worked with Uta Hagan, Sanford Meisner, AND Lee Strasberg .  Eeeesh.  Let’s just say I put my hair up.  Lastly, I love studying theatre at Bennington because there is so much student work happening all the time — you don’t need to fill out forms or get approval (although there are venues for that, to be sure) to get something started.  I remember visiting colleges and sort of closing one eye suspiciously at the quality of student theatre, but I honestly think some of the student pieces at Bennington can sometimes…not all the time…but sometimes….surpass…the classwork….*hides under desk.*  

Yeah. I love theatre.  Many of us here do.  It’s a craft and an art and a practice, not a major.

— Parke ‘15

P.S. 

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Jennings Notation Lab 202B - where I’ve been locked away most evenings working on my Field Work Term Independent Study.

Liam

Snowy campus!

Liam