Posts tagged bennington

What do you hate/dislike about bennington? please, be sincere! — Asked by Anonymous

I strongly dislike how expensive this college and college education is in general. 

Also, once I saw a group of streakers being chased by a dog while chanting “Obama! Obama!” 

It made me really, really, inexplicably angry.


Schools opinion on mental illness? Like anxiety/depression and how do they address it in students — Asked by Anonymous

also, these: 



Hey anon(s),

Mental health is treated as a completely legitimate concern here, though I… would hope that that’s true at all schools.  Many people struggle with their mental health, especially while under the stresses of college and beginning their adult lives away from home.  Anxiety and depression in particular are very common, although no less difficult to experience for that.  None of the therapists in the office of psych services would bat an eye at such problems, nor will just about anyone else on campus.  I see a therapist in psych services once a week, and I’ve never lived anywhere else where it was so normal, so stigma-less, to be open about being in therapy/having a mental illness.  And you’ll never lack for kind people here, whether or not you attend therapy.  It is, additionally, worthy of note that psych services are available to students regardless of ability to pay — they’ll work something out with you structured around your specific situation vis a vis insurance etc., and their payscale does go all the way down to “free” if that’s what you really need.

In addition to all of the above, psych services recently struck up a campus conversation with a meeting that was open to all students, staff, and faculty.  It was well-attended, and one of the things that came out of it was an ongoing conversation about mental wellness at Bennington — that is to say, how we can do more to promote overall health and to propagate the idea that you don’t need to have a diagnosable mental illness in order to take steps to take care of yourself.  Situational depression, for instance, is a thing.  And some people find that they do better in therapy even though they don’t have a mental illness per se.  So there’ll be more going on in the near future to promote wellness in things like study and sleep habits, especially during high-stress times like midterms and finals.

So, let me know if that answered your questions (or, especially, if it didn’t).  Hope you’re well, and if you wanted to talk about anything in more detail, please feel free to email me at rays (at)

-Ray ‘15

PS. Pro tip: one of the strongest indicators of success with therapy I’ve seen here is understanding what you’re looking for when you go in.  Most of Bennington psych services’ therapists fall into either the psychodynamic or cognitive-behavioral therapy styles, and chances are you have a preference, even if you don’t know it yet.  As a disclaimer, I’m not any kind of qualified mental health professional, I’m just talking out of my own experiences with therapy here on campus.  But the people I’ve talked to who have had bad initial experiences with therapy here and haven’t gone back have usually done so because they went in expecting PD and got CBT, or vice versa.  You can totally request one or the other when you set up an appointment.


The Secret Life of Kagan Marks (interviewed by Rory Cullen)

Kagan is an elusive and cryptic presence in all of our lives, and allowed only one portion of his interview to be published here:

Q: What’s your favorite sport, and why?

A: Being a baller is the ultimate goal. Ball is life. You know when you see some baller bros in the park, and you just join in, and you’re just really good? 

Nothing more.  Now you know as much about Kagan as we do.

Can anyone/maybe admissions counselors might know of some suggestions but - mfa programs that are similar to Bennington ?? Or where have Bennington grads done grad school for art stuff ? Xoxox — Asked by Anonymous

Here are some wise words from Libby Hux, our New York & New Jersey counselor who is a little bit more well versed in the world of grad schools:

"In terms of MFA programs most applied (by everyone, not just Bennington students) to for contemporary/conceptual work: CalArts, SAIC in Chicago, Bard, YALE of course!, U of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, UCLA, Cranbrook, the studio art MFA at Claremont, USC, and I think CCA."

but I’m all about the Brown playwriting MFA…two favorite quotes from their little manifesto:

"Queer can mean: A personal and demonstrated identity in contravention of logic or domination. Art must queer the system."
"Just as we’re post national – we’re also post disciplinary. This was once understood to be post dramatic, in the sense of post authorship/post-text. But the total loss of disciplines, like the total loss of self, is disastrous. The world we are trying to describe now is so richly detailed and complex that it must be viewed from all angles at once."

Happy hunting,
#us in high school

#us in high school

The Secret Life of Chernoh Jalloh (interviewed by Doug Campos)

Q: What’s your most vivid/meaningful childhood memory?

A: From 1996 to 2003, Chernoh moved around a lot with his mother between Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and the Ivory Coast.  He recalls a specific memory from when he was about 6 years old, which to this day remains a source of strong motivation for him.  As he remembers it he, his mother, and a group of strangers walked in the middle of the night through the bush and forest, from Guinea to Sierra Leone, during the time of the 11-year civil war.  He remembers that his mother was the only one leading the way through the night, with a torch in her hand.  He highlighted the length of the walk and the darkness of the night as what stayed with him most vividly.

Q: What worries you most about being at Bennington?

A: Given the field that Chernoh plans to enter (biochem and medicine), he’s nervous about the fact that Bennington’s name is widely recognized in certain of the academic circles he’s looking to enter.  He finds that he often has to defend his work and place of work, or strive for credibility among other students with highly recognizable scientific “pedigrees” like MIT.  Chernoh explained that while Bennington students are very good at talking about our work, and love to do so, that sometimes others don’t leave much room for it when all they care about is the name of the school you went to.

Q: What would be the last meal you’d want to eat before dying?

A: Rice and groundnut (peanut) soup.  He says that he can only ever find it at home, or sometimes in Philly.

What are the benefits of applying with the dimensional application vs the common app? I would like to submit my portfolio, and I don't know which format would better suit it. — Asked by Anonymous

From our side of things, it doesn’t make a difference — we are going to be getting to know you through the application, not your choice of application. So it is really up to you to decide which method showcases your work (& your, uh, self) the best.

If you do the dimensional app, I’d encourage you to think very intentionally about what you include and make sure we are getting a whole picture of you. With the common app, you have a sort of safety net which is that of tradition.

The choice is still yours…that’s the Bennington way.

Alan ‘15

Do you usually have a large number of applications from colorado? — Asked by Anonymous

good morning

last year, 14 out of 1100 applications (1.2%) were from students whose permanent address was somewhere in Colorado. 

thank you


Hi hi! My name is Anne (pronounced Annie - it's complicated). I'm kind of maybe sort of interested in Bennington as a prospective college maybe sort of? I've been exploring Bennington's website along with tons of other college websites but I just wanted to hear about the school from actual students. So... what's it like? Do you like it? What do you hate about it? I wanna know everything! Damn, did that sound needy? — Asked by Anonymous

Hello Ann(i)e and welcome to the bennington students blog tapped IN

Glad to hear that you’re doing some research! If I had to describe Bennington super concisely, I’d say it’s like a really really hard summer camp except we’re here during the fall and spring instead of summer! That may sound kind of weird but it’s actually pretty nice if that’s the sort of thing you’re into. I’m into it. One thing I hate hate absolutely hate is when the dining hall drink machines run out of ice!!!!!

if you want to know more about things I like and hate please email me at and i will provide you with a comprehensive excel spreadsheet listing these things as well as where they land on the Josef Mundt Love-Hate scale.

Kagan (pronounced Kaygen) ‘16

Hi, I am a teacher at Princeton Day School (Princeton, NJ) teaching a high-school class about checking credentials of writers/journalists/bloggers etc. They are currently reading Michael Pollan, and we see that he claims that he is a graduate of your college (B.A. English, 1977(. Can you confirm this please? Thank you, Reuben Loewy — Asked by Anonymous

Hey there!

While I hope you’re not teaching your students to use Tumblr as a reliable source for checking credentials, according to Michael Pollan’s CV from his website, his biography on wikipedia (which cites an interview posted on his website), AND the Bennington College Website, he did in fact attend here!

Hope this clears things up,

-Alex ‘16


Though I was initially confident in my choice for Bennington as my preferred college, after a friend gave me a "talking to," I can't help but ask: how valuable is a Bennington degree, with regard to the likelihood of getting a good job after graduation? — Asked by Anonymous

Well my friend, I suppose that depends what you are asking, and what kind of job you are looking for. When I graduate from Bennington this spring, President Mariko Silver will give me a sweet ole’ hug and then Isabel Roche, dean of the college, will hand me a piece of paper slapped into a leather folder that signifies in very few words that Rachael Meyers spent three years (transfer chick here) studying at this particular liberal arts college.

There are lots of employers out there who hear the name “Bennington” and get all giddy about our kick ass college. There are also those who may have very little association with our name. But honestly, the first thing an employer is going to look at is probably your resume, right? Well, in that case, the typical Bennington student graduates with at least four solid jobs on their resume and real experience in the field in which they study. None of my friends who recently graduated from other colleges and universities can say the same. I mean… just sayin’. (Sorry friends from other colleges, you are valuable to employers too!)

According to Bennington’s most recent alumni survey, 90% of respondents were employed full time or fully matriculated in a grad program. But if you’re wondering if we make this list: 

Forbes 50 College Diplomas With The Highest Pay

…well, I can’t say we do. If there were a list of colleges whose graduates were most likely to find an exciting and fulfilling job in their field upon graduation, however, I strongly suspect that’s a list we’d be on. Perhaps even in the top 5. PERHAPS even in the top 1. Perhaps…

On that note, this is the most important lesson you will learn today: 

Report: 95% Of Grandfathers Got Job By Walking Right Up And Just Asking


Rachael ‘15

How often does Bennington give scholarships? Do most students pay the full tuition? — Asked by Anonymous



It’s not just you; the terror is entirely real for all of us. College is expensive and Bennington is an expensive college. Real talk: costly and scary.

That being said, the administration here also does an exceptional job of making this craziness affordable. Last (school) year, for instance, more than 90% of first-year students received grants or scholarships; the average value for each of these grants or scholarships was $29,000. That’s sans loans, sans work-study.

For specific questions, check out the website here ( ); if, once you’ve applied, you have questions specific to your situation, contact the office of financial aid. They’ll totally talk to you. It’s their job.

Stay excellent,



You may have seen Alan’s admissions-interns-in-high-school series on the blog these last few weeks.  Hopefully that’s defusing any ideas you may have had about us in the office being Cool People.  In a complementary effort to let y’all get to know us from a different angle than how we answer questions about the analytical essay, I’d like to introduce another ongoing post series.  Twice a week from here on out, for your edification and pleasure, we’ll be publishing interviews of admissions interns, conducted by other admissions interns.*  Enjoy.**

-Ray ‘15


**This is an imperative, not a suggestion.

Long weekend is just around the corner and all of us here in the office are GETTIN’ PUMPED. In the spirit of the upcoming weekend, we would like to re-release a video recorded by our very own Liam ‘14 and Ezra ‘13 a few years back. 

Here’s what a few of us on your friendly Monday afternoon shift have planned:

Alex: “I’m going mountain biking in the Northeast Kingdom….and then doing a lot of work on my Nature in the Americas midterm paper, in which I’ll be writing a natural biography of wheat”

Naima: “I am going to Cornell to visit a professor about grad school!! I will then come back and relax like no one’s business. I also have to write the above paper that Alex mentioned, focusing on the natural history of passenger pigeons”

Julia: “I’m planning on making some headway on my senior thesis but also getting in plenty of baking a cooking time. I’m trying to hunt down a food processor in order to make a from-scratch pumpkin pie! Also, I’m super stoked to go on a day trip to Burlington- it’s my first time!”

What are YOU planning on doing during those blissful 4 days?