So we’ve been getting a whole bunch of questions about this portion of the Bennington Supplement to the Common App. (It is coming up on application time.)
This is not something that is worth pulling your hair out over.
We give you guidelines to help you put your best foot forward and send us a great piece of analytic writing, but that’s at the core of what we’re looking for: good analytic writing.
Do you know how to develop an original thought (thesis), articulate it, and then back it up with solid evidence? Anddd do it elegantly and concisely? (This sounds like a lot to ask, and it is, but that’s what you should be stressing over, not whether or not the paper you’re really proud of and is a great example of your writing skills exactly fits our guidelines.) If the paper you’re really proud of is actually a poem, we want to read that too (and there are parts of the supplement where you can submit that), but this is your opportunity to get into the nitty gritty academic argument stuff.
As far as the “graded” part is concerned, we’re not going to judge you based on whether or not your teacher thinks you’re brilliant, we’re just interested in getting a deeper understanding of your high school experience, so do you generally get an inexplicable A- at the bottom of your papers, or do you get a paragraph of feedback for every paragraph you write.
Stress begone! We can’t wait to read whatever you decide to send us.
For the supplement you can upload it directly to the Common App and submit it with the rest of you application. If the Common App will not accept you supplement for whatever reason, hit apply (when you are ready). Then after you apply to Bennington you should get an email with a link asking you to upload the supplement to the Bennington website.
The other written components are the teacher recommendations and the graded paper which can be submitted with your Common App.
You can absolutely do that! However the admissions office would rather receive your application as a whole (either electronically or by mail) to avoid the risk of missing pieces. But, if the reason for your desire to send your “Out Loud Thinking” is due to file size, if you wait until the college receives your electronic application you can cut out the middle-man and upload your file directly to the college website even if it’s too large for the Common App. But don’t fret if you’d rather send it by mail - for instance if your “Out Loud Thinking” is difficult to photograph or scan. The college is far more concerned about receiving your work rather than how it arrived.
- Sarah ‘15
Yeah, certainly! While portfolios are not by any means a required aspect of our application, we do welcome any opportunity we can to get to know you better. If you think your art/acting/dancing etc. is something that will give us better insight into what you’re passionate about, then submit away.
Good luck with the application!
We no longer have paper applications! All our applications are now handled online via the Common App. Yay trees!
I’m pretty sure most of the counselors here won’t notice the length of your essay unless it’s realllyyyy boring, so if it’s good, don’t stress about it. You may have noticed from some of my blog posts that I’m fairly long winded, so I would remind you that being concise is always helpful, but pleassee don’t edit it just because the common app tells you too.
Lately we’ve been getting a lot of questions on the blog about various application-related things. Questions about deadlines (which have mostly passed), questions about supplemental materials, logistical questions – the point being, many of your inquiries covered similar material. Though we usually like to answer each question individually, in the interests of space, brevity, and avoiding redundancy, we figured that we would draft a handy FAQ that, in the future, we can always refer back to for questions on Bennington’s review process.