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 ( http://www.bennington.edu/Admissions/financialaid/undergraduates.aspx ); 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.
hi im here to help
you can also call us at 802-440-4312
do NOT be SCARED let’s talk (this goes for anyone+everyone! i can answer a million emails a day EASY)
First off, you’ll be considered for $cholarships right off the bat, so you’d find out about that with the acceptance letter.
In terms of other aid, Bennington has a financial aid application in addition to the FAFSA (opens January 1) and CSS (DUE December 10) for you to fill out when you apply with questions similar to the FAFSA, and you’d get an estimated institutional and federal aid award based on the Bennington form and CSS with your letter, so as long as the numbers on your FAFSA and CSS Profile are consistent with what you put on the Bennington application, the aid you recieve in the spring should be the same as the estimate you get with your letter.
(you can check all the financial aid deadlines here)
The highest possible scholarship would be a full scholarship. The college can’t guarantee that everyone’s financial needs will be met in their entirety but it’ll certainly do its best. Financial aid packages go out around the same time as offers of admission, and if there’s something about the amount or the structure that doesn’t work for you, you can totally get in touch with a counselor and see if you can’t work something else out.
Of course, resources are limited, we get so many great and deserving applicants, aaaand you know how it is, really. The important thing is that financial aid is a conversation and absolutely up for discussion.
Hope that helps.
— sarah ‘14
Everyone is considered for merit aid based on the strength of the application, whether they be an eager beaver early action-er or an individual without financial need.
As for whether or not its good, to whether or not you can afford to come here solely on merit aid…I really can’t say just because its all relative, so here are some stats that aren’t:
in 2012 - 2013….
-Awards included full scholarships, up to $57,690 annually.
-The average merit scholarship was $12,810, roughly $50,000 over four years.
-14% of merit scholars received an award of $20,00 or more ($80,000 over four years).
Oy vey, I was in the same boat as you, so I totally know what you’re going through. My advice is to simply give the Financial Aid Office a holler. Tell the lovely ladies there about your financial situation (seriously, don’t be shy, every detail is important), and they’ll go over all your options with you. Just so you know, there is a financial aid appeal process. But again, the FA Office can give you the scoop on that. You can reach ‘em at 802-440-4325.
Rest assured, financial aid is based on FAFSA and isn’t affected by any merit scholarships!
$20,000 per year, or $80,000 over the course of four years. Also, the Google gods have informed me that 200 Brockways are given each year - which, considering that we have roughly 700 kids, is awesome. Feel free to email the Financial Aid office at email@example.com or give ‘em a call at 802-440-4325 for more specifics.
Merit scholarships include:
The average scholarship is 12,250.
14% of merit scholars received an award of 20,000 or more.
And the most a student can receive in merit scholarships is a full scholarship.
- Brandon ‘13
Another perspective on aid
I mean, I and plenty of other students come from middle-class and other financial backgrounds, and while cost is something you should definitely consider when applying to and considering colleges, I can tell you that a fair number of us make it work.
You should take a look at some of our financial aid info. Everyone’s financial situation is unique to them, and that’s something that the Financial Aid Office tries to account for when calculating awards for accepted students. Our financial aid package is calculated on the basis of both need and merit; so first of all, if there’s anything in your application or interview that particularly stands out, then that’s something that can be a big part of the decision on the merit portion of your award. Likewise, your financial aid application will at the same time be considered in terms of need - so, your family income/history, federal aid money, and other things like that will be considered.
79% of Bennington students receive a grant or scholarship (or both). The average merit scholarship over the past year was roughly $12,500/year. The average total financial aid package (including merit, need, scholarship, grant, and reduced-rate loans) for last year was $36,800. So, while the sticker price might be intimidating, in my personal experience it’s pretty often that you don’t end up paying it in full - financial aid is pretty all-encompassing, and if you have any questions about your award, you can always call the Financial Aid Office. They’re happy to talk more about your options and to work as best they can to make the price of Bennington feasible and affordable for you.
Bennington handles in-house financial aid a little differently than most places in that each financial aid applicant is considered for both need and merit-based aid at the same time. Basically, that means that if you have need or display merit, you’re going to be considered for some sort of financial aid, be that scholarships, grants, or loans. Bennington also considers aid separately from government aid, so you’ll have your Bennington financial aid package plus whatever you get from the government. There isn’t any sort of blanket qualification spectrum for financial aid - your FAFSA and your admissions application are what will determine your financial aid package.
Just in terms of facts and figures, I can tell you that 79% of students at Bennington receive a financial aid package and that the average scholarship/grant award for this year was $25,466. It’s also worth mentioning that the Financial Aid Office is really good at working one-on-one with students and families to come up with a financial aid package that will allow you to attend the college. If you have more specific financial aid questions you can always feel free to email them at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call at (802)440-4325. If you want a little more information than what I’ve written here, you can look at the financial aid page on our website at www.bennington.edu/financialaid.aspx.
Yes! All applicants for admission are automatically considered for scholarships, and no separate application is required. Awards are committed for the life of your enrollment at Bennington, providing you remain in good academic standing. Any changes in your family’s financial circumstances won’t affect these awards.
Hi! Thank you! I’m not sure about students from England specifically, but about 10% of Bennington students are international. You should definitely apply if you’re interested! For information you need about applying, check this page out. Bennington is fairly generous with financial aid. Each year special scholarships are awarded to outstanding international applicants, and they also receive special financial aid packages. You can read more about this and the application process for international students here.
As for student life, there is always something happening on campus (concerts, speakers, etc.). Bennington is open to students’ suggestions and ideas, and students are always organizing their own events. We live in houses with pretty close-knit communities. In general, people are really nice, and there are always things to do with friends.
I hope that this information helps, and that you feel more comfortable about applying to Bennington!
~ Holly ‘13
I don’t know any students on one of those scholarships off the top of my head, but Bennington’s Financial Aid awards can be any combination of need and/or merit-based aid. Essentially, if you’re awesome at something, that thing will definitely be considered as both a part of your application AND as part of your Financial Aid.
So, congrats on the award, and if you decide to apply, know that it will definitely be considered when calculating your scholarships and/or grants. Hope this helps!