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Bard College Reviews

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  • 07/13/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    7 out of 7 people found this review useful. 1 of 10

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    Absolutely none, and we'd like to keep it that way.

    Clubs and Activities

    There's essentially anything.

    Great for these types of students

    Intellectually curious, socially-conscious, driven, self-aware, creative, expressive, thoughtful, ideologically liberal (though it'd be nice to have some diversity on campus), politically active, environmentally aware...really anyone who cares about more than living a life within the status quo.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The hiking trails are numerous, and exploring them is a wonderful way to get relief from all the activity on campus.

    What to do for fun

    It depends on who you are...lectures, concerts, hiking, the library, going to NYC...

    Food and Dining

    Ugh. Kline is grooossss. For the lack of options, at least Chartwells acknowledges the value of alternative eating choices.

    Academic Rigor

    Like any school, it depends on the professor and the material. However, GENERALLY speaking, there is a heavy reading load with a great focus on theoretical material, and thus relatively challenging. Obviously there are costs and benefits to the small environment. You just have to decide if close relationships with a strong faculty is worth having to listen to bullshit from your peers every once-in-a-while (by nature of the fact that Bard is highly discussion based and many students don't do the reading).

    Tips for prospective students

    Really take some time to think about who you are and what you want out of your college experience. Bard is EXTREMELY isolated, and has a very cliquey social structure. As a result, it can easily be an inviting and inclusive community, or the complete opposite extreme--the experience is contingent upon the person, obviously.

    In three sentences

    Here are some words: creatively driven, intellectually curious, and privileged.

  • 07/18/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    3 out of 3 people found this review useful. 2 of 10

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    While Bard College is a peaceful learning environment, it is also 600 acres of bursting excitement. There are events, performances, competitions, games, and dinner parties happening every day at Bard. The fabulous New York City is only a train ride away as well. Students often go to the city to experience the many different islands and cultures within the big apple, and then come back after the weekend ends to share their experiences.

    Dorm Life

    Bard has a variety of dorm styles, for all different rankings and grades. Each of Bard's dorms, however, are absolutely beautiful, complete with kitchens, lounging rooms, and comfortable spaces to make the transition from home to dorm as comfortable as possible.

    Academic Rigor

    Bard College holds its students to high academic standards because the administration and staff know that Bardians can soar above and beyond these standards. Bard even has a Learning and Training Program for three weeks during the summer for its in-coming freshman to get acclamated to the caliber of Bard classes as well as campus life in a less hectic environment before the first day of class.

    Tips for prospective students

    To prospective students who are coming to Bard College from out of town- remember to keep an open mind about things. For people coming from the city, country, suburbs, or rural areas, Bard College is a completely different atomosphere and campus culture. It is a land of it's own, so have an open mind when you come. Come ready to explore it.

    In three sentences

    Bard College is not only a beautiful college, but is also on a beautiful mission to help college student learn and cultivate their ambitions and talents. Bard College has just the right balance of peace on campus to study and adventure in the city just two hours away. Bard College is just the right place for me to discover, create, and morph into the artist, woman, and student that I am destined to be.

  • 06/20/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 3 of 10

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    I received a lot of financial aid from the school, so don't be afraid to just try applying anyway, even though there's a huge price tag.

    Food and Dining

    Heard it's not too good. You'll have to buy board though.

  • 11/11/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 4 of 10

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    The parties here are limited, you can either throw a party on your own or go and a great adventure to find one. The one thing that you can attend is smog which is also a hit and miss.

    Food and Dining

    The food at Bard ranges from decent to, this is completely gross! The food that they serve can be good some days while other days make you want to throw it all up. Beware the food at Kline.

    Dorm Life

    Beware, some dorms are really nice. For example: Cruger village and the new toasters, the rest are everything you would expect for Freshman students.

    Academic Rigor

    The classes range from wonderful professors who are very kind and lenient to those who can seem like jerks. The courses that Bard teaches are sure to catch your attention and you are guaranteed to find something that you like.

    Tips for prospective students

    If you are apply and get accepted beware of the classes you take because the workload may become overbearing. Make sure there is a balance between being academic and social. Also, it can get cold here so prepare to shop if you're not use to the northern weather.

    In three sentences

    Bard College is a beautiful campus full of diversity and scenic places. If you enjoy a campus that is small and has a community vibe to it, this is the place for you. The parties here are limited or usually shut down but there are more things here to keep you interested and that includes doing your homework.

  • 12/02/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 5 of 10

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    none

    Clubs and Activities

    SO many awesome student-led initiatives. Check out the Trustee Leadership Scholar website

    Great for these types of students

    do-gooders and old souls, idealists and smokers

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Everyone will get a little SMOG loving at some point. An old car garage, now concert/DJ dance venue with a half pipe.

    Bang for the buck

    Many people end up leaving because they can't afford it, not because they don't love it. There are many instances of I'm paying 60,000 for THIS? but it really is an awesome and beautiful place with unique opportunites

    What to do for fun

    SO much to do in the day, if you like being outside. There are no fraternities, so much of the night life happens at off-campus houses in the surrounding towns and at campus-sponsored events and concerts.

    Food and Dining

    Not many options, but staff and food are generally awesome.

    Dorm Life

    Completely depends on where you are placed. Especially for freshmen year since this is when most of your strong bonds that tend to last all 4 years are made. May be more difficult for freshmen placed in the further-out dorms on north campus.

    Academic Rigor

    You can get away without doing the work and asking for extensions, but it doesn't do anyone much good. It's hard to hide that you haven't done the reading when there are only 14 other people in the class...

    Tips for prospective students

    If you're coming from a city it may be difficult to adjust to the woods, but don't let that stop you. Bard is a beautiful place with much to leave even if there aren't any diners or delis for drunk-escapades.

    In three sentences

    It is a great intellectual setting with beautiful scenery. Easy to feel excluded by the seeming majority of hipsters and/or trust fund babies. Definitely a place to think and receive an education-based education versus a career-oriented education.

  • 01/04/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 6 of 10

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Excellent. Everyone knows Ken Cooper, head of security. He teaches Psychology, which means security will never do something like pepper spray students. Security is truly on the students' side and Bard is a truly safe campus, plus it's very good about posting statistics about any problems, which is important. If they seem high (which they don't), it's only because nothing is fudged.

    Greek Life

    Nonexistent, but unnecessary here.

    Clubs and Activities

    SO much happening on campus! I'm always torn between activities. There are fascinating lectures, workshops, clubs, activities all the time. We receive a daily email highlighting what's going on that day. There are so many options! I'm never bored.

    Great for these types of students

    Introverts and extroverts will be happy here. For people who have a genuine interest in learning and enjoy sitting in a dorm, drinking red wine, and discussing philosophy, gender politics, theoretical physics, etc. Everyone will find a place in this truly magical school.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Hard to say (I'm a Freshman) but I know there is something called Spring Fling. It sounds like just a dance, but I think it's more. I asked an upperclassman about it and she responded with, just follow the glitter. Parliament of Reality is a great place to hang out, stargaze, or just contemplate. Bodyfest: A festival celebrating your body in a variety of cool ways.

    Bang for the buck

    Expensive, but great with financial aid and definitely worth every penny. They really want to help their students with all their endeavors, so if you have an idea and need funding, you will likely be in luck.

    What to do for fun

    SMOG, house parties, bars, dorm parties, Manor, go into the city, TONS of school-sponsored activities. You will never be bored.

    Food and Dining

    Definitely could improve, but they are accommodating toward dietary needs.

    Dorm Life

    Very accommodating. It's fun to live in a dorm and they are pretty spacious with a lot of dorm activities.

    Academic Rigor

    Definitely not an easy school and definitely not a light workload. You will find yourself so filled with knowledge as a resultâ??not just memorized facts, but a true understanding.

    Tips for prospective students

    Show genuine interest in learning in your essay.

    In three sentences

    Bard College is fantastic. There is always something going on, but there is no pressure to do anythingâ??introversion is blatantly accepted. This is such a great atmosphere with the strangest, most interesting, nicest, most academically stimulated group of people you will ever meet.

  • 05/31/2013

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 7 of 10

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Bard, although not in the middle of nowhere, is in some ways isolated. For example, one wouldn't say that Bard is located in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. However, we would say that Bard is Annandale-on-Hudson. The isolation of the campus does contribute to the safety of students and the people living on the campus.

    Greek Life

    Greek life? Yes, Bard students read and discuss profound works of Plato, Aristotle, and other Greek philosophers, nevertheless, Bard students don't have a Greek life. Our lack of it is not based on a firm belief that we are above Greek life; it just hasn't been a part of our culture.

    Clubs and Activities

    Bard clubs and activities range from social dance (hip hop) to student body government, and the majority of these clubs are student-run.

    Great for these types of students

    Bard College is great for students who (1) don't see prestige of a school as a major determinant in deciding a school, (2) well-rounded students who don't mind contributing a vast amount of knowledge and sharing, (3) appreciate that Bard is a place to think, (4) want experiences outside their planned major and concentration, (5) enjoy intimate learning settings, and (5) are unopposed to a little needed isolation to think.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    I'm not sure what unusual traditions Bard has if they have any, however, Bard has some really unusual campus locations. The Parliament of Reality, which is an metal island surrounded by water, at which students go to think, work on assignments, discuss, talk, or even perform.

    Bang for the buck

    If you've acquired some interest in this school towards the middle of this review and decided to check out the website, you may have seen that Bard may just be one of the most expensive schools in the country. Nevertheless, it is worth it. Very worth it. Bard offers very generous financial aid, including a full tuition scholarships which is about three-fourths the cost. By the way, Bard students walk away with much experience that makes them well-rounded learners.

    What to do for fun

    Bard seems pretty chill and laid back. There are many student-run events, such as dances, movie nights, dinners. During the summer, Bard hosts a huge event called Bard Summerscape, in which many artists join those who are interested for performances, master classes, and dinner discussions. Don't be shocked by the many invites you may get for a dinner and a discussion instead of a dinner and a movie. Bard, according to The Onion, is in fact the best dinner party school in the country, so take note of that.

    Food and Dining

    Although Wolfgang Puck, Bobby Flay, and Rachel Ray are not teaming up in the kitchen to produce killer and rocking meals for Bard's students, the food at Bard's cafeteria is edible. Humorously, it's college cafeteria food; don't always expect it to be that satisfying. However, there are many cafes, diners, and eateries on campus, as well as a grocery store called The Green Onion. So, if one option fails, there is a plethora of other options.

    Dorm Life

    Bard is noted on its ability to match students with their roommates. The housing profiles that students are required to complete ask very specific questions that allow for proper choosing of potential roommates. There are many interesting types of housing option-themes such as women-only and wellness (which encourages 24-hour quiet). As well as most schools, Bard allows for students to request particular roommates.

    Academic Rigor

    As mentioned before, Bard has a very rigorous curriculum and the teachers expect that students step up to the challenge and engage themselves critically in learning new courses that goes beyond basic math, but lends the opportunity to connect all subjects together. Bard prides itself on establishing an intimate learning environment of square-table discussions in which teachers momentarily become students and students share their own understanding. Bard also encourages first year students to partake in Language &Thinking, a three week program of reading, writing, and interpreting; Citizen Science, in which students grasp a better understanding of disease and become an aware people of the environment around them; and FYSEM, which is First Year Seminar for incoming freshmen and takes a look back at the history of literature.

    Tips for prospective students

    As the cliche goes: college is what you make it. Imagining students partying all night, loud music, a huge focus on school spirit? Bard is not necessarily reminiscent of these images, however it is a college and acquires many students from different backgrounds. When considering colleges, it is important to know that Bard is not a regular college. It is a huge campus with a very intimate amount of students compared to other schools. The rigor is also respectable, but there is always help and assistance because the school is small. If you consider applying to Bard, do not become intimidated. The admission officers seem not to view an applicant only on their GPA's and board scores, but the student's holistic potential contribution to the school-talents and their promise.

    In three sentences

    Yes. All schools are unique in their own right. However, Bard College sets itself apart from many of the surrounding schools in New York. Set on over 500 acres of land, Bard doesn't host 2,000 intellectuals, but 2,000 keen intellectuals who challenge themselves with outstanding academic rigor and engaging in other courses that stem outside their realms of comfort. This liberal arts school infamously fuses sciences into the arts and vice versa and allows students to navigate their own academic path.

  • 11/18/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    0 out of 1 people found this review useful. 8 of 10

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Nothing happens here.

    Greek Life

    We don't have a Greek life.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are supposedly a lot of clubs, but they don't have a huge presence on campus. It's hard to get involved.

    Great for these types of students

    Rich hipsters who like to smoke and who can afford this place.

    Bang for the buck

    Bard is very overpriced. It is one of the most expensive schools in the country and has nothing to show for it.

    What to do for fun

    There's nothing to do for fun. Smoking weed is pretty common though.

    Food and Dining

    Bard only has one dining hall- Kline Commons- and it's terrible. The selection isn't that great and it's not very good for you.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are nice, depending on where you are. The Trailer are temporary housing that have been here for years and they're pretty much trailers. Tewsbury's pretty bad- it's kind of like your stereotypical college dorm. Many of the dorms are nice though.

    Academic Rigor

    Classes are interesting, but not challenging.

    Tips for prospective students

    - Keep in mind that Bard is in the middle of no where. - There aren't any parties. Anywhere.

    In three sentences

    As a school, Bard is pretty good since the professors are wonderful and the facilities seem great. Outside of academics, however, Bard fails. It's very isolated and it's not easy to get involved.

  • 12/26/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    9 of 10

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Join clubs, go into the several towns by free campus shuttle

    Tips for prospective students

    Be prepared to write..ALOT.

    In three sentences

    Bard is what you make it, honestly. Engaging teachers, if you do good research, and lots of programs to help others. Great scenery as well.

  • 01/25/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    10 of 10

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I have never felt remotely unsafe or uncomfortable while I've been at Bard. The campus safety is really good here and the security guards are awesome! Plus, we are in the middle of the woods so the scariest thing I have encountered on the way home has been a deer.

    Greek Life

    We have none. It is nice in some ways because I don't think Greek life always has a positive impact on a school, but it sure would be able to go to a frat party every once in a while.

    Great for these types of students

    No one would ever admit that they are a hipster at Bard, but let's face it, Bard is full of hipsters and artsy eccentric types.

    Bang for the buck

    Bard is one of the most expensive colleges in the country. It is definitely not worth it if you have to pay the full tuition, which is over 60,000 dollars. However, the admissions are usually pretty generous with financial aid, and in my case I got a large merit scholarship, which made it possible for me to attend.

    What to do for fun

    It can unfortunately get rather boring up at Bard. Many people end up resorting to drugs as a source of entertainment. However, if you look you will most likely find something to do. There are a few music venues where bands play (smog and root cellar). There are usually parties on the weekend, and for people who don't like parties there are lectures and performances. In the summer there is a waterfall which is really nice to swim in.

    Food and Dining

    Not going to lie, the food isn't great here. We have one main dining hall ( and a few smaller cafes) but the options are pretty limited. Food quality ranges from decent to really bad depending on the day. People complain about the food too much, but you do get sick of it after a semester.

    Dorm Life

    Dorms are very hit or miss. Some of the dorms are very nice while other dorms don't have air conditioning or wifi. Due to shortage in housing, some students have been forced to live in trailer like buildings, which I find appalling. A lot of people live off campus, so there are a lot of house parties off campus, but it makes the campus feel not quite like a community.

    Academic Rigor

    People definitely come to Bard for the academics. It really depends on the professor, but I've happened to have amazing professors so far. Bard works on finding the best professors of that particular field, and there are even a few celebrity professors (Neil Gaiman will be teaching next semester). While Bard talks about how rigorous its academics are, they really aren't that hard. I find most of my classes easier than what I took in high school.

    Tips for prospective students

    Bard has a pretty high transfer rate due to that fact only a particular kind of person thrives here. People warned me that it's not for everyone and I did not understand that until I started college. Bard is very small and isolated and the students tend to be very liberal and eccentric. Prospective students should really research the school and visit the campus to make sure that they like it.

    In three sentences

    Bard is a bizarre, beautiful, and unsettling place. The academics and professors are amazing and the small class sizes allow students to form relationships with their teachers. Unfortunately, the rest of student life does not live up to its academics.