Bennington College

Bennington, VT, USA

Reviews

Bennington College

4.69 Average Rating

A high school senior from northern VT

researching this school
10 people found this review useful
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Will learn a lot
I recently had a tour at Bennington College and I also attended an information session. The impression I got was that Bennington College offers students an amazing education for several reasons:
1. Students learn what they want to learn: Students are not required to take a certain number of general education classes. Rather, students take classes that they know they like, along with classes that they are not sure they like, classes they do not particularly like or do well in, and classes they have always been interested in taking but haven’t taken before. This allows students to really get to explore.
2. The faculty really helps students figure out what they want to do: Students work closely with advisors to figure out what drives their inquiry. I can't stress how important this is.
3. Field Work Term: Each winter, every student is required to complete a seven week long internship, known as a Field Work Term. The purpose of the Field Work Term is to give students the chance to test out what they are learning in college in the real world; that way, students don’t graduate from college and then find out that they hate their job. A Field Work Term is a great opportunity to learn about yourself, become more independent (students have to find a place to internship at and set it up. Although there is a Field Work Term Office to provide some guidance, students are mostly on their own), travel (you can go anywhere in the world!), develop skills in the workplace, and add to your résumé. Through a Field Work Term, students also learn how to make a résumé and a cover letter, both valuable skills to know.
4. You don’t have to get traditional grades: If you don’t want to receive traditional letter grades, you don’t have to. Instead, you can get grades in the form of written evaluation statements. If you want to receive both regular grades and written statements, you have that option, as well.
5. The classes are very small: classes range anywhere from 7 to 2...
Will enjoy being here
If I was a student at Bennington College, I’m pretty sure I would enjoy being there. The academics and the faculty are great, plus there are a lot of opportunities for social and recreational events: there are clubs, there is a biannual roller disco, you can rent a bicycle at the library using your library card, you can go downtown and shop, you can cross-county ski on the fields in the winter, you can work on some art in VAPA (which is open 24/7), you can go to some events happening in VAPA (such as dance shows), you can relax and just read outside, etc.
Bang for the buck
The tuition/fees and room/board costs of Bennington College are expensive; however, I think it is probably worth it. The academics, the resources, the guidance offered to students through the advisors, and the campus (very beautiful, by the way!) exceed many colleges. Additionally, the on-campus living situation at Bennington College is very nice: there are nice co-ed houses that house about 20-30 students each. Most freshmen and sophomores have either one or two roommates that they share their bedroom with, but most upperclassmen have their own room. In these houses, there are two small kitchens, several bathrooms, and a common area.
Tips for prospective students
-If you are interested in Bennington College, visit! Schedule a tour and information session and sign up to sit in on a class.
-Bennington College is a selective school, so make sure your grades are good, you take challenging high school courses, you do well on the SATs and/or the ACT (sending these scores to Bennington is optional, however), and you are dedicated to some extracurricular activities and volunteering.
-If you don’t know what you want to major in, that is perfectly fine! You will get a lot of guidance from an advisor and a team of faculty members if you attend Bennington.
-If you are going to apply, you can send Bennington some supplemental materials along with your application, essay, and letters of recommendation if you would like to. These supplemental materials could be a piece of artwork you made, a poem you wrote, a boardgame you made, or anything else that is your original work and that you think expresses you and your abilities.
-If you apply, you should have an interview with someone from admissions. Interviews are strongly encouraged. If you live too far away to have an interview, you can contact Bennington and ask them to contact you if their representatives are ever in your area.
Great for these types of students
Students who:
-are very interested in the arts
-are creative
-are introspective
-are laidback
-are independent
-care about the environment (there is a new building at Bennington called CAPA, which stands for Center for the Advancement of Public Action. CAPA was built using local materials and it is very environmentally-friendly. Additionally, the food served in the dining hall is locally grown. As you can see, Bennington College is very “green”)
-are motivated and determined
-love learning
-are intelligent
-like country/rural places
-want more of a non-traditional college experience
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Jessica from Ledyard, CT

accepted here and planning to attend soon
10 people found this review useful
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Will learn a lot
Its amazing what Bennington Graduates are doing with themselves, if you look for it, you'll find Benningtonites everywhere. The grandpa from Little Miss Sunshine, authors everywhere, the woman who made twilight into a movie. The love interest in Igby goes down is set as a Bennington Student. For such a small school, its amazing how much the school has influenced my life, before i even knew it existed, let alone thought about attending myself.
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Brianna from New York, NY

a current student here
8 people found this review useful
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In three sentences
bennington college is a place where intellectual development is highly and constantly encouraged. students are challenged using innovative ideas. the community is welcoming and close-knit.
Tips for prospective students
apply early action, schedule an interview with an admissions counselor, and make sure you show earnest interest in what you want to study/in the school.
Academic Rigor
very challenging curriculum that pushes students to explore undiscovered questions and theories.
Dorm Life
live either in a colonial, 70's style, or modern house, all equipped with their own kitchens, furnished bedrooms, common room, and mostly modern bathrooms. the architectural grandeur is present and students live well and comfortably.
Food and Dining
many vegan and vegetarian options. best college food around. great variety.
What to do for fun
go into town, party every single thursday, friday, and weekend. sit on the common lawn. visit a local pub, restaurant, shops, etc. go to massachusetts or new york city for the weekend! go to canda!
Bang for the buck
the curriculum, the housing, the professors, and the lifestyle is priceless.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
there are so many unique traditions on campus. bennington is irreplaceable, completely distinct from any other place in the world. visit the website: http://www.bennington.edu
Great for these types of students
laid-back, driven, outgoing, vivacious students who enjoy volunteering, traveling, working hard, nature, internships, and living away from industrial and urban cities.
Clubs and Activities
these are okay and there is a great effort to increase and improve clubs and activities on campus. there is an overwhelming amount of work that does not allow the school to create fully successful clubs and to hold fully successful activities.
Greek Life
none.
Campus Safety
amazing! always, always there!
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Day Luis from Tampa, FL

researching this school
3 people found this review useful
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Tips for prospective students
Apply to FAFSA January 1st of your senior year of high school. Also, take advantage of as many scholarship opportunities as you can. Fastweb.com is an example of a website with plenty of scholarships, of which you can apply for.

Even if you don't meet the criteria for a scholarship, if it isn't a competitive scholarship, applying for it may be worth it. I know a girl who applied to a scholarship geared towards only males, but because barley anyone applied, she won the scholarship!

Never limit yourself.
Academic Rigor
At this college, most courses are reading and writing-intensive. All students are required to take at least one writing-intensive course each semester.

Also, there are no majors at Bennington. This means less structure and more decisions to be made by the students. Instead of majors, students design a Plan for themselves known as The Plan Process where they work closely with a faculty advisor to guide them along the way. Students also receive guidance from faculty panels that regularly review each students' work.

The Plan Process is also beneficial for students who are unsure of what they might want to study in college. In the end, all Bennington students graduate with a Bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts, but the concentrations of their choosing ARE listed on their diploma. Students can choose up to two concentrations ranging from Directing to Playwriting to Political Economy.

Another rigorous aspect to Bennington is that most students here conclude their work with a senior project or thesis paper.
Dorm Life
Bennington was ranked as one of the top colleges for 'Best Dorms'. There are a variety of different on-campus housing options, with picturesque buildings, each with their own unique architecture and feel.
Food and Dining
Bennington is situated in Vermont, which has been voted as the healthiest state in the US. Because much of Vermont is rural, there are lots of farms which equates to more organic, local food.
Bang for the buck
Without financial aid, nearly any school can be expensive. Private schools usually offer better financial aid packages since they generally cost more. So, although Bennington is a private school, the financial aid package offered is fairly generous, making a private education affordable.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
At Bennington, students don't receive grades; rather, they receive teacher evaluations from their professors delineating what a student does well, what they need to work on, and so forth. Overall, I think this is a much more comprehensive and fair evaluation of a students' performance.
Great for these types of students
This college is great for LGBTQ students, the environmentally conscious, and liberal, open-minded students who are looking for an independent college experience where rigor is at the forefront of academics.
Clubs and Activities
Bennington College offers a vast array of different clubs/organizations ranging from the Arabic Club to SWAG (Sexual Wellness Advocacy Group), to even an Archery Club!

There's plenty to do on campus, especially for such a small school.
Greek Life
There is no Greek Life at Bennington.
Campus Safety
Bennington is a very safe campus, partly due to it being in a rural location. Campus safety officers are on duty 24 hours a day, all year round.
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