Best Kept Secrets Page 1

Top 10 schools that fly under the academic radar - but shouldn't

By Explore Editor

What the students are saying about:

Bard College

Bard College

Bard College is small – 450 students per class year – and it’s in Annadale-on-Hudson, which students characterize as “Out. In. The. Middle. Of. The. Woods.” This size and location leaves a lot of time for students to focus on their academics, and on one another. Perhaps the most unusual aspect of Bard’s academics is moderation, the process by which students declare their majors. A senior explains,"The moderation process, occurring during your sophomore year, forces students to think about all of their classwork to date before attempting to major in any one subject. Unlike other schools, the departments at Bard reserve the right to refuse a potential major. Students are admitted through the moderation process, during which they must choose a major, then write and defend a paper in that area against a panel of professors to gain entry. Before graduating, the student completes a senior project of their choice over the course of two semesters, then goes back before that same panel once again to discuss their progress. It’s a really challenging and rewarding process.” Students go through the moderation process together, and their unique character largely defines Bard. The typical Bard student is said to be a “…radical hyper-intellectual philosopher/artist who is too hip for his/her own good, and can frequently be found dragging on cigarettes in ironic t-shirts and skin tight jeans, discussing Hegel with their equally hip friends.” Another student adds: “Bard students are certainly hyper intellectual … they are encouraged from their first day of college to push the envelope and expand their perspectives.” A third chimes in, “a hobby or interest or personality that may have been thought of as ‘weird’ in high school is totally embraced here … people are more prone to finding other people's obscure interests exciting and interesting. Depending on where you are from, it can be the most wonderful feeling ever to finally meet kids who are like you.” If you’re a strong, intellectual student who feels like you never truly fit in with the regular kids in high school, and you’re looking for a small school that offers truly personalized academic attention, Bard College may be just the place for you.