Great Barrington, MA
Bard College at Simon's Rock


2 Ratings

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Recent Reviews

Maia
What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

I would definitely apply for as many scholarships as possible. I regret being in school and working now because it takes away...

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

I would definitely apply for as many scholarships as possible. I regret being in school and working now because it takes away from what I'm paying for- my education. I need to be focused on doing well and making head on my degree rather than trying to get ahead of student loans.

What's the one thing you wish someone had told you about freshman year?

I wish I knew I wouldn't get that much financial aid. I could've spent more time on scholarship applications rather than the admissions application.

What kind of person should attend this school?

Someone who feels they are ready for college early.

Andre
What are the most popular student activities/groups?

There is a Model United Nations that draws in dozens of students, a FIFE club (Feminism Is For Everyone), Identity groups lik...

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

There is a Model United Nations that draws in dozens of students, a FIFE club (Feminism Is For Everyone), Identity groups like QueerSA, BSU, ASA, academic clubs like Pre-Med Society, Psychology Society, entertainment clubs like Dungeons and Dragons, Anime Club, and Boffing (foam sword fighting, not the British definition). If there isn't a club you'd like to have and know at least one person with interest in it, making a club is fairly easy, and there is a central group on campus that provides money to clubs. The dating scene exists, and it's either mild or intense, with a small dating population but a BA graduate marriage rate of 70%. The parties on campus are not school sanctioned, they'll happen in small groups or off campus. There isn't exactly a party scene. I met my closest friends in a slew of different ways. Through classes, in late night talks, on trips, there isn't one way to do it. There are plenty of events on campus, though they aren't heavily attended. They're run by our residence assistants (who we call Peer Advocates), residence directors, student clubs, campus offices, or just your average students. There are regular dances, games, theme nights (like Drag Night, which happens every year), repetitive events like our Dance Concert that runs every semester and our plays. There is usually something to do (once you're done with your homework or job). Off campus, the town is small and contains some restaurants but very few attractions. There is a performance theater and movie theater, shops, some supermarkets that can by reach by school sponsored shuttles, and a mall a few miles away.

Describe the students at your school.

The school is full of moderate liberals, which tends to be an easy group to get along with in American youth political culture, unless you're a radical conservative or radical other (marxist, anarchist, liberal, etc). The level of acceptance for marginalized identities is severely higher than most places, but again, it remains moderate. More than other schools, but not overwhelmingly, issues such as microagressions and nuanced/symbolic forms of oppression are addressed but still present here. I recommend you be willing to hear new perspectives when you arrive. There is decent diversity, considering 33% of the student body is of color, at least 30% of the students are queer (not a legitimate statistic, but not an exaggeration considering my social experience), and there is a wide variety of socio-economic backgrounds (with a skew towards middle class). Feminism in all its forms and other activist identities are easy to find on campus, and overall students tend to be more politically aware, though I'd say at least one third of the student body is not as concerned in that body. In the end, we are considered a "liberal" campus.

Jacob
What are your classes like?

So far, I have never had a class with more than maybe 16 people in it, and that was a class in Calculus. In general, my clas...

What are your classes like?

So far, I have never had a class with more than maybe 16 people in it, and that was a class in Calculus. In general, my classes have around ten students, sometimes as low as only six, so everyone gets a lot of personal attention from the professor. Classes are mostly based around discussions, perhaps looking at the reading from the last day, commenting on a piece of work that another student did, or simply presenting everyone's opinions on a particular issue in the class' area. What is best is that professors care about how you are doing and are always happy to help.

What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

Simon's Rock has the bad reputation of being a collection of kids who take advantage of this new freedom that has been given to them by slacking off, smoking weed, or doing other teenage stuff to an inflated degree because they are less restricted than they would be in high school. Although I do occasionally see students struggling with issues like this, I believe that it is not correct to completely stereotype this college to that image.

Kahlia
Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

This is an early college, filled with young bright minds ready for a challenge they could not obtain in high school. This sch...

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

This is an early college, filled with young bright minds ready for a challenge they could not obtain in high school. This school challenges its students, but also helps them in every which way they can. It is a small school designed for those who want an intense, personalized learning experience. There is no possible way to get lost, and it is a good thing. People here want to help you; that is their job. They do their job to the best of their ability and work their own selves hard to help the students achieve their dreams.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Life changes drastically. Once you leave, you are gone and Mommy and Daddy are not in the next room over. There are people you do not want to deal with, but you have to and learn how to quickly. There will be many temptations, no matter where you go to school at, just prepare yourself to deal with them. Whatever did not happen in high school will not magically happen the moment you step on your college campus. Drama exists everywhere, you can not really escape it, just find a different type of drama, one that you are compatible with. Roommates are not how they are portrayed on television; they are not always obsessive murders, nor are they always your best friend that you agree with on everything. There will be difficulties and problems, just learn to work through them. Living on your own is not all that it is cracked up to be. So many days I want to go home and crawl into my mom's bed, but then I realize that it is 1,000 miles away, so enjoy what is in front of you while it is still there. Lastly, enjoy college; it really is fun.

What's the one thing you wish someone had told you about freshman year?

This is not high school. There is no slacking. Your first day is started with classes. Here you hit the ground running and you don't stop. It's fun, exciting and stressful. If you do not want to be challenged to the breaking point, do not come. This school will push to limits you never knew stretched that far. This place is not for the weak or those who only want to party. All of this I had already known though; I just did not know how intense it really would be.

Corey
What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

I'm pretty sure the stereotype of kids at my school is either that the campus is entirely comprised of junkies or ridiculousl...

What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

I'm pretty sure the stereotype of kids at my school is either that the campus is entirely comprised of junkies or ridiculously intellectual kids who have no social skills. Truth is, few kids are either the former or the latter. Simon's Rock is a bit too diverse to be explained easily and fully, but I think all kids at Simon's Rock have a few things in common. They are kids whose chances in life prior to Simon's Rock never really were what they wanted to be, and though everyone left high school early for different reasons, I think that makes everyone at Simon's Rock a sort of weird bold-explorer type for different reasons and motivations. These reasons and motivations effect the influence of this aspect of their personality in their lives. For some kids, this means doing a lot of drugs and for some it means being overtly intellectual, but to list what this means to and for every Simon's Rock student is an impossible task, as it tends to vary from person to person.

Mikayla
Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

My school is a school for kids who graduated early or are ready for college before they graduated high school. The school is ...

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

My school is a school for kids who graduated early or are ready for college before they graduated high school. The school is filled with very young intelligent young adults who are eager to learn and are ready to move forward in life, which makes it special.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

I would tell my self to not be afraid. I spent too much time feeling self conscious about my intelligence, appearance, and personality. I had so much more potential than I realized my first semester of college and I would have done so much better and been way more successful if I had just applied myself. I would have told myself not to worry about what other people think of your opinion and to share your thoughts as often as possible because they are just as valid and important as anyone elses ideas that I encountered. I also would have told my self to try extremely hard and go beyond the requirements and not stopped just because I reached the finish line but continue because I was still able to push forward. This is the advice I would have given my high school senior self.

What's the one thing you wish someone had told you about freshman year?

I don't wish I had anything before I came. I was ready to learn and this school helped me to mature and grow as a person and I am very thankful for that opportunity.

paige
Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

Most schools that i was inerested in were big city schools but my current college is small and in a rual area. This was a bet...

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

Most schools that i was inerested in were big city schools but my current college is small and in a rual area. This was a better fit i think for my first couple years so that i could get into more focused habits. If I went to a big school I would have so many more distractions.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

I happen to have never been a senior before though I am currently a college student. My spin on this question is what advice would I give to myself when I was a sophomore being recruited by my school. I would make sue that my past self understood my new found value of acceptable study habits. This would be the topic that I’d discuss because taking time to study and do my assignments has always been things that I procrastinate about. In high school, when I would push things to the last minute, I was still able to get great grades. I’d explain to myself that once I got into college things would be totally different; I wouldn’t be able to work in the same fashion because my grades would suffer. High school was pretty straightforward; college on the other hand is no joke. One C on a report card will destroy a student’s GPA and I had to learn that the hard way. If I could have went back and spoken with myself before college then that may not have been the case.

What do you brag about most when you tell your friends about your school?

The fact that it's an early college; I get a head start on my career path.

Bradley
Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

Just as the website proclaims, Simon's Rock is a liberal arts college catering to bright, highly-motivated high school studen...

Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

Just as the website proclaims, Simon's Rock is a liberal arts college catering to bright, highly-motivated high school students who feel that they could be doing so much more with their education... The professors here are as interesting and diverse as the student body, and the care and closeness provided by the community is something you'll find nowhere else. Students often transfer after 2-years, but many of them come back--and with good reason!

Describe the students at your school.

The people here are amazingly kind and are all gifted in their own ways, whether that be intellectually, artistically, or otherwise in just the simple care of their friends... as one of my friends described: "Sitting in the McConnell [theater] for a lecture is like sitting in a room full of 120 students who I know will be the best friends I will ever have."

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

There have been a great deal of choices I have already made in the 17 years I have been alive. But I feel that my decision to drop out of high school and attend college early has truly awakened me in so many more ways than just a satisfaction of my intellectual fervor. Today I have a number of friends whom I know I will never forget, people who are each memorable in their own ways. The same people whom you may find in a heated debate over a political issue or an opinion on Plato's depiction of Socrates are the same people you find drinking tea in the library's atrium or hugging upon greeting each other. In coming to Simon's Rock, I have felt myself change in the last three months more than I have in the last three years. Each class provides the perfect opportunity to discuss, debate, and learn. Classes rarely exceed 15 students and the average sits around nine people per class. I no longer feel lost in crowds of a huge school. I feel the presence of friends, of intellectuals, of some of the greatest people I may know in my lifetime.

Ei
Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

Academically strong, excellent facuty and stuffs members; they are very caring and helpful all the times, diverse students st...

Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

Academically strong, excellent facuty and stuffs members; they are very caring and helpful all the times, diverse students structure; there is always something to learn from one student to another!

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

It will be my pleasure to experience one of the most academic challenging school in my life. I will always remember how my school has prepared me to learn diligently and always put my best effort into everything that I do. I will be ready to face any hardship; emotionally and physically even after I graduate from this college. Although, I am one of the student who doesn't have a very strong academic background, my school welcome me to think outside of the box with a lot of progression in many areas.

Dylan
What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Intellectuals who would rather stay in on Friday nights reading Nietzsche

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Intellectuals who would rather stay in on Friday nights reading Nietzsche

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

There are a ton of activities always going on. The only thing is, not many people go to any given activity. 20 people is a good turn out (percentage-wise, it totally is!). But activities run the gamut. There's a band every weekend, movies, lectures, speakers, dances, presentations, and places to go all the time. There have been some stranger activities, including jello wrestling and drag night. There are some really active clubs, like Model UN this year. Community Service Club has been a really big deal in the past. Dogdeball is always super popular. But it's also really easy to start a club. Partying happens, but it is not the dominant form of social interaction. More importantly, no one spends Friday afternoon to Monday morning drunk, which is fairly common on larger campuses. Really, you can't afford to party more than once or twice a week, or you don't have enough time to do homework. People drink, even though it's a dry campus. Weed is the main drug; occasionally people use speed to get work done, but there are very few instances of hard drugs and the administration takes those incredibly seriously. Some cool traditions: at the end of every semester, there's a Stressfest which is about relieving stress and involves a lot of free food. There's Mayfest in May (duh) which is a big party with more free food, bands, and giant inflatables. The Dance concert is also every semester, often with hilarious dances (intentionally or not). People are generally pretty awesome here. Of course, not everyone can like everyone else, but there isn't a ton of petty high school drama. People are generally kind and friendly. It's really easy to make friends when it's nice out, because everyone goes outside to hang out.

What are the academics like at your school?

I honestly believe there is nowhere in this world that could provide a more academically stimulating, challenging, rewarding, or supportive experience. Classes are small, usually no more than 15 students. The largest classes are Intro to Life Sciences and Intro to Psychology which both have 30 students at the very most--an absurdly small intro class by most colleges standards. So the professors know all the students name quickly. Students are on a first name basis with all members of campus, including our provost, deans, professors, library staff, and Student Life. In the classroom, it makes the professor seem less like the authority figure who adjudicates about the quality of your ideas and more like just another participant. Almost all classes are discussion based. Math and science classes are more lecture based, but involve a lot more exchange between students and professors than is usually required in lecture classes. But most social science, literature, language, and art classes are based around discussion. So students do reading before class and talk about the readings and a variety of related topics in class. Class participation is not only common, it is required in pretty much every class. Students talk a lot about class discussions outside of class. For the first three semesters, students take the Seminar sequence: First Year Sem 1 and 2 and then Sophomore Seminar. All students read the same 16 books over these 3 semesters, generally in the same order. This gives everyone a common intellectual experience to draw upon, and it's not uncommon for people to talk about Sem books especially outside of class. Another thing people talk about outside of class is the homework, usually in the form of complaints. There is certainly a lot of it. Most classes assign about 50 pages of reading per class for 100-level classes, and it only increases as you get into higher level classes. There's also a lot of writing. Papers are usually 5 pages and there's usually about 4 per class a semester (or comparable page amounts, such as 2 5-pg papers and a 10-page paper). We really focus on critical thinking and writing skills here, so a lot of thought and effort really goes into each paper. The professors are probably the best thing about the entire school. All of them have PhDs or the highest terminal degree in their degrees (the figure really is 98% or something equally ridiculously high), and are incredibly intelligent and committed to their subject area(s). Since you call all of them by their first name, you really develop stronger bonds with your professors. They have parties at the end of the semester, or have classes over for dinner. They're always super available; office hours really are a time to stop by and chat, or get help, or have them read a draft of your paper. Some professors even put their home phone numbers on their syllabus; many of them answer emails at alarming times of the night. The professors are always available as a resource, but I've always regarded their job in the classroom as less about teaching and more about facilitating learning, which probably sounds cheesy. But, the point of Simon's Rock is not to leave knowing useless minutia and having interpretations carved into your brain, but to have the skills to evaluate the information you find in the world and communicate about it effectively. So, most of the learning that takes place is just for learning's sake. But I feel as though the education I've received here make me more qualified and more well prepared than the vast majority of college graduates.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

This is a really amazing, transformative school. Only come here if you're in love with it, but if you do, it will love you back.

Describe the students at your school.

In general, I would say that the social dynamics at Simon's Rock are pretty fluid. There are groups of friends and most people have a core group, but people move between groups pretty easily. Generally, you don't sit with the same people at every meal and no one will give you weird looks if you sit down with people you normally don't. The campus is pretty left-leaning, which causes some interesting tensions. I would say most people are generally fairly open-minded about things, but not always the best at showing it. Political debates definitely happen on campus, mostly because we love arguing. Most students are from one of the coasts. The school is definitely working on attracting more kids from the places in between. It is an expensive school, but most kids are here on scholarship, aid, or both. I would have to say the biggest problem with students here is that we can be endlessly arrogant. Personally, I found coming here to be the most humbling experience of my life. I have met people who astound me with the depth of their knowledge about certain subjects. I think being arrogant is usually a protection against having to admit you don't know things. But no one knows everything, and I wish people would admit that, instead of faking it through conversations/discussions.

Details

  • Enrollment
  • 372
  • Tuition & Fees
  • $51,735
  • Acceptance rate
  • 87%

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