Bennington, VT
Bennington College


33 Ratings

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Recent Reviews

Courtney
Describe the students at your school.

Most are artistic and talented, but they all smoke too much and drink too much coffee.

Describe the students at your school.

Most are artistic and talented, but they all smoke too much and drink too much coffee.

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

It is important to visit the schools you are interested in. It is easy to decide that you like a school by reading about it and connecting it to your own goals. However, I think that it can only help to go visit and spend the night. Check out the classes and the social life. I transferred to Bennington at the beginning of my junior year, and it was really hard. It is difficult for me to have regrets, but I sometimes think it would have served me better to have been at Bennington the whole way through school. Bennington gives students a chance to explore and decide who they really are and what they want out of life without rushing them into a major. I wish I could have been learning in such an environment all along. That in mind, be sure to pick a school where you can grow and develope, and change your mind if you need to. That's the best advice I can give.

What kind of person should not attend this school?

Anyone interested in small classes, amazing professors who still work in their fields, and studying visual arts, music, languages or drama would do well here. It is a tight community, though, and it was hard to fit in as a transfer. Once I did, however, it was really rewarding.

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

Really spend some time on campus before you make your choice -- many times things are not as they first appear. It can be st...

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

Really spend some time on campus before you make your choice -- many times things are not as they first appear. It can be stifling, dissapointing and frustrating to slowly realize how well everything is marketed, but it is really worth it for the students to dive deep into their pre-enrollment experience to see what the school is really like socially and academically. Remember, you are spending 4 years there!

What's unique about your campus?

Small class sizes, hand on expeiences, the lack of support and the internships the students must to each year. I feel that all these things really contribute to making the most of your college experience and learning as much as possible not only about the things that you are studying, but yourself. The mixture of intense academic support mixed with the experience of being thrown out on your butt to deal with life by yourself really force a self-created learning experience.

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

The hands on experience. Small classes, engaging material and professors. Nudity and the beauty of campus.

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

Grades aren't required. You can pick your own area of study, not just choose from a list of set majors. Professors are active...

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

Grades aren't required. You can pick your own area of study, not just choose from a list of set majors. Professors are active in their fields and very bright. There is in internship semester to ge experience in your area of interest. The students have a say in waht they learn and how they learn it. The students have a huge impact on what happens in the school, from activities to dinig hall food.

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

Finding the right college is all about finding a place where you can transform yourself into who you would like to be. There are many websites and books that can help narrow down choices for schools based on preferences such as location, size, programs and majors offered, etc... pretty much anything you could have an opinion on. Visit prospective schools, and talk with the admissions offices and the students to get a feel for the schools. College visits are the most important factor in choosing the right school. In order to make the most of the college experience, the best any student can do is to get involved. Dive into the academics, and work hard. Take pride in your work and in everything you do. Live on campus, eat in the dinig hall, and go to the events put on by the school. Get involved in clubs, sports teams, and extracurraculars. Make friends, and make sure to spend plenty of time with them. Live your life. College is school, and you are there to learn. However, you will learn much more than academics. College is your LIFE for four whole years... you might as well take advantage of it.

What's the most frustrating thing about your school?

It is really unorganized. It doesn't have set math and science classes, so it is hard to major in sciences. Everything starts late. The meal plan and housing are very inflexible. It is incredibly expensive.

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

An extremely small, liberal, artsy "summer camp" on top of a hill in poor, rural Vermont.

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

An extremely small, liberal, artsy "summer camp" on top of a hill in poor, rural Vermont.

Describe the students at your school.

Rich hipsters and wannabe hipsters.

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

Don't cave under the pressure of the SAT/applications process: scoring low on the test doesn't guarantee that you'll become a janitor. It isn't the end of the world if you don't get into the school of your choice, because college is what you make of it. It's always going to be difficult socially, whether you go to a huge university or a tiny liberal arts college, so seek out people where you're most comfortable and do whatever makes you happy -- not what it might seem like everyone else is doing. Cultivate at least one strong relationship with a faculty member -- it will ground you academically and help with networking after graduation. If you can, do an internship or two: it'll help you narrow down career prospects and build your resume. Finally, cut out the binge drinking -- I realize college is everyone's first taste of freedom, but there's no need to overdo it. Plus, it's just not that cool.

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

An open community with independence and self-motivation as an expectation from students.

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

An open community with independence and self-motivation as an expectation from students.

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

Colleges that facilitate large student bodies and classrooms are more like factories. Everyone gets equal attention and work, but the value of the individual is greatly decreased. Smaller Colleges offer more personalized approaches, but don't necessarily give equal amount of work or attention. I think that if someone is to truly learn valuable skills, then a lecture hall is one of the worst places to go. This goes especially towards parents who try to support creative thinking. In a discussion based classroom, the ones eager to learn and utilize their skills are rewarded for their creativity. And any good parent knows positive reinforcement works ten-fold over negative reinforcement.

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

That the VAPA is one of the best departments at Bennington.

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

Definitely our system of Concentrations and graduating. We don't have specific requirements for all students, but instead fa...

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

Definitely our system of Concentrations and graduating. We don't have specific requirements for all students, but instead faculty work with students to develop a "Plan" which combines student interests with the amount of learning that faculty and administration think should be required for graduating with a degree in something.

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

My biggest advice to students would be to seek the advice of your parents and friends - anyone, really, who can give you a perspective on what your college life and what your life after college may be like. Don't forget that! You WILL have a life after college, and remember that what college you go to, what education you get, how well you do and how much money you spend on your education will all affect your life after college. So think closely about it, and plan ahead. As for parents - please tell your children the truth. Don't sugar-coat things. Don't encourage them to do something that you know might be a bad idea just because you see that they want it. Parents are parents for a reason - mainly, because they have life experiences that can help guide their children. Help your children be rational and smart about their futures.

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

I wish I had known more about how unhelpful the administration is with people who may need finanicial aid, but didn't qualify for it from the government. I also wish I had known how far away it was from everything.

Jenika
Describe your favorite campus traditions.

Poets, snow, Bret Easton Ellis, and hipsters.

Describe your favorite campus traditions.

Poets, snow, Bret Easton Ellis, and hipsters.

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

When you don't get into your first choice, people will say that it was "meant to be." It's more than a cheesy consolation: it's true. The school you go to, whether it's your first choice or your fourth, will shape the person you become and help prepare you for the future. There are problems with every school, and it's the way that you deal with those problems that will help you grow as a person. Choose a school that feels best to you and take classes you feel are right, but don't be afraid to change schools or try something new if you're not satisfied. College is about the experience, so take every opportunity you can to grow.

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

Bennington is small and students' experiences here are very much molded by what they want them to be and what they're willing...

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

Bennington is small and students' experiences here are very much molded by what they want them to be and what they're willing to put into their education.

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

Choosing a college is tough. Every school offers different opportunities that will shape the rest of a student's lifes. It's a huge investment that takes a lot of thought and self-searching. However, the best thing you can do is to pick a school you think you'll feel good at... the decision should be taken seriously, but you shouldn't develop an ulcer because of it. A good education is important, so as long as you find a place that offers things you're interested in and that has a culture you think you're comfortable with, or could get to be comfortable with, then that's a good start. You can always try new activities, change your major, and even transfer if you have to, as long as you're willing to take control of your education. The best advice I think I could give is this: once you choose a school, go into it with a positive attitude and a willingness to work and be involved, and no matter what you choose to do with the rest of your life, you'll leave college with a bounty of skills and experiences.

What do you consider the worst thing about your school? Why?

It is an expensive school, and because it was my first choice, I was willing to take out overwhelming loans. However, when I talked to financial aid my second year here, they were very helpful in adjusting my aid for my last two years. It is also very small, which is good for so many reasons, but I do miss attending sports games and having more activities to choose from, and places to go off campus.

Allie
Describe the students at your school.

Everyone is really intense; there is a sense that everyone has a lot of problems they work through while here, but at the sam...

Describe the students at your school.

Everyone is really intense; there is a sense that everyone has a lot of problems they work through while here, but at the same time there is this feeling of real camaraderie because we're all going through the same deep issues in this changing time in our lives.

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

Make sure that you really feel comfortable in the place. That is the most important. Being around people who go there, if you feel comfortable and also engaged, then its probably a good choice for you.

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

I wish I had known more about the houses and about the fact that pianos are not tuned here. Also about the fact that there have been some issues with administration not listening to students. Essentially, the problems going on here could have been told to us. I prefer honesty. I feel like things were held back because they wanted to sell me on Bennington. I wish I could have been able to weigh the pros and cons.

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

Bennington is more than an education-- it's an experience. Here you will have all your beliefs, ideals, and concepts about t...

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

Bennington is more than an education-- it's an experience. Here you will have all your beliefs, ideals, and concepts about the world you live in challenged, ripped apart, and put back together again. It is truly a place of self-discovery and since your educational trajectory is for you to monitor alone, it is not for the weak of heart.

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

College is first and foremost a time of self-discovery, so when selecting the right college it is important to find a place where you will feel comfortable, safe and supported while exploring. Support is usually built, and the ability to build a community is not often apparent during campus visits-- taking stock of the social atmosphere will help with this decision. Safety can be determined by safety statistics (something every college is required to provide) and the campus Security personanel. On a small campus, you can get to know the security guards quite well and it's good to know they're their to look after you. Determining your comfort level at a college requires looking at all aspects of a school-- academics, social life, locations, etc.-- but it probably best determined by intuition. Visit the campus, meet students, and see how you feel at the end of the day. When you've found a place that's just right, you won't even have to ask how you know it.

What do you consider the worst thing about your school? Why?

While students' opinions are often valued inside the classroom, when it comes to improving the plan process (which is the crux of the student's education here) or making changes on campus, students' voices are often ignored. There's a lot of administrative red tape, to boot, and not much consistancy in the plan process itself.

Details

  • Enrollment
  • 711
  • Tuition & Fees
  • $50,100
  • Acceptance rate
  • 60%

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