Bennington, VT


33 Ratings

All Questions for

Bennington College

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

There are people here who do not believe they contribute to the whole organism that is the specific community at Bennington. There are people who hold their tongues, when on them lie not honeyed words but rich milk that would benefit a colleaugue. Most of all though, knowing exactly how to navigate the ever-changing environment here would be a whole lot easier if information about graduation requirements and concentration requirements was more readily available. The school needs a better information dissemination infrastructure.

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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.

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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.

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In the higher levels of school governance there is a beurocracy firmly in place that sometimes jeopardizes the freedom of criticism among students. Friends of mine have gotten in trouble for writing articles that portray the administration in an unfavorable light.

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The lack of academic structuring makes Bennington College a dog-eat-dog world; the lack of strong guidelines allows professors to take advantage of students, insult them, and control them at their discretion with no support from the administration.

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The worst things about Bennington are also the best: The rigorously challenging academic structure; the tiny, tightly knit social environment, the secluded location. Each is a challenge you must surmount, and each bouys you up at the end.

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The culture of praise can be debilitating, allowing students to believe they are masters in their craft when they are not. This is not always helpful for students, sometimes more constructive criticism would be better.

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Trying to find a place to live for Field Work Term that is not home: You're on your own with pretty much no help from the college. Unfortunately, you don't necessarily realize this until it's too late to plan for it.

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The administration doesn't offer tenure to the faculty, which results in a lot of temporary staff, visiting faculty, and course selection that's almost constantly in flux.

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Too much drama, which is to be expected when that many emotionallly screwed up people all live together. Also, it's small so low funding.

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