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Bennington College
Bennington College is a private, nonsectarian liberal arts college located in Bennington, Vermont. Bennington...

Bennington College

North Bennington, Vermont

Bennington College is a private, nonsectarian liberal arts college located in Bennington, Vermont. Bennington is the only college to require that students spend a term every year at work in the world, creating well-rounded, well-prepared graduates.

Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
704 undergraduate students
97% of undergrad students are full time
35% male — 65% female
84% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
55 full-time faculty
58 part-time faculty
10 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

95 percent of the students live on campus

School Location

Bennington is located in the beautiful southwestern tip of Vermont, bordering New York’s capital district.

Retention Fall 2015

82% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full-time, first-time freshmen)

6-Year Graduation Rate 2015

68% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 13%
Hispanic/Latino 6%
Black or African American 2%
White 66%
American Indian or Alaska Native 1%
Asian 3%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 5%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 6%


Bennington has an intramural program that includes basketball, dodgeball, fencing, frisbee, and soccer.

Academic Programs

Acting, Animation, Anthropology, Architecture, Astronomy, Biology, Ceramics, Chemistry, Chinese, Computing, Conflict Resolution, Dance, Design, Digital Arts, Directing, Drama, Drawing, Earth Science, Education, Environment, French, History, International Relations, Italian, Japanese, Languages, Literature, Mathematics, Music, Painting, Philosophy, Photography, Physics, Playwriting, Political Economy, Political Science, Printmaking, Psychology, Public Action, Science, Sculpture, Social Science, Sound Design, Spanish, Theatre, Video, Visual Arts and Writing.

Bennington prides itself on the thriving individuality that each of its students brings to the table. The College encourages students to explore their intellectual potential through service terms and interactive learning. A Bennington education reminds students never to stop moving; they should be in a constant state of discovery and renewal, seeking out ways to make sure that their learning never stops.

The Plan Process

Students are given responsibility over their education through a structure called the “Plan Process.” This model gives them the ability to evaluate their educational experience through in-depth meetings and writing assignments, checking in on their progress and passions as they pursue their degree. Ultimately, the goal of the Plan Process is to get students to articulate why they have chosen their respective fields of study so that they may understand their goals for the future.

Field Work Term

A unique field work requirement is included in every Bennington student’s curriculum. Throughout a designated, seven-week period in January and February, all students participate in field experiences, implementing academic theory into professional settings. This frequent, skill-building guarantee builds each student’s professional networks and prepares them with a repertoire of marketable experiences.

Study Abroad

Bennington offers its students the option to study abroad for a semester or a full year. Students have the choice to study through one of Bennington’s own programs or to pursue third-party trips that better suit their interests. This gives everyone the chance to customize their international travel and find the best opportunities to support their individual goals.

Faculty members are actively involved in the lives of their students, especially throughout the Bennington Plan Process. Professors work in close collaboration with students and help them decide which area of study to pursue. They do their best to inform their students of departments’ programs and gauge each student’s specific needs through one-on-one advising.

Detailed Evaluation

One unique aspect of a Bennington education is the friendly dynamic between its professors and students. Students are not just given grades, but also written evaluations of their performances in each course. These evaluations give students detailed feedback that encourages their development and praises their performance. This hands-on approach to teaching allows professors to form meaningful relationships with their students as they invest in their educational experiences.

Community Outreach and Action Program

The Community Outreach and Action Program gives students the tools to excel and learn in areas of leadership, service, and global education. Students work to give back to the community and promote civic engagement. The Bennington community is actively involved in such organizations as Habitat for Humanity and Four Winds Nature Institute.

Activities and Leadership

Bennington students have access to 40 clubs and organizations, the interests of which span from academic to extracurricular. Students may choose to participate in these clubs as members, but they can also involve themselves further as leaders. Serving as committee members, student government representatives, and more, student leaders have several opportunities to step up and take change. Students seeking extra responsibility can also work as admissions interns to give tours to prospective students or work for The Bennington Free Press, the student newspaper.

Meyer Recreation Barn

The Meyer Recreation Barn in a social hub in which students can come together to exercise and take fitness classes. This facility offers several amenities, including free weights, a sauna, showers, a rock climbing wall, an aerobics room, and exercise equipment.


Bennington’s alumni demonstrate great success in their endeavors. Graduates have achieved such impressive feats as serving in the White House and directing NGOs. Alumni have also been recipients of nearly every major artistic award, including Oscar, Emmy, Tony, Grammy, and Golden Globe. One example of an outstanding Bennington graduate is Donna Tartt 86’, who received the Pulitzer Prize for her novel, The Goldfinch. This novel was also praised by The New York Times Book Review and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Donna, and many other Bennington alumni, look back at their time in college with reverence, grateful for their amazing resources and inspiring professors.


Admissions Fall 2015

1,099 Total Applicants 
693 Total Admissions 
215 Total Freshman Enrollment 

63.06% of applicants admitted




Tuition $47,590
Fees $630
Total $48,220
Room and Board (on campus) $14,200
Room Only $7,680
Board Only $6,520
Estimated Total On Campus $62,420


Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-2015

97% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded any financial aid
54% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded student loan aid

$34,989 Average amount of federal, state, local, or institutional grant aid awarded
$6,384 Average amount of student loan aid awarded to full-time, first-time undergraduates