Bennington College - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
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, successful-in-the-real-world 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 individuality 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 to never stop moving. Students should be in a constant state of discovery and renewal, where the learning never stops.

The Plan Process
Students are given responsibility over their education through a structure called the “Plan Process.” This model gives students the ability to evaluate their educational experience through in-depth meetings and writing assignments. Ultimately, the goal of the Plan Process is to get students to articulate why they have chosen their respective fields of study.

Field Work Term
For every two terms that students are enrolled, there is a field work requirement. During a seven week period in January and February, students must gain field experience, implementing academic theory into a professional setting. A field work term is important for increasing network contacts and building a repertoire of marketable skills.

Study Abroad
Bennington offers its students the option to study abroad for a semester or a full year. Students have the choice of studying through one of Bennington’s programs, or they may research another program and propose it to the College. For those who are interested, planning should begin in advance and an application must be completed and approved by the Dean’s Office.

Faculty members are actively involved in the lives of the students, especially in the Plan Process. Professors work in close collaboration with students while they are deciding which area of study to pursue. Through one-on-one advising, faculty are able to gauge the specific needs of each student.

Detailed Evaluation
A unique aspect of a Bennington education is the relationship between professors and students. In addition to the standard grades students can request to receive (A,B,C,D,F), students are given written evaluations of their performances in each of their courses. The evaluations give students detailed feedback that encourages development and praises performance. This structure allows students to form meaningful relationships with their professors, who are genuinely invested in their educational experiences.

Bennington students have access to 40 clubs and organizations, the interests of which span from academic to extra-curricular. Students may choose to participate in these clubs as members. They also have the opportunity to act as leaders, serving as committee members and student government representatives.

Community Outreach and Action Program
This 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. Bennington students are involved in organizations like Habitat for Humanity and Four Winds Nature Institute.

There are several leadership opportunities at Bennington. Students seeking extra responsibility can work as admissions interns, giving tours to prospective students. They may also work for The Bennington Free Press, the student newspaper. In addition to acting as committee members, students also have the option to be peer mentors.

Meyer Recreation Barn
The Meyer Recreation Barn in a social hub where students can come together to exercise and take classes. The 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. Bennington graduates have achieved impressive feats such 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.

Alumni Success Story
Bennington graduate, Donna Tartt 86’, was a recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for her novel, The Goldfinch. The novel was also praised by The New York Times Book Review, and it was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.


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

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