Bennington College

Holistic, Hands-On Liberal Arts Education at Bennington

Bennington College appears in our ranking of the 30 Best Colleges for Young Democrats.


Ranked the U.S. News & World Report’s 12th most innovative, Bennington College is a premier, nonprofit AAC&U member in Western Vermont that confers 42 bachelor’s and four master’s majors at a 9:1 student-faculty ratio with required Field Work Terms. For example, the BA in Spanish crafts a 128-credit, four-year curriculum with linguistic practice in the Isabelle Kaplan Center for Languages, teaching internships at The Village School, and study abroad trips from Catalonia to Chile. Directed by Dr. Tim Schroeder, the 128-credit BA in Environmental Studies lets undergrads join the Sustainability Group, run the Purple Carrot Farm, and train at Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum.

Since Fall 2018, the MFA in Public Action has delivered a 64-credit, NEASC-accredited plan overseen by Dr. Robert Ransick with customizable courses like Educational Reform plus 14-week internships at Planned Parenthood, Robert F. Kennedy Center, the Bard Prison Initiative, and more. The MFA in Music follows a 64-credit, self-directed sequence under Dr. Allen Shawn, an Academy Award recipient, with opportunities to join the Sage City Symphony, access the 10,000-item Jennings Music Library, and perform at Oldcastle Theatre. Other Bennington degrees include the BA in Art History, BA in Chemistry, BA in Economics, BA in Philosophy, BA in Sociolinguistics, and MFA in Dance.

Featured Programs

About Bennington College

Bennington College originated in 1924 when Mrs. Hall Park McCullough held a Colony Club meeting to discuss plans for opening a women’s liberal arts school with 500+ local leaders. In 1932, President Robert Devore Leigh welcomed the inaugural class of 87 ladies. In 1934, Juilliard director Martha Hill helped launch Bennington’s School of Dance. Accredited in 1935, Bennington was used by the U.S. Department of State as a shining example for Allied rebuilding after World War II. In 1959, the ALA Award-winning Edward Clark Crossett Library was established. One decade later, Bennington College opened its admission to men. In 1972, the David Tishman Lecture Hall was erected. In 1984, Bennington started the seven-week Field Work Term for student experience. Starting in 1999, the Quantum Leap Program has also helped over 2,000 bright minds.

Endowed for $33.8 million, Bennington College employs 84 faculty inspiring 755 Bennies from 64 nations in 60 buildings at the 440-acre Green Mountain campus with 50+ clubs like the Drama Collective and Equestrian Team. In 1995, Bennington earned the ACTFL Nelson Brooks Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Culture. In 2011, Bennington won the AIA Vermont Excellence in Architecture Design Award for Cricket Hill Barn. The U.S. News & World Report named Bennington the 95th best liberal arts college, 69th top value, and 44th best undergrad teacher. On Niche, Bennington boasts America’s 66th best performing arts, 69th best film, 120th top English, and 177th top history degrees. The Princeton Review recognized Bennington College for the 13th most beautiful campus and eighth best dorms. Forbes declared Bennington the 209th best private college and 105th top liberal arts school.

Bennington College Accreditation Details

On July 1, 2019, Bennington College will host a comprehensive evaluation visit from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) to reaffirm the Level III accreditation through 2029 under its 10th president, Dr. Mariko Silver, who earned a National Academy of Public Administration Award. Located 142 miles east via Route 9 in Burlington, this superb six-state Northern United States accreditor is recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and Vermont Agency of Education.

Bennington College Application Requirements

Enrolling at Bennington College is classified “very difficult” by Peterson’s because only 829 of the 1,465 Fall 2017 applicants were victorious for competitive 57 percent acceptance. First-year Bennies must exhibit college readiness with a licensed high school diploma or the GED certificate. Homeschooled students must pass a Department of Education approved ability to benefit test. Freshmen generally rank in the upper 30th percentile of their classes. On average, undergrads present a 3.81 GPA, 1340 SAT, and 29 ACT mark. Accredited college transfers with up to 64 credits graded “C” or better can apply as sophomores or juniors. Foreign students are welcome with F-1 visas and a 7.0 IELTS or 100 TOEFL iBT score of English proficiency. The Post-Bac Premedical Program seeks non-science bachelor’s grads with GPAs above 3.0. Master of Fine Arts entrants are judged by portfolio merit with 20 pages of artwork or written content. Though optional, GRE scores over 152 Verbal and 153 Quantitative are helpful.

Bennington College has freshman deadlines of November 15th for Early Decision, December 1st for Early Action, and January 15th for Regular Decision. Incoming transfers abide priority deadlines of March 15th for Fall and November 1st for Spring enrollment. The Post-Bac Premedical Program closes on April 30th each year. MFA in Dance cohorts must apply before April 1st. The MFA in Writing enforces September 1st and March 1st deadlines. Accordingly, complete the Common or Dimensional Application online for $70 ($60 if graduate). Forward sealed official transcripts to One College Drive in Bennington, VT 05201. For testing results, select SAT/GRE code 3080 or ACT code 4296. Attach program-specific materials like the artwork portfolio, writing sample or essay, two recommendations, résumé or CV, and Early Decision agreement. Inquire further by contacting (802) 442-5401 or

Tuition and Financial Aid

For 2019-20, Bennington College is charging full-time Bachelor of Arts majors $27,600 each semester or $55,200 annually. Undergrads cover mandatory fees of $750 every year. Freshmen pay a one-time enrollment fee of $500. Residing at the Vermont campus’ housing like Woolley Hall adds $8,800 for yearly rent. Unlimited meal plans for Commons Dining Hall are $7,400 extra. Bennington budgets $1,000 for books and $2,800 for miscellaneous expenses. Annual bachelor’s attendance equals about $73,270 on-site and $57,660 with family. The Post-Bac Premedical Program has a three-term total of $33,800. Master of Fine Arts students generally pay $25,000 each year. One exception is the Low-Residency MFA in Writing at $20,900.

According to the NCES College Navigator, the Financial Aid Office in Cricket Hill Barn Room 104 connects 90 percent of full-time Bennies to helpful tuition assistance averaging $36,043 apiece for $22.99 million combined. The Brockway Presidential Scholarship gifts $5,000 to $30,000 per year as a merit-based freshman fund. The Donald Hall Poetry Scholarship has a September 1st deadline for MFA in Writing students to receive up to $41,000. The Vermont Student Assistance Corporation offers nearly 150 programs, such as the Alannas Scholarship, Alice Coapland Scholarship, Sister Elizabeth Candon Scholarship, Hildegard Durfee Scholarship, David Hicks Memorial Scholarship, and Alfred Granger Art Scholarship. Vermont residents could receive up to $12,200 annually from the Incentive Grant Program. Filing FAFSA applications coded 003682 could also provide federal resources like the Pell Grant, Opportunity Grant, Teach Grant, Work-Study Award, and Stafford Loan.

Search through the 45+ accredited areas of study placed 213th overall by Washington Monthly on the Bennington College website.