Bennington regards education as a sensual and ethical, no less than an intellectual, process. It seeks to liberate and nurture the individuality, the creative intelligence, and the ethical and aesthetic sensibility of its students, to the end that their richly varied natural endowments will be directed toward self-fulfillment and toward constructive social purposes. We believe that these educational goals are best served by demanding of our students active participation in the planning of their own programs, and in the regulation of their own lives on campus. Student freedom is not the absence of restraint, however; it is rather the fullest possible substitution of habits of self-restraint for restraint imposed by others. The principle of learning by practice underlies every major feature of a Bennington education: the teacher-practitioner model of teaching; the requirement that students direct the course of their own education; the winter Field Work Term, which gives students work experience and connects them to the greater community. Each academic year, students participate in a seven-week, off-campus winter term called Field Work Term (FWT). During each of their four FWTs*, students take their interests to the world beyond Bennington, where they pursue jobs and internships in areas that complement their studies—in fields ranging from publishing to politics, from museums to teaching, from medical research to social work. By the end of their time at Bennington, students have acquired a body of work experiences, a significant set of references, a network of professional contacts, and most important, the confidence that they can make their way in the world. In effect, each Bennington student graduates with a résumé as well as a diploma.
This school has Standardized Test Optional Admissions
Test-Optional Admissions Details
We require: • A completed Common Application (all pieces are required). • The Bennington Supplement. • A graded, analytical paper. This is a paper that was written and graded for an academic class. It must be an original analysis or thesis, which uses secondary sources when appropriate. We do not accept a creative writing sample, journal entry, handwritten essay, in-class assignment, or research paper to fulfill this portion of your application. You may submit your paper with your Common Application or upload it to your personal application status page, which we will email you after we receive your Common Application. • Teacher recommendations from teachers of at least two different subject areas. Choose from English, mathematics, foreign languages, science, and social studies. You may submit additional recommendations from other teachers, mentors, and employers. Use the form provided by the Common Application. • School report, including secondary school counselor evaluation, as well as all school transcripts. Use the form provided by the Common Application. • A $60 application fee. We encourage, but do not require: • An interview. These one-on-one conversations with an admissions counselor, student intern, or alumni volunteer allow us time to get to know you, to hear about your goals and interests, and to learn about the questions that drive you and your work. Likewise, these discussions are a good opportunity for you to ask us about Bennington. Schedule time with us while you’re visiting campus, while we’re visiting your high school or local college fair, or arrange time to talk with us by phone. Schedule an off-campus interview or plan a visit to campus. • Supplementary materials. When we receive your Common Application, we will email you instructions for accessing your personal application status page, which you can use to upload supplemental materials. Optional: • Test scores, such as the SAT or ACT.