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Bennington College Reviews

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What I like about Bennington College is the ability to combine different areas of study in order to create a major you are satisfied with. The small student body is also advantageous in the classroom where students receive more attention. What I wish would change about the college is that there would be more sports to participate in.
Bennington is an amazing school when it comes to academics and helping freshmen find their way through school. Not only are the professors understanding, but they are also always open to talk to students when they are having trouble. Also, advisers for first year students know how to help with any situation you have or are there if you just need help choosing classes.
The school administration is deeply out of touch with the student population. I would recommend, if choosing to attend this school, that you do take grades the first semester or year that you attend, because if you do decide that the environment is not for you, it will be difficult to escape(transfer) without any grades on your transcript.
This school is set in beautiful Vermont farmland and has a fun artsy environment much of the time, but a lot of students are depressed and overworked and it shows.
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Only welcoming if you fit in - which is VERY difficult based on what "fitting in" is here. People dress like a combination between your grandfather and a wealthy socialite. If you don't look like them good luck. It is really difficult to make friends once the first ten minutes of orientation are over. The food is awful... only okay when parents are visiting. The campus is beautiful but there is nothing going on unless you enjoy going to lectures. The town is boring unless you really enjoy going to Walmart because that is all that is here to do. Parties are people running drunk off their asses, couples making out on the dance floor, and people outside chain smoking cigarettes. If you don't smoke don't bother coming here. If you don't speak enough in class you fail which is tough because the environment in most classes is too overwhelming to get a word in. You either love it here or you hate it there IS NO IN BETWEEN.
No school would be 5 stars for me. I love this school even though sometimes it infuriates me. If you love the city and hate rural places; don't come here. The colonials are the best, so try for those. If you at all want to study business or something very specific, check the curriculum online before you come here before you decide for sure. Even though this school is small, we have crazy opportunities, so don't rule it out.
Bennington is an amazing school and such a special place. The faculty is amazing and they take the students very seriously. One of the best places out there for aspiring artists and writers.
Bennington College is a magical place, the classes are some the best in the world. You get to work with living and working professional artists, scientists, writers, etc. However, the niche of the community is small, it attracts one type of cigarette-smoking, self-impressed, ragged-clothing-wearing, "artists." There is no sense of student life, no school spirit or community.
Campus Safety is very efficient and diligent. I feel very safe on campus at all times.
We aren't voted #1 for campus housing on Princeton Review for nothing! 1st and 2nd street consist of beautiful colonial houses that house around 30-40 people. 3rd street consists of more modern houses with a more dorm-y feel but they are equally as beautiful. It's really a tight-knit community living environment and you get to assimilate with people of every grade, gender, and part of the world.
The college process was diffficult for me and to be quite honest, I was very close to giving up and not going. Then I found Bennington, a school that sounded too good to be true. Now that I am here, I know that this school is the perfect place for me. From the interesting and unique courses offered each term, to the beautiful houses we live in, to field work term, and to everything in between, this school provides the necessary materials to transform students to well-rounded individuals by graduation.
Not much diversity. Mainly rich white kids.
CAMPUS SAFETY IS AMAZING. The staff really care about the students, and their priority is student safety and not to write students up. The are wonderful people who take the time to get to know you and develop a rapport with students. The will remember your name, major, and will soon have inside jokes with you if you treat them with general respect.
Field Work Term. Seven weeks of an internship between fall and spring terms. You are almost completely on your own to find an internship while taking on a full course load. It is INCREDIBLY rare to find a paid internship, meaning that between transportation and living expenses, you're looking at an extra $2000-3000 every year. Sometimes your internships are incredible. Sometimes they are the worst and you get nothing out of it. Either way, you pay for it. The school advertises that it helps students out with expenses in the form of grants, but the amount of money given amounts for about a third of the cost, at most. You also have a MUCH shorter winter break, NO spring break, and are in school for about an extra month, making it difficult to get summer internships.
Classes are intimate but extremely demanding. Every professor expects his/her class to be the priority. Professors are accessible, but many areas of study only have one or two professors in them, so if you don't like their style, you're kind of screwed. Incredibly stressful curriculum style.
We live in houses of 30-40 people, led by two house chairs. The communities are close-knit and all have different personalities. Unfortunately, it is incredibly difficult and a pain in the ass to change houses if you don't match with the lifestyle of your house. That being said, if you find the right one, it can completely change your house community.
This school is hit or miss. Unfortunately, it's a $60,000 (and rising each year) hit or miss. It takes a very specific type of student to succeed here. You need to be passionate, good under extreme stress, vocal, quirky, driven, and well-read. You have to be able to support an extreme workload as well as a very busy social life, because of the campus involvement that the student body demands. The students here could never be described as mainstream, but the student body makes it's own kind of mainstream; one made up of girls with short bangs, clogs, velvet, and 90's grunge that sway to experimental music and are dedicated to at least one social cause. If you aren't that, you stick out, and not in a good way. You have to be the right kind of liberal weirdo. Republicans beware. You also need to be incredibly self-directed and must have no problem advocating for yourself. You should not go here if you are a procrastinator; you will be crushed.
I am able to walk around campus at night and feel completely safe. Health services are great and I have found them to be really useful. Campus safety is a large part of the school but they are not invasive or rude. They just monitor campus and actually don't get a lot of people in trouble unless they are really violating school rules. There is a sense of trust on campus. You can literally leave your stuff in the library, go to dinner then come back and find your stuff untouched. It is wonderful feeling so safe on campus.
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We stay in houses as opposed to dorms which is really nice because it creates a community feeling. Houses generally do things together and spend a lot of time together. The housing survey when entering school is accurate and the people placed in each house truly belong to that house.
Do not expect to win a sports scholarship to Bennington College because there are no sports teams. We don't even have school colors or a mascot. But that does not mean there is no school spirit. Bennington is more artsy than athletic. If you are an artist who cares nothing about school sports then Bennington would be a perfect fit. However, there is an athletic facility with weights, ellipticals and other means of exercise. I love to exercise and have to in order to stay sane and have found the recreational gym to be very useful and effective.
Bennington College is located in a quaint yet vibrant environment. Being from a city, Bennington, Vermont is a whole new experience. Although it is not located in a bustling city, there is a homey and community atmosphere at the school. I have found that every person at the school has a unique and spirited story that got them there. It may be in the middle of Vermont but there is a diverse amount of people, classes, and faculty. Not only is the school an excellent learning community, but the campus is extraordinary. It is a wonderful way to learn surrounded by the Green Mountains of Vermont. I fell in love with Bennington College the moment I first stepped on campus, and that was in the middle of winter, which is really saying something. Along with the engaging and eclectic classes Bennington College offers a unique internship program called the Field Work Term, which is a seven week internship every student participates in. It is a great way to gain work experience and try out the field of work you are interested in.
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