The College is a short drive to its southern neighbors Williams College, The Clark Art Museum, and MASS Mo CA and to the shopping, outdoor adventure, and literary offerings just to its north in Manchester, Vermont.
Bennington has a rep for "academic freedom" and creativity, driven by its Plan Process, which allows students to determine their own course of study, which "gives you agency in every aspect of your education." Faculty advisors and committees provide support and guidance throughout the process, and students receive "detailed, written evaluation" instead of grades (professors will provide letter grades at students' request, to help complete graduate school applications).
One student praises the Plan Process for giving her the chance "to carve my own path for my education and have a close connection to my faculty." "Everyone at Bennington is encouraged and determined to be themselves and pursue their individual interests." Within Bennington's "tight community," "students are active participants in the educational process, learning to take initiative, self-advocate, and approach work with intention." The faculty "put their soul into the classes," which enjoy an 9:1 student/professor ratio.
"My professors are engaging, brilliant, motivated, and present.
I'm grateful to have them as my mentors." "Professors are well-informed, enthusiastic, and clearly love their jobs." Informally, "there is an unspoken rule that all professors go by their first names; this really fosters a friendly and equal relationship between teachers and students." "Classes are strongly discussion based" and the "small class sizes make it so you receive a lot of personalized attention in and out of class." While the college demonstrates "remarkable adherence to the real liberal arts (grammar, logic, and rhetoric)," Bennington provides a forward-looking "alternative education that puts an emphasis on personal and professional development." While some students feel that course "registration could be much smoother and less stressful," the classes themselves are "rigorous and intimate," and "the work assigned is almost always very interesting." In addition to their self-directed studies on the "beautiful campus" in Vermont, students love the school's annual seven-week Field Work Term, which places students in professional internships off-campus: "For our mandatory Field Work Term period, we have to find internships in the real world every year." The combination of the Field Work Term and the Plan Process, according to students, produces an "individualized education that actually means something." In short, according to its undergrads, "Bennington is about community living, cooperation, planning your life ahead, and designing your own education." Students here are quirky, interesting, and self-aware.
Please visit The Princeton Review’s page on campus safety for additional resources: The Princeton Review publishes links directly to each school's Campus Security Reports where available.
Applicants can also access all school-specific campus safety information using the Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool provided by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U. Department of Education: Center for the Advancement of Public Action Visual and Performing Arts Center Edward Clark Crossett Library Student Center Commons Dining Hall and Lounge The Center for the Advancement of Public Action, designed by internationally renowned architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, is a major new, green academic facility on the Bennington campus.
The school encourages students to travel green with its bike share programs and carpooling incentives.
The dining hall works hard to provide healthy, sustainable, organic, and delicious food from local sources.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) highlighted Bennington as a model for how colleges can effect change in their communities.
Students in the “Solving the Impossible” course helped the Village of North Bennington transition to more energy-efficient lighting, resulting in a 60,000-pound reduction of carbon emissions.
In fact, the school itself recently achieved a 50 percent reduction in carbon emissions with a campus-wide conversion to a biomass heating system.