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Bard College Simon's Rock

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Simon's Rock is a great place if youQuite BrightUndecided
Simon's Rock is a great place if you go for the right reasons. If you are looking for a strong liberal arts education and learning both in and out of the classroom, this is the place for you. You will grow so much as a person here, and become more articulate and sound in your views. You will be exposed to a diverse population with many different background experiences, and your peers will support you and inspire you. As this is a non-traditional college (ie you don't need a high school diploma to go here), you should be sure to do the research on the requirements for the transfer schools you are interested in (if you are planning on transferring after your AA). I wish I had been given more information and guidance on transferring from here, it is not as easy as it is claimed to be on the website. As for the staff, they are wonderful, unique individuals whom you will learn a lot from, and they are also very approachable and willing to learn from you. In particular, your skills as a writer will increase during your time here (I hope you enjoy writing,) because even math classes have a large writing component. This school is especially great for those just beginning college, because the workload and skill set you acquire will prepare you for other schools. Obviously, it is a small institution, so there are not that many classes available to take, especially in upper-level topics, which is a reason to transfer after the AA. (I am currently frustrated at the lack of biology courses, specifically there is no marine biology course!) In terms of extracurriculars and night life, there is not much. Clubs tend to die out and everything in town closes quite early. However, you will not be bored, because most of your time will be dedicated to your classes. In my free time, I just hang out with friends around campus. The people you meet here are a lot of fun and a great source of entertainment. (Also, the surrounding area is beautiful, I enjoy running every chance I get). The campus is very inclusive and you will not have any trouble fitting in: diversity is celebrated here. In conclusion, the time you spend here can be life-changing in the best way possible, as long as you know what you want out of the experience and are willing to work for it. Take the fullest advantage of all the resources available to you here, and never be afraid to ask for help.
1st Year Female -- Class 2017
Faculty Accessibility: A+, Surrounding City: C
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Simon's Rock is reallyQuite BrightPolitical Science
Simon's Rock is really a place like no other. Not only are our academics exceptional (check that Princeton Review rating), but the faculty and staff that Simon's Rock draws are a testament to the type of community that the school fosters.
1st Year Female -- Class 2019
Education Quality: A+, Campus Maintenance: B+
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There's so much that I want to sayQuite BrightEconomics
There's so much that I want to say about this place. Like any school, some factors simply cannot be changed, but other aspects of Simon's Rock are unlike any other singular academic undergraduate institution in the world.

Three major pieces of advice:
First: A large majority of the students here are legally children.
Second: Some of these children are exceptionally mature. Others act immature like one would expect at their age. A select few act outlandishly childish. You can pick who you associate with quite easily.

Third: Try not to burn your bridges until the last moment possible.
The bad part about this mystical location is that it is in the middle of nowhere, Massachusetts. By December the only things left to do are crying, drugs, and gossiping because the snow has barricaded everyone indoors. This is because most students here are still children no matter how much coddling or "personalization" the professors/staff can give them.

After the first few weeks of the Fall Semester this place becomes a battleground of hormones, emotions, and social groups. Everyone knows who you're screwing before you've even considered it, and don't even think about having a heartfelt relationship- it ends in tears either 4 years later with a 60% alumni marriage rate or in flames during finals week.

However, don't let my venting put you off. As a person I have grown so much here. The academics, granted that you find something that you really want to devote your life to, are off the charts. Most of the professors are legends in their field and are willing to give you an opportunity to learn beyond what you ever thought possible. The STEM department stocks exceptional faculty (as well as a given opportunity to get 3 degrees in 5 years while finishing your undergraduate in an Ivy League), and the Social Sciences faculty will challenge your thinking and methodologies at a graduate level (and often teach out of a graduate textbook, too).

Notice how I?ve only now just mentioned academics. This should let you know how much they matter to the average person here. Of course, given that the average IQ per square feet here is higher than any other school (a byproduct of crammed dorms coupled with kid geniuses), most students have aced high school without batting an eye. Here, your first exam will often end in wreckage. Classes are hard, and doing well enough to nail a 3.5 is even tougher. However, if you really push yourself and apply yourself to the courses then the classes are certainly worth the exorbitant tuition and you will end up with a 4.0 (there are no A+?s here? A- = 3.7, A and higher= 4.0).

One important factor: transferring. Students think that coming here will be an easy A and a head start that translates with them landing in an ivy league/1st tier. It isn?t. Most of the top schools for transfers want exceptional SAT?s/Subject Tests, a GPA of 3.7 or higher, and either a cure for cancer or a Nobel Prize. And that's only to make you competitive. Students who come here often delude themselves that they'll get into the school of their choosing only to wind up at crap state school. Don't be that person. Look up what you want to study, if your target schools accept transfers (Princeton does not, Harvard and Yale are crazy competitive, Brown and UPenn have taken transfers in the past from Simon's Rock, and the rest I leave to you), and if you really want to suffer through this. Unfortunately, our school advertises itself as an easy transfer out, but the process is really tough to wrap your head around and not nearly as easy as it looks. You will probably still need to take an SAT/ACT, nail your grades from the start, and still be really competitive with your extracurricular.

If I had to choose between going here and going to high school, I would pick this place every other time, however. My writing, thinking, and maturity have grown to such heights that I shudder at who I would've been if I stayed another 2 years in High School. Just remember, the rat race only gets worse to get into the best universities when you come to Simon's Rock.

2nd Year Male -- Class 2017
Education Quality: A+, Social Life: F
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