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Bennington College

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I transferred to Bennington after a year atBrightMusic - Composition/Theory
I transferred to Bennington after a year at University of Vermont, then graduated in 2005. A couple of things drew me to Bennington. I was trying to get away from having to take prerequisites, because the "English 101"-type classes at UVM were boring and designed for average-to-mediocre students. Unfortunately, due to lack of planning, I didn't have the high school grades to get into a more competitive school. Nowadays so many college applicants are groomed and coached years in advance on a pre-college strategy by their parents but it wasn't like that for me. I was also trying to get away from the anonymity of a large school. I thought it would be easier to make friends at Bennington. Now, 9 years later, my main issue is that I went into huge debt to go to Bennington, then graduated into a recession with little to no job prospects. If I could sit my 18-year-old self down and say Don't take on that debt, I would. It's possible to be creative, make art, join bands, study photography, etc etc, without going to a highly expensive college. Also, I really wish I'd pushed myself out of rural Vermont to go to an urban campus. The isolation of the campus could be depressing.
3rd Year Female -- Class 2005
Useful Schoolwork: A, Surrounding City: F
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Bennington is for a very specific type ofQuite BrightMusic - Performance
Bennington is for a very specific type of student. In the first year, we are encouraged to study broadly--in both familiar and unfamiliar ares of study. This prepares us to write our Plan Essay in the third term (second year.) The Plan Essay narrates our intended areas of study at Bennington. Let's say you write your Plan in music composition, poetry, but you are also interested in photography and agriculture. You, your advisor, a music faculty member, and a literature faculty member would meet to discuss your academic interests and assist you in selecting appropriate courses. All the teachers at Bennington are extremely available and friendly. A lot of teachers will show up at student performances. Bennington is a 24/7 community. It is a very beautiful and magical place to live. The farmhouses that line common's lawn are idyllic and majestic. There are a lot of cool concerts and house shows. It is a great place for musicians, poets, writers, artists, dancers, and scientists. Everyone is interested in each others' work and supports one another. There is room for intense independent work but also opportunity for collaboration. Student life is great. I never feel bored on campus. There is a lot of frolicking and music playing on the lawn. I often make food and go hiking with friends. I am on swing dance club and help on the campus farm. Bennington is a bit of a hike from any big cities, but there is always something interesting and engaging happening on campus that students do not feel the need to leave on weekends. It is a beautiful and magical creative place!
1st Year Female -- Class 2017
Education Quality: A+, Surrounding City: C+
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Bennington's "progressive" reputation is a sham.Quite BrightArt & Design Department
Bennington's "progressive" reputation is a sham. I came here expecting a top notch education, and was sorely disappointed. The faculty are pretty good, but the course offerings are limited and the students are a bunch of pretentious, pseudo-hip, spoiled rich kids who either weren't smart enough or didn't work hard enough in high school to get into more prestigious colleges like Middlebury, Williams, Amherst, etc. The campus is beautiful, but so are others. Bennington is famous for being expensive and for having a ton of drugs, but you never hear anybody say it's that good.
2nd Year Female -- Class 2017
Campus Aesthetics: A+, Social Life: D-
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