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Bennington College

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I understand both the negative and positive reviewsQuite BrightUndecided
I understand both the negative and positive reviews of this school. I believe that Bennington is a place where you get what you give. Due to the nature of the curriculum and learning philosophy, students have to have a strong sense of independence and motivation to succeed. If you're someone who struggles with self-motivation and needs a more structured educational environment, I would not choose Bennington.

I have met some of the kindest, smartest, and most passionate people at Bennington. Of course, there are some rich, pseudo-intellectual snobs, but that's to be expected at any LAC in New England. Because of the small campus size, complaints about the school seem to be magnified. I have struggled a bit with the negativity in the past, but I think you just have to tune out the negativity and focus on the positivity, while working to make necessary changes on the campus. Many students are occupied with wanting to seem aloof and cool, but there are some really, really positive and wonderful people on campus. I have had great professors who are intelligent and passionate about their fields.

I have felt supported by academic services and psychological services, who helped me navigate a really rough patch I had my first term. My professors were all understanding and more than helpful. The resources are there if you reach out.

Field Work Term can be a bit of a struggle but I think the positives far outweigh the negatives. You will have 4 internship experiences under your belt by the time you graduate (not including any summer internships you may decide to do), providing you with connections for different jobs if you have a positive experience. Take advantage of the FWT office for help finding positions and creating your resume, cover letter, etc. That's what they're there for!

I'm really glad I chose Bennington. It's a strange, small, quirky place, but it is full of opportunities and wonderful people if you put in the effort to have a positive experience.

1st Year Female -- Class 1921
Innovation: A+, Surrounding City: C-
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Bennington College is great for music and arts,Not so brightPolitical Science
Bennington College is great for music and arts, and good for social sciences. Department of natural sciences can be satisfactory. Curriculum is always changing and students can request a three week course in their field of study (or not), propose it and find a faculty to teach it. We also "design" our own diplomas, meaning we can choose seemingly unrelated fields and combine them into one research major. Bennington aspires to always meet their students' needs, but naturally, not always succeeding. It's a very liberal place, which doesn't mean you can't be left (on the contrary), students and faculty are open minded, and faculty will always listen to your concerns and give you feedback and advices you need to advance. If you are a closeminded person, it's not a place for you. Each house on campus has its own personality (so most people find their own community, ie there are "quiet" houses vs "loud" houses, community or individualistically-oriented houses, off campus housing, etc).
1st Year Female -- Class 1920
Faculty Accessibility: A+, Surrounding City: D
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I love reading all of these snarky commentsPerfomance Arts
I love reading all of these snarky comments about how admission to Bennington leans heavily on your ability to contribute financially. I was accepted in 2008 and given an extremely generous financial package...however, my family was still not able to make it work given that they had taken into consideration things such as stocks/small inheritance amounts that my parents were technically not able to access to pay for my tuition even if they had wanted to. I remember my dad called the admissions office and basically said to Duncan Dobbelmann "Look, we just can't afford this" to which Duncan replied "Ok, we will make it work". And they did. And I was able to spend the most incredible four years of my life at Bennington. My point in all of this is that Bennington accepts students firstly based on who they are as a person, and what they as a student could potentially contribute academically and/or artistically. When I applied to Bennington it was a need-blind school, meaning that they accepted students without taking into consideration their potential financial contribution, or lack thereof. I'm sure there are exceptions to this here and there, but overall I found Bennington to be an extremely generous school in termsof financial aid, and do not perceive their admissions process to be influenced heavily by this factor at all.
Alumnus Male -- Class 2000
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