The Dimensional Application

We invite you to be deeply thoughtful. We invite you to be bold. We invite you to bring your own dimension.

The Dimensional Application is an open-form application which allows students to choose the materials and format that will best demonstrate a readiness for a Bennington education.

From person to person, and throughout one’s lifetime, intellectual and creative capacities are on a continuum of development. They may be demonstrated in any number of ways—which is precisely the opportunity this application presents.

A successful Dimensional Application demonstrates

  • A capacity to
    • design an inquiry, create and revise work
    • find, analyze, and use resources
    • apply your understanding to new situations and connect your work to broader contexts
  • Inventiveness
  • Dexterity with words and with numbers, so as to communicate your ideas and take in those of others
  • Intrinsic motivation
  • The wherewithal to continue when things are hard, when they don’t make any sense
  • A tolerance for ambiguity
  • A facility for collaboration
  • Aesthetic sensibility and cultural sensitivity
  • Self-direction, self-reflection, self-restraint

It's Yours to Create

Consider how you wish to demonstrate your academic achievement over time, your writing ability, your contribution to your classrooms and your community, and your capacity to make and revise work. Portfolios, research you designed or experiments you engineered, reflective and analytical writing, transcripts, letters of recommendation—all and more are welcome. Read the guidelines. (Dimensional Application for Spring & Fall 2018 will open mid-September.)

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are you offering an alternative application?

One of the most challenging aspects of a Bennington education is making smart, deliberate choices about how to use the resources available to you—your own included—in worlds where there are no givens. We wanted an application that would mirror that experience in some way. At Bennington, students are evaluated both on the quality of thinking they bring to their choices and on the caliber of work they produce. These are rich conditions for an education and we believe they can be powerfully embedded in the college application.

Who should use this application?

Bennington’s Dimensional Application is for students who want to do more than respond to a set of given prompts. It is an opportunity for you to individually curate an application for Bennington, to create a compelling portrait of your academic achievement, and to demonstrate, in your own way, your potential to enrich, and be enriched by, the Bennington community.

What should my application contain?

Applications should demonstrate your academic achievement, writing ability, contributions to the classroom and community, and your capacity to make and revise work. While students may choose to do this in very different ways, standard elements of a college application—portfolios, original research, reflective and analytical writing, transcripts, letters of recommendation—are all acceptable and welcome.

How will my application be evaluated?

Applications will be evaluated based on the quality of the materials submitted; the caliber of thinking behind them; evidence of your readiness to advance a range of work at Bennington; and markers of your capacity to contribute to the Bennington community in multiple dimensions. As part of the admissions process, candidates being considered for admission will be invited to interview with a member of the admissions committee.

Who will review my application?

Dimensional applications are reviewed by a committee of alumni and faculty, representing Bennington’s vibrant network of innovators. Read the full list of reviewers.

If I apply using the Dimensional Application, will I be considered for financial aid?

Yes. The standard deadlines for need-based financial aid apply for both the Dimensional Application and the Common Application. All students will be considered for merit aid. For more information, visit

May transfer students submit a Dimensional Application?

The Dimensional Application is currently only available to first-year applicants.

How can I learn more?

Call us at 800-833-6845 or email us at One of our admissions counselors would be happy to talk with you.


Bennington's Application Codes

  • SAT code: 3080
  • ACT code: 4296
  • GRE code: 3080
  • Common Application code: 3080
  • CSS/Profile code: 3080
  • TOEFL code: 3080
  • FAFSA code: 003682