Fast Facts

Bennington College has been a proven leader among liberal-arts colleges since its founding in 1932. Competitive across all metrics, Bennington is focused on creating a student-led education that enables personal fulfillment, societal impact, and long-term adaptability. If you would like to see more in-depth data, please visit the Institutional Research Commonly Requested Data page. 

All figures as of January 2023, unless otherwise noted.

Undergraduate Enrollment

Total undergraduates: 785

% female: 63%

% US students of color: 23%

% international: 15%

# countries represented: 50 (including the US)

% out of state: 95% (among domestic students)

Top 5 states represented: NY, MA, CA, VT, TX

Admissions (F22)

Total applicants: 2801

% admitted: 45%

% enrolled of admits: 17%

Undergraduate Financial Aid 

Fall 2022 undergrad cohort

% receiving some kind of aid: 98%

% with need-based aid: 52% 

Average institutional award: $49,068 

% of graduates (2022) with debt: 50%

Average debt at graduation: $17,055 (private college average = $32,300)

3-year cohort default rate: No longer applicable due to federal student loan payment pause

National average 3-year cohort default rate: No longer applicable due to federal student loan payment pause

Our graduates land on their feet financially

  • Historically, our low default rate (2% in 2021 compared to 7.3% nationally) shows that our graduates are able to manage their financial obligations. Students’ experiences with field work term and self-directed learning prepare them for independence and financial responsibility.

  • About 19% of our student body is Pell-eligible.

  • Bennington graduates' average debt is $17,055, which is significantly lower than the national average of $37,574 (source).

Top Areas of Study

class of 2022

Advancement of Public Action: 13%

Dance: 4%

Drama: 12%

Environmental Studies: 6%

Cultural Studies and Languages: 9%

Literature: 14%

Music: 9%

Science, Mathematics, and Computer Science: 11%

Society, Culture, and Thought: 27%

Visual Arts: 31%

Many Bennington students work in more than one area of study, so the total of the above numbers exceeds 100. Learn more about Bennington's Areas of Study and the Plan Process.

Field Work Term (2021)

FWT positions secured: 572

% non-profit: 60%

% paid/stipend: 39%

% positions listed through career services database: 58%

Total positions advertised through FWT Office: 249

Geographic distribution: 27 countries and 34 states + Washington D.C. 

Top 5 cities: Bennington area (25%), New York City (13%), Los Angeles area (3%), SF Bay Area (2%), Boston Area (1%)

Top 5 industries: performing and fine arts, nonprofit/public service, journalism media & publishing, STEM, movies TV music

Total FWT grants, fellowships, and stipends awarded: $238,400

# grants awarded: 280

Average FWT Fellowship Grant Award: $2,371

Undergraduate Faculty

Student-to-faculty ratio: 9:1

% core (multi-year contracts): 63%

Retention and Graduation

First-year retention (F21 cohort): 84%

6-year graduation rate (F16 cohort): 70%

After Bennington

Outcomes: Classes of 2016-2020

Results are based on data for the June graduating classes of 2016-2020, with a knowledge rate of at least 70% per year. Knowledge rate is based on results from survey data collected within 6-9 months post graduation, with supplemental data independently verified from LinkedIn and Clearinghouse sources.

93% of Bennington graduates 6 months out are employed, enrolled in service programs, or in grad school. (Graduating class data, 5 year average, 2016-2020.)

76% of Bennington graduates 6 months out are in a field related to their studies. (June 2020 graduating class data.)

59% of Bennington graduates 6 months out say their work is engaging, compared to 39% nationally. (June 2020 graduating class data.)

Top 5 Industries for First Job Out of College:

  1. Communications
  2. Education
  3. Performing and Visual Arts
  4. Public Service 
  5. Healthcare

Average Starting Salary 6 Months Out: $45,000 across industries, $95,000 science and math

Institutional Resources

Bennington College Financial Statements

Total charges (Academic Year 2023-2024 tuition, fees, room, board): $83,284

Operating budget 2021: $52,074,000

Portion of operations supported by fundraising in 2021: 1/3

Fundraising: FY22 $13.5 million

Endowment: FY22 $59.4 million

Campus: 440 acres