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 2021, unless otherwise noted.

Undergraduate Enrollment

Total undergraduates: 697

% female: 70%

% US students of color: 19%

% international: 18%

# countries represented: 53 (including the US)

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

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

Admissions (F20)

Total applicants: 1382

% admitted: 60%

% enrolled of admits: 17%

Undergraduate Financial Aid 

Fall 2020 undergrad cohort

% with need-based aid: 75.4% 

Average need-based grant: $47,290

% of graduates (2020) with debt: 51%

Average debt at graduation: $26,355 (private college average = $32,300)

3-year cohort default rate: 4.2% 

National average 3-year cohort default rate as of September 2020: 9.7%

Our graduates land on their feet financially

  • A low default rate (4.2% compared to 9.7% 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 24% of our student body is Pell-eligible.

  • About 10% of our students also receive the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, which serves students of significant need (at or below poverty level).

  • About 51% of our graduates leave with debt, compared with a national average of 65% of graduates. Bennington graduates' average debt is $26,355, slightly lower than the national average of $29,900 (source).

Top Areas of Study

class of 2020

Advancement of Public Action: 8%

Dance: 5%

Drama: 13%

Environmental Studies: 2%

Cultural Studies and Languages: 6%

Literature: 17%

Music: 10%

Science, Mathematics, and Computer Science: 8%

Society, Culture, and Thought: 26%

Visual Arts: 35%

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 (2020)

FWT positions secured: 520

% non-profit: 60%

% paid/stipend: 19%

% positions listed through career services database: 47%

Total positions advertised through FWT Office: 352

# students abroad: 80 students in 43 countries

Top 5 cities: NYC area (30%), Bennington area (8%), Los Angeles area (7%), Boston area (4%), Bay Area (2%)

Top 5 industries: communications, education, nonprofit/public service, performing and visual arts, science and technology

Total FWT grants, fellowships, and stipends awarded: $228,278

# grants awarded: 299

Average FWT merit-based fellowship: $2,120

Average FWT need-based stipend: $500

Undergraduate Faculty

Student-to-faculty ratio: 8:1

% core (multi-year contracts): 64%

Retention and Graduation

First-year retention (F19 cohort): 80%

6-year graduation rate (F14 cohort): 71%

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

Total charges (2020–2021 tuition, fees, room, board): $74,964

Operating budget: $42,165,000

Portion of operations supported by fundraising: 1/3

Fundraising: FY20 $22.6 million

Endowment: FY20 $50 million

Campus: 440 acres