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.

Undergraduate Enrollment

Total undergraduates: 704

% female: 64%

% US students of color: 16%

% international: 13%

# countries represented: 44 (including the US)

% out of state: 98% (among domestic students)

Top 5 states represented: NY, CA, MA, CT, PA

Admissions (F16)

Total applicants: 1236

% admitted: 60%

% enrolled of admits: 27%

Undergraduate Financial Aid

(F14 first-years unless otherwise noted)

% with need-based aid: 81%

Average need-based grant: $25,079

% of graduates (2014) with debt: 59%

Average debt at graduation: $26,073 (private college average in 2012 = $32,300)

3-year cohort default rate: 2.4% (national average:11.8%, as of April 2016)

Our graduates land on their feet financially

  • A low default rate (2.4% compared to 11.8% 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 25% 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 60% of our graduates leave with debt, compared with a national average of 75% of graduates from private nonprofit colleges. Bennington graduates' average debt is $26,073, slightly lower than the national average of $32,300 (source).

Top Areas of Study

class of 2016

Advancement of Public Action: 5%

Dance: 7%

Drama: 10%

Environmental Studies: 2%

Languages: 7%

Literature: 13%

Music: 11%

Science, Mathematics, and Computer Science: 9%

Society, Culture, and Thought: 30%

Visual Arts42%

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 (2016)

FWT positions secured: 588

% non-profit: 47%

% paid/stipend: 17%

% secured through FWT Office advertisements: 31%

Total positions advertised through FWT Office: 678

# students abroad: 82 in 37 countries

Top 5 cities: NYC (28%), Bennington/Southwestern VT (5%), Boston (4%), LA (4%), Bay area (3%)

Top 5 industries: communications: publishing/journalism/writing, visual arts, theater/dance, education, libraries/museums

Total FWT grants awarded: $67,750

# grants awarded: 126

Average FWT grant: $543

Undergraduate Faculty

Student-to-faculty ratio: 10:1

% core (multi-year contracts): 69%

Retention and Graduation

First-year retention (F15 cohort): 80%

6-year graduation rate (F10 cohort): 70%

After Bennington

class of 2014

Working full- or part-time: 86%

Find current work engaging: 80%

Working in desired career path: 67%

Enrolled in school: 14%

Working for a former FWT employer: 3%

Institutional Resources

FY14 unless otherwise noted

Total charges (2015–2016): $62,420

Operating budget: $35 million

Portion of operations supported by fundraising: 1/3

Fundraising: $9.6 million

Endowment: $18 million

Campus: 440 acres

All figures as of August 2016, unless otherwise noted.