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: 735

% female: 64%

% US students of color: 19%

% international: 17%

# countries represented: 64 (including the US)

% out of state: 96% (among domestic students)

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

Admissions (F18)

Total applicants: 1494

% admitted: 57%

% enrolled of admits: 24%

Undergraduate Financial Aid 

(F19 first-years unless otherwise noted)

% with need-based aid: 84%

Average need-based grant: $31,140

% of graduates (2018) with debt: 51%

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

3-year cohort default rate: 2.9% (data from September 2018, for FY16)

National average 3-year cohort default rate as of April 2019: 11.8%

Our graduates land on their feet financially

As of July 2016: 

  • A low default rate (2.9% 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 50% 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 2018

Advancement of Public Action: 7%

Dance: 5%

Drama: 10%

Environmental Studies: 3%

Cultural Studies and Languages: 7%

Literature: 14%

Music: 12%

Science, Mathematics, and Computer Science: 15%

Society, Culture, and Thought: 24%

Visual Arts: 33%

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 (2019)

FWT positions secured: 576

% non-profit: 61%

% paid/stipend: 22%

% positions listed through career services database: 42%

Total positions advertised through FWT Office: 382

# students abroad: 61 students in 37 countries

Top 5 cities: NYC area (23%), Bennington area (13%), Los Angeles area (4%), Boston area (3%), Bay area (2%)

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

Total FWT grants, fellowships, and stipends awarded: $167,226

# grants awarded: 268

Average FWT merit-based fellowship: $1,089

Average FWT need-based stipend: $500

Undergraduate Faculty

Student-to-faculty ratio: 9:1

% core (multi-year contracts): 69%

Retention and Graduation

First-year retention (F17 cohort): 73%

6-year graduation rate (F12 cohort): 74%

After Bennington

Outcomes: Class of 2018

Results are based on data for the June 2018 graduating class of 131 students, with a knowledge rate of 60%. Knowledge rate is based on results from a one-year post graduation survey distributed in June 2019, with supplemental data independently verified from LinkedIn, self-report, or Clearinghouse sources.

Primary Activity Post Graduation

  • 74% employed (full-time and part-time, includes self-employment)

  • 18% continuing education (graduate school and other)

  • 5% other (includes volunteer service, pending graduate school enrollment)

  • 3% seeking employment (part-time work with active search for FT employment)

Work satisfaction: 77% of graduates say their work is engaging, compared to 39% nationally

Top 5 Industries for 1st Job out of College

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

Institutional Resources

FY18 unless otherwise noted

Total charges (2019–2020 tuition, fees, room, board): $72,150

Operating budget: $43 million

Portion of operations supported by fundraising: 1/3

Fundraising: $13.5 million

Endowment: $35 million

Campus: 440 acres

All figures as of January 2019, unless otherwise noted.