Financial Aid for Undergraduates
Bennington's financial aid counselors work together with students and their families to meet the difference between a family’s resources and the cost of attending the College. Approximately 80 percent of Bennington students receive some financial aid, whether through a combination of grants, scholarships, work, and loan, or simply student and parent loans.
Need-based aid awards typically include grants, student loans, and a work allocation. Students who would like to be considered for need-based financial aid submit an aid application annually, which is used to calculate aid eligibility according to federal and institutional guidelines. Students interested solely in federal funds (grant, student, or parent loans) are not required to complete the Profile.
Merit scholarships are awarded to incoming applicants by the Admissions Committee based on the strength of a student’s application for admission. These awards are not contingent on financial need, and no separate application is required.
All applicants for admission are automatically considered for scholarships and no separate application is required. Awards are committed for the life of a student’s enrollment at the College, providing the student remains in good academic standing. Changes in a family’s financial circumstances will not affect these awards.
Unlike scholarships, grants are based strictly on calculated need and are subject to change depending upon a family’s financial situation. At Bennington, grant resources include the Bennington Grant; federal Pell and SEOG; and various state grants.
Loans come in many different forms. Federal student loans are offered as part of an undergraduate aid award in amounts of $5,500 to $12,500 annually, depending on a student’s year in school and whether he or she is a dependent or independent student. Federal PLUS loans are available to parents. In some circumstances students may apply for a private alternative loan, but they will typically need a co-signer to qualify.
Many aid awards include a Federal Work-Study (FWS) allocation, which means the student is eligible to apply for specific on- and off-campus jobs with wages subsidized by federal funding. An FWS-eligible student is not guaranteed a job during any given term, but most students who try to obtain FWS work are successful. Earnings are paid directly to the student and are most often used to pay personal expenses during the term.