Financial Aid for International Undergraduates

The average need-based grant from Bennington for international students is $33,760 per year. 

For international students, Bennington scholarships range from $7,500 to $40,000 a year. The average merit scholarship is $31,130.

The average gift aid package is $64,543 a year for international students.

* All statistics refer to the student body as of Fall 2023

Financial Aid for International Students

With a commitment to college affordability, Bennington College offers both merit- and need-based financial aid to qualifying international applicants. Students are automatically considered for merit-based scholarships with the submission and completion of the admission application. Applicants interested in need-based aid must indicate their intent to apply for need-based financial aid funding when submitting the Common Application or Dimensional Application.

Bennington’s commitment to affordability for our matriculating students means that the admissions process for international students seeking financial aid is quite competitive. In a typical year, only a small handful of fully funded scholarships will be awarded. Additionally, given the expenses associated with attending university in the United States that are not covered by financial aid, successful applicants will be asked to prove access to a minimum of $5,000 USD per year of university.

How to Apply

For new international students, the Bennington College Application for International Student Financial Aid (ISFA) will be the only form required. This form will be available to you after you submit your admissions application. For financial aid purposes, students who are not citizens, permanent residents, or DACA recipients in the United States are considered international.

Determination of Family Contribution

Your family contribution will be determined using the information you report on the ISFA, and the required supporting documentation. The family contribution is not a prediction of a family’s cash on hand but is an indicator of a family's financial strength and our best estimate of what a family can contribute from current and future income, assets, and other resources.

The Family Contribution (FC) will be based on an assessment of family income, asset information, age of siblings, household size, and the review of supporting documentation such as certified tax documentation, certified letters of parent employment or bank statements. A Family Contribution will be calculated and will remain fixed for each year until graduation. Because the financial aid budget is not unlimited, admitted students may not change their aid application status in subsequent years (i.e. if you are admitted as a first-year student without need-based financial aid, you may not submit an aid application in your second, third, or fourth year. Applicants interested in need-based aid must indicate their intent to apply for financial aid when submitting the Common Application or Dimensional Application.

  • Requests for additional financial aid reconsideration will only be reviewed at the time of admission, based on permanent and significant changes in family circumstances. 
  • Currency devaluation will not be considered a basis for appeal.  
  • Financial aid will be limited to eight semesters or the completion of an undergraduate degree (whichever occurs first). 
  • Institutional financial aid may be transferable for certain exchange programs but not for study abroad semesters.

Scholarships and Grants

Bennington scholarships are awarded generously to accomplished international applicants based on each student's academic standing, extra-curricular activities, engagement in their education, and the overall strength of their application. Additionally, students can qualify for need-based aid after applying for financial aid. Grants and scholarships do not need to be repaid. Many students will also have scholarships from outside sources that help to meet their financial need.

Merit scholarship: a scholarship awarded based primarily on your academic performance in secondary school

Need-based financial aid grants: additional funding awarded based on your family’s calculated need.

On-Campus Jobs

Many aid awards will include an allocation for an on-campus job, which means the student may apply for specific on-campus jobs. A student is not guaranteed a job during any given term, but most students who try to obtain work are successful. Earnings are paid directly to the student and are most often used to pay indirect and personal expenses during the term or costs not covered by financial aid. The Career Development and Field Work Term Office assists students in finding on-campus employment.

Education Loans and Other Resources

Many private loan companies will loan to international students with a U.S. credit-worthy co-signer. International students are not eligible to borrow through the federal student loan program, and  international students will not be packaged with any loans through Bennington’s financial aid process

  • ELM SelectBennington College has created a list of historically used lenders using an external website to review, compare products, and apply for private loans. Students have the right and ability to select the lender of their choice and are not required to use any of the lenders on the suggested lender list. Students are encouraged to shop around to find the lender offering the rates, terms, and service that are right for them.
  • Education USA provides some suggestions for ways to help finance your education.
  • The International Education Financial Aid (IEFA) scholarship/loan search may help.

Understanding your College Expenses

There are some expenses that all students need to consider when going to college and there are additional expenses related to studying in another country. These expenses can vary significantly by each student's country of origin, the amount of financial aid offered, available resources in the family, and other factors. 

Enrolling students should review the items below as part of their budget for personal and family expenses. You may be able to procure the electronics you need reasonably at home. Consider the following expenses and the estimated amounts for a full academic year of enrollment.

Direct Expenses

Students will be directly billed for tuition and fees expenses as well as for their choice of housing and meal plans. These fees and other required charges can be viewed on the student’s account statement.

Health insurance is required and may be paid prior to the start of the fall semester, or can be added to your billed costs so that you may pay over time. For more information please review the Student Health Insurance website carefully. We are currently anticipating the cost of health insurance to be $1,926 for the academic year 2024-2025.

Students will be responsible to pay charges associated with their academic and campus life at Bennington, such as books, supplies, and personal expenses, and should anticipate these in addition to their winter break and summer housing costs. 

Expenses to Consider: 

All of the expenses listed here may not be applicable to you, but they should be considered when determining your entire budget for college. These expenses are not covered by financial aid. Students can use their campus job earnings toward these expenses.  

  • Health Insurance, paid in the fall term (IFS Prime)—$1,926
  • Estimated books and supplies (expenses may vary greatly by program)—$2,000
  • Personal expenses (clothing, food, phone, etc.)—$1,070
  • Yearly Taxes*
    • Estimated tax paid on scholarship/grants that exceed tuition costs (Tax treaty countries)—$350
    • Estimated tax paid on employment earnings—$250
  • Field Work Term Estimated Expenses (off-campus housing, food and travel)—$1,250
  • Cost of winter break campus housing (if applicable)—$800
  • Cost of summer break campus housing (if applicable)—$1,100
  • Cost of round trip travel if returning to home country—$1,300+

*For more information regarding your tax obligations, please review the International Student Services site for tax filing information.

Before Arrival: Estimated Expenses
Initial documentation, SEVIS & Visa Fees $535
Laptop computer $1,000
Transportation cost to USA and the Bennington campus (will vary based on student’s home country) $1,300
Bedding & soft furnishings $200
Clothing/footwear for changing weather $300

Additional Notes

  • Some of these items can be purchased in the surrounding community if preferred. Student computers are available in the library and computer lab.
  • Explore our resources related to planning your travel to the United States and getting to Bennington College.

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