white clock tower and tree with turning leaves

COVID-19 Admissions FAQs

for Admitted and Prospective Students

All Admitted Students

(Fall 2020)

All Future

(Fall 2021 or Later)


Admitted Students for Fall 2020

Will this situation affect my admission offer?

No. We evaluated you based on several years of work and academic progress. While this year has taken an unexpected turn for most if not all of our admitted students, we stand by our decision that you belong at Bennington.

I was really hoping to visit Bennington to see it in person before making my decision to attend. Is that still possible?

Our admissions team is still working, but will be working from home for as long as required and advised by local officials. For everyone’s safety, visitors are not allowed on campus during this time. However, we are still available to connect with you remotely, and you can still “visit” with us virtually. We will have virtual events for admitted students throughout April and May, offering an opportunity to interact with current students, faculty and staff. Learn about how to visit Bennington virtually

What happens if my grades change this spring and I don’t do as well as I had done previously?

Normally we hope that students will finish high school on the same trajectory as when they applied; however, we understand that this spring is anything but “normal” and will take this into consideration when reviewing final transcripts. We expect you to maintain strong performance in your coursework, but recognize that this may look a little different this year.

How will Bennington handle cancellation or changes to final exams such as the IB, A-levels, or exams in my country’s education system (such as WASSCE, CBSE, etc.)?

Bennington is closely following news from various testing organizations and international education networks. We will honor grades awarded by these organizations, even if they are awarded on different criteria than they normally would have been. If you prefer to take these exams at a later date before enrolling at Bennington and that is possible in your education system or country, you are welcome to defer your enrollment to allow time for this. 

My school changed to a Pass/Fail system for the spring; is that ok?

Bennington will honor any changes to your curriculum that are made by your school. Whether this means fully shifting to a Pass/Fail system, or other changes in curriculum or grading. Your school counselor can share these changes along with your Common Application Final School Report, Optional Report, or by email at admissions@bennington.edu.

I’m not sure if my school will give me a diploma on time, what should I do? 

We understand that some school calendars will shift due to disruptions in teaching. We will honor whatever changes your school decides to make in terms of instruction and the calendar. If your final transcript is not ready until later than usual then your school can share it when it is available.

Will I still be eligible for credit based on exam scores such as AP, IB, or A-levels? 

Bennington will not make any changes to the way that credit is awarded for AP, IB, A-Level or French Baccalaureate exam scores, even if those scores are produced in a different way or based on different information. We will honor any changes made by the testing organizations in order to support students. See the full credit transfer policy for First-Year Students.

With everything that happened this spring, I just need some time off. I still want to come to Bennington, but can I defer my enrollment?

Yes, you are welcome to request a deferral for a term or a full year. You can do so by indicating your interest in a deferral on your Intent to Enroll form (accessible through your student portal), or if you make this decision after submitting your Intent to Enroll form you can email us at admissions@bennington.edu to change your status.

If I defer my enrollment, will my financial aid award change? 

Financial aid awards from Bennington may include two types of aid: merit-based scholarships or need-based financial aid in the form of grants, loans, or work study. Merit-based aid will remain the same each year, even if you choose to defer. Need-based aid is reviewed each year to address each family’s financial circumstances. If your family’s financial circumstances remain about the same then you can expect your need-based aid to also remain about the same.


Admitted Students - Additional Info for International Students

If I’m not able to get a visa to come to the US, what can I do? 

Unfortunately this is one part of the process that Bennington cannot control. We will support students to the extent that we can through the visa process. If the US Embassy or Consulate in your country is not issuing visas or visa appointments, you may need to defer your enrollment until you’re able to secure a visa. We will update students on this throughout the spring and summer as we have more information. 

I have my visa, but what if I cannot travel to the US due to restrictions in the US or in my own country?

At this point we are hopeful that travel restrictions will be eased by the end of the summer. If that is not the case, we will hold your place at Bennington and defer your enrollment by a term or year until you are able to join. 

If I enroll and am able to travel to Bennington, will I be housed over breaks if I am unable to travel home due to travel restrictions or safety concerns in my home country related to COVID-19?

In general, limited housing options may be available on campus during breaks for students in special circumstances. In case of an emergency, travel restrictions, or other situations that prevent a student from returning home, students should meet with the International Student Services advisors to find an appropriate solution.


Students Applying to Bennington for Fall 2021 or Later

Is the Bennington Admissions office still open? Can I visit?

Our admissions team is still working, but will be working from home for as long as required and advised by local officials. For everyone’s safety, visitors are not allowed on campus during this time. However, we are still available to connect with you remotely, and you can still “visit” with us virtually. We will have virtual events for prospective students until we are able to re-open for in-person visits. Learn about how to visit Bennington virtually, and make sure you join our mailing list to get updates about new virtual admissions programs or changes to our campus visit policy.

My SAT or ACT exams were cancelled—can I apply without them? 

Absolutely! Bennington has been test-optional for many years, and we welcome applications that do not include standardized test scores. You will be equally eligible for admission as well as financial aid and merit scholarships. 

My school hasn’t had any college visits this year—how can I learn about Bennington? 

Throughout the spring we’ll be bringing you lots of ways to connect with us virtually. And as soon as we’re able to, we’d love to have you come visit campus! In the meantime, check out how you can visit Bennington virtually and connect with an admissions counselor. 

I was doing well in school… until this interruption! How will this be considered when you look at my grades from this year?

Bennington has always had a holistic and flexible admissions process. We encourage you to think broadly about what you’ve excelled in, where your strengths lie, and how you can share those with us. This may mean including something beyond your application in the form of a portfolio or supplemental work that you feel is a better representation of you as a student, applicant, and individual. We will also take into consideration that students are dealing with significant disruptions to their education this year, and will consider your application accordingly.