Opening and Arrival Info

New Faces

A new group of 182 students will join us on campus this fall. Together, first-year and transfer students represent 32 states and 26 countries: Argentina, Bangladesh, Belarus, Botswana, Burundi, China, Ethiopia, Ghana, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mauritius, Nepal, Pakistan, Paraguay, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zimbabwe and the United States. We look forward to welcoming them warmly to Bennington.

Arriving on Campus/Opening of School

Students may move into their assigned room and house, beginning at noon on Sunday, September 1. Students arriving before then will not be permitted on campus and must find alternate overnight accommodations. Students arriving to campus the morning of Sunday, September 1 can wait in the DownCaf for houses to open. Arriving early places a burden on staff preparing houses for student arrivals and as such is considered a violation of our policies. We thank you in advance for planning your arrival to adhere to this schedule.

Key and New ID Pick-Up

  • All keys for returning undergraduates will be available to pick up from the Office of Student Life (Barn 113) on Sunday, September 1 from 12:00-8:00 pm; Monday, September 2 from 9:00 am-8:00 pm; and Tuesday, September 3 from 9:00 am-8:00 pm. After 8:00 pm students can go to the Campus Safety booth to pick up their keys. Students arriving after Tuesday, September 3 should be in touch with the Student Life office regarding their late arrival plans.

  • Proof of Health Insurance was due August 1. There will be a delay in receiving your room key if you have not already submitted your insurance information online. If proof of insurance has not been received by the first day of class, you will be assessed a $50 late fee. Read our student health insurance policy

  • The Bennington Card printing system is located in the SCOPE forum on the third floor of Commons. If you have lost your Bennington Card over the break, you will need to request a new ID by emailing HelpDesk as soon as possible. Replacement and new ID cards can be picked up in IT on Sunday, September 1 and Monday, September 2 from 11:00 am-3:00 pm.

Please be sure to check that  your account has been paid accordingly (you can check your account online in the student portal, Populi). Please contact Michelle Rollins at 802-440-4353 or email at with any billing questions. Any Financial Aid questions can be answered by contacting or by calling 802-440-4325.

Beginning-of-Term Schedule

In addition to what is listed below, please check out the academic calendar and the event calendar for information about the upcoming year.

Please note: Convocation, a community tradition in celebration of the start of the academic year, will take place on the morning of Tuesday, September 3 at 11:00 am in Greenwall Auditorium, followed by a community lunch at Commons. Classes will begin at 2:10 pm that same day.

Sunday, September 1

  • 12:00-2:00 pm | Lunch, Commons Dining Hall
  • 11:00 am-3:00 pm | Package pick up open in Buildings & Grounds
  • 11:00 am-4:00 pm | Bookstore, Commons 1st floor, Open
  • 12:00 pm | Houses open for returning students
  • 5:30 pm | Dinner, Commons Dining Hall
  • 7:30 pm | Faculty Works, Martha Hill Dance Theater
  • 10:00 pm | PAC Karaoke Night, DownCaf

Monday, September 2

  • Labor Day | Some administrative offices closed
  • All Day | Auditions for Bass Jennings 335D (email to schedule)
  • 8:00-9:00 am | Language placements, DownCaf and UpCaf
  • 9:00-10:00 am | Auditions for cello (Jennings 214)
  • 9:00 am-5:00 pm | Bookstore, Commons 1st floor, Open
  • 10:00 am-1:00 pm | Package pick up open in Buildings & Grounds
  • 11:30 am-2:00 pm | Lunch, Commons Dining Hall
  • 1:30-4:30 pm  | Advising, faculty offices
  • 7:00-8:00 pm | Auditions for Intermediate Voice (Jennings 218) prepare a short a cappella song, mallet percussion ensemble (Jennings 134)
  • 9:00 pm | Monday Night Reset: campus-wide bonfire, bring your own instrument jam session, and tent full of self-care activities for those wanting a break from the bonfire and music. Light refreshments provided.

Tuesday, September 3

  • 9:00-10:30 am | Add/Drop registration, faculty offices
  • 11:00 am-12:00 pm | Convocation, Greenwall
  • 12:00 pm | Community Lunch, Commons Dining Hall & Tents
  • 1:00 pm | Drama Forum, VAPA D207
  • 2:10 pm | Classes begin
  • 6:00-7:00 pm | Auditions for piano (Jennings 232)
  • 7:00 pm | Student Works, Martha Hill
  • 7:00 pm | Drama Audition Workshop, VAPA D207

Wednesday, September 4

  • All Day | Musical Placement Auditions Guitar Hui Cox, Jennings 335 C email to schedule (either by appointment or via Skype)
  • 12:00 pm | Collective Care Tabling: Come learn about collective care and make your own bug spray in Commons
  • Instrumental placement auditions for guitar (email to schedule).

Thursday, September 5

  • All Day Musical Placement Auditions Viola and Violin Kaori Washiyama, Jennings 214, email to schedule
  • 6:30 pm | Dance Meet and Greet (Martha Hill Dance Theater)
  • 7:00-10:00 pm | Dance (Martha Hill Dance Theater) and Drama (VAPA D207) auditions
  • Auditions for violin/viola (e-mail to schedule), Jennings 214
  • Join Outdoor Collective for moonlight yoga on the docks of Paran Creek. Email or text @YOGAUN to 81010 for sign-up, departure times, and more.
  • 10:00 pm | PAC Presents: All Class Open Mic Night sing, dance, tell a joke, read a poem-- all disciplines welcomed. A sign-up sheet will be posted in the ground floor of commons throughout the day on Thursday.

Friday, September 6

  • 7:00 pm | Drama auditions, VAPA D207
  • 8:00 pm | PAC Presents: Bennington Block Party, Commons lawn (rain location: To Be Determined). Live Music, Lawn games, snacks, and giant community-wide hang. All are welcomed!

Saturday, September 7

  • 10:00 am | Bennington College Student Day at the Bennington Farmers’ Market, 150 Depot Street, until 1:00 pm. Shuttle transportation provided to/from flagpole outside of Barn. First 25 students receive $10 each in market bucks, as well as fun giveaways.

Sunday, September 8

  • 8:00 am | OSE Trip to Burlington for Burlington Pride, returning to campus by 10:00 pm. Sign-up!
  • 10:00 am | Bennington College Soccer Game vs Hoosick School. Come cheer on our soccer team!
  • 11:30 am | Second Chance Animal Shelter volunteer trip leaving from flagpole, returns to campus by 2:00 pm
  • 12:00 pm | Purple Carrot Farm Work Day beginning at 12:00 pm in the UpCaf then heading out to the farm as a group
  • 10:00 pm | Coffee Hour, house living room

Monday, September 9

  • 6:00 pm | Social Justice Leadership & Change Series workshop in location TBD. All are welcome to join this bimonthly workshop series to learn skills associated with equitable and just leadership roles in campus clubs and organizations, event planning, managing your club or organization budget, and more! This first workshop will focus on preparing your club or organization for the Club & Org Fair the following evening. See College Week for event details.

Tuesday, September 10

  • 5:00 pm | Student Engagement Fair, location TBA

Campus Renovations

Commons Renovation

After two years of construction, the newly renovated Commons building will be re-opening for the start of Fall term. Come and explore! The first floor includes a new cafe/bakery, the College bookstore (relocated from the Barn), Commons Lounge, and the post office. On the second floor, a new North entry lobby leads to the completely renovated Dining Hall, which is also connected to a new exterior dining terrace on the east, along with the south porch overlooking Commons Lawn. The upper levels include 15 new classrooms, a new peer-to-peer learning and study space, a lecture and performance space under the cupola, and multiple smaller lounges for studying and socializing.  

Student Center

With dining relocated back to its newly renovated home in Commons, the Student Center is in the midst of a transition back to its primary role as a hub for student-centered activities on campus. Building on the concepts and plans generated by students in last year’s “(Re)Center: Reimagining the Student Center” course, we are continuing to work with the Philadelphia architecture firm DIGSAU to develop designs for a dynamic and exciting reworking of this building. The plans include spaces for concerts, socializing, student group meetings, a communal kitchen, and active recreation. Implementation is planned to take place in phases over the coming year.  

In the meantime, UpCaf and DownCaf will remain active in their current form, and we will also open the addition as a multi-use space. The Student Center “main building” will be largely closed until renovation work can begin, with the exception of access to the bathrooms and through the space connecting the addition to UpCaf/DownCaf and the east breezeway.  


The fire at the Southeast wing of the Barn at the end of April 2019 has put this portion of the building temporarily out of commission. While we make plans to renovate and rebuild this wing of the building, the remainder of the Barn remains in use, with a few location changes for faculty offices and some departments (you can always find updates here).  The President’s Office is now located in the southwest wing of the building, and faculty offices from the second floor have been relocated into new spaces (please reach out to each department or faculty member for new office locations). The bookstore, of course, is now housed in the southeast section of the first floor of Commons, in a newly renovated space.  

Due to the temporary closure of the Southeast wing of the Barn and the associated entrances, circulation in the building will function a little differently. For instance, access to the second floor will be through the east and west corner stairways; the eastern stairway will only be accessible from the exterior. The primary accessible entry to the first floor will now be at the eastern wing, adjacent to the Office of the Dean and Provost.  

We will be working during the Fall to finalize plans for the reconstruction of the Southeast wing, and will share updates with the community as these plans develop, including a timeline for construction.   

Albany to Bennington Transportation