Founded in 1860, Bard College is located in Annandale-On-Hudson, New York. This liberal arts college prides itself on combining traditional teaching methods with innovative ideas and theories that provide a transformative education to students from all over the world. The college’s mission is to not only provide the highest quality education available to all of its students, but to also teach students how to think creatively and apply their ideas to real-world issues.
The college offers a competitive athletics organization that provides students to participate in several different intercollegiate sports as well as offering numerous different club and intramural sports. There is a state-of-the-art fitness facility that provides students a place to work out, take many different fitness classes and learn about proper nutrition and exercise. The surrounding area also provides unlimited options for outdoor enthusiasts year-round. On-campus housing is offered on a beautiful, rolling campus and there are a plethora of student organizations.
There are over forty bachelor’s degrees as well as two dual degree programs and several graduate degrees. The degrees are offered in four different divisions of study. Students may also pursue an interdivisional degree which entails taking classes across divisions and receiving a degree that is dependent upon the senior project. Students receive an education that teaches them to be leaders and independent thinkers and to communicate those thoughts powerfully and effectively.
There are several unique ways that Bard offers specialized, innovative educational opportunities to their students. All students are required to take two semesters of freshman seminar that introduces them to cultural and intellectual experiences that serve as an excellent base for the rest of their educations. The seminar focuses on a series of texts that teach students about liberal arts and how it applies to them, as well as works by philosophers and great thinkers from both the past and present.
Students are also assigned a freshman advisor with which they meet at critical times during the year. The advisor serves to help the student transition to college life and choose a major that meets their needs and skill sets. Finally, to complete the freshman experience, students take first-year electives that allow them to explore different fields in order to make informed choices regarding their future education.
The Bard-Rockefeller Semester in Science gives undergraduates the chance do graduate-level research at the satellite research center at the Rockefeller University. In addition, the Bard Globalization and International Affairs Program offers students that are interested in politics and international affairs the opportunity to study in New York City.
Graduate programs include several different environmental programs that cover such topics as environmental policy and climate science, as well as several environmental dual degrees with Pace Law School and the Bard College Master of Arts in Teaching Program.
The Bard Conservatory of Music also offers a master’s program in addition to their undergraduate degrees. Students wishing to study conducting or vocal performing may do so at the graduate level. These are only a few of the many programs in which students may pursue post-baccalaureate study, and many of the programs are unique to this college.
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Admission is extremely competitive; they only accept about ten percent of all applicants. Students with the highest chance of acceptance have proven themselves to be extremely dedicated in high school by taking honors or advanced placement courses while maintaining a high GPA. It is recommended that high school students take four years each of English, math, social studies, laboratory science, and foreign language. The college also looks closely at the student as a person as well, preferring to accept candidates that are proven creative thinkers and leaders because they want only students that will take full advantage of all of the opportunities that they offer.
Students may either choose to complete the Common Application or the Bard Application, both of which are available online. Other requirements for the application packet include two essay questions, a minimum of two letters of recommendation from teachers and the Common Application guidance counselor recommendation and school report. Finally, students must submit official high school transcripts. The SAT or ACT is not required but students may submit them for consideration if they so choose. Admissions may schedule a personal interview, so be prepared for one.
Students who have extremely high grades are encouraged to attend an Immediate Decision Plan session. This is for the strongest candidates. Students attend a seminar and meet with an admissions counselor, and the college makes a decision on the spot. Students who have Bard at the top of their list of school choices should apply during the Early Action phase. The Early Action phase requires that the application packet be complete by November 1. Students that are not accepted during this phase will be considered for admittance again during the regular admissions process. The Regular Admissions session has a deadline of January 1.
There are different application processes for transfer students and international students, so these applicants should refer to the school for a complete list of requirements and deadlines. There are several different graduate schools as well, and each has its own application procedure so graduate candidates will need to confer with the school for requirements.
Financial aid is available in the forms of scholarships, grants, and federally-subsidized loans as well as fellowship programs and need-based institute scholarships. The first thing that a student needs to do to start the financial aid process is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, which is available online. The student will need to have financial information for both themselves and their family, so applicants should have this information readily available when they begin the application.
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The Raptors is an NCAA Division III athletic organization that offers numerous opportunities for students to participate in sports at the varsity level as well as team and club sports. The college’s colors are black and white. Students that wish to participate at the varsity level may choose from either men’s or women’s basketball, lacrosse, soccer, track and field, tennis, volleyball and cross country. Men also have the option of playing squash.
There are many club and team sports available for people that do not want to invest the time and effort necessary to compete at the varsity level. There are equestrian teams as well as rugby, fencing, ultimate frisbee, and several others. There are also numerous classes that students may take in order to learn more about such activities as tai-chi, yoga, bellydancing, and aerobics.