A Quick Guide to Bard College
This article was written based on the information and opinions presented by Chase Williams, an Admissions Counselor at Bard College, in a CollegeVine livestream. You can watch the full livestream for more info.
Access to New York City
Bard College is located two hours north of New York City in the Hudson Valley area. The college is located on a 1,000 acre campus, near the Hudson River and the Catskill mountains. Bard students are able to enjoy the many things to do within the Hudson Valley, while also having access to New York City.
Along the Hudson River there is the Amtrak train line, which students can take to get to New York City in about two hours. The local Amtrak station is located about 15 minutes from Bard’s campus.
Getting Around Campus and the Hudson Valley
Given the large size of Bard College, students have access to shuttles that constantly go around the entire campus. Most of the main buildings at the college, such as those related to student life, resource centers, and classrooms, are located in the center of campus.
There is also an hourly shuttle available that goes to local towns nearby, including Tivoli and Red Hook where students can go to have a good meal off campus or run errands and purchase groceries. Often, students are particularly surprised by how great the restaurant selection is in these surrounding towns.
Some campus organizations at Bard have funding to pay for nearby trips, like visits to museums on the weekends. Additionally, there are stores like Walmart and Target located about 20 minutes from the Bard campus.
Diversity on Campus
Bard College has about 1900 students within its undergraduate student body, and many of those students come from diverse backgrounds. Twenty percent of Bard students are from outside of the United States, and about 28 different nationalities are represented on campus.
Additionally, 40% of Bard students personally identify as students of color and 18% of students are first generation college students. To support these students, Bard is working to develop more programming to address the unique needs of these groups.
Financially, 25% of Bard students are eligible to receive the Pell grant, which is a federal grant that is offered to students based on their financial need.
Participatory Campus Culture
Bard prides itself on its participatory campus culture, and has an average class size of 14 students, which is quite small. Bard has 50 academic programs across four different divisions. There is also a fifth interdivisional division that students also have access to.
At Bard, there are 180 student run organizations on campus and 40 different styles of campus residence halls. Studying abroad is common at Bard, with 50% of the student body studying abroad, both through semester programs, and programs spanning other lengths of time.
Bard’s campus has a variety of activities for students throughout the year. Students can look forward to events like 14 student-run theater shows every semester, Cupcake Wars, laser tag in the multipurpose room, or watching movie series in the Y Cinema, which is one of three cinemas on Bard’s campus.