Bard College has provided students with a solid education for over 150 years, focusing on helping them to develop the knowledge and skills needed to compete in the workplace. Unlike many colleges throughout the country, Bard also provides students with both high school and early college programs to help them advance in their studies as early as possible. Staff and faculty members are actively involved in student life and well-being, providing around the clock assistance if needed. Bard College is most commonly known for its English Language and Literature, Social Studies and Visual Performing Arts programs. Many students prefer to express their passion for the liberal arts by getting involved with the popular theatre and drama clubs also.
Life at Bard College is aimed at helping students to develop themselves on a variety of levels such as political, academic and civically. Grooming students for life after graduation in the professional world is of the utmost importance to the staff and faculty members. Encouraging students to uphold stable and enriching lives both professionally and individually in public life is one of the main goals at the College. For this reason, students maintain a close-knit community, influencing each other to participate in the various extra-curricular activities that Bard offers.
Bard College was founded in 1860, originally chartered as St. Stephen’s College, by John Bard and the Episcopal Church. Being established as a male educational institute, it provided preparation for students into the seminary and remained so for over 60 years. The College has encouraged students to develop various life paths, in addition to theology, while attending the four year school. By 1919, Bard incorporated new programs into the curriculum such as social and natural sciences – enabling students the ability to obtain a more diverse education. After a period of financial hardship, the College became part of Columbia University, serving the undergraduate programs as well as their own.
Bard College is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The teaching and educational programs offered at Bard are also individually accredited by the New York State Education Department.
After surviving the war, Bard College became known to cultivate talented writers and artists that fled from Europe such as Emil Hauser, famous violinist and Hannah Arendt, noted social critic. Scientists and psychology students became nationally recognized for their research and academic achievements, enabling a healthy balance between liberal arts and sciences programs. Nearly ten years later the school had developed these programs to such an extent that Eleanor Roosevelt became an active contributor to Bard’s international student conferences and programs.
In 1944, bard College became a coeducational facility, providing women with access to the same programs as men, but also ending the affiliation with Columbia University. In addition to opening the doors to female students, Bard also introduced the first female faculty members to the staff during the same school year. Throughout the changing times, Bard College has strived to maintain a current and challenging curriculum to engage students intellectually and actively in their community.
At Bard College, students can rest assured that they have all the essentials right on campus or a bus ride away. The campus grounds provide a full spectrum of facilities and services such as Residence Life Offices, bookstore, computer lab and laundry facility. Students are encouraged to get involved with the various clubs and organizations that meet throughout the campus grounds. With over 50 student operated organizations to participate in, many students take advantage of the interests groups such as the Environmental Collective or the Bard Free Press. Others enjoy taking a more vocal initiative with the Darfur Action Campaign. Members of the Student Life Staff are available to assist fellow students in getting accustomed to college life and optimizing their schedule.
Many Bard College students live on campus in the various residence halls located on and off campus. Each of the 40+ residence halls allow students of like majors and interests to live together in apartment like settings to help them transition through the college experience. Since all first year and sophomore students are guaranteed housing, many students utilize the opportunity to build strong relationships and friendships that enhance their social and communication skills. Each housing facility provides furnished rooms and includes common kitchen, living room and den-like areas for students to socialize and hold meetings.
Bard College offers strong student support services that assist students with professional preparation, as well as academic scheduling optimization. Faculty and staff members, as well as student staff are available to answer questions, role play interviews or optimize resumes, building the professional skills needed in a competitive world.
Bard College staff and faculty members follow the blueprint of the founders by helping students find sufficient funding options to help reduce out-of-pocket costs. For this reason, all Bard College students are considered for academic and merit-based grants, as well as athletic and artistic scholarships. Bard College accepts all forms of government funded loans such as FAFSA and NYS TAP loans. Bard also offers various work-study programs that can alleviate tuition costs for students. Hosting over 75 positions are available both on and off campus to accommodate all student scheduling, many students take advantage of the work study jobs in addition to their main financial aid income.
The Financial Aid Office at Bard College is available throughout the year to assist students with loan qualifications and submissions. Staff and faculty members are available to consult and support students, as well as their families to answer any questions they may have regarding tuition and financial aid. Bard College remains attentive to maintaining a solid resource for students to make the college experience as stress free as possible.