top of page
  • Writer's pictureNancy Adis

Bard - A Private College For the Public Good

Updated: Mar 6, 2023

My quick takeaways after touring Bard College: Small school, globally aware, personalized attention, creative thinking, ability to “make a difference” and to personalize your degree/experience… as well as a beautiful campus away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

I enjoyed my interesting tour, guided by two knowledgeable current students who shared their insights about life at Bard and did an excellent job highlighting the small class sizes, strong connections with award-winning faculty, diversity of students, and many clubs and organizations for students at this independent residential college near Annandale-on-Hudson, about 90 minutes north of NYC. I was very impressed that the Director of Admissions (and former student), Mackie Siebens, took time out to talk with the tour groups and answer questions both at beginning and end, an example of Bard’s focus on community connections. I also did the campus driving tour, gaining an even better feel for this large campus of nearly 1000 acres with lots of room for students to roam and explore through wooded trails.

Bard’s unique and rigorous curriculum is one of the reasons many students from all across the world choose to study here. The core curriculum is organized into five program areas which all students are guided to master: language and thinking program, first year seminar, citizen science (linking the arts and sciences), moderation (including choosing a major and setting goals), and a senior project or capstone experience for each student. The liberal arts curriculum is designed to inspire curiosity, a love of learning, idealism, and a commitment to entrepreneurship and global civic engagement. There are approximately 1,800 students on this campus but close to 6,000 in the Bard network of early colleges, special programs, study abroad programs, and graduate programs.

A few other shoutouts include the house professors who nurture social and intellectual connections with new students, the indigenous land statement that’s read to tour groups and printed on their admission’s materials, and their focus on global concerns as they were the first U.S. campus to have a human rights major. Bard admissions has been test-optional for nearly 50 years and two of their programs are unique immediate-decision plans that involve either an in-depth writing project or an option to take a class on campus, followed by an interview. Need-based aid is determined by using both the FAFSA and CSS profiles.

Visiting colleges is a great way to learn about their offerings and institutional culture, so at Confident College Planning we do this background research regularly to help our clients find the best fit for their unique interests and needs. Contact for help with finding the colleges that match up with your goals and guidance in managing the many steps of the college application process. We specialize using a planful process to reduce stress and help families be very successful in college selection.


bottom of page