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Bennington College 2021-22 Supplemental Essay Guide

We try our best to make sure our guides are as up to date as possible, but we still recommend confirming each prompt and word count with the school in question.

Bennington College 2021-22 Application Essay Question Explanation

The Requirements:  1 essay of 250 words, 1 short essay of 150 words

Supplemental Essay Type(s): Why, Oddball

What attracts you to Bennington College? (about 150 words max)

If you’ve looked at any other supplements before this one, you have probably already seen some version of this question: why here? In almost every case the objective is the same and twofold: (1) You need to showcase a solid knowledge of what the school has to offer. And (2) you should utilize that knowledge to effectively illuminate your interest in the school. So, start by researching Bennington College. (Yes, you will need to do this for every Why Essay.) Direct your attention to the majors, departments, and other opportunities that interest you. What do you want to learn? Brush up on professors and notable alumni in your field and even pick out classes to take and organizations to join—visualize yourself on campus! But remember, this essay is relatively short, so once you have a page or so of notes, try to hone in on one central idea as a foundation for your essay: do you want to become the best chemist you can be? Or take advantage of research and internship opportunities in the Northeast? Whatever you decide to focus on, make sure your choices reveal something important about who you are and what you value.


Please select one of the two essay prompts below:

Carlos Ruiz Zafon wrote in The Shadow Of The Wine, “Every book, every volume you see here, has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens.” What book would you recommend? (250 words)

This prompt asks you to discuss a book that has impacted you. At CEA, we always recommend that you choose an unexpected piece of literature in order to stand out from the pack. Yes, it’s true that 1984 showed many students a bleak picture of what a Big Brother takeover might look like; however, almost every student in the country is assigned that book and processes those same lessons. What else have you read that has stuck with you because of who you are and what you care about? Were you blown away by the coming-of-age story The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian? How did that graphic novel change the way you think about the Native American experience? Did Fangirl change the way you sympathize with people struggling with social anxiety? And if so, how did Rowell accomplish this? Try to be as creative as possible with your selection here and think about what books have really struck you to your core and why.

Each year Bennington students spend seven weeks off campus participating in Field Work Term. Tell us about an organization, business, or individual you’d like to work with during FWT. (250 words)

Bennington is serious about arming its student body with real-world experiences in order to propel them into success post-graduation, so show them you’re just as committed to mastering your craft and gaining firsthand experience in your field. Start by exploring this FWT program to truly understand its purpose and structure. Next, dream up your vision. What does your ideal Field Work Term look like? What would you be doing, whom would you be doing it with, and what would you take away from the experience? Admissions isn’t going to hold you to your answer (a lot can change in a year or two!), so don’t get lost in decision paralysis. Instead, get creative and let your mind wander about the possibilities that Bennington could offer you.


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