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Bennington College 2023-24 Supplemental Essay Guide

Bennington College 2023-24 Application Essay Question Explanation

The Requirements:  1 essay of 250 words

Supplemental Essay Type(s): Why, Oddball

Please select one of the three essay prompts below (and respond in 250 words or fewer):

At Bennington, students don’t just study; they’re makers and doers who create original work on their own and in collaboration with others. Tell us about something you’ve created that you’re proud of. Why is it important to you? Alternatively, tell us something you look forward to creating when you get to college. (Optional: We’d love to see your work if you’d like to share it with us. You’ll receive instructions for submitting your work after we process your application.)

Do not be overwhelmed by this prompt! You don’t have to have curated an art gallery in Chelsea to impress admissions with your response here. They just want to know more about what engages your intellectual interest and gets your gears turning. What kinds of things do you make and what motivates you to make them? This prompt is as much about ingenuity and problem-solving as it is about creativity. Did you build a custom cubby for your grandmother so she can have her knitting tools nearby and secure while she watches the nightly news? How did you come up with that idea? How did your grandmother react? Or, if you haven’t done a lot of creating thus far, tell admissions about an idea or vision you have for the future!

What piece of media do you think we should all know about and what makes it interesting to you? Your recommendation can be a book, music, TV show, movie, game, magazine, podcast, or social media channel–any form of media, really, but don’t forget to let us know why you recommend it.

This prompt asks you to discuss a piece of media that has made a big enough impression on you to warrant your recommendation to others. At CEA, we always recommend that you choose an unexpected work 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 takes a look at those same lessons. What else have you read, seen, or interacted with that stuck with you because of who you are and what you care about? You have a lot of leeway here. Maybe you recently discovered a Spotify playlist that opened your mind to new genres and sounds. Perhaps your favorite film explores topics like collective consciousness and ethical dilemmas, a conversation-starter you think everyone should engage with. Try to be as creative as possible with your selection here and think about what pieces of media have really struck you at your core and why.

Each year, Bennington students spend six weeks participating in Field Work Term at sites around the world. What would you like to do during FWT? Describe an organization, business, individual, career field, or type of work that interests you and tell us what excites you about it.

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.

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.
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