Bard College at Simon’s Rock is a four-year college of the liberal arts that is located in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. One of the unique features of the college is that it can be matriculated into from sophomore or junior year in high school, eliminating unnecessary repetition between high school and college classes. As a four-year college, Bard College offers superior, small class sizes with a student to faculty ratio of 9 to 1.
Bard College is a premium college, and price reflects its quality. An undergraduate student will pay $37,680 per year for typical full-time study. Much of this cost is taken away with financial aid, although the net amount paid is still high. Credit hours alone cost around $1,500 a piece.
Bard College is one of those colleges that doesn’t simply marginalize education into a set of requirements, regulations, and goals. Instead, Bard College has formulated a general flow of academics that equips students not only academically, but intellectually. This verses students in science, math, philosophy, history, and many other subject matters within the liberal arts and sciences that build greater understanding in addition to focus.
Currently, Bard College is not offering distance learning, although it may soon. As a premium college of an utmost reputation, it has many resources to work with and is well to do in educational innovation. For the better part of its history, the college has spent its time optimizing its campus atmosphere. It may not be long before Bard College extends its education style to students facing geographical barriers.
A distinguishing feature of the college is that students receive more than just generic academic advice. Students are paired with faculty, where either of the two get to know each other personally and academically. Through this relationship, an academic plan is formed. Professors have even been known to customize courses fit to their students’ learning styles. The possibilities don’t have to be limited to a set of programs.
With the extensive attention by Bard College to its student’s finances, only 11% of the student populace actually pays the full price of their education. 84% of the student body receives financial aid directly from the College itself and in the form of non-repayable aid. The average amount received by each of these students per year is $16,877, taking a significant portion of the cost off the typical student’s back.
There are other sources for financial aid. The Pell Grants is received by 32% of the student body. This grant is subsidiary to FAFSA and is awarded on need-basis to aid students that don’t have the monetary means to help themselves, but who otherwise are wonderful potential students. The same can be said of state aid, but only 4% of the student body receives this. It is likely that state aid wouldn’t be received by distance learners.