Great Barrington, MA
Admission Difficulty
Very Easy
Branch Campus Of
Bard College
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Reviews 178 total reviews with an average rating of 3.1

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2 College Senior

Majors: No help is given to students looking for internships. There is an email sent out once a month that usually offers four or so, for months from now, without pay or amenities, spread across the entire country. So if you happen to have a second house in California and randomly want to work in a field not at all related to your own, then great. Otherwise, there's nothing offered for you, or anybody else.

2 College Senior

Majors: I'd do it again, but only because this school is LITERALLY the only option for early college students, specifically. If I could do it again with all the other colleges in the world available to me, I would never come here, not in a million, trillion years.

3 College Senior

Majors: It's embarrassingly easy to get in here. You should be embarrassed if you don't get in with an 87% acceptance rate, and rising.

3 College Senior

Majors: Everyone is here for the liberal arts, and if you stay for the bachelor's that's another story. The associate's is very general. Way too much work, very tough curriculum, very intensive. Very few opportunities that are not on campus. Almost no internships offered, and hardly ever a job.

1 College Senior

Greek Life: We have no Greek life of any sort, no fraternities, and no sororities. People scoff at the idea of them here.

4 College Senior

Facilities: Good gym and library (though not for anything in pop culture, but for student purposes).

Best building is the Daniel Arts Center (DAC).

Student union is very crappy, and nobody actually hangs out in it.

The only campus event is Mayfest which happens in (you guessed it) May for a weekend. It's alright. Basically, people order a jumpy house and you wander around in flip flops eating sweets.

There's no parks or anything, but this place is tiny, and this is a forest, so there's nature-made ones all over.

3 College Senior

Facilities: The school is only set apart because it takes younger students who haven't finished high school. Nothing else about it is very unique.

3 College Senior

Guys & Girls: There's so few of us (450) that options are limited. Your scale of what qualifies as attractive drops tremendously once you've lived here for a while. The people who could be considered good-looking are few and far between, but when you find them, a word of advice: because this campus is so small, if you date and beak up with someone, you will run into them. You may even live with them, and you will definitely run in the same circles as them, so try to be as amicable as you can with your relationships.

People have never heard of fashion here, and appear to be against it. Everyone here has their own style, but that does not mean they come anything close to actually being stylish.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Overall Experience: I would choose to go again because I had no other choice. I hated high school; I was bored and had no friends. I have made good, good friends here, and I've grown a lot and learned a lot.

But since this school is the only one of its kind, and no competition exists, they do whatever they want. They charge and act however they want, and are terrible people. They are inefficient and clumsy, and extremely frustrating to deal with. Everybody has issues with finances who attends here, and the school is very unsympathetic. They treat us not as adults, but not quite as high-schoolers. Somewhere in between. If you are like the majority of the people here, and what you are looking for is knowledge and friendships, then come. You will get that. But anything else resembling a college experience is awful. The people suck, and the place is horrible. I'd do it all again, but if there had been another school that takes early college students that is located somewhere else, I'd go there in a heartbeat instead.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: Only okay if you are an aging, socialite, health nut, hippie, liberal, who wants to live in a bubble far, far away from society. The rest of us want to get the hell out. The closest mall is an hour away, chains do not exist here, there are no museums of any interest nearby, and all culture occurs in the summertime during arts festivals. None the rest of the year. People hate students and do not accept them kindly, there are no sports, and no nightlife to speak of.

Only pros are it is very safe. There's lots of local businesses, but they are not meant for students, so that is why it is difficult to go out and socialize if you live here. There is one movie theater called the Triplex, but it only has five screens.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Senior

Campus Housing: Tiny, smelly, dirty, and required by college policy to live in if under the age of 25 and unmarried, which everybody is. It sucks. Sucks so very much.

Best option for freshmen: Kendrick

Best option for lower campus: Hill

Worst: Carriage

Best bathrooms: Carriage

Best option overall: Pibly for upperclassmen, Hill for everybody else.

Best community: Dolliver

Worst stench: Crosby

Noisiest: Carriage

Quietest: Crosby

Kendrick is the only coed freshmen dormitory, and the best. But make SURE to live on the second floor, because if you live on the first you will hear absolutely every sound anyone makes on the second. The walls are made of paper. The second floor is bigger and has better structure. Crosby is the all-girls dorm, and it is horrendous. The only advantage is it is the most spacious. Dolliver is a pit of hell and boyhood (all guys), but many of the guy's enjoy it. Definitely the closest community, since none of the other dorms are that tight-knit, but Dolliver is.

All other dorms on campus are co-ed, and they include Hill, Carriage, and Pibly. Freshmen may ONLY live in Kendrick, Crosby, or Dolliver. Most sophomores live in Hill, which is the best dorm on lower campus. Carriage is a nightmare zone, and is located on upper campus, and home to many juniors with cars. Pibly is for seniors (and select juniors) only, and is an apartment mod. Apartments are shared by 3-4 people, usually who pick one another. Again, only for lucky upperclassmen, no hope of ever living there if you are just getting the associate's.

Also, the myth of the mods - if you read anything about the "mods", those are a set of old dorms that were shut down because they were so disgusting and not up to code, but the school couldn't afford to fix them, or to knock them down, so they just exist by the art's center, rotting away. The only thing they are home to is rats and mold.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Off-Campus Dining: Are you a rich, health nut? If you answered yes, then you will love all of the restaurants here. If you answered no, then have fun trying to eat. Everything is expensive and annoyingly healthy. Even the pizzas are healthy. Nothing is open past 9pm, nowhere offers student discounts that I have heard of (and I've heard of everything since there is only one main street that makes up all of town), and all of it is relatively expensive.

Here's the rundown:

Best coffee: Rubi's, don't be fooled by the liars who say Fuel is. Fuel is cheaper, but in terms of quality, go with Rubi's.

Best bagel: Barrington Bagel Co. is the only place you can even find a bagel, so it defaults to the best. It is very good.

Best pizza: Baba Louie's. Delicious.

Best cookie: Gypsy Joynt

Best desserts: The Patisserie

Best breakfast: Martin's

Cheapest: The Neighborhood Diner

Good for students: Froyoworld

Best ice cream: SoCo Creamery

There is no delivery in Great Barrington aside from overpriced chinese food that you need to order at least $35 worth of, so you do have to go in town to eat. Baba Louie's does not take reservations and is always packed, but is worth it. Gypsy Joynt is immensely overrated, and run by pretentious hippies. You'll understand what I mean if you meet them. It's fun with groups, don't go alone. Rubi's is underrated and has a great atmosphere - it is by the Triplex cinema, hidden in an alleyway. A new Italian place called Mario's just opened, and that is the only place you will find pasta if that is what you are in the mood for, but if you are Italian like me and have been eating the real deal all your life, prepare for disappointment. Froyoworld is delicious and do not be afraid to develop an addiction to it.

2 College Senior

Athletics: No one here is an athlete. If you are, I'm very sorry because you will have a very rough time. The gym here is really great, and there is a track, court, and pool, but this isn't just the college's, it's the town's gym. So expect to see all the locals there. We do not have varsity sports, and there is never any big sporting matches to attend. ACE (athletics and health) requirements aren't taken seriously by anybody, including the faculty. Working out is pretty big here among some groups, but sports and games are not.

2 College Senior

Scholarships: First off, this site is lying to you about the cost, and Simon's Rock is too. I work in admissions and with the finances, so I literally see the numbers. It is at $57,000 and rising per year. It goes up by a noticeable $1,000 a year so far, since the school is trying to make up for its oncoming debt by taking your money.

If you really need aid, you will get it, but not all of it. Room and board are impossible to get out of, as is the required meal plan and health insurance, so that's $14,000 a semester right there, plus books, fees, fines, and class costs, which brings it to around $15-16k a semester, or $32,000 a year, MINIMUM. Be wary of this, and also that this is America, where colleges do not have to legally keep the cost the same, so the school is free to continue to raise it to whatever the hell they feel like charging you annually. This is a very expensive program. Talk to your admissions counselor about how badly you need aid. Whine and fuss and if they don't give you enough, call them and annoy them and keep going back for more, because you will need it.

The financial department is a mess, and will lose charges, bills, and records. They'll forget to send you bills and then charge you fees for not paying it, then fees for paying it late when they do remember to send it. No one knows what they are talking about on the phone, and communication with one another never seems to occur to anybody who works here. Make sure they do not screw you over, and if you have an issue with something, make a big deal out of it! Who cares if you piss them off, this place is expensive and keep in mind that you are the customer. If you aren't happy, then they aren't doing what they should be. Remind them of this, too.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Computers: The wifi just blacked out for a second and wiped my answer on this, if that gives you some idea of how shitty it is.

You NEED a laptop to come here. Absolutely necessary, and even required for classes sometimes.

Get your own printer. There is a 200-page limit on the campus ones per year, and they are located in the classrooms and student union (and science center, but no one ever goes there and it is the shittiest of them all), so this doesn't sound too difficult, but when you just finished a thesis paper at three in the morning, you do not want to walk across campus in the dark in time to print it for your morning class. Have a printer in your room instead.

Word of advice: If you need/want to download something, go into town and use the coffee shop's or a restaurant's wireless! MUCH faster!

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Diversity: You could be a three-headed pansexual zebra and you would be accepted here. Doesn't matter who you are, what you look like, who you like, what you do, everyone will accept you. It's fantastic.

For the most part, students are very non-religious, and extreeeeeeemely liberal. I tend to assume someone isn't straight unless told otherwise.

Diversity is good considering the area itself is 99% white. We have lots of different countries represented, and many, many minorities.

There is some classism present because of the amount of wealthy students who attend, but most are middle class, and some are below.

The only thing you will be judged for if you attend here, is if you voted for Mitt Romney.

2 College Senior

Transportation: There are no trains into this town. The closest one is an hour away. The bus does not stop on campus, so if you take that, you will need a ride from town to campus. The shuttle that is provided by the school runs M-F (they just added Saturdays, but that may be only temporary, we'll see) from 2pm-7pm. This is majorly updated from when I arrived here and it only ran until 5pm, and no weekends. It is hourly, with only one stop on campus, and two stops downtown. It is often late, but that is because one of the drivers needs to be fired. He doesn't know how to drive without risking fatalities, frequently gets lost, and is beyond rude. His name is Sayhed. Avoid him, and expect lateness and meanness if you can't. The other drivers are all fine.

For breaks and travel, it is very difficult if you do not personally own a car. Make friends with someone who does if you don't, because otherwise you'll be handing out thick wads of cash to the school just to get to the airport, or to a taxi driver to get you to the bus stop in Lee, Springfield, Pittsfield, or Lenox. All of those stops are better than the one in Great Barrington, by the way. Springfield is the closest actual terminal, and it is an hour away, and sketchy as hell. Don't go when it is dark out alone, and don't let your luggage leave your sight.

To sum up, transportation is a bitch here.

1 College Senior

Weather: Welcome to New England, where it will rain, snow, hail, and fog in the span of 20 minutes.

This has really happened to me. This weather is extreme because of our mountain climate, so everything is about ten degrees more extreme than the rest of the region. The winter is never ending. So much so that there is free therapy offered, and many students develop Seasonal Affective Disorder from the lack of sunlight. It really is disconcerting, so make sure to get outside and keep up with a social life so you aren't stuck in your tiny room all day, which really is depressing.

The summers are beautiful, but being students, we miss them completely.

3 College Senior

Parking: Potholes galore. God forbid we fix the roads here.

Cars are not allowed for freshmen, which leads sophomores and juniors who still live on lower campus (seniors usually live on upper), so there is a lot of free spots for parking in. It's crappy, and I don't have a car so I cannot attest to the cost, but there's definitely options.

3 College Senior

Drug Safety: Everyone here does weed. I think I may be the only one who doesn't, and nobody has a problem with that, and I don't have an issue with those who do. I don't since most people are doing it out of boredom being trapped on campus all day, which is mostly the college's fault anyways with the lack of things to do and transportation. Dangerous drugs are RARE. I have not heard any mention of them while I'm here. Prescription pills are a problem for some students since we see a lot of 'troubled youth' you might say, but that's more on an individual basis, and isn't popular. Even the teachers here smoke weed. You can all sit in a circle and smoke together. It's that popular, and I'm only slightly exaggerating. Smoking cigarettes is also pretty popular, sadly. It was legal up until this year, and now it technically is illegal, but no one is ever caught for smoking those or for weed usage unless you are insanely ostentatious with it.

3 College Senior

Academics: If I were rating academics in general, I'd say it's great. The associate of the arts program is very all-encompassing and diligent, and you will learn and cover many topics within the liberal arts.

But that is the general topic that everyone who attends this school studies. Each person has their own subject within that, and mine is theatre. The theatre department is made up of two acting professors. I am not kidding. Both aging, one possibly has dementia setting in given her mood swings, absences, and ramblings. The other is quite down to earth, but has a family, and is not good with scheduling, or commitment. There is only one production a year here, and good luck getting involved if you are not an upperclassmen who knows somebody who knows somebody. Become a favorite of the two professors if you want to get cast in anything. Also, most of the acting work is 'devised theatre', which is basically the NYC theatre scene from the 60s. Not a great technique for getting work as an actor!

4 College Senior

Academics: In general speak, the academics are very good. The curriculum is made up mostly of required courses, I'm sorry to say, but most of us did skip high school and this is for an associate's degree in the liberal arts, so it is understandable. Almost all of the professors are incredibly intelligent, and love their subjects. The literature and science departments in particular. The workload is immense, much more than other colleges. Do expect that, and remember to relax and not take all of that too seriously, or you will go mad under the pressure.

Bad things: attendance gives no space for you to be sick, so make sure to communicate with your professor. They are the ones who can choose to abide by the policy or not, so make friends with them and it will benefit you!

The study abroad options only exist for those continuing on the bachelor's program, so you will be stuck here on campus for two years if you do come. Also, there is not many study abroad options, and they are all expensive.

Registrations is a DISASTER. This school is stuck in the 90s, technology-wise, so you actually register in person. Seniority is given priority, which means if you are a freshmen, by the time you get a chance to register, almost all of your classes will be filled up and you will watch your plans go down in flames. Don't freak out; you can drop and add classes like crazy well into the semester, but most youngins are a crying wreck when this happens. I recommend expecting disturbances to your schedule, and having multiple backups for each class. Also, get there on time!

1 College Senior

Nightlife: Great Barrington is made up of retired New Yorkers, and families attending alternative schooling. Everything closes at 9pm, and 5-6pm in the winter months, which is eight of the twelve months when you live in the Berkshires. Despite there being a college here, none of the local businesses have taken advantage of this, or even acknowledged it. No business caters to students, and this is a very expensive town to live in, so it is tricky on the wallet to try to find a way to get out at night without spending $50 on dinner. This leads to many students staying in their dorms and getting high. A word of advice: make friends with someone who has a car, or get one yourself. You'll thank yourself every day for this, campus can feel very secluded and claustrophobic, especially in the winter.

2 College Senior

Campus Strictness: They are way too intense with the attendance policy, and way too lenient with their treatment of students who have committed multiple violations, but get off because their parent's are paying full tuition. A student I knew who was quite wealthy plagiarized a paper, was caught doing drugs by security on 4+ occasions, was caught drinking, was caught selling drugs, and was caught shipping drugs, and was finally only suspended for one semester (!). Whereas someone on full scholarship who misses three classes will be kicked out of the class, and put on academic probation. Extremely uneven treatment, and the policies are quite ridiculous. God forbid a students gets sick, because no sympathy to you will be given. Prepare for that.

3 College Senior

Health & Safety: If this campus was not located on the side of a rural mountain in the tiniest town imaginable, they would be having a serious safety issue. The "security shack" stopped its use years ago, and is now used for club meetings and as a reference point when giving directions to somebody. Security exists only to retrieve your packages from the mailroom when the mail staff isn't there, and to unlock your door for a billed charge when you forget your key. Do not expect much from them. That being said, the area itself is very safe, which is why there aren't more complaints. Not much happens around here, but do keep your doors locked and do not leave your electronics just sitting around, to be on the safe side.


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