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Reviews 669 total reviews with an average rating of 3.3

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4 College Freshman

Campus Quality: Beautiful campus but in the middle of nowhere

4 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: They're mostly nice and smart

1 College Freshman

Overall Experience: Way too isolated and the winter is freezing

4 College Freshman

Scholarships: Gave me a lot but was still expensive

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Freshman

Party Scene: Hard to find or has too much drugs

3 College Freshman

Campus Food: Very expensive at DTR, Manor, and the Bard bookstore

4 College Freshman

Administration: Bard is fair with the students. The administration understands what it's like to be in college, and uses policies of education instead of fines. I haven't heard of anyone receiving a fine for something like drinking, smoking, or a noise violation. "Punishments," if you can call them that, are usually not prescriptive; that is, they will ask students to organize a dorm event, or help out a certain club, in lieu of facing monetary consequences.

4 College Sophomore

Administration: For the most part, they're there to look out for students. If they see an issue that needs addressing, they'll address it. Otherwise, they can be pretty detached when you don't need them.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: We're in the heart of the Hudson Valley. A lot of wealthy Manhattanites come up over the weekend or own property up here. So there's demand for good food. I'm consistently pleased by my meals off campus. Prices vary, but there's usually a good place to meet one's budget.

College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Don't have much experience with off campus housing yet, so I don't know how to speak to the issue.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: It's fine. You make your own student life. I don't care too much about facilities: the people are what matters.

3 College Sophomore

Local Area: Great food and great scenery, but not too much else. Rhinebeck is nice and has an independent movie theater. Hudson has a pretty vibrant culture, but few people go there frequently as it's 30-40 minutes away.

3 College Sophomore

Party Scene: We have like two great parties per semester. With the exception of a few decent SMOG shows and Spring Fling, all of the decent parties are off campus. You might have to push for a shuttle seat or find a DD or arrange for a cab to get to these. A lot of them can be pretty meh, but can be better or worse depending on if you like/dislike who shows up. If you want to go to parties every weekend, you'll need to learn how to network and text people to ask if they know what's going on. Also a valuable skill for life anyway.

1 person found this useful Report
College Sophomore

Greek Life: We have a Classics program, but that's the most Greek as you'll find here.

3 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Campus Food: Kline, our main dining hall, has a lot of room for improvement, but it is getting better with the help of Bard EATS and the Bard Food Initiative (they try to get more local, fair trade, and organic ingredients on the menu). It has good bagels and bread from a local bakery if you absolutely can't find anything worth eating.

Down the Road Cafe and Manor Cafe, our two smaller eateries, are ok. They have a lot of a la carte items and made-to-order fast food kind of things (burgers, fries, grilled cheeses, etc).

We have some great people who work in these places too. Be sure to be polite and treat them like humans!

2 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: Security is pretty good. We don't have a blue light system, which I find a bit problematic. We do have an emergency line and security will be able to get to you within a minute in case of emergency.

However, our health services are pretty awful. They are underfunded—both for general health and mental health purposes—and the nurses/counselors aren't great anyway. Expect misdiagnoses from the RNs and low availability from the counselors. We have free student-run services to transport people to off-campus therapist appointments and to the hospital for emergencies that don't warrant an ambulance (which saves you $$).

3 College Sophomore

Athletics: Bard has a growing athletics community, which other students sometimes greet with animosity. I go to games sometimes. It seems like the sports teams get along with each other very well and athletes are often able to find their niche within that. That said, it's D-3—we care more about academics than athletics, and we belong to the Liberty League, in which other schools have the same sort of situation.

As for the recreational gym user, it's pretty blah. There's no AC in the gym, which is unpleasant in the warmer months because it is often even warmer than outside due to poor circulation. We have decent machines and classes, though. My advice is to embrace the beautiful Hudson Valley environment and run/exercise outside. Just check for ticks afterwards.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: Housing experience largely depends on where you live. There are large dorms, there are small dorms (smallest is 9 people). Quality of facilities also varies: there are FEMA trailers, there's an old manor house converted to a dorm, there are nice new dorms. I lived in a treehouse (basically mini versions of the trailers) in my freshman year and had a lovely experience. Now I live in the largest dorm on campus (also a newer, nicer one) and I like it too. However, they are quite different experiences. My advice is that you choose a dorm size you like and make sure it has AC. A shitty dorm with AC is better than a nicer dorm without, in my opinion.

3 College Sophomore

Majors: You can only declare a major through moderation, which typically happens during the sophomore year.

4 College Sophomore

Scholarships: Initially received the aid I needed to go, and even after I lost federal funding (father inherited a small sum), my Bard scholarship stayed the same.

3 College Freshman

Party Scene: It's all about the people you associate with. I've always had fun at house parties, and it gets better as you get older. Getting to and from off-campus parties is a pain, but there are always shuttles/safe-ride. On-campus events/concerts such as smog/root cellar/manor are fun relative to how drunk you are.

4 College Freshman

Health & Safety: Very safe campus. Except for the clown incident.

5 College Freshman

Campus Housing: It's a hit or a miss with housing here, at least for freshman. I live in one of the new toasters, which are spacious, centrally located, and overall a great place to live. However you may not get as lucky as I did and end in a literal trailer. There's something for everyone, but pick wisely.

4 College Freshman

Scholarships: I was surprised at the amount of money I received in scholarship from Bard. Over 2/3 of the students here are on some form of scholarship and Bard works hard to give every student a good chance to go here. That being said, not many people can afford the full, $60,000 price tag of the school.

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: There are a few good restaurants in the surrounding towns but the best ones are fairly expensive. No cheap go-tos come to mind, stick to DTR for your unhealthy fix.


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Stone Row
Stone Row
Stone Row Stone Row This landmark facility lies in the center of campus

Overall ExperienceWhat's this?

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What Bard students esteem most about in their overall experience is that they've had the chance to develop what so many other college students haven't-a personal connection with their school. This is deceivingly rare, as many students at big universities miss out on the things Bard students take for granted, like small, intimate classes, personal relationships with professors, and a tightly-knit community in which people share similar interests and commitments. For all of its cliquishness, Bard's student body ultimately possesses a unique understanding of itself. On the whole, Bardians seem to own the idea that, although not every person at Bard shares a friendship, each is still connected in some way by a willingness to accept what is different from him- or herself. And, while Bard students admittedly have a hard time showing compassion for conservatism or ignorance, they do welcome people of any gender, sexuality, and race.

Some suggest that Bard is like a bubble-an isolated, introverted space closed off from the rest of the world. In some ways, this is true. Things go on at Bard that don't and maybe can't go on elsewhere, and in many ways, Bard students have a pretty easy four years. Unfortunately, when they are ready to leave the college, some might find the outside world to be not quite so accepting. However, the degree to which Bard students are concerned with the goings-on in the rest of the world (evident by the number of protests and fundraisers in which they participate) suggests that Bard's bubble is blessedly incomplete-that there exists a very real connection between us and the outside world. Many Bardians are dedicated to furthering this connection, to making the planet a better place through the knowledge they take away from Bard, and this is indeed one of the finest qualities found within our school. Most students, although they complain endlessly about Bard's size and inconvenient location, could never picture themselves anywhere else.

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