First-Year Applicants

What do we look for in an applicant?

Typically, Bard students have prepared for college by taking honors or advanced placement courses in a curriculum that includes four years of English, social studies, mathematics, laboratory science, and a foreign language. Yet admission to Bard takes into account your whole story. We welcome ambitious, independent thinkers and look closely at each part of your application. Bard presents extraordinary opportunities for students to thrive and achieve, and seeks students who will take full advantage of all that the Bard community has to offer. 

Dates and Deadlines

(Please scroll down to see full list.)

Early Applications Due
Early Action, Early Decision, Immediate Decision Plan, Bard Entrance Exam
Nov. 1
Financial Aid Application Due for Early Applications (FAFSA and CSS Profile)
FAFSA and CSS Profile must be filed by all Early Decision applicants by this date.
Dec. 15 
Decision Notification for Early Applications End of December
Deposit Due:
Early Decision, Early Decision 2-Immediate Decision Plan
Within a month after receipt of decision and/or financial aid package
Deposit Due:
Early Action, Early Action 2-Immediate Decision Plan, Bard Entrance Exam
May 1
Regular Admission Application Due: Jan. 1
Financial Aid Application Due:  (FAFSA and CSS Profile) Feb. 15
Decision Notification: End of March
Deposit Due: May 1

Please note that if you are 25 years or older, or will be turning 25 during your first year at Bard, you are not eligible to apply to the College as a first-year applicant. You may apply as a transfer candidate through our Returning to College Program; this requires that you complete at least one year's worth of college credits (28–32) prior to matriculation at Bard.

NOTE: Candidates who are placed on the wait list are invited to submit supplemental information. Those who are not offered admission are usually required to wait a full academic year before reapplying.

Common Application

Through the Common App you can choose to apply by Early Action, Early Decision, Immediate Decision Plan, or Regular Admission.

Application Checklist

Required materials:
  • Apply using the Common Application, which includes a supplemental essay
  • Teacher recommendations: We prefer that one recommendation come from an English or humanities instructor and one from a math or science instructor.
  • Guidance counselor recommendation and school report
  • High School transcript (Include mid-year senior grades if available at the time you apply.)
Optional materials:
  • Standardized Testing We do not require SAT/ACT scores, but if you submit your scores we will consider them in making our admission decision. (Bard's CEEB code is 2037.)
  • Portfolios and Awards Artistic supplements are not required for admission to Bard. Copies of awards or certificates for extracurricular achievements are not required for admission. However, you may submit a resume of these along with your application.
    NOTE: If you decide to submit artistic supplements, you can upload the files on your Applicant Portal Page. Instructions on accessing your portal page will be e-mailed to you once you apply to Bard. 

+ Important Applicant Portal Information

+ Interviews

+ Financial Aid for First-Year Students

Any Questions?

  • Can I apply to Bard before I've completed high school?
  • What is Bard's policy on advanced standing and college AP credits?
  • How do I apply if I'm currently in a dual-enrollment program?
  • What are the Bard Educational Opportunity Programs?
  • What is the Bard Entrance Examination?
  • How do I apply if I was homeschooled?
  • What does it mean to be deferred to Regular Admission or waitlisted?
  • Do I have to resubmit an application if I've already applied in the past and would like to be considered for another application year?