Early College Network and Opportunity Scholarship Program

Photo by Scott Barrow
Photo by Scott Barrow
The Bard Early Colleges (BEC) have grown since 2001 from a single school to a nationwide network. Today, BEC operates seven campuses across five states and serves more than 2,000 students. Many BEC graduates choose to pursue their B.A. degrees at Bard’s main campus in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. In recognition of the synergy between academic programs in the BEC network, and to create a smooth transition from the Early Colleges to the B.A. program, BEC students have Preferred Admission, which includes curricular counseling and preregistration for classes. Applicants who demonstrate significant financial need may also apply for Early College Opportunity (ECO) scholarships, which provide grants covering up to full tuition.
Bard High School Early College students in Baltimore, Maryland.

Preferred Admission


Bard Early College students receive the following benefits:
  • Advanced standing
  • Automatic transfer of Bard credits
  • Guaranteed on-campus housing
  • Early college transitional advising 
  • Program and course selection advising
  • Preregistration for classes 
  • Ongoing academic and social support 
Bard High School Early College students in Baltimore, Maryland.
Early College Opportunity Scholars
Bard High School Early College students in Manhattan.

Early College Opportunity Scholars

BEC applicants who demonstrate significant financial need and intellectual engagement can apply for Early College Opportunity (ECO) scholarships, which provide grants covering up to full tuition. ECO Scholars participate in an expanded orientation program (including a two-week prematriculation workshop in Annandale and ongoing support and advising after matriculation) and will be expected to contribute to the civic life of the Bard College campus community.

Eligibility and Financial Aid

Bard High School Early College students are eligible for up to three years of financial aid; Early College Center students for four years of financial aid; and all BEC applicants will be considered for all regular scholarships offered by the College. The FAFSA, CSS PROFILE, and a copy of the most current tax return must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office by January 1. Students applying for ECO scholarships must also complete the ECO supplement by January 1.

Applying to the Program

BEC applicants should complete the Common Application by January 1. Applicants may be asked to participate in group interviews, to be held in late January at the Early Colleges/Early College Centers. ECO applicants may also be required to participate in interviews via videoconference. All BEC applicants, including ECO candidates, will receive notification decisions by March 1.