Bard College Catalogue

The Bard College Catalogue contains detailed descriptions of the College's undergraduate programs and courses, curriculum, admission and financial aid procedures, student activities and services, history, campus facilities, affiliated institutions including graduate programs, and faculty and administration.

Bard College Catalogue, 2018–19

Bard College Catalogue, 2018–19

Financial Aid Sources

Generally speaking, there are three forms of financial assistance for students: grants, loans, and work-study funds. The forms of assistance, divided below into funds administered by external agencies and funds administered by Bard, are provided through federal, state, institutional (Bard), and, in some cases, local community agencies. Such awards, occurring singly or in combination, are referred to as a student’s financial aid “package.” The Office of Financial Aid begins deliberation on “packaging” for new candidates in March. (Early admission applicants who have their forms submitted on time may be considered for aid beginning in December.) Students are notified of their package through an online Bard portal, assuming an admission decision has been made and Bard has received all the necessary financial aid application materials. Packaging of returning students’ applications is completed in early May.

Agency-Administered Funds

Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)   PLUS loans enable parents with good credit histories to borrow from the U.S. Department of Education the cost of education, minus any financial aid per year, for each child who is enrolled at least half-time and is a dependent student. PLUS borrowers do not have to show need, but like all borrowers, they may have to undergo a credit analysis. They must begin repaying both principal and interest within 60 days after the last loan disbursement for that academic year.

Federal Direct Loan Program  The U.S. Department of Education sponsors a loan program that enables students to borrow money for their education. Subsidized Federal Direct Loans require proof of financial need; unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans do not. A student may borrow up to $5,500 ($3,500 subsidized, $2,000 unsubsidized) as a first-year student; $6,500 ($4,500 subsidized, $2,000 unsubsidized) as a second-year -student; and $7,500 ($5,500 subsidized, $2,000 unsubsidized) as a third- and fourth-year student. The student’s obligation to repay the loan begins six months after he or she ceases to attend college or graduate school on at least a half-time basis. While the student is in school, the federal government pays the interest on subsidized loans; the student, not the government, pays the interest on unsubsidized loans.

Supplemental Unsubsidized Direct Loan   An independent undergraduate student may borrow a supplemental amount as an unsubsidized loan in addition to an individual subsidized or unsubsidized basic Federal Direct Loan as described above. First- and second-year independent undergraduates may borrow up to $4,000 per year. After two years of study, an independent student may borrow up to $5,000 per year. In exceptional circumstances, the financial aid administrator may be able to authorize a supplemental loan for a dependent undergraduate.

Notes on PLUS loans and Federal Direct Loans: Processing of a loan by the Office of Financial Aid requires several weeks before the funds can be credited to a student’s account. Loans are disbursed in two equal payments: the first at the beginning of the academic period for which the loan is intended and the second midway through the academic period. In a standard two-semester program, a disbursement is made each semester.

A loan may include an allowance for expenses in addition to program fees. The balance in the student’s account after the amount due has been paid is refunded directly to the student within 14 days of the date on which the balance was created (or the first day of classes of a payment period, whichever is later). Students should not expect to receive this refund before the end of the 14-day processing period; handwritten checks are not issued. A student who chooses to leave excess funds in the account as a credit toward a future term’s fees must send written notice of this choice to the Office of Student Accounts.

Federal Pell Grant   Pell Grants are nonrepayable awards given annually, depending upon a family’s income and assets. Students apply directly for Pell Grants by completing the FAFSA. For the 2018–19 award year, the maximum grant is $5,920.

Veterans Affairs Educational Benefits  Dependents of veterans may be eligible for the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program. Students should contact the Veterans Affairs Office in their area for details.

New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)  Nonrepayable grant assistance is available to New York State residents attending New York State schools. Awards are computed by the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (NYSHESC) based on the net New York State taxable income and the number of full-time college students in the family. The awards range from $500 to $5,165. Additional information is available from secondary school guidance counselors and from NYSHESC or

State Programs outside New York State  Other states sponsor grant and loan programs. For specific information on programs in their home state, students should contact their school guidance office.

Bard-Administered Funds

Federal Assistance Programs

In cooperation with the U.S. Department of Education, Bard College administers the following federal programs.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant   Students with an exceptional degree of financial need can receive nonrepayable grants ranging from $100 to $4,000 per year. (The average annual award at Bard is $1,000.) These funds are limited and are typically awarded to students who are also eligible for the Federal Pell Grant Program.

Federal Work-Study Program  This program offers students the opportunity to work at an approved job on or off campus. Awards vary, depending on the student’s financial need, availability of funds, and employment opportunities. (The typical allocation at Bard is $1,800.) An award is not a guarantee of the amount -indicated; it is an indication of the student’s eligibility to work at an approved job. Students are paid, in accordance with the number of hours worked, on a --twice-monthly payroll. Earnings from employment are used primarily to cover the cost of books and personal expenses; they may not be used as a credit against tuition and fee charges.

State Assistance Programs

Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP)  Bard accepts a limited number of New York State resident students from groups that are historically economically disadvantaged, through its Higher Education Opportunity Program. One objective of HEOP is to assist students who, by reason of inadequate early educational preparation, do not compete with the average Bard applicant in high school grades, class rank, and College Board scores but do possess the ability and motivation for successful study at Bard. For further information, write to Bard Educational Opportunity Programs, email, or visit

Bard College Assistance Programs

Bard Opportunity Program (BOP) Scholarship  In 2008 Bard expanded its commitment to access and equity in higher education through the creation of the Bard Opportunity Program Scholarship. BOP scholars have reached a high level of achievement in academics or leadership and demonstrate the potential for success in a competitive academic environment. They often exhibit a nontraditional profile and do not possess the financial means to afford a college such as Bard. They are provided with the academic and financial support necessary for success at Bard, including an optional summer program before their first year, workshops, tutoring, career development, internships, and alumni/ae networks.

Bard Scholarships  Nonrepayable grants are awarded on the basis of financial need and academic achievement and promise. Bard scholarships range from $5,000 to $50,000 annually for full-time enrollment and are made possible by various philanthropic sources. Subject to the wishes of the benefactors, the recipient may be advised of the source of the scholarship. Named scholarships are listed in a separate chapter of this catalogue. Students who are awarded a Bard scholarship upon entry into the College should note that renewal of that scholarship amount for the next three successive years is contingent upon several factors, including:

  1. maintaining satisfactory academic standing, namely, a C+ (2.3) grade average, unless otherwise specified by a particular scholarship;
  2. submitting the FAFSA and Financial Aid PROFILE each year;
  3. demonstrating financial need for the scholarship each year by the methods and procedures described above;
  4. actually incurring the charges for which the award is applicable, that is, tuition, fees, and room and board.

Bennett College Endowment Fund   Following the 1977 closing of Bennett College, a small liberal arts college for women in New York State, a court decision ruled that half of Bennett’s remaining assets would become the property of Bard College. This fund is established in perpetuity and used according to its original intention, that is, for student scholarships and faculty endowment.

Distinguished Scientist Scholars Program (DSS)  Each year, up to full-tuition scholarships for four continuous years of study are available for academically outstanding high school seniors who are committed to majoring in biology, chemistry/biochemistry, physics, computer science, or mathematics in their undergraduate studies. Scholarship -recipients are also eligible for a stipend for summer research projects following the sophomore and junior years. Renewal of a DSS scholarship is contingent upon the student’s maintaining a 3.3 grade point average and continuing to major in one of the above-named programs.

Distinguished Scientist Scholars Program for Continuing Undergraduates  Returning students may be considered for a scholarship—typically, $3,000 to $5,000 per year—that will supplement the aid they already receive. Applications for this program are considered directly by the Division of Science, Mathematics, and Computing; to be considered, contact the division. The names of the applicants selected will be forwarded to the Office of Financial Aid for the scholarship award. (Students who were previously awarded the DSS Scholarship as new students are not eligible for this program.) 

Early College Opportunity (ECO) Scholarships  This program assists Bard Early College preferred transfer applicants who demonstrate significant financial need and intellectual engagement. Scholarships provide funding up to full tuition.

Excellence and Equal Cost Program (EEC)  This program assists students who would not otherwise be able to attend a private college or university because of its cost. A public high school senior whose cumulative grade point average is among the top 10 in his or her graduating class is considered for a four-continuous-year EEC scholarship. The first-year students who are selected annually to receive EEC scholarships attend Bard for what it would cost them to attend an appropriate four-year public college or university in their home state. Renewal of an EEC scholarship is contingent upon the student’s maintaining a 3.3 grade point average, completing 32 credits each academic year, and remaining in good standing.

Foreign Language Intensive/Immersion Programs  Bard’s foreign language intensive/immersion programs include study in the country of the target language. The College provides limited financial assistance to eligible students in intensive or immersion programs to help with the additional expenses of study abroad. To be eligible for this assistance, a student must:

  1. enroll in and successfully complete an intensive or immersion language program during the semester and participate in the study abroad program during intersession or summer;
  2. file for financial aid and demonstrate financial need as determined by federal government and Bard College guidelines;
  3. receive a financial clearance from the Office of Student Accounts.

Students who have received awards for the regular academic year are not automatically eligible for this assistance. The amount of the award depends on a systematic assessment of the family’s financial strength; the maximum award does not exceed 60 percent of program costs. Students who are considering an intensive or immersion program should weigh carefully the additional expense of study abroad, and those who need financial aid for such study should consult with the Office of Financial Aid.

The Levy Economics Institute Scholarships  Up to full-tuition scholarships are awarded each year to academically outstanding high school seniors who are committed to majoring in economics. Renewal of the scholarship is contingent upon the student’s maintaining a 3.3 or higher grade point average.

New Generations Scholarships  In order to make a liberal arts education available to recent immigrants, Bard College offers need-based scholarships each year to students who demonstrate intellectual curiosity and a commitment to academic excellence and whose parents were born abroad and came to the United States within the past 20 years. Students born abroad and those born in the United States to immigrant parents may apply by contacting the Office of Admission at 845-758-7472 or

Trustee Leader Scholar (TLS) Program  Students who exhibit a strong commitment to academic rigor and community service may be designated Trustee Leader Scholars. They receive stipends for their participation in the program. In order to continue in the TLS Program, a student must remain in good academic standing and participate in TLS activities, including leadership training seminars, civic engagement projects, and evaluation -sessions. Working closely with the program director, -students develop leadership abilities by designing and implementing on- and off-campus projects, for which a stipend is provided. The stipend is disbursed to the student in weekly installments, upon approval of the TLS director.

Renewal of Scholarship after an Absence from the College

All the scholarships and grants listed above are awarded for four continuous years of study at Bard College or until requirements are completed for the student’s first degree, whichever comes first. The funds cannot be applied toward payment of tuition and fees for programs at other institutions in the United States or abroad. 

If a scholarship recipient takes an official leave of absence for a semester or a year and maintains appropriate academic standing, the scholarship will be reinstated upon the student’s return to Bard, within the limits established above and within the stipulations of the specific scholarship program. If a scholarship recipient transfers or withdraws from Bard, the scholarship award will not be reinstated should the student decide to rematriculate. In such cases the student may apply for financial aid through the regular process.