What would you like to know about Bard College?Here we've gathered our most frequently asked questions from prospective parents.
Frequently Asked Questions
Please click the questions below for answers to the most common questions asked by families of students applying to Bard.
Can my son or daughter meet with a faculty member from a particular program or division?
We encourage students to read through the division and program websites thoroughly. We can arrange virtual meetings and introductions with a faculty member through email upon request. Students who would like to meet with a faculty member should email email@example.com to set up a meeting.
During a virtual campus visit, is it possible to meet with a Bard student who is studying in a particular discipline?
Student tour guides working in the Admission Office represent most disciplines offered at Bard so you can ask your questions during one of our live virtual tours. Prospective students may also use the Ask a Student feature online.
If a prospective student has a particular request to speak with a Bard student from a certain discipline or geographical location, we can arrange that upon request.
Can my son or daughter sit in on a virtual class?
Virtual class visits are open to admitted students in April once they have replied to our offer of admission. We offer virtual class visits to Bard College applicants every fall. We ask that parents refrain from attending virtual classes.
A note about Bard classes during the COVID-19 pandemic: 80% of the student body have been on campus taking in-person classes this semester. The College arranged for tents to be set up around campus to allow for outdoor social distancing during classes in response to safety protocols. Students who could not travel to campus this semester, joined their classes virtually. We hope to operate the same way for the spring semester starting with Citizen Science in January.
Because the College followed strict safety protocols, the College has had only 3 positive COVID-19 test cases this semester.
Is there much to do on Bard's campus and in the Hudson Valley region? How do Bard students have fun outside of class, especially on weekends?
A good college experience locates the life of the individual within the campus community, and Bard’s calendar is full of activities sponsored by the student body and the faculty. Athletic events, film screenings, music, dance and theater performances, visual art shows, academic panels, visiting speakers, and workshops of all disciplines are commonplace on Bard’s campus. There are more than 100 active clubs at the College. Participation in campus life is an essential part of the Bard College experience.
The nearby villages are replete with local shops, arts events, and entertainment. The area's many fine restaurants offer a variety of global cuisines, vegetarian options, and farm-to-table dining, not to mention a Bard favorite—burritos from the Burrito Stand in Red Hook!
The Hudson Valley provides outdoor enthusiasts with all manner of activities, including hiking, canoeing and skiing. Nearby historic sites immerse visitors in the lives of past presidents (Franklin D. Roosevelt in Hyde Park), artists (Frederic Church at Olana), and communities (Shaker Village in Chatham). Interested in the here and now? Dia:Beacon houses a renowned collection of contemporary art. Local roadside farm stands, weekend farmers markets, and our own Bard College Farm make the bounty of the Hudson Valley available to our students.
New York City is 90 miles south, easily reached by train or car. While most of our students remain on campus on any given weekend, the proximity to New York City affords Bard students with intellectual and artistic opportunities beyond our campus.
Does the College help students secure internships and jobs?
Yes. Our Career Development Office (CDO) and the Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) provide internship resources. The CDO hosts information sessions and recruitment events throughout the year where students meet with employers representing a wide range of fields. The CDO staff assists students with researching internships, writing resumes, and preparing for interviews. The CCE provides funding for summer internships in the fields of civic engagement (locally, nationally, and worldwide). The Local Is Global internship program, sponsored by CCE, connects students to local engagement and volunteer opportunities that help them explore professional options.
Center for Civic Engagement (CCE)
Career Development Office (CDO)
What is campus dining like?
Bard requires all students who live on campus to be on the meal plan. All meal plans have the same cost, and there are flexible options regarding the distribution of campus meals. On-campus students are assigned the base meal plan and are allowed to make changes within the first two weeks of the semester. Off-campus students can opt to have a commuter plan added to their account by contacting the Bursar’s Office.
Chartwells, the College's dining service provider, uses local produce whenever possible, typically buying from more than a dozen nearby farms, including the Bard College Farm on campus. Vegan and vegetarian choices are offered at every mealtime. Visit the Chartwells website for more detailed information about different dining options.
Is it possible to set up a bookstore account so my son or daughter can buy books and sundries without going off campus?
Yes. The campus bookstore is owned by Barnes & Noble. Declining balance accounts can be created through our Student Accounts Office on arrival day (or any time afterward) so that students can use their college ID to purchase items in the bookstore. Barnes & Noble reloadable gift cards are also available for purchase at our bookstore or at any other Barnes & Noble. The bookstore accepts all major credit cards and cash.
Bard Bookstore Website
Are parents welcome to visit and are students permitted to have overnight guests?
Bard College is not welcoming any guests to campus at this time.
When it is safe to do so, students may invite family members to come to campus whenever they wish. Students are allowed to have overnight guests on campus as long as they have discussed it with their roommate(s). All guests need to be registered with the Safety and Security Office. Once registered, guests will receive a guest pass for the entirety of their stay. Advance notice is not necessary; simply bring your guest and their ID to the Security Office.
What security services are available at the College?
Bard provides round-the-clock, year-round safety and security coverage by a staff of highly trained, registered New York State security personnel. Other campus safety measures include a student foot patrol that provides after-dark walking escorts and a bike patrol that serves as extra "eyes and ears” for Bard Security. The student-operated Emergency Medical Services is on call at all times while school is in session. The College’s shuttle bus system provides students with transportation to sites on and off campus.
What type of computer would my son or daughter bring to Bard? Are there computers on campus if he/she does not bring one?
Public access computers are available in the Bertelsmann Campus Center, Stevenson Library, Henderson Computer Resources Center, and Henderson Technology Laboratories.
Many students choose to bring a computer to campus. All residence hall rooms have either Wi-Fi or an Ethernet port. Given their portability, unmonitored laptops are easy targets for theft. Students are encouraged to register laptops with homeowners'/renters' insurance, and are advised never to leave laptops unattended. The College does not recommend any one computer type or brand. Both PCs and Macs are supported. Students interested in the Film and Electronic Arts Program should, however, have a Mac for editing software.
Computing at Bard
I understand that first-year students return to campus for Citizen Science in January. In subsequent years, may students remain on campus during intersession?
Select Upper College residence halls are used for conferences and groups, Citizen Science faculty, as well as Bard student athletes and other students in need of on-campus accommodations during intersession. Generally, students are not allowed to remain in their rooms over intersession and will be notified in advance of plans for use of their rooms.
I have heard that college students sometimes take out a renter's insurance policy. Is this a good idea?
We encourage all students to obtain renter's insurance if they live on campus. The College is not liable for any theft or damage of personal property. Bard does not endorse any specific company, but many students have utilized National Student Services. We encourage families to choose a company and plan that best suit their needs.
My son or daughter may want to take a car to college. Is this possible at Bard?
All students are allowed to bring cars to campus, however Bard encourages biking and alternative methods of travel as a part of the College’s commitment to sustainability. There is an annual $200 vehicle registration fee that goes toward the Green Fund, which supports sustainability projects on campus as well as scholarships. Students are allowed to park in designated student parking lots only.
The Bard Office of Sustainability provides resources for alternative transportation on and around Bard's campus, including information about ride sharing, public transportation, and Bard Zipcar.
What are Bard Bucks and how do they work?
Bard Bucks are additional credits that can be spent like cash at any Chartwells location, including the Green Onion Grocer. Each meal plan includes a set amount of Bard Bucks for the semester. Bard Bucks can be spent in any amount at any time, which makes them more flexible than meal swaps. Bard Bucks not spent at the end of the semester do not roll over into the following semester.
You may increase the amount of Bard Bucks your son or daughter has to spend by using a Flex account. Flex accounts work in exactly the same manner as Bard Bucks and can be increased at any point by making a deposit to the account. Students who are not on a meal plan can open a Flex account to give them a convenient way to make dining purchases on campus. Remaining balances in Flex accounts at the end of the semester will roll over into the following semester.
Meal Plan FAQs
If we have to send large boxes from home, how are they handled once they arrive?
Packages that arrive before Arrival Day will be stored at our shipping department, which will be open upon arrival for people to pick up their packages. Please mail packages so that they arrive no earlier than July 24 (for first-years). Packages can be sent to the following address:Student Name – “Incoming First-Year Student”First-Year Experience Website
30 Campus Road
Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504-5000
What sorts of on-campus services does Bard offer?
Bard offers many services and resources for students that enhance the quality of campus life. From athletics and student government to career development and academic support services, the campus community is thriving and rich beyond the classroom.
If students are looking for additional dining flexibility, the Green Onion Grocer has fresh produce, cereals, pastas, baking and pantry items. Most residence halls are equipped with coin-operated washers and dryers, and the College also has a partnership with a local dry cleaning service, Classic Cleaners (see Area Resources Directory). In addition to the campus shuttle and ride board, Bard offers a BikeShare program and Zipcar rentals as transportation options. Follow the links below for more resources on and off campus.