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

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. 1
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 Decision Application Due: Jan. 1
Financial Aid Application Due:  (FAFSA and CSS Profile) Feb. 1 
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.

If you are currently on your Gap Year, please note that your updated financial aid documents must be submitted by February 1, 2019.  

Common Application

Through the Common App you can choose to apply by Early Action, Early Decision, Immediate Decision Plan, or Regular Decision. Apply using the Common App, except for the Bard Entrance Exam, which is an online essay application. 

November 1: deadline for Early Action, Early Decision and the Immediate Decision Plan application options. The Bard Entrance Exam must be completed by November 1. 
January 1: deadline for the Regular Decision application option. 


Interviews for first-year students are optional at Bard. If you decide to interview, please click on  "Interview Information" below for deadlines and for a link to reserve your interview time. 


Required materials:

  • Apply using the Common Application
  • 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. 

Applying for Financial Aid? 

Financial Aid Required Forms for Bard
Financial aid and scholarships based on need are available. Both the FAFSA and CSS PROFILE forms are required by Bard.

Deadline for submitting FAFSA and the CSS Profile forms for early application options is: December 1
Deadline for submitting FAFSA and the CSS Profile forms for regular decision option is: February 1 

MUST READ: Applicant Portal Information

Homeschooled Students: Application Checklist

Interview Information 

Financial Aid for First-Year Students

Frequently Asked 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?
  • What does it mean to be deferred to Regular Decision 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?