Bard College at Simon's Rock: the Early College
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Bard Academy Application Process

Students who apply to Bard Academy share a passion for learning, a strong sense of intellectual curiosity, and an independent spirit. We are seeking students who are ready to join a vibrant community of peers who will help them to stretch, grow, and evolve.

Bard Academy

Ready to take the next step? Apply for Fall 2018.


Bard Academy accepts two applications. Most students apply with the Gateway to Prep Schools application. Students with an existing Standard Application Online (SAO) account may choose to apply with the SAO.

We prefer the SSAT, but will consider other scores (e.g. ISEE, PSAT, SAT, ACT, PLAN, etc.). Bard Academy’s SSAT code is 1483 and our code for the ISEE is 571296.

Do I need to take a test?

Find out if you need to take an English proficiency test by answering the questions below:

  • Is English your first language?
  • Have you attended a school in which English is the primary language of instruction for at least two years?
  • Have you studied in the United States or in an English-speaking country for at least two years?

If you answered yes to any of the three questions:

You are not required to take an English proficiency test.

If you answered no to all three questions:

You are required to submit English proficiency test scores from TOEFL or IELTS.

Testing Information

Scores should be sent directly to Simon's Rock. Choose one of the two agencies listed below for your testing:

Testing Agency Sending the score to Simon’s Rock Required score
Test of English as a Foreign Language
Add Simon's Rock to your score recipients list by entering our ID code 3795. 80 or above
International English Language Testing System
Requests for score delivery to Simon’s Rock must be submitted directly to the test center where you take the IELTS test. 6.5 or above
The Gateway to Prep Schools application includes a section to be completed by your parent(s) and/or guardian(s).

Students will be required to submit the recommendations below. Gateway to Prep Schools will send forms to the following individuals based on information provided in the online application:

  • School Counselor
    Your guidance counselor or other school official will complete a recommendation. In the request for this recommendation we will also ask that they send your current transcript; you may also want to visit your school's office to complete a release form. (Home-schooled students should submit the home school report.)
  • Academic Recommendations
    One recommendation must be from your current English or language arts teacher, and the other from your current math teacher.

Gateway to Prep Schools instructions will ask applicants to upload a copy of a graded paper, with teacher comments, from the current school year.

Applicants can choose from a selection of quotations and writing prompts for their two-page essay. Students may submit an optional personal essay. See Gateway to Prep Schools application for more details on how to submit your essays.

An interview is required of each applicant. The interview is not as formal or intimidating as you might think. We’ll just be getting to know you as a live, talking, thinking person. And we’ll be glad to answer any questions you or your parents have about us. We prefer that the interview be in-person as part of a visit to campus. To schedule your visit send us an email at

  • 8th grade applicants: submit transcripts for 7th and 8th grade
  • 9th grade applicants: submit transcripts for 7th, 8th, and 9th grade
  • All other applicants: contact your admission counselor.
  • Non Academic Recommendation
    You may submit an extra recommendation from a teacher, or choose to include a personal recommendation from a club supervisor, coach, neighbor, or religious leader. Should you choose a teacher, pick one who knows you well and who has taught you in or after 7th grade. If you wish to submit an additional recommendation, submit their first and last name and email address to, and we’ll send them an invitation.

  • Portfolio
    We invite you to submit a piece of your own work (or description of a project, in any form you deem appropriate) that has particularly intrigued and excited you. Examples include but are not limited to a writing sample, a position paper, a problem solution, a poem or short story, a graded test, a research paper, a science project, a copy of a drawing, painting, or photograph, or a recording of music, a film, or a performance.

  • "Why Bard Academy?" Essay
    What goals, ambitions, and motivations have led you to apply for admission to Bard Academy at Simon's Rock? Are there particular experiences, either academic or personal, that have contributed to your desire to begin college early? How does the particular kind of education and community that Bard Academy offers fit your own desires for intellectual and personal growth? How will your presence affect the academic and social environments at Bard Academy?

Equity and inclusion are central to the Simon's Rock mission and values, and we welcome all students, regardless of citizenship status or national origin to apply to the Academy.

Simon's Rock will not release information about students and employees regarding citizenship or immigration status unless required by law.

Questions? We're here to help.