Bard College at Simon's Rock: the Early College
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How to Apply

The application process is just that—a process.

Female student with rainbow umbrella walking to class on a rainy day

If you believe early college at Simon’s Rock is the right choice for you, talk to your admission counselor. Your counselor will work closely with you and your family, answering your questions and providing all the guidance and support you’ll need.

Below, you’ll find a detailed guide to the application, along with a timeline for admission. If you are applying from a homeschool program, as an international student, or as a transfer student, you’ll want to let your counselor know, and you’ll follow the additional guidelines provided.

Ready? It all starts here.


The Simon’s Rock Application

Your application is not a set of numbers but an expression of your character, ambitions, imagination and intelligence.

We ask for all of the standard information—recommendations and transcripts—but we also ask you to do a good deal of writing. We’re curious about what you are thinking, why you are considering early college, and how you approach a critical argument.

We require a personal interview with a member of our staff. There’s no script, no set list of questions, and no right answers; we want to know you as a live, talking, thinking person.

College entrance tests are optional for most students, and we welcome applications from homeschooled and international applicants.


Questions? We're here to help. 

Simon’s Rock is also home to Bard Academy. If you are a middle school student ready for an enriched 9th and 10th grade experience that will prepare you for early college at Simon’s Rock, you’ll find information about Bard Academy and an application and admission in the link below.

The information you provide in the Common Application—demographics, family, education and activities—facilitates conversation with your admission counselor. You can start the application process early, up to a year before enrollment.

Your guidance counselor will submit this report with your transcript. (Home schooled students should submit the home school report.)

College entrance exam scores are optional. Applicants who choose to do so should have scores sent directly to us or included on their official transcripts – e.g., AP, IB, ACT, PLAN, PSAT, SAT, SAT Subject Tests.

Our codes are as follows: SAT/PSAT/AP 3795; ACT/PLAN 1893.

Request recommendations from individuals who know you and your work best. Two recommendations must be from teachers of two different core academic subjects (English, foreign language, math, science, or social studies); one must be from a current teacher. The third, non-academic recommendation is completed by another adult, such as an extracurricular activity advisor or work supervisor.

Our experience has been that the decision to attend Simon’s Rock is best made after a serious discussion between the applicant and his or her family. So the application includes a section to be completed by your parent(s) and/or guardian(s).

The two essay questions (samples below) are designed to give us a sense of your writing voice and command of language, as well as a sense of what and how you think.

Essay #1: WHY HERE, WHY NOW?

Leaving high school to begin college early is an unusual choice. What goals, ambitions, and motivations have led you to apply for admission to Bard College 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 Simon’s Rock offers fit your own desires for intellectual and personal growth? How will your presence affect the academic and social environments at Simon’s Rock?


Reflect on the following passage from cultural anthropologist Joseph Campbell’s “The Power of Myth.” Compose a two to three page essay refuting or supporting his stance, taking into consideration its application to issues of present day technology, government, culture, ethics, or another area that is of particular interest to you.

“…myths offer life models. But the models have to be appropriate to the time in which you are living, and our time has changed so fast that what was proper fifty years ago is not proper today. The virtues of the past are the vices of today. And many of what were thought to be the vices of the past are the necessities of today. The moral order has to catch up with the moral necessities of actual life in time, here and now. And that is what we are not doing.”
An interview with an admission counselor 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. Please call to schedule or arrange a visit here.
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.

Application Timeline

You can begin college at Simon’s Rock in either the fall (August) or spring (January) semester. Completed applications are reviewed on a rolling basis throughout the year as long as space remains available; early application is encouraged. It is not too late to apply for Fall 2016; please contact the Office of Admission if you are considering a fall application. Applicants typically hear of their decision within a few weeks of completing their application.

Applications for admission and financial aid are considered on a rolling basis as long as space remains available; early application is encouraged. Applicants typically hear a decision within 6-8 weeks of completing their application.

All applicants will be considered for any merit scholarships for which they are eligible; no additional application is required.



Simon's Rock complies with the Jeanne Clery Act and publishes crime statistics for the most recent three-year period. View the full report.