Big Changes for the Bard College Application

Get ready for this Admissionado friends—Bard College has created a whole new way to apply for admission this year. And it’s gonna blow your mind.

Instead of the old fashioned rigmarole of letters of recommendation, SAT scores, transcript, and traditional college essays, here’s the new option: you can, instead, write four 2500-word research papers (topics chosen from a list of 17 on their website.) Your papers are then graded by Bard college faculty. If your papers all earn a grade of B+ or higher, you’re in. No questions asked. You could have failed all four years of high school math, or had NO extracurriculars, or let a family of chickens loose in the school.

So you may be thinking, why on earth…?

Here’s why on earth:

Colleges may be getting wise to the fact that test scores and grades and the current admissions game may not be the best predictor of college success. Some applicants test well, and some don’t. Some applicants plagiarize their common app essays. Applicants’ socioeconomic backgrounds may affect their ability to do well in a given school. However, this new approach attempts to level the playing field: if you can prove that you know how to structure an argument, do research, plan your time wisely, and write with clarity and conviction…you’re probably gonna do well in college.

That seems to be the thought behind Bard College’s daring move. (Though they will still accept applications of the old variety.)

The amount of work Bard’s new option entails may scare some students away, but others will rise to the challenge, and sit their butts down at their computer and crank out ten thousand golden words.

What do you think of Bard’s new application process? Got any questions about it? Let us know. Email

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