Bard College: Acceptance Rate and Admissions Statistics

Bard College

Daderot / Wikimedia Commons

Bard College is a private liberal arts college with an acceptance rate of 65%. Located in Annandale-on-Hudson, about 90 miles north of New York City, Bard is one of the country's top liberal arts colleges. Bard prides itself on its 10-to-1 student / faculty ratio. For a small college, Bard is remarkably international, with 17% of students representing 30 countries outside the U.S. On the athletic front, the Raptors compete in the NCAA Division III within the Liberty League. Popular sports include basketball, soccer, lacrosse, swimming, and track and field.

Considering applying to Bard College? Here are the admissions statistics you should know.

Acceptance Rate

During the 2017-18 admissions cycle, Bard College had an acceptance rate of 65%. This means that for every 100 students who applied, 65 students were admitted, making Bard's admissions process competitive.

Admissions Statistics (2017-18)
Number of Applicants 5,141
Percent Admitted 65%
Percent Admitted Who Enrolled (Yield) 15%

SAT and ACT Scores and Requirements

Bard has a test-optional standardized testing policy. Applicants to Bard College may submit SAT or ACT scores to the school, but they are not required. Bard does not report SAT or ACT scores for admitted students.

For students who choose to submit test scores, Bard College does not require the optional writing component of either the SAT or ACT. Note that Bard participates in the scorechoice program, which means that the admissions office will consider your highest score from each individual section across all SAT and ACT test dates.


Bard College does not provide data about admitted students' high school GPAs.

Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph

Bard College Applicants' Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph.
Bard College Applicants' Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph. Data courtesy of Cappex.

The admissions data in the graph is self-reported by applicants to Bard College. GPAs are unweighted. Find out how you compare to accepted students, see the real-time graph, and calculate your chances of getting in with a free Cappex account.

Admissions Chances

Bard College, which accepts over half of applicants, has a competitive admissions pool. However, Bard also has a holistic admissions process and is test-optional, and admissions decisions are based on much more than numbers. A strong application essay and glowing letters of recommendation can strengthen your application, as can participation in meaningful extracurricular activities and a rigorous course schedule. The college is looking for students who will contribute to the campus community in meaningful ways, not just students who show promise in the classroom. While not required, Bard offers optional interviews for interested applicants. Students with particularly compelling stories or achievements can still receive serious consideration even if their grades and scores are outside of Bard's average range.

Bard offers an alternative path to admission, the Bard Entrance Examination. The online essay exam is open to high school juniors and seniors. Applicants who receive a grade of B+ or higher on the exam will be able to complete their Bard application for admission by submitting an official high school transcript and a letter of recommendation from a high school counselor.

In the graph above, the blue and green dots represent accepted students. You can see that the great majority of students admitted to Bard College had GPAs above 3.3, ACT composite scores above 26, and combined SAT scores (ERW+M) above 1250. A significant percentage of successful applicants had grades in the "A" range. Note that Bard has test-optional admissions, so other elements of your application are more important than test scores in the admissions process.

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All admissions data has been sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics and Bard College Undergraduate Admissions Office.