Bard Academy at Simon's Rock
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How to Apply

Bard Academy at Simon's Rock Information Session Tuesday April 19 7pm

 

Students who apply to Bard Academy share a passion for learning,

a strong sense of intellectual curiosity, and an independent spirit.

We are happy to announce an important change to our notification release that will provide applicants with more flexibility in making the pivotal (and exciting!) decision to attend Bard Academy at Simon’s Rock.

Applicants will now receive an admission decision within two weeks of submitting a completed application. The student enrollment decision deadline of April 15 will remain the same.

We are seeking students who are ready to join a vibrant community of peers who will help them to stretch, grow, and evolve. Ready to take the next step? We're still accepting applications! Completed Academy applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis as long as space remains available. We encourage students to apply early, and applicants typically hear a decision within two weeks of completing their application.

 Apply Now

 

Application Guide

Bard Academy accepts applications from Gateway to Prep and Standard Application Online (SAO).

Please be advised that Gateway to Prep will be offline from June 16 – June 31 for annual maintenance. If you haven’t submitted an application yet, please use Standard Application Online (SAO) during this downtime. If you’ve already submitted a Gateway to Prep application, you may email supporting documents to bardacademy@simons-rock.edu

We're still accepting applications! Completed Academy applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis as long as space remains available. We encourage students to apply early, and applicants typically hear a decision within two weeks of completing their application.

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

Language Proficiency Requirements

Bard Academy courses require a strong facility with the English language. All international applicants who speak a language other than English as their primary language must submit a completed Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), Duolingo English Test (DET), or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam.

We will carefully consider your test scores, interview, and writing.

Testing Information

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

 

Testing Agency Sending the score to Simon’s Rock
TOEFL
Test of English as a Foreign Language
Add Simon’s Rock to your score recipients list by entering our ID code 3795.
IELTS
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.
DET
Duolingo English Test
Can be taken online at anytime. Once you receive certified test results, you can log into your account, click on the “Send Results” button next to your test results and select “Bard College at Simon’s Rock.”
The application includes an optional section to be completed by your parent(s) and/or guardian(s). Details on the parent/guardian statement can be found on your application host, either Gateway to Prep Schools or the SAO.

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

  1. Your Current English or Language Arts Teacher
  2. Your Current Math Teacher

The required essays will help us understand why you want to attend Bard Academy and will demonstrate your critical thinking and writing skills. Details on how to submit your essays can be found on Gateway to Prep Schools and the SAO.

Gateway to Prep Schools Essays

“Why Bard Academy?” essay.

Why Bard Academy? 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? Respond to these questions in an essay of about two pages.

For the second essay requirement, you have one of two options: 

a) Upload an essay that you’ve already written and which has received a grade from a current teacher. 
b) Submit another original essay based on the critical analysis prompt below. Critical Analysis: For this essay, you will choose one of the following quotations.

Respond to the prompt associated with your chosen quotation with an essay of about two pages. Your essay should also explain what you think the quotation means and why you agree or disagree.

a) Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that “Each age…must write its own books; or rather, each generation for the next succeeding. The books of an older period will not fit this.” Discuss a concept, assumption, or tradition that you either think is outdated and should be reconsidered or remains valuable despite being old. 

b) William James offered this as a definition of education: "Education, enlarging as it does our horizon and perspective, is a means of multiplying our ideals, of bringing new ones into view." Describe an educational experience that caused you to champion or pursue a new ideal.

c) Marie Curie thought, “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” Share an example of a time when you wanted or needed to learn about something that you found frightening or uncomfortable. How did you approach that task?

Standard Application Online (SAO) Essay

“Why Bard Academy?” essay.

Why Bard Academy? 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? Respond to these questions in an essay of about two pages.

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 talking, thinking person. And we’ll be glad to answer any questions you or your parents have about us.

We offer in-person, virtual, and phone interviews. If you are unable to come to campus for an in-person interview, you will be invited to interview after submitting your application.

Current Grade Transcripts Required
8th grade 7th and 8th grade transcripts
9th grade 7th, 8th, and 9th grade transcripts
All other students Contact your admission counselor

Transcripts can be sent from the applicant’s school or by the applicant. Transcripts can be mailed (Bard Academy at Simon’s Rock Office of Admission 84 Alford Road Great Barrington, MA 01230), faxed (413- 541-0081) or emailed (bardacademy@simons-rock.edu) to the Office of Admission.

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 this additional recommendation, submit the recommender’s first and last name and email address to bardacademy@simons-rock.edu. We’ll send an invitation and instructions directly to the recommender.

school Counselor Recommendation

Your school counselor, principal or academic adviser may complete this recommendation. Your application host (Gateway to Prep Schools or SAO) will send the form to the recommender based on information provided in the online application.

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. Once your application is in progress, you will see an option to “Upload Material.” If you have difficulty with the upload or have materials in another format, email bardacademy@simons-rock.edu.

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.

Questions? We're here to help.