How Do I Apply?

Admissions for Fall 2024 will run from March 1, 2024 to April 15, 2024. Please join our mailing list to learn about upcoming Open Houses and Info Sessions, and to be reminded when admissions opens.

Applicants to the Bard Microcollege begin by participating in a timed, in-person writing session at either of these locations:

You can apply to either the Brooklyn or Harlem Microcollege at either location. Finalists will be contacted to set up an interview on Zoom, and will be asked to complete the FAFSA form.

No standardized tests or placement exams are required. There is no application fee to apply to the Bard Microcolleges.

Click Here to Apply

Interested in learning more about the tuition-free Bard Microcolleges? Join us at an upcoming Open House!

Bard Microcollege Open Houses give prospective applicants a chance to experience Microcollege culture and ask questions about the program.

Brooklyn Open House

Tuesday, February 27, 2024, 1:30-2:30 PM
Bard Microcollege, Room 214
Central Library, Brooklyn Public Library
10 Grand Army Plaza
Brooklyn, NY 11238
RSVP here: BPL Open House


Harlem Open House
Thursday, February 29, 2024, 12:15-1 PM
Maysles Documentary Center (1st Floor – Cinema)
343 Malcolm X Blvd.
New York, NY 10027
RSVP here for Harlem Open House


Virtual Info Session
Sunday, February 18, 2024, 5 PM ET
RSVP here for Virtual Info Session

Or reach out to to set up a one-on-one conversation with Bard Microcollege staff to get your questions answered. We look forward to hearing from you!


Sign up for a writing session at the link above. Basic information is all that is required. You can reserve a place at a writing session in Brooklyn or Harlem, and you can apply to either campus (or both) at any writing session.


Plan to spend 1 to 2 hours on this part of the process. Writing sessions are scheduled on many different days at different times of day during the period of March 1 to April 15, 2024. During the writing session, you will be given three short text excerpts or images, and asked to write an open response to just one. You may write in whatever form you choose—the writing does not have to be a formal essay. Grammar and spelling are less important than showing how and what you think about the text or image you choose to write about.


Once the essays are reviewed by Bard College staff, finalists will be asked to fill out the FAFSA form (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).


Finalists will then be invited to a brief interview on Zoom. Each finalist will meet individually with Bard College staff for a 10- to 15-minute conversation.

Questions about any of this?

Reach out to with any questions, or join our mailing list to hear about open houses and other upcoming events.



What is Bard College?

A liberal arts college founded in 1860 in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. Today, Bard College is known for its excellence in teaching and for its commitment to the liberal arts and to democratizing access to them.

What is the Bard Microcollege at Brooklyn Public Library?

A local, top-quality, accredited college where students earn Bard Associate in Arts degrees by attending classes at Brooklyn’s Central Library at Grand Army Plaza. Bard’s individualized approach means academic advisors keep students on track toward their degrees, while tutors and BPL librarians support them along the way.

How much does this cost?

There is no cost to students. Tuition and books are fully covered by grants and Brooklyn Public Library scholarships. Unlike student loans, grants and scholarships do not have to be paid back.

What will I study?

Everything liberal arts college students study at respected institutions the world over: literature, philosophy, anthropology, art, science, writing, mathematics, sociology, economics, history, and more.

What are classes like?

Small seminars taught by experienced professors who are invested in student learning and potential—no big lectures, no teaching assistants. Standards and expectations are high.

When will classes be held?

Classes follow a standard academic calendar. Daytime classes are scheduled between 9am and 4pm, Monday through Friday.

Will we be studying online?

At the height of the pandemic, classes at the Bard Microcolleges ran remotely, but you should be prepared for the current semester to be in person, though some hybrid or virtual classes may end up being necessary. The Bard Microcollege at Brooklyn Public Library is an in-person college; online classes are only offered as a last resort.

Who is this for?

People whose educations have been derailed by financial challenges, work, family responsibilities, or life in general. Age doesn’t matter. Those whose household finances qualify them for Pell and TAP grants will be given priority. The Bard Microcollege at Brooklyn Public Library only enrolls students who do not already hold an associate degree or higher from another institution, whether from the U.S. or abroad.

What do I need to get in?

A high-school diploma or its equivalent (GED/HSE/TASC). Curiosity, ambition, a willingness to work hard, and an open mind.

What can I do with a Bard Associate in Arts degree?

Continue on for a bachelor’s degree, and from there a graduate degree. Qualify for a job that requires critical thinking and communication skills. Gain a broader, deeper perspective on our world, culture, history, and political environment. Redefine what success can mean.

What's my next step?

To keep up with the latest news, like us on Facebook: BardatBPL.
Join our mailing list here to be notified when sign-ups open for the admissions process.
Or reach out to with any questions.