How Do I Apply?

For the Fall 2021 admissions cycle, applicants will participate in one online writing session. Finalists will be contacted to set up interviews, and will be asked to complete the FAFSA form. There are no standardized tests or placement exams.

Admissions for Fall 2021 are now closed however; please join our mailing list to be contacted when the Fall 2022 admissions cycle opens.


The online sign-up form for the 2021–2022 application has now closed. 

Basic contact information is all that is required. This will enable applicants to reserve a place in an online writing session.


Applicants will be invited to a Zoom meeting by Bard Microcollege staff at the time they have selected for their writing session. Applicants should plan to spend 1 to 2 hours on this part of the process. Sessions are scheduled on many different days at different times of day during the month of May.

During the writing session, applicants will be given three or four short passages to read and asked to write an open response to just one.

Applicants may write in whatever form they choose. It does not have to be a formal essay. Grammar and spelling are less important than showing how and what they think about the passage selected.


Once the essays are reviewed by Bard College staff, selected prospective students will be asked to fill out the FAFSA form (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Bard Microcollege at Brooklyn Public Library will schedule several online workshops to assist applicants in filling out the FAFSA, during which:

  • Applicants will get a checklist of the information they will need in order to complete the FAFSA.
  • They will have help creating an FSA ID and completing their FAFSA.

Finalists will then be scheduled for an interview via Zoom. Each finalist will meet individually with Bard College staff for a 10- to 15-minute conversation.


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 will be scheduled between 9am and 4pm, Monday through Friday.

Will we be studying online during the pandemic?

Classes for the 2020-2021 school year are running remotely. But you should be prepared for the fall semester to be in person, though hybrid or virtual classes may be necessary.

Who is this for?

People whose educations have been derailed by financial challenges, work, family responsibilities, or life in general. Age doesn’t matter. Brooklynites and those whose household finances qualify them for Pell and TAP grants will be given priority.

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 schedule an admission session, click here.
To keep up with the latest news, like us on Facebook: BardatBPL.
Questions? Reach out to Madeleine George, Director of Admissions, at