Bard College Conservatory of Music: Ranking, Acceptance Rate, Tuition, and More


All applicants to Bard Conservatory and Bard College are eligible for both need and merit based awards.

In addition, the school offers the Conservatory Double Bass Merit Scholarship, the Conservatory Double Reed Merit Scholarship, and the Conservatory Brass Merit Scholarship (in each category, two awards are given to incoming students each year and cover full tuition and room & board).

The school also offers the Joan Tower Composition Scholarship, which awards $10,000 to composition majors annually. You can find more about applying for financial aid and scholarships opportunities at Bard here.

If you apply to Bard, you should also apply for FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to maximize opportunities for receiving financial aid should you be accepted.

Is Bard Conservatory Right for Me?

The first thing you should consider about Bard is the required double major, which is going to take your five years to complete. If that’s not for you, then Bard Conservatory certainly wouldn’t be a good fit.

Further, keep in mind Bard only offers a degree in Conducting and Voice at the graduate level and does not offer degrees in Electronic Music, Jazz, Guitar, Organ, or Saxophone. So, again, if you want an undergraduate degree (BM) in these areas, look elsewhere.

Another thing to keep in mind is Bard believes its music students should be an integral part of the main college and music students share dorm rooms and dining halls with all undergraduate students at Bard College.

Bard College is located in Annandale-on-Hudson, which is situated on the east shore of the Hudson River, and 90 miles away from New York City to the south (an easy trip by car or train).

Although the town of Annandale-on-Hudson is on the quiet side, the landscape is extremely picturesque and offers views of the Catskill Mountains.

Part of Dutchess County, Bard College is close to Rhinebeck Village, which was settled by the Dutch and is currently a center for arts & culture including numerous galleries and festivals.

Bard College, from a student life perspective, is quiet and offers ample opportunities to get out and explore nature; perfect for concentrating on your music and studies.

In short, it’s a small town, so those looking for a faster paced life in a big city might want to look elsewhere. Although, keep in mind New York City is close by for weekend trips, especially if you have a friend attending Juilliard, the Manhattan School, or the New School who has a couch you can crash on.


For Bard College Conservatory of Music and many other schools, the application process can be confusing and difficult to navigate. There are many parts to understanding how to truly and successfully succeed in the audition process.

If you are interested in attending college for music, and you would like to receive high level assistance in how to audition, interview, and master the college application for Bard Conservatory or any other music school, check out Music School Central’s College Consulting Program.

Click here to find out how we can help you or the musician in your family achieve your musical dreams.

Featured Photo by bobistraveling

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