Bard Program for Low-Income Students Enters 20th Year

The annual Humanities initiative provides education, books, carfare, and childcare at no cost to admitted applicants

From now through September 15, Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson is accepting applications from low-income adults for free enrollment in its Clemente Course, which offers introductory classes in Humanities disciplines including philosophy, literature, U.S. history, art history, critical thinking, and writing. The no-cost initiative—which is also fully inclusive of books, transportation, and childcare and has been cited by President Obama with a National Humanities Medal—is entering its 20th year in existence. 

From the beginning, the program’s goal has been to help economically disadvantaged students obtain the educational capital and appropriate skills necessary to improve their socioeconomic situation. And since its inception, more than 3,000 students have enrolled, while 2,000 have completed their course work and obtained six college credits, and 1,500 have transferred to four-year colleges or have plans to do so. 

“Many people come to us believing that this course will help them find a job, get a college degree, and create a career,” says Clemente Course Academic Director Marina van Zuylen. “That’s all true, but this course also is also instrumental in giving a community to those who don’t have one. It bridges the course of friendships by opening their minds to a whole different kind of conversation.”​

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Course applicants must be at least 17 years old, meet requirements as a low-income household, be able to read a newspaper in English, and have the time to commit to attend classes regularly over the nine-month period, in addition to and completing all homework assignments. Classes will meet Tuesday and Thursday evenings at the Kingston Library from 6-8 pm, Oct. 4 through May 31. 


For more information or to apply, click here.

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