Questions about Bard Academy and Early College

I’m currently entering 9th grade and am considering Bard at Simon’s Rock. However, through reading all the threads on College Confidential, there have been all types of comments- ones that say it a lot of people transfer to prestigious colleges, others saying it is of ‘last resort’. I’ve heard that the academics are pretty good but what about extracurriculars? Also, my family would not be able to afford the tuition. Does Bard actually meet demonstrated need?
I would really appreciate it if someone could tell me about the whole deal with Bard academy and early college.

Not sure if you’ve already found answers to your questions since it’s been nearly a year since you posted this, but I’ll give you my take on the college. I went to Simon’s Rock from 2015-19 and studied pre-med and studio arts. The Academy (9th and 10th grade only) opened when I was a first-year college student, so I was not a part of it, but I’ve seen it grow tremendously.
For general financial questions, I would coordinate with your admissions counselor since financial aid (need-based and merit scholarships) is a case-by-case matter, but there are also many scholarships available for current students and I would highly encourage you to apply to those if you’re accepted.
As for extracurriculars, student life is pretty vibrant and diverse in terms of activities and events. Emails and fliers posted around campus are the primary way to learn about what’s on for the week, but there are plenty of weekend events ranging from open-mics, lip sync battles, poetry slams, music concerts, artist talks, among many others. There are also plenty of different types of student clubs–1) career/academically-oriented (e.g., pre-med, pre-engineering, women in tech, math, comp sci, debate, to name a few), 2) athletic (e.g., badminton, fencing, cross-country, among others), 3) identity clubs (e.g., LGBTQIA, Black student union, Latinx), and 4) for fun (e.g., art, D&D, Harry Potter, etc.). It’s super easy to start a club too since you just need an adult supervisor to sign a form, and most clubs are very student-led with minimal faculty supervision. There are also Peer Mentors (students) and Residence directors (adults) on every floor in the first-year dorms to help organize in-house and campus-wide events and help with general adjustment to dorm-living and campus life. Hope this helps!