What is student life really like at Simon's Rock?

Hi everyone,

I am currently a high school junior who is looking into applying to Simon’s Rock to get a chance at the rare opportunity to start university early. I understand that their academics are rigorous, in which case I am definitely willing to put in the work. But my only concern is the social life that would await me there.

I am from a pretty small town so the whole isolation thing doesn’t really bother me. However, what are the rules like and how stringent are they? I can get behind the whole dry-campus, no drugs policies etc., but what about other rules?

Are students allowed to go into town whenever they want? Are we walked in groups to dining halls and activities? Are activities mandatory or can we just chill in the library or dorms or whatever? Just overall, how much freedom would I have there?

I am very much interested to start college early and Simon’s Rock seems like an excellent opportunity. I just don’t want to go if it means giving up my freedom to stay up past midnight and hang out with my friends (that I meet there).

If you have any more advice or comments regarding the issue of freedom in student life, please include in your reply.


I don’t think you’d have any trouble. My D is in Bard Academy, which is the accelerated high school program at Simon’s Rock, and even they don’t have the strict rules that you mention. It is a real college, and the college students are treated as such. There may be a few dorm rules I’m not aware of for the college students, but even the high school kids in their dorm are up past midnight (they do have a curfew that increases with each semester). I do know that nobody is walked to the dining hall. etc.

There seems to be a good number of activities on campus, and there is bus service to town. The biggest complaint seems to be that the school feels like it’s in the middle of nowhere and the small size of the student body means that you quickly know everyone on campus. However, that’s also a plus. The connections with professors are amazing (everyone goes by first names), class sizes are very small, and the opportunities to try new things are incredible.

The school is really good about answering questions, and will put you in touch with a current student if you can’t visit in person. It’s an amazing place – my kid is thriving – and for bright, intellectually curious students, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.

Hi Saratoga2018,

I’m a former student at Simon’s Rock. I attended for 2 years, and left in 2014.

Amkngk is correct in their characterization.

Students are allowed to go to town whenever they want. You can leave campus as you wish. There are shuttles to town that run every so often (I think every hour, although they stop at some point).

The few extra restrictions are as you mentioned the dry-campus policy, the somewhat difficulty people have acquiring drugs (although many students, including myself, were never interested to begin with), and a “parietal” policy, which means that you can’t be in a first year dorm other than your own past 12 oclock on weeknights or 1 oclock on the weekend. If you’re quiet enough, however, you won’t get caught.

I had a wonderful time at Simon’s Rock and would highly recommend it if you’re interested in getting a jump start on your college education. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.