Bard College Joins CTCL

Student reading by tree in front of Blithewood Gardens.


San Francisco, CA – The Board of Directors of Colleges That Change Lives, led by Chair Christine D. Bowman, is excited to announce the addition of a new member school. Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, will become the 45th member institution of the non-profit organization Colleges That Change Lives (CTCL).

Like all CTCL-member schools, Bard is a small, residential college that delivers a fantastic liberal arts education in a distinctive way, including well developed collaborations and programs abroad as well as reaching underserved students here in the United States with its Early College programs around the country. Their innovative application options –The Bard Entrance Examination (essay-exam-based admission) and the Immediate Decision Plan (an on-campus, interview-based admission process) – give students different ways to showcase their strengths, in addition to the more traditional Common Application option. Once on the Bard campus, students are encouraged to engage in the larger world through the Bard Center for Civic Engagement and Bard Institutes.

The non-profit CTCL organization, now in its 12th year, builds on the history and connection to noted New York Times editor Loren Pope. He first published the book Colleges That Change Lives in 1996. The book has been revised and republished three times, most recently in 2012. For over 20 years the schools profiled in the books have been working together, first unofficially and then as members of the non-profit organization.

The non-profit’s goals are simple yet incredibly complex –

  • to dispel some of the popular myths about the college search, offering hope to the thousands of students and parents who think all schools are single-digit selective;
  • to convey the value and validity of a liberal arts education, especially in our rapidly changing world. The nimble skill set provided by a liberal arts education prepares students for jobs that do not exist today.
  • to help increase visibility for the member schools, with full awareness that these are not the only 45 schools that change lives. This group came together under a unique set of circumstances.

The 40 schools profiled in the 2006 book, the last revised by Loren himself, are the founding members of the non-profit. When the 2012 edition was published, four additional schools were profiled. They were invited to join the non-profit in 2012 and brought the membership to 44. Executive Director Maria Furtado says, “We know there are many schools that would be a wonderful addition to our non-profit. The Board has been incredibly thoughtful in its long and numerous discussions about adding schools. The decision was made to look to CTCL’s history and invite Bard College, which was profiled in an earlier version of the book, to join. They accepted our offer and we could not be more pleased.”

On behalf of the Board of Directors and the CTCL-member institutions, we welcome Bard College into the CTCL family. We look forward to working together to serve students and parents in the college search as well as supporting counselors and CBOs in their roles as guides and advisors. For more information about CTCL or the member schools, please visit, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter @CTCLColleges.