Bard is redefining the availability , affordability, and expectations of higher education in America by bringing high-quality, full-scholarship, liberal arts education to young people and to communities often excluded from the American dream of a college degree.
Founded by undergraduates
at Bard College.
In 1999, in response to the decimation of college-in-prison nationally, the Bard Prison Initiative was founded by undergraduates at Bard College. After gaining access to the the New York State prison system and securing limited funding, Bard College launched BPI as a pilot program with 16 students in 2001.
Today, the BPI college is spread across six interconnected prisons in New York State. It enrolls over 300 students and organizes a host of extracurricular activities to replicate the breadth of college life and inquiry. Since 2001, BPI has issued roughly 50,000 credits and 450 degrees; it offers more than 165 courses per academic year and engages an extraordinary breadth of college faculty.