Frequently Asked Questions

Listed below are some frequently asked questions about the LLI application process


How do I apply to LLI?

LLI welcomes everyone to apply for membership each year.

Admission to LLI is chiefly by lottery, with two important exceptions:

  • Admission priority is given to individuals who  have presented a full-semester LLI course in the past or who are already scheduled to present a full-semester course in the upcoming year.
  • Applicants with critical skills needed to run LLI may be given priority, if they qualify for and commit to a specific task or position.

There are very few priority admissions.

The number of applicants each year often exceeds the space available. We encourage you to reapply next year if you are not admitted on your first try.

To apply, first read the Prospective Members page, with the application process, prior to completing the online application.

Complete and send your application according to the dates on the Application for Admission page.

When will I know if I am accepted ? When and how do I register for classes ?

Applicants will be notified by email if they are accepted after all applications have been submitted. You will be asked to join and then will pay the annual fee.

You can register for classes after the fee is paid. New members will be assigned a LLI mentor who will be in touch to welcome them and answer questions.

For specific dates about this process, see the Application for Admission page.

If accepted, am I required to help with LLI operations or take a leadership position?

LLI is a member-run organization and relies entirely on members for all its operations, from producing courses to managing communications and providing weekly refreshments.

New members often find that, after a semester, they are ready to help out—it’s a wonderful way to meet people and socialize. Willingness to lead is highly valued and needed within the LLI organization. Mentoring and training programs are available to cultivate and support new leaders. See details on the Membership>Prospective Members>Mentor Program and New Member Orientation page.

If accepted, do I have to lead a course?

Members are not required to be course presenters. However, anyone can develop and propose a course in an area of expertise or interest. Many members have deep knowledge in an academic or interest area (e.g. politics, baseball, religion, local history). To propose a course, contact the Curriculum Committee.

What are the qualifications for membership?

LLI seeks members who enjoy and will contribute actively to class discussions.

In addition, because LLI is 100% member-run, we look for members willing to help with LLI operations. There are many opportunities for members to contribute and we hope everyone will volunteer some time and skills, as abilities permit.

New members must have an email address and access to the Internet. LLI communicates with its members and conducts business electronically.

Members must be able to pay their membership fee electronically with a credit or bank card.

Is membership limited to a geographic area?

No. Members commute from a wide geographic area. Most members reside in Ulster, Dutchess, or Columbia counties.

Can I join in the middle of the year or enroll for only one semester rather than two?

Applications for membership are accepted only once each year, in June. It is the member’s choice to enroll for one or two semesters or participate in other course offerings such as Winter Intersession and SummerFest.

Members pay the annual fee, regardless of the number of courses taken.

Do I have to be retired to apply to LLI?

There is no requirement to be retired.

Most of our programs are scheduled on weekdays. However, we have started offering courses on Saturdays.

How are new members selected?

Admission to LLI is chiefly by lottery with two important exceptions:

  • Individuals scheduled as presenters are given admission priority.
  • Applicants with critical skills needed to run LLI may be given priority if they qualify for and commit to a specific task or position.

The number of applicants each year often exceeds the space available. Please reapply next year if you are not admitted on your first try.

Does LLI have a membership fee?

LLI members pay an annual $175 membership fee.

To apply for a scholarship, email info@lli.bard.edu. Your email will be forwarded to the president of LLI who will get in touch with you.

How many courses may I take?

We set no limits on the number of courses a member may take during LLI’s fall and spring semesters, SummerFest, and winter intersession. Rather, the limit is as many as your schedule permits.

All members and their guests may also attend one or more of the Winter intersession classes and special programs or events offered periodically.

Can I participate in LLI if I am not a member?

Several LLI programs and events are available to non-members, such as winter intersession and SummerFest (SummerFest involves a small fee for non-members).

Check the LLI website and calendar for announcements of these and other programs open to the public.

Must I reapply each year?

You do not need to reapply each year.

Once accepted, members simply pay the annual membership fee to renew their membership each year.

Can my spouse and I apply as a couple?

Admissions are based on individual applications. Couples are not accepted as a couple, but rather each person should apply. Acceptances are based on a lottery system, as described above in the first FAQ.

We are here to help

If you still have questions, contact us at lli@bard.edu. Our secretary will direct you to the correct volunteer to best answer your questions.