Photo, Barbara Sieck, Black Mountain College Student, in her student study, ca. 1939-1942

Photo, Student Barbara Sieck in her study, ca. 1939-42

Students at Black Mountain College had an enormous amount of freedom to work and complete their studies. Without a concrete grading system or required classes, the responsibility of learning relied largely on the students themselves. Consequently, not all students returned if they failed to prove their commitment to their studies or community life.

Courtesy of Western Regional Archives, a branch of the North Carolina State Archives

Letter, Carnegie Corporation of New York to John Rice, 1934

Letter, Carnegie Corporation of New York to John Rice, 1934

Money was a problem at Black Mountain College from the beginning. Faculty often went without pay, and tuition did not cover all of the school’s expenses. The College tried to find a way to self-sufficiency, but finances were always uncertain. In this letter, The Carnegie Corporation of New York rejected Rice’s grant request blaming the poor economy.

John Andrew Rice Papers, Appalachian State University

Summary Statement of Financial Operations at Black Mountain College, 1936

Summary Statement of Financial Operations of Black Mountain College, 1936

John Andrew Rice Papers, Appalachian State University