Bowdoin May Surprise You

We’re a selective liberal arts college, but we thrive on collaboration, not competition. Our students work together—not against each other—to tackle the big problems and pressing questions that will shape our collective future. Our alumni network includes leading scholars, innovators, entrepreneurs, performers, and humanitarians. More than 100 clubs help students enjoy time outside of the classroom. Speaking of outside: our location in coastal Maine means access to beaches, mountains, galleries, food trucks, and upscale restaurants, all two hours from Boston. Bowdoin is test-optional and need-blind and has replaced loans with grants in all financial aid packages.


The Bowdoin curriculum offers a realization of The Offer of the College for the twenty-first century. The College requires students to seek breadth and depth in their education. This style of education encourages principled and thoughtful engagement with the world around us, both during and after your four years here. Bowdoin students go on to be leaders in all walks of life.

The Common Good

Since its opening in 1802, Bowdoin has understood the responsibility to direct higher education toward the common good. The college’s first president, Joseph McKeen, emphasized that Bowdoin students have a particular obligation to exert their talents for the greater benefit of society. In the 21st century, that obligation is stronger than ever. Bowdoin challenges students to consider the implications of a shared natural world and human heritage through community engagement on local, national, and global levels.

Bowdoin at a Glance

Bowdoin College is a highly selective liberal arts college on the coast of Maine. We are need-blind in the admissions process and meet full demonstrated financial need of admitted students with no-loan financial aid awards.  

Student Background for the Enrolling Class of 2024*

  • 463 entering first-years
  • 48% men, 52% women
  • 68% from outside of New England
  • 36% students of color 
  • 11% international background**
  • 9% Maine residents
  • 16% first generation to earn a four-year degree
  • 12 states with ten or more students: CA, CT, GA, IL, MA, MD, ME, NJ, NY, PA, TX, VA

*Information current as of August 2020
**Home or school address or primary citizenship is non-US

Virtual Visit Opportunities

While our buildings are closed to visitors, our admissions counselors are here to open the conversation. While we're currently not available for in person visits, we are ready to connect with you virtually. 

Attend a virtual information session

Our 10-15 minute webinar-style Zoom presentations are followed by a live Q&A session.

Sign up for an interview

Online interviews are with an admissions staff member or senior student interviewer.

Explore Bowdoin  

Explore Bowdoin is a virtual college visit program for high-achieving low-income and/or first-generation high school seniors who come from diverse backgrounds or rural areas. 

Contact Us

Admissions Website
(207) 725-3100
Meet the Admissions team
Meet the Student Aid team

Discover More

prepare for the future at bowdoin

Admissions Website Student Aid Website
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Early Decision I
Application Due Date: November 15
Admission Decision By: Mid December

Early Decision II
Application Due Date: January 5
Admission Decision By: Mid-February

Regular Decision
Application Due Date: January 5
Admission Decision By: Early April
Student Reply Date: May 1

Application Materials

Bowdoin accepts the Coalition Application, the Common Application, and/or the QuestBridge Application. All applications are treated equally, regardless of source. 

In addition to the application, all students are required to submit:

  • One Teacher Evaluation (from a core subject area)
  • One Counselor Recommendation
  • One Other Recommendation (a second teacher evaluation in any subject area or a recommendation from a clergy, coach, employer, peer, etc.)
  • Secondary School Report
  • Secondary School Transcript
  • Mid-Year Transcript
  • Bowdoin Supplemental Questions
  • $65 Application Fee or Fee Waiver*

*Students applying for financial aid and/or first generation college students (neither parent graduated from a four-year college) automatically qualify for a fee waiver.

Optional application materials include:

Test-Optional Policy

Bowdoin has been test-optional for more than 50 year. Applicants are not required to submit SAT or ACT scores for the purposes of admission. This policy allows applicants to decide for themselves whether or not their test results accurately reflect their academic ability and potential.

Student Aid

Bowdoin is committed to affordability. We are need-blind in the admissions process and meet 100% of demonstrated financial need. There are no loans in Bowdoin's student aid packages. Nearly half of enrolled students receive grant assistance from Bowdoin. At Bowdoin, a family's ability to pay is not a barrier to admission. We can ensure that nothing stands between you and success as a college student - we seek excellence of all types and believe in equal opportunity regardless of finances.

  • Quick Cost Calculator
  • Net Price Estimator
  • 50 percent of the Class of 2023 received a need-based aid award
  • Total Cost of Attendance - $73,800
  • Average Bowdoin Grant - $49,250
  • Loan Amount in a Bowdoin Aid Package - $0 (No, that's not a typo!)