Bates College

Bates College


Since 1855, Bates College has been dedicated to the emancipating potential of the liberal arts. Bates educates the whole person through creative and rigorous scholarship in a collaborative residential community. With ardor and devotion — Amore ac Studio — we engage the transformative power of our differences, cultivating intellectual discovery and informed civic action. Preparing leaders sustained by a love of learning and a commitment to responsible stewardship of the wider world, Bates is a college for coming times. Bates was founded in 1855 by people who believed strongly in freedom, civil rights, and the importance of a higher education for all who could benefit from it. Bates has always admitted students without regard to race, sex, religion, or national origin. Great efforts were made in designing the institution to ensure that no qualified student would be turned away because he or she could not afford the cost of a Bates education. Although they met with considerable criticism from other colleges, the founders held fast to their commitment to admit both men and women: Bates was New England's first coeducational college and one of the first coeducational colleges in the United States.

Programs Supporting First-Generation College Students

Open House, Fly-in, Visit Prologue to Bates

Seniors may spend three days on us to enjoy a slice of what Bates College has to offer. During the overnight program, designed by the Bates Office of Admission for first-generation-to-college and/or students from diverse backgrounds, you will: attend a class of your choosing, stay with current Bates students, meet Bates faculty and staff, tour Bates’ beautiful, 109-acre campus, catch an information session, participate in an admission interview and attend academic, athletic, cultural and co-curricular events. Learn more about Prologue to Bates

Student Life & Support Office of Intercultural Education

Providing all of our students from underrepresented backgrounds a “space to be apart,” while providing the resources and opportunities for the entire Bates community to experience “time to be together” is the hallmark of our work. Learn more about Office of Intercultural Education

Student Life & Support Purposeful Work

Work is fundamental to our lives. It helps define who we are and who we will become. At Bates, enabling students to lead lives of meaningful work lies at the heart of our liberal arts mission. Purposeful Work is a college-wide initiative that helps students identify and cultivate their interests and strengths and acquire the knowledge, experiences and relationships necessary to pursue their aspirations with imagination and integrity. Purposeful Work encourages collaboration and risk-taking. It supports failure and reinvention. When coupled with a liberal arts education, Purposeful Work prepares students for success in the modern economy.

Student Diversity

  • 1,792
  • 50/50
  • 14%
    First-generation college students
  • <1%
    American Indian or Alaskan Native
  • 4%
  • 5%
    Black or African American
  • 8%
  • <1%
    Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
  • 71%
  • 4%
    Two or more races
  • <1%
    Race and/or ethnicity unknown
  • 7%

Student Success

  • 94%
    First-to-second year retention
  • 89%
    Six-year graduation
  • n/a
    Six-year graduation for underrepresented minority groups
  • 100%
    Freshmen who live on campus
  • 95%
    Undergraduates who live on campus
  • 170
    Full-time faculty
  • 28
    Full-time minority faculty
  • 10:1
    Student–faculty ratio
  • Top 5 Majors

    Economics, Political Science English, Psychology, Biology

  • Multicultural Student Clubs and Organizations

    AASIA - Asian-American Students in Action, African Club, Arabic Club, CSA - Caribbean Student Association, Latinos Unidos, Men Against Sexual Violence, OUT Front, Sankofa, The Women of Color Club, Women's Advocacy Group


Cost of Attendance

  • $50,310
  • n/a
    In-state Tuition
  • n/a
    Required Fees
  • $14,190
    Room and Board

Financial Aid

  • $30,628,239
    Total institutional scholarships/grants
  • $43,467
    Average aid package
  • $15,500
    Average student loan debt upon graduation (of those who borrow)
  • n/a
    Pell Grant recipients among freshmen
  • 42%
    Students with financial need
  • 42%
    Students with need awarded financial aid
  • 42%
    Students with need awarded need-based scholarship or grant aid
  • 100%
    Students with need whose need was fully met


Applicant Academics

  • 5,356
    # of applicants
  • 23%
  • n/a
    Average HS GPA
  • 31
    ACT Composite
  • 630—720
    SAT Critical Reading
  • 630—710
    SAT Math
  • 640—710
    SAT Writing
  • yes
    SAT/ACT optional


  • 1/1
    Regular application closing date
  • $60
    Application Fee
  • $60
    Application Fee (online)
  • yes
    Fee waiver for applicants with financial need
  • yes
    Early decision plan
  • 11/15; 1/1
    Early decision application closing date
  • n/a
    Early action plan
  • n/a
    Early action application closing date