Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.71
Liaison Keisha Payson
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Bowdoin College
PA-7: Affordability and Access

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.34 / 4.00 Keisha Payson
Sustainability Coordinator
Sustainable Bowdoin
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have policies and programs to make it accessible and affordable to low-income students?:
Yes

A brief description of any policies and programs to minimize the cost of attendance for low-income students:

Bowdoin's admissions process is need-blind and test-optional. The College waives the $65 application fee for all students who are first generation and/or applying for financial aid. Bowdoin's financial aid packages for accepted students do not include loans and meet 100% of demonstrated need with a small work award and the remainder in grant assistance. In addition, Bowdoin has a first-year student employment program to place students in on-campus jobs before their arrival in the fall.


A brief description of any programs to equip the institution’s faculty and staff to better serve students from low-income backgrounds:

The Roberts Fund, administered through the Office of Student Fellowships and Research, offers monthly "mini grants" to students in all disciplines with low-income backgrounds (students on financial aid). These funds range between $200 and $800 and support academic-year undergraduate research expenses and travel associated with a research project.


A brief description of the institution’s programs to guide and prepare students and families from low-income backgrounds for higher education:

THRIVE is a college-wide initiative designed to foster achievement, belonging, mentorship, and transition support among low-income and first-generation students as well as those from traditionally underrepresented student populations. Thrive is composed of a wide range of undertakings, including academic enrichment, service and leadership development, peer-mentoring, and financial support.
The Upward Bound program at Bowdoin College is designed to help low income Maine high school students apply for and be successful in higher education. Through Upward Bound, the College partners with target high schools in Maine serving low-income and first-generation college-bound students. The program provides free ongoing academic year outreach and a free fully residential 6-week summer academic experience.
The student aid office coordinates with local high schools to do one-on-one meetings and give presentations to students from all financial backgrounds.
The Bowdoin Admissions Office invites students from underserved areas to campus to build aspirations. This program is called “Explore Bowdoin”. The Explore Bowdoin program covers all transportation costs for low-income high school seniors to spend three days at the college to learn more about academics and life in general at the college before applying.


A brief description of the institution's scholarships for low-income students:

The College meets a student’s financial need primarily with grant aid and a small work award ($1,900) during the academic year. The College also has a very generous outside scholarship policy, allowing students, in most cases, to reduce their summer and school year work commitment ($2,300) before reducing their grant from the College.
The Office of Special Academic Programs administers between 8 and 15 Chamberlain Scholarships annually for students of low-income and diverse backgrounds. These awards carry with them two $1,500 stipends to encourage unpaid summer internships, travel abroad, and/or research. Chamberlain Scholars receive a faculty mentor through the duration of their college tenure. Throughout their time at Bowdoin, students can also waive or reduce fees for trips, extracurricular, and athletic activities depending on their financial aid status.


A brief description of the institution’s targeted outreach to recruit students from low-income backgrounds:

Explore Bowdoin: Bowdoin invites prospective students who would otherwise not be able to visit the campus and provides them with a full program of events to experience college life. Two different three-day periods are available.
Bowdoin Experience: Bowdoin invites admitted students who otherwise would not be able to visit the College because of financial concerns, to experience Bowdoin campus life before making their final college choice.
Maine Day: Admissions and Student Aid invites Maine high school seniors and their parents to visit the college and experience the life of a college student. Special presentations and programs are available to students and their families.
Bowdoin is also a participant in the QuestBridge program, which matches high-achieving low-income students with top college institutions. Each year 10-15 students match to the College through QuestBridge.


A brief description of the institution’s other policies or programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students:

Bowdoin has an extensive recruitment plan that extends throughout the world. While most of our recruitment efforts occur in the continental U.S., travel outside of the U.S. is a part of our annual efforts. With over 9,000 admission applicants for 500 seats in the first-year class, Bowdoin looks to attract students who would be a good match for our learning environment, regardless of their ability to pay our fees.
Bowdoin Student aid invites any prospective student and/or family to contact us virtually any time to discuss how to make Bowdoin affordable. Outreach from Student Aid includes aid estimates in the summer and fall, one-on-one appointments during Explore Bowdoin and Bowdoin Experience, extended office hours for admitted student phone appointments, weekend coverage of email and phone calls for quick responses, and Dollars & Sense, a short publication aimed at managing costs at Bowdoin.


Does the institution have policies and programs to support non-traditional students?:
No

A brief description of the institution’s scholarships provided specifically for part-time students:
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A brief description of the institution’s on-site child care facility, partnership with a local facility, and/or subsidies or financial support to help meet the child care needs of students:
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A brief description of the institution’s other policies and programs to support non-traditional students:
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Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 of this credit (tracking accessibility and affordability)? (If data is not available, select 'No'):
Yes

The percentage of entering students that are low-income (0-100):
16

The graduation/success rate for low-income students (0-100):
95

On average, the percentage of need that was met for students who were awarded any need-based aid (e.g. as reported to the U.S. Common Data Set initiative, item H2) (0-100):
100

The percentage of students graduating with no interest-bearing student loan debt or for whom no out-of-pocket tuition is required (i.e. the percentage of graduates who have not taken out interest-bearing loans) (0-100):
73

Estimated percentage of students that participate in or directly benefit from the institution’s policies and programs to support low-income and non-traditional students (0-100):
16

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.