Bowdoin’s “need-blind” admissions policy ensures that students from all walks of life can attend the College. Forty-six percent of Bowdoin students received need-based financial aid as of the 2011-2012 academic year, and the average grant was over $35,000 this year. The strength of the College’s financial aid program is especially notable in an unstable financial climate, which has led many colleges to abandon need-blind admissions policies.

The College’s commitment to recruiting and admitting qualified applicants of all income levels is crucial to our mission of creating a diverse student body. However, this is not feasible without considerable donations from alumni who want to make the Bowdoin experience accessible to all. Earmarking donations expressly for financial aid is the best way to ensure that deserving students of all backgrounds can continue to attend the College.

Some students will only have the opportunity to engage with such a diverse group of students during their time at the College. Many are understandably hesitant to discuss financial matters with their peers, but having those types of conversations can add a new dimension to our education outside of the classroom—that’s part of the reason that Bowdoin brought us all together in the first place.

For some, money has no effect on academics or social life. For others, it is a constant concern. Every student’s financial situation is different and comes with unique stressors; we encourage the student body to be aware of the potential obligations and constraints on our friends and classmates.

This editorial represents the majority view of the Bowdoin Orient’s editorial board, which is composed of Nora Biette-Timmons, Garrett Casey, Linda Kinstler, Sam Miller, Sam Weyrauch and Kate Witteman.