Despite the recent spike in Covid-19 cases on campus, the Office of Admissions is hosting the first in-person open house for admitted students in two years.
The admitted Class of 2026 consists of 843 students who were offered admission from a pool of 9,446 applicants, putting the College’s acceptance rate at 8.9 percent. The incoming class represents 49 states, four U.S. districts and territories and 33 countries. Domestic students of color make up about 52 percent of the class, and 23 percent of the class are of the first generation in their family to attend college.
Since March 22, the Office of Admissions has been offering virtual programming for both prospective and committed students to learn more about the College. These virtual events will run through April 26.
“One thing that has been really good about this year is we know how to utilize virtual events now,” Open House Admissions Intern Nora Greene ’22 said. “Ever since decisions went out, we’ve been hosting weekly virtual events … some of the things that we would normally do during [the on-campus] open house could happen before the actual open house events take place.”
For the last two years, one of the main ways the admissions staff has connected with the incoming class has been through Instagram and other social media platforms. Greene and other admission interns are in charge of running these platforms and engaging with incoming students throughout their decision process.
Furthermore, for the first time since 2019, the College is offering an in-person admitted student weekend called the “Bowdoin Bearings Admitted Students Days,” which began yesterday morning and will run through the end of today. There are over 600 visitors on campus for the two-day event, which will offer a variety of academic, artistic and campus life-themed programming.
“I am most interested in class visits for sure. I want to get in a class and see what the environment is like. Also, I want to meet new people and new students,” Lin Shun, a prospective Class of 2026 student, said.
Greene helped coordinate the admitted student art showcase, which was held last night on the museum steps and featured performances from every a cappella group on campus as well as student dance troupes like Vague, Obvious and the swing dance club.
“That’s a way to show off the arts side [of the College], because a lot of the programming is focused on academics and what academics at Bowdoin look like … part of my job is to construct an image of what life at Bowdoin will look like,” Greene said.
Much of the programming will be led by the Student Admissions Volunteer Organization (SAVO). Current Bowdoin students will help the visitors get from place to place, as well as have meals and participate in activities—like a board game night and trip to the Schiller Coastal Studies Center—with them.
“For the Class of 2025, we didn’t really have many opportunities for getting involved with the school before coming here, and I applied here basically sight unseen. I want to be able to provide opportunities for new students to get acquainted with the school, so they can make a good decision when accepting their admission offer,” SAVO volunteer Stuart Howard ’25 said.
Different from admitted students weekends in the past, the prospective students will not be staying in on-campus housing. Some students were flown in and housed in surrounding hotels.
The admissions team also tried to make the event as flexible as possible, especially given the recent rise in Covid-19 cases on campus. Many of the events and showcases have been moved outside, including the academic fair today. Prospective students were also required to take an antigen test before coming to campus.
The Class of 2026 will not be fully enrolled until May 1, at which point Admissions will report the yield rate. At this point, they expect to have a class of about 500 students.