May 1 marked the 2021-2022 college admissions cycle’s conclusion, establishing a nearly finalized picture of the Class of 2026. The 521 students who enrolled in the class, along with nine incoming transfer students, will bring unique and diverse perspectives to Bowdoin’s campus next fall.
Forty-two percent of enrolled students identify as domestic students of color—the highest percentage of any incoming class at Bowdoin. The class brings geographic diversity as well—70 percent are from outside of New England, covering 44 states and two U.S. territories. Additionally, 17 percent of students are the first in their family to attend college, and 11 percent have an international background.
Out of 843 students admitted to the Class of 2026, 521 enrolled, resulting in a 61.8 percent yield. This percentage is a small decrease from the 63.2 percent yield seen from the Class of 2025.
Senior Vice President and Dean of Admissions and Student Aid Claudia Marroquin ’06 noted another significant statistic admissions will be reporting for the first time: sex and gender identity. Six percent of enrolled students do not identify with the gender binary.
When it comes to standardized testing, the incoming class continues to stand out. Forty-six percent of students chose not to submit test scores—the highest percentage in the over five decades since Bowdoin went test-optional in 1969. Marroquin explained that although Covid-19 affected standardized testing, this percentage continues to climb because of Bowdoin’s holistic admissions process and its decades of experience reviewing applications without scores.
“We’re really confident in our process and [our] ability to identify great students,” Marroquin said. “You can feel confident in the choice that you’re making to submit it or not, and I'm glad that students took us up on that.”
The Class of 2026 was not the only group of students to break precedents. This year brought changes to transfer admissions at Bowdoin.
“[Something] that I'm really excited about, and many of my staff members are as well, is this is the first year that Bowdoin has admitted community college transfer students,” Marroquin said.“At the moment, we have six community college students who will be joining us.”
In addition to these six students, three students from four-year institutions will join the Class of 2025.
“Our transfer cohort right now is nine students, so that’s a larger number because of the commitment the College has made to have community college transfer students represented in the student body,” Marroquin said.
With students of the Class of 2026 having experienced the Covid-19 pandemic for longer than previous groups of applicants, their applications reflected a sense of resilience and awareness that admissions officers admired.
“Students were really grappling with a lot of complicated thoughts and issues, whether it’s mental health, or just grief and uncertainty,” Marroquin said. “I try to think of myself when I was in high school … and the reflection, the empathy, the awareness of big issues—I don’t think I had that kind of view of the world when I was their age.”
The group coming to campus will be solidified by the end of the summer with the potential for more waitlist admits. The admissions team will continue to hold programming and prepare for Orientation in August.