The College received a record high of 10,934 applications for the Class of 2027, marking the first admissions cycle to surpass the 10,000 mark. This represents a 16 percent increase, or an additional 1,556 applicants, from the total number of applicants for the Class of 2026.
Early Decision (ED) II applicants were notified of admissions decisions last week, concluding the ED rounds. With a record 1,572 applicants total across both ED rounds—an increase of 562 from the previous class—the Office of Admissions admitted 3 percent more students than usual during ED I and II. An additional 27 students were admitted in the Questbridge National College Match program, the second highest number in the College’s history.
Dean of Admissions and Student Aid Claudia Marroquin ’06 attributes this rise in applications to recent advances in admissions policies. In July, the College announced that it would extend need-blind admissions policies to international students. This cycle marks the first class where both domestic and international students’ financial status will no longer play a role in the admissions process.
“I think the message around how we treat our applicants equally in the process, that we’re looking for the best for Bowdoin regardless of financial background, has sunk in,” Marroquin said. “There’s been a big increase in international [applicants], but there were some other good effects of that announcement. We’ve seen increases in domestic first-generation students, domestic students of color and students applying for aid overall.”
Anticipating an increase in applications, the Office of Admissions hired additional seasonal readers and leveraged the expansion of the Office of Student Aid to process prospective students’ applications.
“It’s a lot of work. While it’s exciting that people are finding Bowdoin to be so attractive and are seeing it as a place that they could see themselves, it’s also hard because we know that the size of the class isn’t necessarily growing,” Marroquin said. “We end up having to say ‘no’ to more students, and … that always weighs heavily on us.”
This admissions cycle, Marroquin and her staff have continued to pursue a hybrid model, with information sessions and interviews offered online and in-person. Doing so, admissions is able to both remain more accessible and meet the large demand of students interested in Bowdoin.
“Prior to the pandemic, we weren’t available to a good number of students who were unable to come to campus. Maine can be tough, depending on some locations, to get to. We did go back on the road this fall and have resumed some of our international travel, but it’s all about a balancing act,” Marroquin said.
Regular Decision applicants will receive their decisions in mid-March.