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.
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.
Bowdoin’s Class of 2026 will not look like its two preceding classes, with applications submitted and reviews underway. The Classes of 2024 and 2025 matriculated during the COVID-19 pandemic and their statistics have, in turn, have gone against the norm.
Instead of saying goodbye to high school friends, packing up his childhood bedroom and buying decorations for his dorm room before coming to Bowdoin, Elijah Dumdie ’25 was trading in his army-issued uniform for a gray L.L.
The College announced on April 12 that, starting in the fall, it will be expanding its evaluation of student financial need—a decision that is expected to increase the student aid budget by an average of $3.5 million each year.
In lieu of its traditional, in-person admitted students weekend, Admissions is hosting accepted student events virtually this spring for the second year in a row. However, with organizers having had close to a full year to prepare, this year’s programming is much more comprehensive than last year’s.
On Friday, March 19, the Office of Admissions released its final round of decisions for the Class of 2025. The College received 9,325 applications this year—a slight decrease from last year’s all-time high of 9,402. This year’s final acceptance rate is 8.8 percent, which is a slight increase from last year’s rate of 8.3 percent.
In an email to the community on Monday morning, President Clayton Rose announced the appointments of two new Senior Vice Presidents (SVP) following the recent resignations of SVP and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Whitney Soule and SVP and Chief Investment Officer Paula Volent.
College tours are typically most high schoolers’ first chance to get to know a school on a deeper level and get a glimpse of campus life. At a time where visiting Bowdoin’s campus is not possible, given COVID-19 restrictions, the Office of Admissions has shifted to an online format for its tours and information sessions.
The College received a total of 9,309 applications for the Class of 2025, a slight decrease from the 9,402 applications submitted last year for the Class of 2024. This decrease in overall applications is due to a lower-than-usual number of early decision I (ED I) applicants, despite early decision II (ED II) and regular decision application numbers being higher than those for previous years.
Correction 2/12/2021 2:00 p.m.: An earlier version misstated the year Senior Vice President and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Whitney Soule was promoted to Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid in 2008, but Soule was promoted in 2016.
Explore Bowdoin, the annual Admissions event, has transitioned to a remote model this fall, providing Zoom activities and online information sessions to low-income and first-generation high school seniors. The program, typically stretched over two fall weekends, is instead occurring over two six-day periods: Explore Bowdoin 1, from September 13 to 19, and Explore Bowdoin 2, from October 18 to 24.
Due to the COVID-19—and Bowdoin’s first ever semester with entirely remote learning for most students—the College’s athletics department has adapted its recruitment procedures. This year, prospective recruits and high school student-athletes can visit the Bowdoin athletics department’s “virtual visit” webpage, where they will find a virtual tour of the College’s athletic and academic facilities, testimonials from Bowdoin coaches and athletes and a virtual information session featuring members of the Office of Admissions and the athletics department.
Bowdoin’s regular decision admittance rate hit an all-time low of 8.3 percent for the Class of 2024, down from 8.9 percent last year (9.05 percent after students were accepted off the waitlist). The College received 9,402 applications, the greatest number ever received.
The College received 9,379 applications for the Class of 2024, representing a slight increase from the 9,332 received last year. Early decision II (ED II) applications, however, decreased by 20 percent. The Office of Admissions received 309 ED II applications this year, compared to 383 for the Class of 2023.
Last month, 820 high school students submitted early decision I (ED I) applications, a 12.5 percent increase from last year and the most ED I applications Bowdoin has ever received. Bowdoin provided accommodations for early decision applicants affected by the extended teacher strikes in Chicago as well as natural disasters in California and Texas.
Last weekend, the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), of which Bowdoin is a member, voted to eliminate parts of its ethics code. These sections, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, stifle competition between schools and limit students’ choices in the college application process.
As of the May 1 commitment date, 525 students have submitted a deposit to Bowdoin for the Class of 2022. Following the College’s most selective admissions season yet, this number is greater than the class of 500 students that Bowdoin planned would matriculate in August 2018, according to Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Whitney Soule.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) is investigating Bowdoin and at least eight other colleges and universities regarding potential violations of antitrust law in their early admissions processes. The investigation concerns the behind-the-scenes exchange of information between colleges about their admitted early decision (ED) applicants, a practice intended to ensure prospective students have not submitted binding applications to multiple schools.
The acceptance rate for the Class of 2022 was 10.3 percent, the lowest ever and a decrease of over three percentage points from last year’s rate of 13.6 percent. The applicant pool consisted of 9,081 candidates, up from 7,251 for the Class of 2021, representing a 25 percent increase.
Correction: An earlier version of the article did not clarify that NCSASports is a free website, as per NCAA regulations. Bowdoin’s athletic recruiting expenses surpassed $81,018 during the 2016-2017 academic year—a 162 percent increase from $30,966 in 2015-2016, according to the 2016-2017 Equity in Athletics Data Analysis.
The Office of Admissions received 743 applications by the end of its early decision I period on Wednesday, signifying an approximately 25 percent increase from last year’s 604 applications. This year’s ED I applicants represent more than 550 high schools, marking an increase from the 470 schools represented in last year’s applicant pool.
This past weekend, around 50 high school seniors arrived on campus for EXPLORE Bowdoin. A three-day immersive program, EXPLORE, run through the Office of Admissions, offers an opportunity for prospective students to visit the College, meet students and faculty and experience academic and social life.
In an email on Monday to the campus community, President Clayton Rose announced a $5 million donation from Reed Hastings ’83, co-founder and CEO of Netflix, towards a new program that will support low-income students, first-generation students and students traditionally underrepresented on college campuses.
The College has joined the American Talent Initiative (ATI), a group of 68 elite colleges and institutions that have agreed to work together and share resources, in an effort to create opportunities for low and moderate-income students.
A greater percentage of students in the Class of 2021 are receiving financial aid than in any class before, reflecting in part a change in the Office of Admissions’ high school recruitment and application fee policies.
The Office of Admissions accepted 13.4 percent of applicants to the class of 2021, marking the lowest acceptance rate on record. On March 17, 719 high school students received Regular Decision acceptance letters. The College received a total of 7,251 applications, a seven percent increase from last year.