Best Colleges in America 2022
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Overall Score: 82.65

Bowdoin College

Brunswick, ME http://www.bowdoin.edu/
Bowdoin, an elite liberal arts college in coastal Maine, counts among its alumni such influencers as Netflix founder Reed Hastings and poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Bowdoin has been test-optional long before it was en vogue: Students haven't been required to submit SAT or ACT scores in more than 50 years. Still, the college is highly selective, accepting less than 9% of applicants in 2021. As part of the school's classic liberal arts approach, its some 2,000 students must do coursework in all of the major disciplines, including math, science, the arts and social sciences. Students can choose from 43 majors and 45 minors; the most popular programs include government and legal studies, economics and mathematics. Bowdoin promises to provide grants to meet the entire demonstrated need of students who can't afford the full sticker price. About 95% of students graduate within six years. Outside of academics, Bowdoin's Polar Bears field more than 30 Division III sports teams. The college's dining service, which has its own organic garden and butcher, consistently ranks at or near the top nationwide. One social highlight of the year is the annual Lobster Bake, at which students chow down on the local delicacy. Students are also only five minutes from downtown Brunswick, as well as landmarks like the house where famous abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin.

Costs

Est. full price 2022-2023
$73,900
% of students who get any grants
52%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$27,100
Average price for low-income students
$5,630

Admissions

Acceptance rate
9%
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
SAT/ACT required?
No
Undergraduate enrollment
1,830

Financial Aid

% of students with need who get grants
100%
% of need met
100%
% of students who get merit grants
2%
Average merit grant
$1,000

Student Success

Graduation rate
95%
Average time to a degree
4.1 years
Median student debt
$18,675
Early career earnings
$66,860
% earning more than a high school grad
71%

Notes: Students who get merit grants are full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants. Graduation rate measures degree completion within six years for both transfer students and first-time students. Early career earnings are the median earnings for both graduates and non-completers, 10 years after they first enrolled.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson’s, Money/Witlytic calculations.

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