The material on this page is from the 1999-2000 catalog and may be out of date. Please check the current year's catalog for current information.

[The Admission of Students]

The admission requirements and procedures are designed to help the College select, from among the men and women applying, those best qualified to profit from the educational opportunities at Bates. As the emphasis is on the liberal arts and sciences, the secondary-school record should give assurance of success in these fields. Applicants must present evidence of intellectual interest, good character, and thorough scholastic preparation. The College values liveliness, thoughtfulness, and curiosity; it seeks in its student body a range of intellectual, extracurricular, and personal energies. Each applicant is considered individually, and the dean of admissions may make exceptions to any requirement.

Admission Requirements

  1. Application Form. Bates uses the Common Application as well as a supplement. Aside from biographical data, the application requests information concerning the academic and extracurricular interests of the applicant. The required essay gives the applicant the opportunity to write on a suggested topic or one of personal choice. Additional writing samples or other evidence of creative ability are encouraged.

  2. Record in Secondary School. The secondary-school record should consist of courses of a substantial college-preparatory nature. Individual cases may vary, but it is recommended that a student should have taken four years of English, at least three of mathematics, three of a foreign language, three of social science, and at least two of a laboratory science.

  3. Recommendations. The College receives recommendations from school officials and references named by the applicant. It should be understood that when the student waives the right to inspect that information, it is kept in strict confidence and is available only to appropriate College officers.

  4. Standardized Test Scores. The submission of standardized testing (the SAT I, SAT II, and the ACT) is optional for admission. Independent of the admissions process and solely for the purpose of the College's research, students who have taken the standardized tests must submit the official results of these tests upon matriculation.

  5. Results of a Personal Interview. The applicant should seek an interview with a member of the College's admissions staff or a designated alumni representative in the home area. Candidates without an interview may be placing themselves at a disadvantage in the evaluation process.

Admission Procedures

Early in the senior year (in any event not later than January 15) a student should mail the application for admission. A nonrefundable fee of $50 must accompany the application. Students for whom the fee would be a financial hardship may have their guidance counselor submit a College Board "Request for Fee Waiver" with their application. Application forms may be secured by writing to the Dean of Admissions, Bates College, 23 Campus Avenue, Lewiston, Maine 04240. Application forms are also available on the Admissions World Wide Web home page (

The Admissions Office reaches its decision only after it has received the completed application form, essay, and all the data in support of an application: the transcript of the secondary-school record and recommendations from the guidance counselor and two teachers.

As a general rule, applicants are notified of decisions in late March. An accepted student is asked to respond with a payment upon acceptance of $300 postmarked by the candidates' reply date of May 1. Part of this payment is credited to the student's annual charge. Students regularly enter college at the beginning of the academic year in September, although the College accepts a number of students for January matriculation.

Early Decision

Candidates who are certain that Bates is their first choice are encouraged to apply for Early Decision (ED). Applicants for ED must fill in the written request for consideration on the application and assure the College that they will enroll if admitted. Regular applications may be submitted to other colleges with the understanding that the candidate will withdraw these applications if he or she is accepted at Bates under ED.

Students who file an ED application and whose credentials are complete by November 15 (Round I) will receive a decision by December 20. Applicants filing after November 15 (Round II) will hear by January 24. The final application deadline for ED is January 1.

Deferred Admission

For some students college is a richer and more relevant experience if they take a year for an experience in some nonacademic pursuit between high school and college. For this reason the College will grant deferred admission to candidates who are accepted in the normal competition. An applicant should indicate in the application that he or she is a candidate for deferred admission. If qualifications warrant it, acceptance is granted and matriculation is postponed until either January or September of the following year.

Early Admission

Extremely capable students may be ready for college before they have completed the normal four-year, secondary-school program. The College welcomes inquiries from those who think they are prepared scholastically and are sufficiently mature personally and socially to undertake college work.

Advanced Placement

Bates participates in the Advanced Placement Program of the College Entrance Examination Board. A student who achieves a score of four or five on an Advanced Placement examination given by the Educational Testing Service may be granted two course credits, or one course credit in the case of Advanced Placement courses covering the equivalent of one semester of college work.

A student achieving a score of three on an examination covering the equivalent of two semesters of college work may be granted one course credit, upon approval of the chair of the appropriate department. No credit is granted for a score of three on an examination covering the equivalent of one semester of college work.

Individual departments and programs decide whether an Advanced Placement examination covers the equivalent of one or of two semesters of college work, whether any Advanced Placement credit permits exemption from their particular courses or major requirements, and whether Advanced Placement credits in their discipline provide exemption from any General Education requirements.

A maximum of eight Advanced Placement credits can be applied to the Bates academic record.

Advanced Standing for Transfer Students

The College welcomes applications from students who wish to transfer to Bates from other institutions. Bates will transfer courses completed at accredited colleges and universities under guidelines established by the faculty.

A student must complete thirty-two courses (one course being equal to one course credit at Bates) and two Short Term units in order to graduate. A transfer student must earn a minimum of sixteen course credits and two Short Term units at Bates to earn a Bates degree. While students may have earned more than sixteen transferable credits, they must choose which sixteen they wish to apply to their Bates record at the time of transfer.

The following credentials are due in the Office of Admissions by March 1 for fall semester consideration and November 1 for winter semester consideration: the application and fee; official secondary-school and college transcripts; a college catalog describing courses completed and those in progress; a statement of good standing from a college official; three letters of recommendation (two from faculty, one from a personal source); and an essay concerning the applicantŐs motivation to transfer. Submission of standardized testing results is optional. An interview is strongly recommended.

International Students

The College encourages international candidates with superior academic and personal qualifications to apply for admission to Bates. Non-United States citizens must submit the following: an application form, official or certified copies of secondary-school transcripts, a school profile and/or explanation of the school's marking system if available, letters of recommendation, certificates of completion and federal examinations (if applicable), and the Bates Financial Statement for International Students, which may be obtained from the Admissions Office.

All documents must be presented in English; original documents must accompany all certified translations. Applicants living abroad are advised to make copies of their applications and to mail them well in advance of the deadlines.

Students who speak English as a second language, regardless of where they live, must submit results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or an equivalent form of testing. The College will accept only official score reports. Submission of SAT I, SAT II, or ACT results is optional for all students.

Need-based financial aid is available for international students. All non-U.S. citizens must complete the Financial Statement for International Students.

Visiting Students

Bates welcomes applications from students attending other colleges who wish to enroll for a limited time as nondegree, visiting students. Enrollment on a visiting basis can be for one semester or a year. While enrolled, visiting students pay the same tuition, room, and board fees and have the same privileges and obligations as regular degree candidates. They are not, however, eligible to receive financial aid or to play an NCAA-sanctioned varsity sport. At the end of the term of study, a transcript of the visiting student's course work is sent to the home institution upon request.

To apply, the student should file the regular application for admission, indicating visiting-student status, and submit the following credentials: an official college transcript; two letters of recommendation from college faculty; a letter of recommendation from a dean or advisor; a statement of good standing from a college official; and an essay explaining the student's interest in Bates and in becoming a visiting student. An interview is strongly recommended.

High School Students

Under a program arranged in conjunction with the guidance offices at area high schools, a limited number of qualified high school seniors may enroll in a Bates course each semester free of charge. Application is made through the high school guidance office to the Bates Admissions Office. Students will receive a transcript following successful completion of each course. Each student is limited to one course per semester for a total of two courses under this program.

Special Students

Each semester, as space within College courses permits, Bates admits special students who are not degree candidates. Those who already hold a bachelor's degree from a four-year college are normally ineligible for the program; exceptions may be made for teachers wishing to recertify their skills, for Bates employees, or for Bates graduates who need particular courses to qualify for graduate-school programs. No more than two courses may be taken each semester; the fee per course for 1999-2000 is $800. No financial aid is available for special students. A special-student transcript is produced following completion of each course. Special students are not degree-seeking candidates and are limited to a maximum of six courses as special students at Bates.

Interested applicants should submit the special-student application form with a $25 application fee to the registrar one month prior to the beginning of the semester, and meet with the dean of students.

Special students who later wish to matriculate must meet admissions requirements and will be subject to decisions made by the dean of admissions and the registrar concerning the credits toward a degree, which may include consideration of courses completed as a special student.

Auditing Students

Application to audit a course must be made with the registrar in consultation with the instructor of the course. Permission to audit a course will be withheld if, in the judgment of the registrar, the class is too large or too many applications to audit are received.

Members of the College staff, their spouses or partners, and their dependents may apply to audit courses with permission from the Office of Human Resources.

The auditing fee for nonmatriculated students in 1999-2000 is $100. No credit is earned; the audit is not recorded on a permanent record. An auditor should not expect to have papers and exams graded; therefore, auditing is seldom permitted in courses where the method of instruction involves significant individual attention and guidance. Matriculated Bates students may audit courses with prior permission of their advisor, the instructor of the course, and the registrar. An audited course may not be converted to a course taken for credit at a later date by paying the regular course fee.

Student Retention and Graduation

The federal Student Right to Know Act requires institutions of higher education to make available graduation rates. Bates has calculated an 87-percent graduation rate for first-time students entering in September 1993, using the guidelines published in the July 10, 1992, Federal Register. This calculation does not include students who have transferred into the College from other institutions.

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Last modified: 8/10/99 by Ngan Dinh