Brunswick, ME
Bowdoin College


39 Ratings

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Recent Reviews

Akira
Describe your favorite campus traditions.

Apparently my school is known for being small, cold, and good because Joshua Chamberlain went there.

Describe your favorite campus traditions.

Apparently my school is known for being small, cold, and good because Joshua Chamberlain went there.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

You will get into colleges that are a better match for you. The admissions people seem to actually know their stuff, and will weed out people they think won't like the school. I never though of it that way until college, but it's definitely true.

Ellen
Describe your favorite campus traditions.

strong academics, friendly students, encouraging professors, and active lifestyle

Describe your favorite campus traditions.

strong academics, friendly students, encouraging professors, and active lifestyle

What kind of person should attend this school?

someone who enjoys outdoor activities, challenging academics, and is not reliant on a city lifestyle

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Many prospective college students and their parents approach the college search process in the wrong way. They believe that there is only one "perfect" school for them, they worry more about reputation than fit, and they allow the opinons of those around them to greatly influence their college choice. Choosing a college should be about finding a school that FEELS right, not one that sounds right. Stay overnight with a student you have never met before, and, as you meet their friends and dorm-mates, ask yourself if you could be friends with these people. Because in all honesty, your college experience and future identity are influenced 100 times more by the people you meet and spend time with than the academics you pursue.

Cliff
What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Whatever you do, do not choose a school solely on its prestiege. Pick the school that you feel the most comfortable at. Vis...

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Whatever you do, do not choose a school solely on its prestiege. Pick the school that you feel the most comfortable at. Visit the schools you are thinking about. Spend a night at the school and if possible try not to set up the overnight with the admissions office because they will set you up with someone who they feel is a great person and is trained in what to tell you. Stay instead with a someone you know will tell you the dirty little secrets of the school. If you are going for a sport, be sure to go to a practice and meet more of the team than just the model student-athleets that the coach wants you to meet. In general dig under the display the admissions office is putting on, and ask the questions that they dont want to answer.

What do you consider the worst thing about your school? Why?

The kids here feel like they are in the real world while Bowdoin is a very protected environment. Most of the students are not fun people and are not welcoming to conservitive views.

Kylie
What kind of person should attend this school?

An academically driven individual who is goal oriented and has high career goals.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Finding the right college is hard, but you have to go with your first instinct. Visit every school you apply to and dont attend one merely because you like its basketball team, or it has a prestegious name. Stay overnight in the dorms, visit the campus, and attend some school year events and classes. I think the most important thing to do is to make sure you communicate with current students, the admissions office will sugar-coat everything, but the students have nothing to lose! It is also important to join clubs and teams as a first year student once you have been enrolled. the more you put yourself out there the more friends you will make and opportunites you willl find.

Reid
What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

I would tell them to visit the college and, if possible, stay for a day or two. The surrounding area of the college can take...

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

I would tell them to visit the college and, if possible, stay for a day or two. The surrounding area of the college can take some getting used to, but if you dismiss a place on its initial appearance or judge it from the start, then you may skip over a place that you would have enjoyed. I came from a conservative family and a high school of jocks, and landed in an extremely liberal campus where academics are the main focus. This happened mainly because I decided to stay at the school with people I knew and get a good feel of how I would fit in. It turns out that I have made my best friends here and would never change my decision. Each individual is different, so I would encourage parents to have as little say in the college decision as possible. My parents helped me to research colleges and brought me anywhere that I showed a significant amount of interest in. Other than that, I made the decision on my own and I couldn't be happier.

What's unique about your campus?

The people. From the minute you get here everyone is very helpful and nice. The weekends are also great, although they can get somewhat repetitive. I have definitely made my best friends here. The reputation of the school is up there too.

What kind of person should not attend this school?

Someone who is not willing to fully devote themselves to both academics, and extracurricular activities. This place is a waste of your time, and a HUGE amount of money if you don't apply yourself.

Rachel
Describe the students at your school.

My classmates are enthusiastic, intelligent, friendly, active, and liberal. However, they could do a better job at mixing in...

Describe the students at your school.

My classmates are enthusiastic, intelligent, friendly, active, and liberal. However, they could do a better job at mixing in different social circles.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

In the end, it is not the college, but rather, the student, that makes the experience successful. Difficult as it is, it is important to put aside the name of the school, and the GPA/SAT scores of its students. Instead, try to think about what is really the best match for you. A school can have a fantastic reputation, but this doesn't mean it will be the best fit for every student. In the end, a person will be successful if he/she feels connected to the college and its community. Further, regardless of whether or not a student is enrolling in his/her first choice school, or a "safety school," it is absolutely crucial to go in with a good attitude. The student's first year, and even the first few weeks, can make a big impact on the overall experience. Even if you feel that the "college process" has treated you unfairly, once the time comes to enroll, try to put the past aside and take charge of your college experience. It's up to you, and every single college and university can provide a top-notch educational and social experience if you seek it out.

What's the one thing you wish someone had told you about freshman year?

I wish I had known how accepting and friendly the faculty, staff, and students would be. I also wish that I had known it would be pretty small, and not as diverse as it could be.

Lynn
Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

Bowdoin offers a good academic and fun social environment.

Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

Bowdoin offers a good academic and fun social environment.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Make sure to visit every school and apply to enough "safeties." Give yourself as many options (size, atmosphere, etc.) as possible, as you may find what you thought you liked at the beginning of senior is not at all what you'll like, come acceptance time.

What do you consider the worst thing about your school? Why?

Sometimes I feel stuck with my group of friends.

Cameron
What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Will tell us about the "affluent Bowdoin student" stereotype.

Describe the students at your school.

Bowdoin's social scene revolves around campus, so someone who craves the hustle and bustle of the city may be bored here

Describe the students at your school.

Who wouldn't fit it here.

Why did you decide to go to this school?

Sarah tells us why Bowdoin was her first and only choice.

Why did you decide to go to this school?

Loretta tells us why Bowdoin was her first choice.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Liam tells us what stereotypes he heard about Bowdoin before coming here.

Describe the students at your school.

Kris tells us what he likes to do in his free time.

Describe the students at your school.

Julio tells us what his favorite class and favorite movie is, and what he does in his free time.

Describe the students at your school.

John tells us about his favorite movie, favorite class, what he does in his free time and the people at Bowdoin.

Why did you decide to go to this school?

Daniel tells us why he chose Bowdoin over Amherst, Middlebury, Princeton and Dartmouth.

Why did you decide to go to this school?

Caroline tells us why she chose Bowdoin over Florida colleges.

Why did you decide to go to this school?

Anna tells us why she chose Bowdoin over other schools.

Describe the students at your school.

Adit tells us about his favorite movie, favorite class, and what he likes to do in his free time.

Describe the dorms.

A walk through freshman dorms halls and a look around a standard freshman double.

What's unique about your campus?

Best week of the year!

Tell us about the sports scene on campus.

Bowdoin baseball game - trees surround everything at Bowdoin.

Describe a typical weekend.

Typical Bowdoin party

What's unique about your campus?

Lobsters are synonymous with Maine.

Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

A big part of Bowdoin's draw is its proximity to the ocean.

Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

Driving by the social houses, campus, dorms

When you step off campus what do you see?

Cameron takes a drive through Brunswick

Why did you decide to go to this school?

Students at a party explain why they chose Bowdoin.

Why did you decide to go to this school?

Julie tells us why she chose Bowdoin.

Where is the best place to get work done on campus?

Library, study areas, computer lab

Tell us about the food and dining options.

Walk through the Thorne dining hall

Tell us about the food and dining options.

A walk through the Frontier cafe and a view of the dam and bridge

Ryan
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Bowdoin is great. It's a smallerish college so you really do get to know the professors and deans and lunch ladies. You may n...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Bowdoin is great. It's a smallerish college so you really do get to know the professors and deans and lunch ladies. You may not know them your freshman year, but definitely beginning your sophomore year you really start to get to know everyone, and this sense of community is a great feeling. In my home town, few people have heard of Bowdoin. But it is fun when you run into someone who has heard of it, because generally they declare that it's a great school. On campus, a lot of people hang out in the Union (Smith Union) since the cafe, the pub, the mail center, and the gym are all located there. A number of comfortable chairs and couches are set up around the Union so it's a nice place to study when you don't want complete quiet. Otherwise, the libraries generally have a number of people in them, and if you live in a social house or dorm, a lot of times people hang out in the common spaces there as well to do work etc. Definitely, the greatest show of school pride is during the Bowdoin-Colby ice hockey games, which are always packed with yelling fans. The cheers between our two schools are the best part and definitely make the game.

Describe the students at your school.

A number of students wear sweats or jeans to class. The dress can be pretty laid back though some do look a bit nicer from day to day. Many times, students hang out with sports teams, and joining a sport team, even a club team, is a great way to have another outlet other than those with whom you live. Most students are "JOBs" - from Just Outside Boston, but in general Massachusettes and Connecticut and Maine. Though there are definitely sizable populations from Florida and California, which is interesting. On average, most students are of middle class. Obviously there are both upper class and lower class students as well. Bowdoin is definitely mostly liberal, but the conservative voice does not go unheard and has its own following of dedicated students. Students are fairly politically aware, especially the government majors, and since a large proportion of the student body studies government, this means a large porportion is quite informed.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

In general, much of the student body is quite athletic. Recently, however, Bowdoin has been striving to admit more diverse classes, and this includes a greater number of those who may not be interested in sports. Bowdoin is also not overwhelmingly preppy - there is a good mix of different styles and personalities on campus. This diversity also extends into the wealth of the student body. Especially with Bowdoin's new no-loan policy, a number of students come with full grants, and a rather large portion of the student body attends the college with the help of financial aid.

What are the academics like at your school?

I have never been in a class where the professor has not known my name, and that includes my gigantic organic chemistry class as well (which, though I considered it gigantic was really only maybe 50-60 people max). Students study an average amount. There are definitely a number of students who are incredibly smart and are rarely seen doing work but get great grades. There are also those who lock themselves in the library for hours. Most people do work all day long all week long, Monday through Thursday, but dinners during the week are usually long and generally people hang out at night before everyone goes to bed. Students are not overly competitive, at least not against each other. Almost every student I have encountered is willing to explain a concept or help a classmate out, even if technically within the class, the students are competing against eachother for the higher grade. This is a great environment for learning because the only competition that people feel is generally with themselves, trying to improve their own grades, and not comparing themselves to anyone else's acheivements. As a chemistry major, since the department is tiny, there is a lot of contact between students and faculty, and you really get to know everyone in the department. The classes are challenging but the professors are great and very helpful. It is definitely possible to start helping a professor out in his/her lab even as a freshman, simply by asking. The chemistry department as really tried to increase their contact with the students by holding weekly lunches at Thorne dining hall, so that students and faculty have a chance to see eachother in a non-classroom setting. The requirements at Bowdoin are not bad, and most are fulfilled without even realizing it, especially as a freshman when students typically explore a little by taking classes outside one particular field.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

The Bowdoin Outing Club is hugely popular and most people go on at least a few outing club trips before the graduate. At the very least, most have gone on a Pre-Orientation trip, which can be biking, kayaking, or hiking, for instance, and these are great ways to meet new people. Sports teams often hang out together on campus. I joined the club ultimate frisbee team at Bowdoin as a freshman and it's been a great way to be part of a team and be active while not having all the commitments of a varsity athlete. Especially in freshman dorms and social houses, most people leave their doors bricked so that friends/neighbors can stop by and say hello. My closest friends are definitely my two roommates, with whom, in fact, I have been roommates with since freshman year. Many people's friend groups at the beginning of freshman year are people on their floor or in their freshman dorm. As time goes on, many still remain friends, but also more time is often spent with sports teams or simply other people they've met through classes or elsewhere. Most people party Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. However, Thursdays and Saturdays are typically the more popular nights, and it's not uncommon for people only go out once or twice in a weekend, choosing to stay low key or perhaps do some work on one of the other nights. If you're taking science or intro language classes, you'll often have Friday classes, but that usually doesn't stop those people from hanging out with friends on a Thursday night - everyone just tries to get their work done early to do so!

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Bowdoin students are typically considered athletic, preppy, and perhaps somewhat financially well off.

Jerry
What is your overall opinion of this school?

the people in the bowdoin community are its richest asset. from the friendly students, to the generous faculty and staff, eve...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

the people in the bowdoin community are its richest asset. from the friendly students, to the generous faculty and staff, everyone is worth getting to know. "the bowdoin hello" is what first struck me about bowdoin-- people are friendly and enthused to be here. the open, relatively communal approach is important in a challenging higher education environment. the friendliness extends to the town of brunswick as well. the bowdoin, brunswick relationship is another one of the critical assets of bowdoin. whether you go in to get coffee, live in the neighborhoods, work with the townspeople, the experience is always well worth it. although the winters are long, brunswick is not in the middle of nowhere. quite contrary-- it is 30 minutes north of Portland, a very hip and eclectic port town, and 2hours north of boston. both of which have a plethora of sweet concerts and delicious eateries. to enjoy the long winter, skiing at sugarloaf and sunday river are less than 2hours away and the outing club provides weekly trips: snow shoeing, xcountry skiing, and mountaineering.

Describe the students at your school.

experience-wise there is a remarkable amount of diversity-- but you have to seek it out, because on the surface, it's a lot of white wealthy straight kids. but! BQSA (queer straight alliance) is a wonderful group on campus that works hard to make it an LGBTQ friendly community. the student body is incredibly active and over achievers! in extracurriculars along with academics.

What are the academics like at your school?

professors are wonderful. don't limit yourself--take a hodgepodge of classes and when you connect with a professor, get to know her/him! you'll find your passions in the most unexpected places at bowdoin. professors are truly dedicated to the students, so take advantage of it! (find the art department and gender studies department) the atmosphere is not competitive between students at bowdoin. students seem to be more competitive with themselves (remember, learning is a privelege and fun- even when you're swamped, try to gain perspective!) while it may not happen until junior year, it is true-- professors have you over for dinner to their houses. i've been at least five times. there's nothing better than escaping campus for an evening to have a homecooked meal and experience the family side of the professor you've come to know so well, intellectually.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

the social scene is on campus. revolves largely around social houses (co-ed houses that sophomores and juniors live in). if the campus scene (lots of partying) is not for you, finding a concert or movie in town is alway enjoyable. dorms are very communal and friendly places (for the most part). proctors in first year dorms provide a great service and doors are usually open!

Details

  • Enrollment
  • 1,806
  • Tuition & Fees
  • $49,900
  • Acceptance rate
  • 15%

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