Bowdoin College Top Questions

Describe the students at your school.


Fantastic. Everyone is friendly, and excited to achieve and make the most of their time at Bowdoin. College is very much a time to grow as a person, and we are definitely eager to do that and make a positive impact in the world.


My classmates are extremely bright and engaging. They are attentive and ask questions if they do not understand a concept. They are quite and respectful to the professors.


Everyone has multiple passions.


Engaging, friendly, welcoming people who are as committed to both academics and enjoying college life as you are. They know how to work and get important things done, but when it's time to relax and/or party, they know how to do it.


My classmates at Bowdoin were bright, motivated, thoughtful, open-minded, creative, and articulate.


Students are overwhelmingly friendly and eager to engage each other in interesting discussions outside of class, much more collaborative than competitive. Students routinely gather for informal study groups and view helping each other as a way to grow academically and personally. So much learning takes place outside of class as a result of this, and it really contributes to a wonderfully supportive community atmosphere.


Mostly good, overcommitted, preppy people who like to drink, work hard, and don't talk much in class.


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


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


Who wouldn't fit it here.


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


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


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


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


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.


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.


I involved in two cultural groups. Both of these groups are stigmatized, but I tink it is true of all cultural groups on campus. Many Bowdoin students feel that if they are not Latino, or not Black they can't be in LASO or the Af-Am. That's ridiculous, but what can we do. It is hard to reach out to students who do not want to be bothered. Fashion does not exist at Bowdoin. The females dress more than the males. Regular attire for men are a pair of sweats and a t-shirt either with a pair of flip flops or dirty sneakers. At Bowdoin we have the preppy students who rock their popped collars, the jocks with the sweats, and everyone else. Many students are from Massachusetts. Another popular state is New York. Most students are middle-class or upper middle-class. Bowdoin is a bubble and I often find myself not knowing what is going on outside of school. But if you want to be informed, you will be.


Very open-minded student body with all races and religions, LGBT parties being represented in open-discussions sponsered by clubs on campus. Money offered to these clubs never runs short and administration openly supports and encourages this type of activity. Students normally wear either preppy, in jeans+sweatshirts or just plain clothes to class, of course there are also the students who get decked out but heels or dress shirts are a big no-no on campus or get you noticed when going to class. Different students interact through extracurricular activities and that often forms friendships outside of those you normally are friends with. Classes are also a great place to meet people espeically in smaller classes. Four tables in dining hall: One is sports team, One is always the same group of upperclassmen girls, One is a freshman dorm, and the other is a mix of students. Financial background: Bowdoin got rid of pay-backs for financial aid, many students receieve financial aid but no one really knows about it Students are very politcally aware and even more active. Students have very strong views on a myriad of politcal issues. Predominantly Left. Students never talk about money matters, just there to enjoy education and company.


As someone who falls into the "preppy kid" stereotype I will say that I feel like I do fit in at Bowdoin. However, that does nto mean that I only interact with other prep school kids! On the contrary, I think that all different kinds of students interact here--and that's why it's so fun--you get to do things other people are interested in and learn so much from others. Students are definitely politically aware and we do have "intellectual" discussions outside of class. Most kids are probably middle class to upper middle class and on some kind of financial aid. Most students are from the east coast. There are definitely a ton of athletes here, but what is great about Bowdoin is that the "jocks" and non-athletes totally interact and are friends. It's not like there is a "cool, popular" group of jocks versus the other kids. That's what I really appreciate--people here are so willing to make friends. The students here are all about real fun--it's not just about getting hammered all the time or doing drugs for fun. People here are spontaneous--truly fun. We go sledding, skiing, do silly things all the time. It's about laughing and having fun even in the most daily, seemingly boring times. Maybe we are just dorks, I don't know, but everyone even seems to find something to laugh really hard about in the library. Kids here really have a great sense of humor and are active, proactive, go getters.


The student body is not greatly diversed, but it's becoming more so evey year. The genuine Bowdoin student has a polo and jeans on, with really nice j-crew bags (basically the preppy look). While everybody knows everybody, the minorities tend to hang out with each other. There are the Asians, the African Americans, the Intellectuals, and then there's the athletes. Students come from all over the world, but mostly from the New England region. Most students here are financially made and can afford the new fancy coach wallets and the new LL Bean bags. Most students here are liberals.


not a lot of racial diversity, though that is improving. Not a lot of class diversity either. Athletes definetely have it made here, it is an automatic social in.


getting more racial diversity all the time; administration seems committed to increasing racial diversity. a high percentage of wealthy suburban kids, but also a large amount of students on high amounts of financial aid. Everyone is from "20 min outside of Boston."


People are nice in passing and most are nice for an evening or two of hanging out (obviously friendliness becomes heightened during the weekends, when most of campus is inebriated), but after the pleasantries are exchanged most people tend not to want to make real connections. Obviously there are exceptions, and these exceptions are what you should follow up on, but when the cool kid you meet and have a nice conversation with and who's in your Chem class and who you see at breakfast three times a week doesn't smile at you when you pass, it can feel a little bit weird. The Freshman Chem Free Dorm is a cult but they're all really friendly - they definitely follow the "don't need alcohol to have fun" lifestyle and are a refreshing (but unfortunately decidedly exhausting) subculture on campus. The Chem-Free group tends to become less cohesive as the years pass.


Half of our student body plays a sport, whether it be varsity, club, or intramural, so our student body is very active. Diversity on campus is increasing... admissions is bringing in many more international and minority students, and they all integrate within our campus very well. Many Bowdoin students are from "just outside of Boston." Students don't talk about money very much. We're more concerned with getting a great education so that we can enter the occupational world with confidence and prestige.


Bowdoin is very liberal with special interest groups on campus. It almost favors gay pride which can sometimes be annoying. It seems like every week is a different "minority week." Everyone is definitely nice and friendly and won't treat you bad. Students are from all over the world - even though there's a large portion from New England/Massachusetts.


There is a really large variety of students on this campus. There is a population of students from private schools, Maine, and Massachusetts, but also some from other backgrounds who are really interesting to meet (sometimes students are even from foriegn countries). In terms of racial diversity, there could be more, but Bowdoin is trying to improve this element and has been more sucessful than in the past. What is great here is that you can wear anything you want to class: dresses, sweatpants, and even a suit if you wanted to. Therefore, there is not really any fashion pressure.


I'm from California and on the west coast there's a bit of a stereotype that east coast schools and people are pretty stuck up. So, I was a little apprehensive when I came to Bowdoin. Luckily, I have found Bowdoin students to be so down to earth. Bowdoin students are a very diverse group and come from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds. I am constantly surprised by the challenges students have overcome in order to make it to Bowdoin.


Bowdoin may be a small campus, but it is definitly not exclusive. There are students from all over there world of every nationality, religion and orientation. I cant think of anyone who would feel out of place. This community is very open and very accepting.


Very diverse, i thought it was only going to be crunchy granola and i was very surprised at the amount of preppy people like myself. All ranges of people so everyone fits in.


Bowdoin has little diversity, granted this is hard in Maine. There few lesbians and hardly any gay men to speak of.


For me, the people are what make Bowdoin what it is. Everyone really wants to be here. Everyone really cares about life on campus. Students, professors, the dining service staff, our housekeeper, the president Barry Mills (affectionately know as B Mills), the head of security (he broadcasts a show on our local radio station) etc. We’re all a little nerdy, outdoorsy, preppy, high achieving, motivated, very social, and ready for some excitement and adventure. The dating scene is decent. I think the male population is pretty attractive even if they do have some maturing to do. Relationships tend to fall into one extreme or another. They are either casual hook-ups or serious long term things. I think that’s pretty standard for college. Sometimes the selection can feel limited, but let’s be honest, it’s like that anywhere. For the most part students are friendly and laid back. When I was visiting schools I did what I called the “smile test” on the campus tours. This sounds so silly but I would smile at students walking by the tour group. If the students smiled back, they passed the test. Bowdoin definitely passed. There’s a tradition called the “Bowdoin Hello”. Anytime you’re walking along a path and it’s just you and another person, you smile and say hello. Again, sounds silly, but it makes all the difference in creating the feeling like you belong. It’s the type of place where I can be waiting in line for coffee at the café and start having a conversation about anything and everything with the people waiting beside me, whether t’s a student or a professor. You can wear sweatpants and a polo to class. You can wear your running spandex. You can look like you're going to a business interview. It all works at Bowdoin.


-Generally everyone is pleasant. -People are very driven and at times compare themselves with others too much and don't do what they as an individual want to do.


Most students wear either jeans and a T-shirt to class or leggings, uggs, and a sweatshirt. Pretty laid back. There are way too many trust funds. If you can't deal with having a lot of friends who have more money than you, this is probably not the place.


Statistically there's not that much diversity at Bowdoin: racial, economical, sexual. But that's not to say the campus is devoid of different kinds of people. I have met all sorts of people at Bowdoin from a wide variety of backgrounds, and I'm still meeting different people. I think because bowdoin is so small you're most likely to actually meet some people who in a larger setting you might never get an oppurtunity to talk to.


Bowdoin is a small, New England liberal arts school, which means little ethnic diversity. There are definitely efforts to change this, but I have mixed feelings about how successful they are because there isn't as much interaction between different racial groups on campus as one might hope. I haven't sensed any tension, but there isn't much communication. I have to say that the student body can be very clique-y, which is annoying. People are friends with the people they live with, or maybe the people on their athletic team, and it seems like the cliques are very hard to break into (or out of for that matter). But to be fair, I've never liked being part of a clique and I have to say I have some really wonderful close friends here. I just tend to eat dinner with one or two people instead of five, but that's fine with me. Students wear sweatpants to class. I have heard from so many non-Bowdoin students that they cannot get over how many people wear sweatpants here. It's pretty awesome. Also, it's near impossible to complete your college career without buying a pair of "Bean Boots" (L L Bean's famous rain/snow boot). Half of Bowdoin students are on financial aid. There are definitely some incredibly wealthy people here, but there are also students who aren't wealthy at all. As someone who falls on the lower middle class mark, I have never felt weird about it. I have a work study job and I pay own cell phone bill, which is more than most here can say, but it's never bothered me.


I am a Mexican girl from Hawaii and I feel very comfortable at Bowdoin. At times it is a bit difficult to see yourself as equal to your peers when you are constantly battling with the Bursar's Office (where the tuition gets settled). Students here definitely divide along racial lines. Maine is not a diverse state and so the diversity here at Bowdoin is generally imported which can make some students feel out of place. There's a lot discussion surrounding these issues and Bowdoin has made a lot of advances to ease this division. For example, Bowdoin just irradicated student loans which will bring a new wave of students to campus; the middle class and hopefully these students will help to break some of these economic class divisions.


Bowdoin is definitely attempting to address the issue of lacking diversity on campus. Most students tend to be of upper socio-economic classes. Bowdoin only gives scholarships based on need, so this issue is also being addressed by the college.


The Bowdoin campus is diverse, though it wouldn't look it, because students tends to separate into groups. There is tolerance for all different groups on campus, but this doesn't necessarily mean that they intermix. The Asian American students tend to be friends, the African American students tend to be friends and the white students tend to be friends and thus the dining hall can often seem a little segregated (though not on purpose). Most students come from the New England area. A lot of the students are also very rich, which was sort of difficult for me, coming from a more middle class background. Often the students are either rich or on a lot of financial aid, but there aren't that many students in the middle. Students are very politically aware and tend to be predominantly left. Bowdoin students are very aware of their future and being planning when they're still in college.


Here at Bowdoin, at least from my perspective, most people don't flaunt their financial backgrounds, though there is MUCH money...its a $43,000/yr school, what do you expect? People may wear some high couture, but don't outright say "I'm rich, envy me". Its pretty chillax.


The student body is diverse and widely talented. I am continually impressed by how many different things people do on campus. For the most part students care a lot about each other and are always looking out for each other. Students are not very competitive and usually open-minded.


Again, the people are great, and thus the nightlife is more than sufficient for those who get off on friends and community. That's important in the cold months of the Maine winter (though in all fairness the fall and the last month of school are beautiful), and is something that has more than anything made Bowdoin my home.




There is a WIDE variety of types of people here- I think that there is definitely a group for everyone here. I like to say that most Bowdoin students are "very mainstream with a few quirks". Most people are pretty friendly, and mix with diverse people. I get the sense that the vast majority of people here are very well off economically. If there is one thing that I don't like about the student body, it is that too many kids have the prep-school (wealthy) mentality, and there is pressure to fit in with that.


While Bowdoin students are incredibly diverse with respect to their interests, they are not particularly diverse when it comes to race, sexual orientation or socio-economic issues. That being said, everyone is really interested in increasing the diversity on campus. No one would feel out of place here as everyone is so welcoming but many of the students here are wealthy easterners. This shouldn't scare anyone as anyone who breaks this mold is a hot commodity and source of interest.

So the diversity isn't immense in any way, but considering we are a small liberal arts college in Maine, we have a fair amount of ethnic, religious, and demographic diversity. Coming from a white, middle class, small town in Maine, I've never been in a school with so many Asians, African Americans, and Jewish people. But if you come from a city, the diversity may seem lacking. Fortunately, not everyone here is your stereotypical private school snob. I was also surprised to find that not everyone is from Massachussetts either! So there may be a sizeable fraction of students at Bowdoin from New England, but there is a pretty good following of students from New York and California. There is at least one person from almost every state in each class and several international students too. Bowdoin has a predominantly liberal student body, but I don't find that politics affects student interactions too much unless it's election time or you are part of one of the political clubs. Maybe it's the fact that girls are attracted to the city, or that the Maine's woods scare them away, but the ratio of attractive girls to attractive guys at Bowdoin is very small.


common complaints are that the campus is too white, too privileged, and too heterosexual. nevertheless, i have friends who are straight, gay, bisexual, all different races/ethnicities, and anywhere from on full financial aid to none. the student body is very left-leaning, but for the most part is not that politically active. because many students are athletes (50%?) a lot of students wear sweatpants/sweatshirts to class and to meals so they don't have to change before practice. some people really get dressed every day, but you wouldn't ever feel out of place if you did not.


I would say that most students wear jeans and a t-shirt. There will always be those people that you never see wearing sweatpants, but I can say that I have zero problem wearing a sweat suit to class. I don't feel uncomfortable, under-dressed or out of place. I think there's a pretty good mix of politically aware and active students and ones that have no clue what's going on and don't care. Bowdoin definitely is predominantly left on the political spectrum, however, I have seen some fliers around campus recently about a Republican group on campus, so they're small but visible.


People are pretty accepting here, especially the gay community (I would know being on the rugby team). Students who feel out of place are ones who aren't satisfied with the work hard, play hard mentality, where you work your ass off all week and then spend the entire weekend trashed. Most students are from the east coast, so there is that kind of cutthroat academic attitude here...even if students aren't competitive with each other, which I don't think they are, they hold themselves to incredibly high standards. Everybody's pretty liberal, and many students are on financial aid, which luckily isn't taboo at all.


I find it to be diverse enough for a school in maine and that usually attracts people from new england which isn't such a diverse place in the first place.


At Bowdoin your roots and history are important, but things like race, sexual orientation, and class rarely come into play. I have friends of all backgrounds and these things don't ever come up. Bowdoin students are who they are regardless. At Bowdoin the only people who would feel out of place are unmotivated people who aren't outgoing. There are people here like that, but I think that they just aren't as happy. The students here are incredibly smart and inspired. If you aren't willing to work hard and keep up, you might feel a little excluded from the majority of the student body. So many students here, myself included, find so much joy in constantly meeting new people. Not being socially outgoing or excited about meeting new people from all kinds of places might also leave someone excluded.

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