Bowdoin College Top Questions

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.


I would say yes.


There is a certain preppy-ness due to the amount of kids from prep-schools but they are hardly ever snobby or flaunt their backgrounds. Bowdoin happens to be in Maine where there is amazing outdoor activity being offered. Before coming to Bowdoin I was not an "outdoors" person but i found myself trying new things and joining the BOC. P.s. the BOC is a GEM on campus. Also a diverse amount of students from all around the world are found in the Bowdoin student body I find myself constantly meeting new types interesting characters on campus. Girls at Bowdoin are surprisingly very good-looking, and not only that very smart, witty and opinionated, not going to find a typical housewife type of gal at Bowdoin! Guys are all-around decent looking but you tend to find girls dominating campus activities/clubs when guys stick to sprots and intramurals.


yes, but there are so many different kinds of people here. These stereotypes fit some students but not all. Also, just because there are stereotypes doesn't mean that "preppy" kids are only friends with other preppy kids. Everyone branches out.




I can see how Bowdoin would appear that way- I'd heard the same stereotypes about Williams and Middlebury. The more you get to know the students, though, the more you realize the deep diversity that Bowdoin contains. There are students from all backgrounds, areas of the globe, types of schools, and with all interests and passions. At first, I was kind of overwhelmed by how amazing everyone was.


These groups do exist, but they by no means define the student body. Pretty much every social niche is represented.


Unfortunately, for the most part I have found these stereotypes entirely accurate.


Students at Bowdoin have a good sense of what it means to be healthy and therefore many are active in athletics or outdoor activities.


Not really. Everyone is really nice, laid back, and has balanced lifestyles. We work really hard, but we also know how to have fun.


For the most part


The stereotype that students at Bowdoin are intelligent is very true. Students here work hard and are very articulate. However, although there is a strong academic strive in the students, they are still down to earth and fun to hang out with. Also, although a fair amoung of people come from private schools, there is an extremely diverse group of students who come from all kinds of different backgrounds, and it's really nice to get to know all the different types of students.


The smart part is definitely true, but the preppy part couldn't be more wrong. The vast majority of Bowdoin students did not go to elite prep schools and wear North Face fleeces, not Abercrombie and Fitch.


For the most part I have found these stereotypes to be true. It is not uncommon for students to walk around in dress clothes and "preppy" attire. If I saw a guy walking around in a sports jacket I wouldnt ask any questions. As for the second stereotype, of course it is true, but Bowdoin students certainly know how to have fun on the weekends.


BOTH FALSE - mixture of everyone, we may be small but we are diverse






-Rich yes; smart yes; stuck up a very few; snobs a very few


Not really. Basically, you come to main if you like the outdoors, but most students have too much work to really go out and hike the trails.


By and large, I think yes. Bowdoin kids on the whole are smart, really active, and have some form of dirty hippie within them. Our Sustainable Bowdoin and Outing club are really active on campus. As for preppy, I've gone to prep school, and I definately can see a carry over into Bowdoin, but there are plenty of people who are not preppy, who are not from rich suburbs. You do have to like nature to go here, the harsh weather in the winter and the pretty bucolic surroundings have been known to drive some city kids a little crazy.


There are definitely people who fit into that category, but just as many who don't. I think that Bowdoin is pretty diverse in terms of academic and extracurricular interests, as well as post-college pursuits. I think we definitely have a larger crunchy contingent than some of the other small liberal arts schools on the east coast.


For the most part, yes. Almost all student are of some combination of this list.


There are many students that do fit this stereotype, but this stereotype certainly does not fit the entire campus. Bowdoin is trying to increase diversity and I think that each class is moving a little bit away from this stereotype.


Though a lot of students fit the description of the preppy private-school kid, not all of the Bowdoin a like this. Bowdoin students have very diverse interests and styles. It certainly fits the stereotype of a heavy drinking school, however. Though there are plenty of chem-free students, a lot of students party every day of the weekend.


NO, granted there are rich students here, it doesn't really show...everyone is pretty chillax. Here, everyone is pretty much on the same level, no matter what socio-economic status.


Although the winters can be incredibly cold, the professors and students here are incredibly warm and support. I have many deep friendships that I have formed here that will last a lifetime.






Yeah, kind of. Definitely a lot of prep school kids who (more or less) payed their way here. A LOT of athletes. also a lot of really outdoorsy people. Basically the only thing to do on weekends is drink, and during the week everyone is really focused on school work- kind of bipolar.


Not at all. There are definitly a lot of different types of people at Bowdoin. Many are incredibly preppy and these tend to overshadow the granola types here. No matter how you would define yourself though, you will be able to find you niche.

The reality is that bowdoin students are fairly diverse in ethnicity, religion, and demographics. I think this diversity in students and the fact that there is a large athletic population on campus really brings a new edge to the Bowdoin academic and social life. Bowdoin students are hardworking and really buckle down on their assignments, but the weekend brings a different scene to Bowdoin with a fairly high level of social interaction, partying, and relaxation. I would say that the 'work hard, play hard' slogan definitely applies to Bowdoin students. The harder we work during the week, the harder we tend play on the weekends! Not too mention, I was pleasantly surprised by the high level of partying that goes on here at Bowdoin.


to some extent, yes, but the stereotypes are definitely exaggerated. there are many different types of students on campus, and everyone finds their niche. the student body is, for the most part, very friendly and accepting.


Both types of people definitely exist on campus, but in no way does it define the entire student body. There are people who are very preppy and there are people who are all about the outdoors. However, there are plenty of people on campus that do not fall into either category. I think that people focus on these stereotypes more than they do at a larger school simply because Bowdoin is on the smaller side so these classifications are more apparent.


Yes, more so for the preps than for the outdoorsy types. I think people confuse being outdoorsy with being hippies, of which this school has very few.




I think the ugly girl stereotype probably just comes from our rival schools, but I think as a whole, the student body is pretty attractive. There are a significant number of students who play one or more varsity sports, but there are also plenty who don't. I am not a member of an athletic team, but I have plenty of good friends who are and I have been able to get to know their friends on those teams. Teams create a great sense of community for those on them and for those who have Bowdoin spirit. I'm from the midwest and it is pretty obvious to me that I am the minority when it comes to geography. People joke about the JOB (Just outside of Boston) kids, but it is true. There is a huge percentage from Massachusetts, Maine, and the rest of New England. The college seems to be trying to get a more diverse student body, but it's challenging when Bowdoin is so highly regarded, especially in New England.


strong academics & facilities-yes. Preppy, and full of boarding school kids, somewhat, but there is also an entire contingent of middle-class/lower-class, down to earth students. There are so many different types of people here, its really easy to find a group you fit in with.


Yes, for the most part—the Admissions office certainly plays up the ethnic, racial, geographical diversity that is on campus. And to their credit, it has become more diverse than I'm sure it was 10, 15 years ago. Still, the place is fundamentally an institution catering to New England, intelligent, upper-middle class white kids. And it's doubtful that this will change dramtically in the future.




To some extent they are but it's easy to branch out from the sterotype and even those that fit the sterotype are different then what youe expect (either by academic interest or extracuriicular etc)


There is definitely a large contingent of preppy, athletic, white, New Englanders on campus, but I wouldn't say that this stereotype negatively effects the student body as a whole.


For the most part, except Bowdoin is a lot more diverse than some might realize.


To some degree but not in a negative sense. Its certainly more diverse than people think and not everyone parties or is granola.


Sometimes, but this is not all encompassing.




kind of- I've met people here who are richer than anyone I knew before coming to college


While there is certainly a lot of diversity at Bowdoin, I have found many of these stereotypes to be generally true.






Partly. Coming from a prep school myself, Bowdoin seems less preppy to than high school. At the same time, there are a lot of private school kids here, but I think that is probably more a phenomena of highly selective colleges everywhere than something specifc to Bowdoin. As for alcohol, Bowdoin students do drink a lot, and some of us even pride ourselves on our capacities. That said, some major campus organizations and scenes don't involve any drinking. The best example is probably the outing club, which includes a huge portion of the campus, but doesn't condone (or even allow) drinking on any events. No one has a problem with this either because the culture of the outing club is pretty alcohol free in the first place.

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