Bowdoin Extends Need-Blind Admissions to International Students | This Week in Admissions News

15 JUL 2022

The world of college admissions is ever-changing and for students with top university ambitions, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest developments. This week, Bowdoin College extended their need-blind admission policy to include international students, pledging not to consider their ability to pay when evaluating applications. Check back next week to see what’s new and noteworthy in university admissions!


Bowdoin College Extends Need-Blind Admissions to International Students

Bowdoin College announced this week that international applicants will now be considered under its need-blind admissions policy. The change will take effect beginning with the 2022-2023 application cycle. 

With this change, the college joins one of just seven American institutions that offer need-blind financial aid to all students including internationals, covering 100% of their demonstrated need. Others include Amherst College, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University and Yale University.

“Ensuring access to a Bowdoin education is central to our mission. This commitment to need-blind admission for our international applicants is another important part of a remarkable program of access and affordability that only a few other colleges and universities are able to provide,” Bowdoin College President Clayton Rose shared in an official statement.

As part of its aim to make education accessible to everyone, Bowdoin has taken a number of steps to lift barriers for its students and has been a leader in more equitable admissions practices for decades. For instance, in 2008, the college eliminated loans in its financial aid packages and replaced them with scholarships. It also became the first university in the nation to adopt a test-optional admissions policy dating back to 1969.

Approximately half of current students at Bowdoin College receive some kind of financial assistance, according to Claudia Marroquin, Senior Vice President and Dean of Admissions and Student Aid. “It is critical that a great liberal arts education like Bowdoin’s be accessible to students from all economic backgrounds and all citizenships,” she said. “This latest policy makes Bowdoin’s message clear—we welcome the world’s most talented students, regardless of background, and we are doing all we can to support students from admission to graduation,” she added.

Need-blind vs Need-aware: Need-blind admissions simply means that applicants' ability to pay for their education will not be considered when their application is reviewed and cannot be a determining factor in the admissions decision. A need-aware university makes most of its decisions without considering an applicant’s financial need, but still reserves a portion of spots for students who can pay the total cost of the college’s tuition. Check out this post to learn more about the differences between Need-Blind vs Need-Aware admissions.


Other top stories in admissions news this week:

  • Following last week's news that Columbia has withdrawn from the 2023 US News university rankings, US News announced that it has "unranked Columbia University from a number of rankings in the 2022 edition of Best Colleges" after the university "failed to respond to multiple US News requests" to substantiate certain data previously submitted for the magazine's annual rankings.
  • The US Department of Education this week awarded the final $198 million in Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund grants allotted to help institutions recover from the impacts of the pandemic. The final portion of relief funding was granted to 244 colleges and universities in the US, most of which went to historically Black colleges, minority-serving institutions, community colleges, rural colleges, and institutions that serve low-income students.
  • An op-ed in The Chronicle of Higher Education addresses the ongoing media narrative that the proportion of men attending university is steadily declining, as close to 60% of college students in 1970 were male and today that figure has dipped to an all-time low of 40%. The story points out that "calling this trend a crisis, which many have, is misguided" because "the growing gap between men and women is not because men are enrolling less but because women are enrolling more."
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