Bowdoin College: Acceptance Rate Admissions Statistics

Bowdoin College

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Bowdoin College is a private liberal arts college with an acceptance rate of 9.1%. Located near the coast in Brunswick, Maine, Bowdoin takes pride in both its beautiful location and its academic excellence. Eight miles away from the main campus is Bowdoin's 118-acre Coastal Studies Center on Orr's Island. Bowdoin was one of the first colleges in the country to move to a financial aid process that allows students to graduate without loan debt. 

For its strong programs in the liberal arts and sciences, Bowdoin was awarded a chapter of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa honor society. With its 9-to-1 student/faculty ratio and wide-ranging strengths, Bowdoin is considered one of the top New England colleges and top liberal arts colleges

Considering applying to this highly selective school? Here are the Bowdoin College admissions statistics you should know.

Acceptance Rate

During the 2018-19 admissions cycle, Bowdoin College had an acceptance rate of 9.1%. This means that for every 100 students who applied, 9 students were admitted, making Bowdoin's admissions process highly competitive.

Admissions Statistics (2018-19)
Number of Applicants 9,332
Percent Admitted 9.1%
Percent Admitted Who Enrolled (Yield) 59%

SAT Scores and Requirements

Bowdoin has a test-optional standardized testing policy. Applicants to Bowdoin may submit SAT or ACT scores to the school, but they are not required. During the 2018-19 admissions cycle, 59% of admitted students submitted SAT scores.

SAT Range (Admitted Students)
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
ERW 660 740
Math 670 780
ERW=Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

This admissions data tells us that of those who submitted test scores during the 2018-19 admissions cycle, most of Bowdoin's admitted students fall within the top 20% nationally on the SAT. For the evidence-based reading and writing section, 50% of students admitted to Bowdoin scored between 660 and 740, while 25% scored below 660 and 25% scored above 740. On the math section, 50% of admitted students scored between 670 and 780, while 25% scored below 670 and 25% scored above 780. While the SAT is not required, this data tells us that a composite SAT score of 1520 or higher is a competitive score for Bowdoin College.

Requirements

Bowdoin does not require SAT scores for admission. For students who choose to submit scores, note that Bowdoin participates in the scorechoice program, meaning that the admissions office will consider your highest score from each individual section across all SAT test dates. Bowdoin does not require the essay section of the SAT or SAT Subject test scores.

ACT Scores and Requirements

Bowdoin College has a test-optional standardized testing policy. Applicants to Bowdoin may submit SAT or ACT scores to the school, but they are not required. During the 2018-19 admissions cycle, 45% of admitted students submitted ACT scores.

ACT Scores (Admitted Students)
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
English 33 35
Math 28 34
Composite 31 34

This admissions data tells us that of those students who submitted ACT scores to Bowdoin College, most fall within the top 5% nationally on the ACT. The middle 50% of students admitted to Bowdoin received a composite ACT score between 31 and 34, while 25% scored above 34 and 25% scored below 31.

Requirements

Bowdoin does not require ACT scores for admission. For students who choose to submit scores, note that Bowdoin participates in the scorechoice program, meaning that the admissions office will consider your highest score from each individual section across all ACT test dates. Bowdoin does not require the ACT writing section.

GPA

Bowdoin College does not provide data about admitted students' high school GPAs. In 2019, 85% of admitted students who provided data indicated that they ranked in the top 10% of their high school class.

Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph

Bowdoin College Applicants' Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph.
Bowdoin College Applicants' Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph. Data courtesy of Cappex.

The admissions data in the graph is self-reported by applicants to Bowdoin College. GPAs are unweighted. Find out how you compare to accepted students, see the real-time graph, and calculate your chances of getting in with a free Cappex account.

Admissions Chances

Bowdoin College, which accepts fewer than one tenth of applicants, is a highly selective liberal arts college. However, Bowdoin also has a holistic admissions process and is test-optional, and admissions decisions are based on more than numbers. A strong application essay and glowing letters of recommendation can strengthen your application, as can participation in meaningful extracurricular activities and a rigorous course schedule which includes AP, IB, Honors, and dual enrollment classes. While not required, Bowdoin strongly recommends interviews for interested applicants. Students with particularly compelling stories or achievements can still receive serious consideration even if their grades and scores are outside of Bowdoin's average range.

In the graph above, the blue and green dots represent accepted students. Most had average high school GPAs in the "A" range (3.7 to 4.0) and combined SAT scores (ERW+M) above 1300, but lower scores won't affect your chance of acceptance as the college has a test-optional admissions policy. Applicants can choose whether to include their scores when they apply to Bowdoin.