Bates College

Lewiston, ME, USA

Reviews

Bates College

4.38 Average Rating

Kiera from Lewiston, ME

a current student here
11 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
What captured me was the modest intelligence of the students. Everyone here not only passionately wants to be here, but every student sincerely deserves to be here. The student body, friendly and easy-going, is a part of the aura of subdued learning and knowledge, that makes Bates a truly welcoming and enjoyable environment.
Tips for prospective students
Although Bates is an amazing school, think about its geography. It has a wealth of opportunities for the outdoors and isn't that far from big cities such as Boston, or more close to home, Portland, Maine. Make sure you are good with the isolation. But isolation does not mean lack of opportunities. Visit campus! Merely looking at photos does not capture the experience. Talk to the students when you visit, everyone is very friendly and usually love to talk to prospective students about what it means to be a Batesie, even a newly named bobkitten (first-year).
Academic Rigor
After participating in the full IB Diploma program in high school, I found that Bates still managed to fullfil my desire to intellectually challenge myself. Now, at the start of second semester, I appreciate the level of work the professors and other students expect of each other. It's a mutual relationship. It is hard to skate by here, and it seems that no one really wants to, either.
Dorm Life
I have to say, the dorms at Bates are some of the best I have seen. Most are generous is size, my double being the size of some friend's triples at other institutions. With a small campus, being centrally located is not as big of deal, but they are definitely all well placed. Freshman dorms are going to be loud on weekends, but it is not unbearable. There are low-chem and chem-free dorms which provide a quieter environment for those looking. Most people form a strong bond with their floor during freshman orientation. The janitors are also some of the nicest people you will ever meet.
Food and Dining
Unlimited meal plan; what more needs to be said. I guess I could add the fact that we have a cereal wall of over twenty different types of cereal, available at every meal. There is also only one dining hall on campus, which adds to the sense of unity felt throughout Bates. No decisions where to eat, and all your friends in once place. The actual food itself is good, the pizza being one of my favorites. There is also late night dining for money, called the Bobcat Den. A popular stop for late-night snacks when Commons is closed. Le Ronj, the student-run coffeehouse provides the ever-famous Chai for your late-night studying habits. The food really is superb and is always improving.
What to do for fun
The Student Activities Office provides shuttles in and out of the surrounding cities, Lewiston and Auburn and bigger trips on the weekend. Including the famous Freeport (home of LL Bean) and Portland, for a few examples. There are also plenty of outing club activities for those with the outdoorsy gene in them. Skiing during the winter is also popular. Also, many Batesies enjoy each other's company during the weekend, taking some time away from the books. There are also themed dances every month put on by the Student Activities Center. The multiplicities of clubs also leave no person bored here at Bates. Not to mention concerts, this year K'naan performed.
Bang for the buck
Yes, Bates is pricey; but I believe that there are plenty of opportunities and the education I am receiving is top-notch. Being a first year, I can't really speak to much to this. If Bates didn't give so much financial aid, it wouldn't be worth it. But they are good about giving those who deserve aid, aid.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
One of the best traditions on Bates just occurred, which is the Puddle Jump. The pond on campus, affectionally named the Puddle, freezes over during the winter. During Winter Carnival a hole is carved out and hundreds of Batesies dress up in crazy costumes and jump into the frozen water. It is something people look forward to, if not to participate in, than merely watch.
Great for these types of students
Great for students who are easy-going, yet want a rigorous education. It is also good for people who enjoy the outdoors, or at least embrace it.
Clubs and Activities
There are many clubs and activities throughout campus, as you will learn from your student e-mail the first week of school. From ethnic groups, to environmental groups, to athletic club teams to the biology club; there is something for everyone. And starting a club isn't hard at all!
Greek Life
No greek life here! So if that is what you are looking for, Bates is not for you. I really like it without Greek life.
Campus Safety
Campus security is really chill, but gets the job done. Campus is located in Lewiston, a poorer city of Maine, but I never feel uncomfortable on campus, let alone off campus. Security patrols around day and night, and is always there to help out.
Sign in to rate & review

Joseph from Kansas City, MO

a current student here
10 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
You might be wondering what is this tiny school all the way in Maine, but before you write it off, just know that this school gives provides so many opportunities. Aside from that, the food is absolutely amazing, the dorm options are nice/expanding, the clubs are endless, and the people are very chill. If you are looking for a school with growing diversity, an active campus environment, challenging and rewarding academics, great food, affordable cost, good sports (mainly swimming/diving, track, rowing), and raging fun on the weekends then choose Bates.
Tips for prospective students
Visit the campus and try to stay over night and sit in on classes so you can really experience Bates. That's how most people fall in love with it. Come in first semester willing to work hard because your first semester courses will be interesting but hard. Also, join a club on campus (outing club, debate, dance, chess, eating, volleyball, etc.) because that's how you'll get the most out of Bates socially.
Go on an AESOP trip. It's our annual entering student's outdoor program. You can do backpacking on the easiest trail or do a level five as a first time backpacker like myself in the White Mountains. You can chill on the Maine beach, go canoeing, etc.
Also, stay for your first short term (five weeks-one class). The class options are so unique and you will love whatever you choose. There are things happening every single day after classes like dances, day at the beach, hiking trips, concerts (Lupe Fiasco), and much more.

Academic Rigor
If you are looking for an easy school you might not want to consider Bates. It is considered a Little Ivy and boasts studies that compete with the Ivy League schools as far as value and difficulty. With that said, the classes are much smaller, so professors are willing to help you as long as you take the initiative. You will learn a lot and once you get into the groove of things, the work obviously becomes very manageable.
Dorm Life
If you want a setting with no alcohol at all, there are houses for you. If you want a dorm life with upperclassmen and underclassmen, there are dorms for you. If you want to live in a room with the opposite sex, this is an option as long as you are an upperclassmen and preferably not dating. As the years go on, the dorm options get bigger and better. All dorms are clean except on a crazy weekend when the custodians have the day off (which does not happen often). There are also new dorms being built. Options are endless.
Food and Dining
Some of the best dining hall food EVER! Currently, there is only one dining call but honestly it has everything you ever wanted or did not know you wanted, like the vegan bar that cooks the best food.
What to do for fun
Go to a trip with the Outing Club, go watch a well known guest lecture/give a speech, go to one of the movie screenings, go to football game, go watch a dance performance, go listen to the acapella groups, go to one of the dances (Halloween, Glow, 80's, 90's, etc) or go chill at the campus coffee house. Always something to do, just look for it.
Bang for the buck
Bates does a really good job of accessing financial need, so don't let the tuition of $50,000+ scare you away. They take into account all family/personal expenses and will not make you pay what you cannot afford. Compare the Bates scholarship to what any other private/public school gives you and I guarantee Bates offers a better deal.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
There is a puddle on campus and when it freezes over, the Outing Club breaks the ice so students can jump in dressed in the most ridiculous outfits or lack thereof. There is Lick It!, which is a dance put on by Outfront (LGBTQ club) and it is always a great time, which is usually followed by the Gala (a much classier, formal event attended by the entire college with dinner, live music, and dancing).
Great for these types of students
Curious, engaging, and academically well-rounded students who are there to work hard and play hard!
Clubs and Activities
Over 80+ clubs (Outing Club, Debate, Chess, Eating, Latinos Unidos, 5 Acapella groups, International club, IM soccer/tennis/volleyball/frisbee/etc.
Greek Life
There is no Greek Life.
Campus Safety
Very occasional theft of a bike when it is not locked up for an extended period of time. If there any issues of violence or harassment (rare), then security and the administration is on it immediately.
Sign in to rate & review

Logan from South Berwick, ME

a current student here
8 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
The opportunities that Bates offers to its students are endless, from the arts to the sciences and to athletics. Every student is welcomed with open arms. The small classes offer great relationships with Professors as well as your fellow classmates, and makes for a great learning environment.
Tips for prospective students
Do not be nervous when you step onto campus. When you visit, sit in on a few different classes. If you have a friend on campus, ask if you can stay the night, or ask admissions if there is a host available. Try and get away from the generic tour, and get a real feel for what the school is all about.
Academic Rigor
Classes are very hard, but the small sizes make for a great learning environment. Professors here want the best work, and they push you because they know your potential. You work hard so that the benefit is much greater.
Dorm Life
Comfortable, clean, friendly and plenty of options for all students.
Food and Dining
AMAZING!!!
What to do for fun
Go on hikes with the Outing Club, or go on ski trips organized by the Student Activities Office. Go to the Art Walk in Old Port, Portland, ME during First Friday. Attend a lecture by a visiting professor. Go and take a study break and listen to one of the acapella groups. The opportunities for fun are endless!
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
The Puddle Jump. Every year in January the Outing Club hosts the Puddle Jump. There is a small pond in the middle of campus, called the Puddle, and a whole is cut out of the ice and students line up to jump in, wearing crazy costumes.
Great for these types of students
Outgoing, want to try something new, and aren't scared of a challenge.
Greek Life
No Greek life.
Campus Safety
Security is always responsive and very quick when you call with an issue. There is unfortunately the occasional bike theft, but that only happens if you do not lock your bike, and there is a bike shed which is very safe. There is never any vandalism.
Sign in to rate & review

a current student here
6 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Bates is an academically rigorous school with out the pressure to compete with the rest of your classmates. The student body is chill and down to earth. There are tons of opportunities to get involved on and off campus.
Tips for prospective students
Do not enroll at a school based on their prestige. Remember the reason why you are attending college. Partying is fun but take advantage of the extracurricular opportunities, talks, shows. There's tons of stuff to do! Where else are you going to be granted the opportunity to join a circus club for free!
Academic Rigor
It's a lot of work! And the professors have high expectations because they care about their students. Even the blow off classes aren't really blow off.
Dorm Life
Housing all four years!! I hate the housing lottery one of the most stressful situations that I had to go through at my first year at Bates.
Food and Dining
There is one dinning hall called commons. Practically every student is on the meal plan. It is a great place to socialize and see new faces. IT'S GREAT! The food is amazing there is a vegan bar, gluten free options, excellent dessert bar, 60 something cereal options, and sunday sundai!!! You can swap your card as many times as you will like as long as it is open.
What to do for fun
We are not in the middle of no where. Bates offers shuttles during weekends that take you around the surrounding community (mall, movie, theater, roller rink, walmart, etc.) Also the shuttle takes you to bigger malls. Every Thursday night an artist comes in an performs. They are actually pretty good! Batesies enjoy working out for fun.
Bang for the buck
Financial Aid is pretty great!
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Puddle Jump! Jump into the freezing pond.
Clubs and Activities
Not going to lie but I think it's true at almost every campus. They are mainly centered around planning events and holding discussions.
Greek Life
No Greek Life!
Campus Safety
The campus is pretty small. Security is walking or driving around at all times. I have seen one blue light on the entire campus. Doesn't really concern me though. Also, I feel pretty safe leaving my stuff unattended in the library or the dinning hall. If there are any thefts it is usually done my the outside community.
Sign in to rate & review

Addie C. from Maine

a current student here
6 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
I started referring to Bates as home only a couple of weeks into my freshman year, when I was at my actual house. Warm, spirited, intelligent and athletic people grace the campus. Opportunities seem unlimited because of how many people wish to extend a helping hand within the community.
Tips for prospective students
Apply ED if you think the school is your top choice, as 50% of ED applicants get in (v.s. an overall 25% student acceptance rate). On paper Bates, Bowdoin and Colby seem very similar, so visit the campuses to get a feel for the atmosphere.. Bates students are extremely welcoming.
Academic Rigor
Bates is a Liberal Arts school, so although there are no language requirements, students must fulfill -along with the classes pertaining to their major- an SLQ (1 credit in a science, lab and a quantitative class), as well as several writing-based classes. Homework includes an extensive amount of reading and writing papers in response to the book contents.
Dorm Life
Dorms and on-campus houses vary immensely, yet everyone seems to like different living situations for different reasons (proximity, singles, triples, and new-ness). The standard dorm room is quite large.
Food and Dining
The only dining on campus is called Commons, which was designed with six different food stations in a circular setup. This design maximizes the amount that students are face-to-face with each other, enabling them to know more people. The food is superb, and local whenever possible. A great selection for both dairy and gluten free students.
What to do for fun
Bates does a fantastic job of bringing entertainment to campus. Every Thursday night there is something called The Village Club Series, where either a solo or duo performer comes to play. Always free chai and cookies. There are also many movie and cultural nights.
Bang for the buck
Bates works on a financial- need based system. This means that whatever the school believes a family able to pay, they have them pay it. Almost everything else is covered by the school's endowment.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
*Puddlejump: students dress in costumes and jump in the pond via a cut hole in the ice during February.
*80's Dance: An 80's cover band performs as the students dance, dressed in 80's getup.
*Gala: Semi-formal in the winter.
*Mt. David: Yes, we have a mountain on campus.
Great for these types of students
Laid back and modest, although students tend to have multiple homes in various locations throughout the world. L.L. Bean, Patagonia and Hunter Boots clad. Flannels are very acceptable. Students are intelligent yet do not feel competitive about it, know how to balance education with all the other activities they can get involved in on campus.
Clubs and Activities
There are over 100 different clubs, including the Bates Outing Club, one of the oldest of its kind still let in the country. From knitting clubs to a capellas, Bates will have something for you. If they don't, students can start up new organizations.
Greek Life
No Greek Life on campus.
Campus Safety
Although in Lewiston, the campus has a very secure feel to it, often referred to as The Bates Bubble. Security is very Liberal, yet absolutely no hard alcohol is tolerated, including for students over 21.
Sign in to rate & review

Christian from Newburyport, MA

a current student here
5 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Bates College is the place that I now call home. Academic integrity, athletic excellence, and the all-around amazing people that make up the student body and faculty here make it a wonderful place to spend my undergraduate years.
Tips for prospective students
Show interest and let them know that you really want to come here. To the admissions office, you are not just a number and the deans here really want to get to know you as a person before they make their decision.
Academic Rigor
Classes are challenging but very rewarding. The 10:1 student to faculty ratio gives a very personal approach to education here at Bates. Professors are very approachable and I have never had an issue with not being able to get in touch with them.
Dorm Life
Dorm life is great no matter where you live.
Food and Dining
When I go home during breaks and hear all of my friends complaining about their dining services I just smile and know that I have never been unhappy with the food here. The workers in the dining commons always have a smile on everyday and there is something for everybody. Every other week on Wednesday night commons puts on Adventures in Dining where the food being served is tied to a certain theme; the workers also dress up and everything can get pretty outrageous.
What to do for fun
There are always dances during the weekends or excursions put on by the student activities committee that give the students something to do. I have never had a dull weekend without something to do.
Great for these types of students
If you enjoy the outdoors and skiing then Bates is for you. Although Bates is great for people of that nature, there is so much diversity on campus that everyone ends up finding their niche eventually.
Clubs and Activities
There seems to be a club for about every activity here on campus. From DJ Society, to the Outing Club, to the Harmonica Club, Bates has a little to offer everyone that comes here.
Greek Life
No frats here at Bates which, in my opinion, is a great thing. Everybody is focused on academics and the whole campus seems less cliquey.
Campus Safety
Although campus is small, Bates security is always willing to escort people home on a dark night. The campus has the blue light system installed in what seems like every location.
Sign in to rate & review

Elle from New York

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Bates is an amazing school that prides itself on helping the students, which it really does. It gives the students the attention they deserve, and professors are always more than willing to help. Though the school is small, there is always something to do.
What to do for fun
There is always a play, movie, performance, or dance that is happening during the weekends. And if that doesn't interest you, there is always a party going on somewhere!
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
A long-time tradition at Bates is the Puddle Jump, which is when the students jump into the frozen puddle! It seems absurd, but it's actually quite fun. It's kind of like a graduation requirement!
Clubs and Activities
There is a plethora of clubs and activities available for the students, from equestrian to dance to the Outing Club!
Greek Life
There is no greek life!
Campus Safety
Security really cares about your health more than busting you for being intoxicated, or throwing a party. They're really understanding!
Sign in to rate & review

Erin from Rumford, ME

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Bates was unexpectedly perfect for me. The people are amazing and the atmosphere is great. I love it here.
Tips for prospective students
Try to go in with some idea of what you want to major in.
Academic Rigor
It's pretty difficult depending on what classes you take and what you major in
Dorm Life
Dorm life is so fun. It's like a little family.
Food and Dining
So many options and so tasty!
What to do for fun
Ski, hike, play sports, go to the gym, intramural sports, a capella concerts, go to freeport, portland or the ocean, go to range pond.
Bang for the buck
I got EXTREMELY good financial aid but it all depends on your academics and financial situation
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
milts, puddle jump, pub crawl, drunk thesis, 80s dance, 90s dance, gala, the puddle, mt. david
Great for these types of students
athletic, like small classes, outspoken, artsy, outdoorsy
Clubs and Activities
quite a variety of options
Greek Life
non-existent
Campus Safety
security is usually pretty cool.
Sign in to rate & review

Similar Colleges