Need Blind and Meeting Full Need


Need Blind

Bowdoin practices need-blind admission. Need blind means that the ability to pay the College’s tuition and fees is not part of the decision to admit a student. The College seeks highly motivated students who are interested in an undergraduate experience that will allow them to explore their academic interests and contribute to a vibrant residential community. Those students come from a wide variety of family backgrounds and economic circumstance, and Bowdoin believes in creating opportunity for all students regardless of family income. 

Available resources limit our ability to be need-blind for all admission categories. For international, wait-list, and transfer students, Bowdoin may be “need aware” during the admission process, and a family’s finances may be a factor in the final admission decision. If admitted, students from these groups will have their full-need met based on standard policies assuming the student’s financial aid file is complete by our published deadlines. For more information, please contact the Student Aid Office.

Meeting Full-Need

Need-based aid is intended to bridge the gap between the total cost to attend Bowdoin and your family’s ability to pay. When reviewing requests for assistance, we take into consideration each family’s unique financial circumstances. From the information you provide during the application period, we determine your family share of your college costs. We carefully review your situation and take into account a number of important factors that influence your family’s ability to contribute toward your education. These factors include, but are not limited to, parent and student income and assets, siblings enrolled in college at the undergraduate level, and any other resources received outside the College. Meeting full need means that we subtract your family share from the total cost to attend Bowdoin, and then provide student aid to cover the difference. Bowdoin’s student financial aid packages include a small work award and the remainder is grant assistance.  Bowdoin does not include student and parent loans in students' aid packages.  Through generous gifts from alumni and friends, the College is able to provide grant awards allowing students from all economic backgrounds attend.  When thinking about how to pay your share, we encourage families to first investigate sources of assistance that do not require repayment.  Families who choose to borrow are encouraged to borrow responsibly and understand their repayment obligation prior to making a final decision.

Information on Financing and Student Loans

While student loans are not a part of our standard student financial aid packages, you may elect to borrow a low-interest student loan. For more information on student loans and parent financing options, please log in to your student portal “MyAid” where you will find more information on student/parent financing.