Scholarships, grants, and student employment are the principal sources of aid for Bowdoin students who need help in meeting the expenses of their education. Here, you can see an overview of the types of aid Bowdoin offers.

First Year Student Awards

About 200 entering students receive financial aid offers from the College each year to help them meet expenses. Recently these awards have ranged from $3,000 to $56,000. Normally, financial aid recipients receive an aid decision with their letter of Admission to the College. Final grant amounts are contingent upon receipt of requested documents and final approval of costs by the Board of Trustees. 

Renewal Awards

All continuing students applying for aid must register as aid candidates with the Student Aid Office by the published deadlines each year. Grant awards change each year as a function of changes in costs, family income, and net worth including home and business equity, family size, and number of children attending undergraduate college on a full-time basis.

Student Contribution and Student Employment

Students who receive financial aid contribute to their education by paying a modest share of the expense to attend Bowdoin. The student’s financial aid award factors in a “student contribution” in each award. Students may contribute their portion though outside scholarships, summer earnings, personal gifts from extended family, and/or work during the academic year.

Employment opportunities on campus are available to all students who are interested and able to work through Bowdoin’s Office of Student Employment. There are over 1,000 campus jobs available in College departments and offices. First-year students may apply for placement or search and apply to openings.

Students may choose to work or not; the decision to work is based on what’s best for the student and their family and has no effect on the grant offer.

National Merit Scholarships

Bowdoin National Merit Scholars who are eligible for Bowdoin financial aid receive a renewable $2,000 award. National Merit Scholars who are not eligible for Bowdoin financial aid receive a renewable $1,000 recognition award.

For more information about National Merit at Bowdoin, visit the National Merit section of the Student Aid FAQ page.

Outside Scholarships

We encourage all students to pursue outside scholarships and we allow families to benefit from those funds as much as possible. For more information, visit the Outside Scholarships section of the Student Aid FAQ page.