Financial Aid Instructions

The process for applying for financial aid is straightforward, but we understand that to first-year students and parents, it may seem complicated at first. Each family’s circumstances are unique, and we’re sure you’ll have questions. The instructions below will guide you through the basic procedures, but we encourage you to explore the site for more detailed information on all aspects of financial aid.

And if you have further questions, please feel free to email us at or to call the Bowdoin Student Aid Office at 207-725-3144.

How to Apply

Candidates for financial aid must file the College Scholarship Service (CSS) PROFILE to be eligible for Bowdoin grant support. CSS charges a processing fee, but lower income families may be eligible for an automatic fee waiver.

Be sure to submit the CSS PROFILE and FAFSA (U.S. Citizens and eligible non-citizens only) forms to Bowdoin in accordance with our published deadlines. For Bowdoin to receive the application results electronically, you must include our school code numbers: 3089 on the CSS PROFILE and 002038 on the FAFSA.

The FAFSA is required to determine eligibility for all sources of federal assistance.  If all you wish to do is apply for federal aid, then completing the FAFSA is your only requirement.

Please read the PROFILE instructions carefully and provide the information and documentation required. The College will verify the information you provide on the CSS PROFILE and the FAFSA with your federal income tax returns. Award adjustments occur when tax information differs significantly from financial aid application data.

NOTE: There is no need to submit federal income tax documents directly to Bowdoin until requested by email or by the College Board through their IDOC service. Early decision candidates whose families file a business return need to send a complete copy of their previous year Income Tax (see deadlines table for more information), including W-2 forms to the Student Aid Office. You can securely upload your documents to us through the link located on the front page of your Financial Aid Portal.  Please visit the deadlines table for more information on form requirements and deadlines.

State Scholarship Support

Bowdoin requests that all students apply for scholarships sponsored by their home state. In most cases, filing the FAFSA by February will accomplish this task. To learn more about financial opportunities from your home state we recommend you visit the web site of the agency in charge of administering grants, scholarships and loans for college.