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

The idea behind our need-based aid is to bridge the gap between the total cost to attend Bowdoin and your family’s ability to pay. When reviewing each file we take into consideration each family’s unique financial circumstances. From the information you provide, we will determine your need, along with an expected contribution from you and your parents. To determine your need, we carefully review your family’s situation, taking into consideration a number of factors. These include parent and student income and assets, other family members enrolled in college, student earnings, non-College scholarships, and other resources available to supplement educational costs. If we determine that you cannot meet the student budget based on your calculated resources, we will award or recommend scholarships, grants or other resources to help you meet your remaining need. Because Bowdoin believes that students who receive financial aid as grants should also be responsible for a portion of their expenses, student employment is typically part of the financial aid award.

Information on Financing and Student Loans

While student loans are not a part of our standard 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.