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Bowdoin vs Bates: A Look at the Rivalry

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

College Decision Day

Bowdoin vs Bates: A Look at the Rivalry

When it comes to comparing colleges in Maine, Bowdoin, and Bates are often mentioned in the same breath. Both are highly respected liberal arts colleges located in different parts of the state. While Bates is situated in the town of Lewiston, Bowdoin is located in Brunswick. Over the years, the two have developed a rivalry that can be traced back to their origins in the early 1800s. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Bowdoin vs Bates through various lenses, from campus life to student diversity and beyond.

The History of Bowdoin vs Bates Rivalry: How It All Started

The history of the Bowdoin and Bates rivalry goes back to the early 1800s when Bowdoin was founded in 1794. Bates, on the other hand, was founded in 1855. During the early years, Bowdoin was seen as the more prestigious of the two colleges, while Bates was considered to be the more radical and progressive. Today, the rivalry between the two schools runs deep, with students and alumni of each college engaging in friendly competition.

View of the campus of Bowdoin College

One of the most notable events in the history of the Bowdoin and Bates rivalry was the annual football game, which began in 1890. However, the rivalry between the two schools continued to grow, with students and alumni engaging in other forms of competition, such as academic and athletic contests.

Despite the friendly nature of the rivalry, there have been instances of tension between the two schools. In 2018, for example, Bowdoin students vandalized a Bates statue on their campus, leading to a public apology from the Bowdoin administration. However, incidents like these are rare, and the Bowdoin and Bates rivalry remains a cherished tradition for both schools.

Campus Life at Bowdoin vs Bates: A Side-by-Side Comparison

Bowdoin and Bates are both small liberal arts colleges, with Bowdoin having a student population of around 1,800 and Bates having around 1,800 students. When it comes to campus life, both schools offer a wide range of activities and organizations for students to get involved in. Additionally, both schools have a strong commitment to the arts and regularly host events such as music concerts, theater performances, and art exhibits.

One major difference between the two schools is their location. Bowdoin is located in Brunswick, Maine, a small town with a population of around 20,000. In contrast, Bates is located in Lewiston, Maine, a city with a population of around 36,000. This difference in location can impact the types of activities and events available to students off-campus.

Another difference between the two schools is their athletic programs. Bowdoin is a member of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) and has a strong tradition of success in sports such as ice hockey, lacrosse, and soccer. Bates, on the other hand, is a member of the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) and has a strong tradition of success in sports such as rowing, track and field, and swimming.

Academics: Which College Offers Better Programs and Opportunities?

Both Bowdoin and Bates are known for their rigorous academics and challenging coursework. Bowdoin is particularly well-known for its strong programs in the natural sciences, while Bates is known for its focus on the humanities and social sciences. Ultimately, the choice between the two schools will depend on a student’s individual interests and goals.

However, it is important to note that both colleges offer a wide range of academic programs and opportunities beyond their respective strengths. Bowdoin, for example, has a highly regarded program in government and legal studies, while Bates offers a unique interdisciplinary program in environmental studies.

Additionally, both colleges have strong research opportunities for students, with faculty members who are actively engaged in cutting-edge research in their fields. Bowdoin’s Coastal Studies Center and Bates’ Harward Center for Community Partnerships are just two examples of the many research centers and institutes available to students at these institutions.

Athletics: A Look at the Sports Programs of Bowdoin vs Bates

When it comes to athletics, both schools have strong programs and a wide range of sports for students to participate in. Bowdoin has a strong squash program and is also known for its rowing team. Bates, on the other hand, is known for its strong track and field program.

Aerial drone of rowers.

In addition to these sports, Bowdoin also has a successful ice hockey program, with both men’s and women’s teams. The men’s team has won multiple conference championships and has made appearances in the NCAA tournament. The women’s team has also had success, making it to the NCAA tournament several times.

Bates, on the other hand, has a strong Nordic skiing program, with both men’s and women’s teams. The teams compete in the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association and have had individual skiers qualify for the NCAA championships. Bates also has a successful rowing program, with both men’s and women’s teams competing in the New England Rowing Championships.

Social Scene: How Does the Party Scene at Bowdoin Compare to Bates?

When it comes to the social scene, Bowdoin vs Bates have different reputations. Bowdoin is often considered to have a more active party scene, with students frequently hosting events both on and off campus. Bates, on the other hand, is known for its more laid-back vibe and smaller, more intimate social events.

However, it’s important to note that both schools prioritize safety and responsible behavior when it comes to partying. Bowdoin has a strict alcohol policy and provides resources for students to make informed decisions about drinking. Similarly, Bates has a harm reduction approach to alcohol and drug use, with programs like BASICS (Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students) to educate students on responsible behavior.

Additionally, both schools offer a variety of social activities beyond just partying. Bowdoin has a thriving arts scene, with student-run theater productions and music performances. Bates has a strong outdoor recreation program, with opportunities for hiking, skiing, and more. Both schools also have active student clubs and organizations that host events and activities throughout the year.

Location, Location, Location: The Pros and Cons of Being in Brunswick vs Lewiston

One of the biggest differences between Bowdoin vs Bates is their locations. Bowdoin is located in the small coastal town of Brunswick, while Bates is situated in the more urban area of Lewiston. Depending on a student’s interests, one location may be more appealing than the other. For example, students who love the outdoors may prefer the coastal location of Bowdoin, while students who enjoy city life may prefer Bates.

Another factor to consider when comparing the locations of Bowdoin and Bates is the availability of off-campus activities. Brunswick offers a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities, such as hiking trails, beaches, and parks. In contrast, Lewiston has a more diverse range of cultural activities, including museums, theaters, and restaurants. Students who are interested in exploring the local community may find more options in Lewiston, while those who prefer outdoor activities may find more opportunities in Brunswick.

Alumni Network: Which College Offers Better Post-Graduate Opportunities?

Both Bowdoin and Bates have strong alumni networks that can be beneficial to graduates as they search for internships and career opportunities. When it comes to post-graduate opportunities, both schools have a strong record of placing students in competitive positions in a variety of industries.

However, Bowdoin’s alumni network has a particularly strong presence in the finance and consulting industries, with many graduates holding high-level positions in top firms. On the other hand, Bates’ alumni network has a strong focus on the non-profit and education sectors, with many graduates working in leadership roles in organizations such as Teach for America and the Peace Corps.

Additionally, both schools offer extensive career services and resources to their alumni, including job boards, networking events, and mentorship programs. These resources can be invaluable to graduates as they navigate the job market and seek to advance their careers.

Student Diversity: A Comparison of the Student Body at Bowdoin vs Bates

When it comes to student diversity, both schools have made efforts to increase the number of students of color on campus in recent years. Currently, Bowdoin has a slightly more diverse student body than Bates, with around 16% of the student population being students of color. Bates’s student body is around 14% of students of color.

Multiracial students talking while walking.

 

However, it’s important to note that diversity goes beyond just race and ethnicity. Both Bowdoin and Bates have also made efforts to increase diversity in terms of socioeconomic status, geographic location, and LGBTQ+ representation.

Bowdoin has implemented need-blind admissions and meets 100% of demonstrated financial need for all students, while Bates has a program called “Purposeful Work” that helps students from all backgrounds find meaningful careers after graduation. Both schools also have active LGBTQ+ student groups and offer resources and support for LGBTQ+ students on campus.

Admissions Process: How Does Bowdoin vs Bates Compare in Terms of Acceptance Rates and Criteria?

Both Bowdoin and Bates are highly selective colleges, with Bowdoin’s acceptance rates hovering around 9% and Bates at 17%. When it comes to admissions criteria, both schools are looking for students who have strong academic records, extracurricular activities, and a demonstrated commitment to their community.

However, there are some differences in the admissions process between Bowdoin and Bates. Bowdoin places a greater emphasis on standardized test scores, while Bates has adopted a test-optional policy. This means that applicants to Bates can choose whether or not to submit their SAT or ACT scores. Additionally, Bowdoin requires applicants to submit two teacher recommendations, while Bates only requires one.

Another factor to consider is the geographic distribution of applicants. Bowdoin receives a higher number of applications from the Northeast, while Bates receives a more diverse pool of applicants from across the country and internationally. This can impact the admissions process, as both schools strive to create a diverse and well-rounded student body.

Student Organizations: A Look at the Clubs and Organizations Offered by Bowdoin vs Bates.

Both Bowdoin and Bates have a wide range of student organizations and clubs for students to get involved in. Bowdoin has a strong focus on community service, with many of its clubs and organizations centered around making a positive impact on the local community. Bates has a strong focus on the arts, with many arts-related clubs and organizations available for students.

In addition to community service and arts-related clubs, both Bowdoin and Bates offer a variety of sports-related organizations for students. Bowdoin has a strong athletic program, with many sports teams and clubs available for students to join. Bates also has a strong athletic program, with many sports teams and clubs available for students to participate in.

Furthermore, both Bowdoin and Bates have clubs and organizations that focus on social justice and activism. These clubs provide students with opportunities to engage in important conversations and take action on issues that matter to them. Bowdoin has a strong focus on environmental activism, with many clubs and organizations centered around sustainability and conservation. Bates has a strong focus on social justice, with many clubs and organizations centered around issues such as racial justice and gender equality.

Career Services: Which College Offers Better Career Services to its Students?

Both Bowdoin and Bates have strong career services programs, with resources such as career counseling, job search assistance, and access to job and internship postings. Ultimately, which school offers better career services will depend on a student’s individual needs and interests.

However, there are some differences between the two schools’ career services programs. Bowdoin’s program has a strong focus on networking, with opportunities for students to connect with alumni and employers through events and mentorship programs.

Female teacher talking to her students.

Bates, on the other hand, places a greater emphasis on experiential learning, offering students the chance to participate in internships, research projects, and community service programs that can help them build skills and gain real-world experience.

Another factor to consider is the size of each school’s career services staff. Bowdoin has a larger team of career counselors and advisors, which means that students may have more one-on-one support and guidance. Bates, however, has a smaller staff-to-student ratio, which could mean that students receive more personalized attention and tailored advice.

Conclusion: Which College Comes Out on Top in the Rivalry?

So, which college comes out on top in the Bowdoin vs. Bates rivalry? The truth is, it depends on a student’s individual interests and goals. Both schools offer a rigorous academic program, a wide range of extracurricular activities and clubs, and a strong sense of community.

Ultimately, the choice between Bowdoin vs Bates will come down to individual factors such as location, campus culture, and academic interests. Regardless of which school a student chooses, they are sure to receive a top-tier education and leave with a strong network of alumni and friends.

Want to learn more about comparing Bowdoin with other top and well-known Universities and Colleges in the country? You’ve come to the right place. At AdmissionSight, we have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process.

AdmissionSight can help you put your best foot forward when applying to college this fall. Contact us today for more information on our services.

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