Application Options

Regular Admission

The application deadline for Regular Admission is Jan. 1. Bates uses the Common Application, the Bates member page that requires an essay and a mid-year report. We strongly encourage families seeking financial assistance to submit an application for aid as soon after the Jan. 1 deadline as possible. The submission of standardized testing (the SAT I, SAT II and the ACT) is optional in all rounds of admission.

Students who have applied under Regular Decision and who wish to convert their application to Early Decision 2 can do so by filing an Early Decision agreement by midnight on Sunday, February 1, 2015. Applicants will receive notification of their admission decision by February 15.

Early Decision

For students who decide that “Bates is my first choice!,” applying Early Decision (ED) is a great option. ED is binding: ED applicants who are admitted to Bates must withdraw all applications to other colleges. Bates offers two rounds of ED applications, ED1 and ED2.

What is the difference between ED1 and ED2?

The main difference between Early Decision 1 and Early Decision 2 is the application deadline.  The deadline for ED1 is Nov. 15, and the ED2 deadline is Jan. 1. This creates two pools of Early Decision applicants, and as a result students are considered in separate rounds of competition. Check with your college counselor to select the ED round that best suits your needs and school schedule.

Converting from Regular Decision to Early Decision 2

Students who have applied under Regular Decision and who wish to convert their application to Early Decision 2 can do so by filing an Early Decision agreement by midnight on Sunday, February 1, 2016. Applicants will receive notification of their admission decision by February 15.

What if you’re not admitted under ED?

Every year some ED applicants are denied, but many students who are not admitted ED are deferred for consideration in the Regular Decision applicant pool.

What about financial aid?

If you are interested in receiving financial assistance from Bates, you must submit a CSS PROFILE. Please check the schedule for deadlines. If admitted to Bates, you will receive a financial aid statement along with or shortly after your letter of admission. You must indicate that you wish to apply for aid at the time of application for admission.

Transfer Applicants

Each year we welcome applications from students who wish to transfer to Bates. We appreciate your interest in Bates and would like to help you determine if we’re a better fit for you.

We consider applications from students who have attended or are attending other institutions — including international students enrolled overseas.

For the transfer applicant who hasn’t yet completed a second semester at another institution, the high school transcript remains critical. For all transfer applicants, both high school and college transcripts are considered.

Please note that Jan. 1 is the deadline for non-U.S.citizens to apply for September transfer admission & financial aid.

January 2016 Admission

The deadline for applying for January Admission is Nov. 1.


If you have applied to Bates within the last two years, you may reactivate your original application regardless of the previous decision. We encourage you to update your application and take the opportunity to have a Bates Admission interview.

Graduating from high school early

Extremely capable students may be ready for college before completing a typical four-year secondary school program. Bates welcomes inquiries from students who think they are scholastically prepared and sufficiently mature personally and socially to undertake college work.

Advanced Placement

Bates participates in the Advanced Placement (AP) Program of the College Entrance Examination Board. A maximum of eight AP credits can be applied to the Bates academic record. Learn more about Bates’ AP Policy.

Deferred Admission

Each year, Bates receives a number of requests from admitted students to defer matriculation for a specified period of time, also known as a “gap year.” The reasons for these requests vary, but they typically contribute to the student’s development and are generally approved. Deferring enrollment is an option for students who are admitted through Early or Regular decision, but the Committee is generally not able to approve gap year requests for students admitted off the wait list.

  • Applicants requesting to defer enrollment should do so in writing to the dean of admission and financial aid at the same time that they accept Bates’ offer of admission and pay their non-refundable $300 deposit. Requests should be made no later than May 15. Requests made after that date will be considered on a case-by-case basis but may not be approved.
  • Requests to defer enrollment should include a detailed plan for the gap year. Please be aware that students who are granted deferral may not apply to or attend other institutions full time during the gap year. Please confirm in your gap year plan that you will not apply to other institutions. Students who do apply elsewhere may forfeit Bates admission.
  • Students whose deferral year has been approved should send updates to the Committee in November and February of the gap year, informing Bates of your experiences to date. Changes to your approved plan for the gap year must be approved by the dean of admission and financial aid.
  • Students applying for financial aid must re-apply by February 15 of your gap year. Students can expect to receive an aid award in the late spring. Throughout the year, students will receive periodic updates from Bates.