What the national publications are saying about Bates
National college guides and magazines continue to rank Bates College among the best liberal arts colleges in the nation.
In the most recent edition of The Hidden Ivies:Thirty Colleges of Excellence, Bates is praised for its service-learning opportunities and its consistent top-10 ranking for student participation in international study. It notes that about two-thirds of Bates graduates earn graduate degrees, and includes this summary comment from an administrator on alumni survey findings: “For a college with a long-standing reputation in the sciences, we were surprised to discover we had more graduates whose title was ‘entrepreneur,’ having founded their own businesses, than graduates who were M.D.s”
In the U.S. News & World Report 2003 edition of America’s Best Colleges, Bates is ranked 22nd among 217 liberal arts colleges. The factors the magazine considers include peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving, and graduation rate performance. This year, U.S. News introduced a new ranking of select schools with outstanding examples of academic programs that lead to student success. In a category called Senior Capstone, Bates ranked eighth: ” . . . these culminating experiences ask students nearing the end of their college years to create a project of some sort that integrates and synthesizes what they’ve learned.”
The only “cool” school from Maine to make the grade, Bates is ranked 45th among the nation’s 50 “coolest colleges” in the October 2002 issue of Seventeen magazine. The Seventeen list features “the 50 schools where girls can get the best college education. We want you to have the knowledge and insight to help make a choice that you can live with for four years—and that unlocks the power an education in the right environment can inspire.” Among those qualities defined as “cool” by the magazine’s editors: “level of professors’ involvement in undergrad work, campus security and easy access to great shopping.” Keeping the audience in mind, they also cited “easy access to great boys.”
The 29th edition of The Insider’s Guide to the Colleges leads with this undergraduate’s remarks about Bates: “Batesies make Bates great.” Lauding the faculty, another student said, “You will never meet a more helpful or sincere group of concerned individuals.”
The 2003 Princeton Review: The Best 345 Colleges offers a variety of top-20 lists based on student responses to a series of surveys. The guide’s ratings for Bates include Best Overall Academic Experience for Undergraduates (11th). “The happy students of Bates College agree that ‘Bates is the small academic atmosphere every liberal arts school brags about,’” says the guide, adding, “Students’ primary source of pride is the faculty, which is ‘exceptional. I’m taking introductory classes and my profs are all Ph.D.s from Harvard, Yale and Tufts.’”
The Fiske Guide to Colleges 2003 notes that the Lewiston-Auburn area “provides plenty of internships and part-time jobs, a distinct vocational advantage not always found at such at such small colleges.” The guide’s listing concludes with these quotes from Bates students: “‘Bates has a strong sense of community, and students here look out for one another socially and academically,’ says a political science major. One freshman is sold. ‘It’s a fun place,’ the student says. ‘People just seem happy here.’”