Equity & Inclusion

Admission and Student Financial Services Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement

Opening its doors in 1855, Bates is New England’s first co-educational college. Since our founding, Bates has sought — and continues to seek — students inclusive of all racial, gender, religious, and class identities. The college’s long-standing and profound commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is at the core of the Bates community and informs the access-oriented work of Bates Admission and Student Financial Services. 

We recognize that your Bates experience begins with us. As such, we want you to know that Bates’ mission statement, principles, and values, which have been tested and have evolved over time, are central to our mission-critical work. They require us to constantly reflect upon and recommit to the Bates mission to ensure that we can and will best serve prospective students, families, and high school counselors in the name of diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Bates Admission and Student Financial Services proudly and purposefully embraces “the transformative power of our differences” and strives to be “a college for coming times” in and through all that we do. Our admission and financial aid policies are clearly tied to these elements of the Bates mission statement. Annually, we seek to enroll diverse and talented students on behalf of the college, and institutionally, we commit to meeting 100 percent of a student’s financial need.

Our Mission Statement

Since 1855, Bates College has been dedicated to the emancipating potential of the liberal arts. Bates educates the whole person through creative and rigorous scholarship in a collaborative residential community. With ardor and devotion — Amore ac Studio — we engage the transformative power of our differences, cultivating intellectual discovery and informed civic action. Preparing leaders sustained by a love of learning and a commitment to responsible stewardship of the wider world, Bates is a college for coming times.

From the President’s Desk: Bates Responds to Supreme Court’s Ruling in LGBTQ+ Case

On June 30, 2023, President Clayton Spencer and President-elect Garry Jenkins wrote to the Bates community to reiterate support to the LGBTQ+ community in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in 303 Creative, LLC v. Elenis. We encourage you to read the college’s official statement addressing this decision.

From the President’s Desk: Bates Responds to Supreme Court’s Ruling on Race-Conscious College Admissions

On June 29, 2023, the Supreme Court released its decisions in cases regarding the constitutionality of race-conscious college admissions. We encourage you to read Bates’ official statement addressing these decisions.

From the President’s Desk: The Work of Antiracism at Bates

On June 15, 2020, President Clayton Spencer sent a message to the campus community affirming and detailing the college’s commitment to the work of antiracism. To learn more about Bates’ commitment to racial equity and inclusion as a core institutional and mission-driven priority, please read President Spencer’s full statement.

Prologue to Bates

At Bates, we value the diversity of experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives, and engage in the transformative power of our differences. Our commitment to equity and inclusion is the guiding principle behind Prologue to Bates, a program geared towards students who express interest in being a part of our inclusive and pluralistic community.

All seniors who are US citizens, permanent residents, and undocumented/DACA students living in the US intending to enter college in coming fall semester are welcome to apply. Preference will be given to students who are historically underrepresented from higher education, such as first-generation-to-college and low-income students. Learn more here.

Bates Beginnings

Bates Beginnings is a fun and informative on-campus event for all admitted students and their families that helps them gain an even stronger sense of the Bates community and academics. Bates includes in this event programming for students who are traditionally underrepresented in higher education, including first-generation-to-college and low-income students. Bates Beginnings happens twice in April, and Admission provides travel and overnight housing to select admitted students who may not be able to afford to visit, and have not visited previously.

Office of Equity and Inclusion

The Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI) advances the college’s commitment to equity and inclusion by implementing and supporting campus-wide initiatives that strategically and proactively promote inclusive excellence and educational justice.

Office of Intercultural Education

The Office of Intercultural Education (OIE) supports the Bates College community by providing educational cultural programming to students. Learn more about Bobcat First!, a program for first generation to college students; LGBTQIAP2+ and SPARQ! programming and mentorship; and our Let’s Talk program.

Student Affairs

The Student Affairs Office intentionally manages all support for students centrally to create a more supportive and cohesive experience.

Learn about our support for International Students and Accessible Education.