Frequently Asked Questions

How to Connect

Can I visit campus?

Yes! The Office of Admission welcomes prospective students and their families Monday – Friday, except when noted. The office is also open on select Saturdays in the fall and spring. We encourage you to register in advance when possible, but we also accept walk-ins. The Office of Admission is open Monday – Friday, 8:30am-4:00pm.

Register for a campus visit or other on-campus events.

What types of live virtual events do you have?

We have a lot going on! Click to register for any of these live, virtual events.

  • Virtual Information Session: Foundational information about the college, along with admission and financial aid tips. An admission dean or counselor will be joined by a current student.
  • Bobcat Chats: Casual, student-only conversations about the Bates student experience. These occur as a Zoom meeting, so feel free to turn on your camera!

How can I connect with Bates community members?

A great starting point is our Ask a Student webpage. Learn about current students and find contact information so that you can reach out to them. They are excited to connect with you!

If you have specific questions about the college search process or your application, please contact your regional admission representative. We’ll also be visiting you at high schools and college fairs throughout the year! See the locations and dates on our Bates Visits You page.

Application Materials and Deadlines

I submitted documents that are not showing up as received on my checklist. What should I do?

Only required application materials appear on your application checklist. Submitted optional application materials do not.

Our office takes approximately two weeks to process and satisfy all required application materials—including submitted test scores. After two weeks, if you still do not see your documents showing up as received on your checklist, please email for additional assistance.

I am an international student. Where can I find answers to specific questions regarding international student applications?

Do all supporting materials have to be in by the application deadline? (Recommendations, Transcripts, etc.)

All supporting materials should be submitted by November 15 for Early Decision I applicants, and January 10 for Early Decision II or Regular Decision applicants. If this is not doable, please ensure all supporting materials are received as soon as possible so that we can fully consider your application. You can check what is missing from your application from your Application Status Page. Please know that during our busiest application processing times, it can take up to two weeks for materials to be reflected in your portal. Thank you for your patience.

What if circumstances beyond my control (public health crises, natural disasters, etc.) have affected my ability to submit my application before the deadline?

The Office of Admission wishes all those affected by natural disasters and extenuating circumstances — including public health situations, strikes, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, and wildfires — a quick and safe recovery as you return to some sense of normalcy. We know that many students and educators’ personal and academic lives have been disrupted by these events, and we want to work with you to ease the pressures on the college search and application process. We seek to be supportive, and are eager to provide personalized guidance as needed. Please contact us as needed.

If you experience technical difficulties in submitting your application to Bates, please contact the Common Application or Coalition Application, Powered by Scoir directly.  For other concerns, email to communicate your intent to apply as well as a description of your situation. Each inquiry will be addressed on an individual basis.

My mid-year grades will not be available by the February 15 deadline. What should I do?

Rest assured, we understand that many schools’ internal deadlines may not align with our own. If formal mid-year grades are not available by February 15, please have your school counselor send a progress report of your grades thus far. We look forward to receiving your grades when they become available. Mid-year grades and progress reports can be sent electronically to

How does Bates College comply with the June 2023 U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding the use of race in admission if a student self-reports their race or ethnicity on the Common App or the Coalition App?

When applying to Bates College as a first-year or transfer student and completing the profile section on the Common Application or Coalition Application, applicants will see questions asking for their race and ethnicity. Answering these questions is optional. Bates College application readers do not see or use this data when reviewing student applications for admission.

Answers about race and ethnicity that an applicant shares on their application are hidden from Bates Admission during the consideration for selection. That means, when application readers review an application from the Common App or Coalition App, race and ethnicity data will not be visible as they are reading applications.

In accordance with the Supreme Court ruling, after the selection and enrollment process is complete, the Bates College Office of Institutional Research, Analysis & Planning will use self-disclosed race and ethnicity data from the Common App and Coalition App for state and federal reporting, institutional metrics, and for statistical and research purposes.  
For more information, see information provided by the Common App and Coalition App.

I have some questions that are very specific to me and my application.

If you have questions that are specific to you and your application to Bates, please contact either your regional admission representative, or the Office of Admission at 207-786-6000 or


Should I submit my test scores?

Bates has been test-optional since 1984, and maintains that testing is not reflective of each applicant’s future success at Bates and beyond. We firmly believe in our policy and respect each student’s choice regarding the submission of test scores. The middle 50% of those who submitted testing last year can be found on our optional testing page.

I will take and/or receive my standardized test scores after the application deadline. Will this impact my application?

Applications will be reviewed throughout the next few months, so the sooner you can get your scores to us, the sooner your application can be reviewed. Please see further details on standardized test score submission. As a reminder, Bates is a test-optional college, so SAT and ACT scores are not required!

Submitting test scores is a financial hardship for me. What can I do?

Bates will accept both official and self-reported test scores. Please see further details on score submission.

Does Bates “superscore”?

Yes! We will consider your best section scores from different testing dates for the SAT or the ACT.

Additional Materials

How can I submit an arts portfolio? Does my arts portfolio have to be complete for me to submit my application?

Your arts portfolio does not need to be complete in order to submit your application to Bates. In fact, supplementary art materials are uploaded after submitting your application to Bates and receiving a PIN (via email) for online access to your Application Status Page. You can also find more detailed guidelines as to the submission of each of these arts supplements.

Applicants may submit portfolios up until the following dates:
Early Decision I: November 20, 2023
Early Decision II: January 15, 2024
Regular Decision: January 15, 2024
Transfer Applicants: March 6, 2024

When will I hear back about my requested Alumni Conversation?

Alumni will be in touch as they become available in your area. Due to the high number of requests, we cannot guarantee an Alumni Conversation. Conversations are not interviews, and they are both optional and informational – meaning you’re not being evaluated during the conversation as part of your eventual admission decision.

Financial Aid

How can I see how much Bates might cost for me and my family?

We recommend starting with the MyinTuition College Cost Estimator, which just takes a few minutes to complete! Bates meets 100% of demonstrated financial need for admitted students regardless of citizenship status. We provide more than $40 million in grant aid to our students every year, and the average need-based grant for enrolling students in the Class of 2026 was $54,504. The average federal student loan debt for Bates students who graduated in 2022 was $13,531 – less than half the national average.

I need to change my financial aid status. How do I do that?

If you would like to change your financial aid status before the release of your admission decision, email For those intending to apply for financial aid, please review our financial aid requirements. The intent to apply for need-based financial aid must be indicated prior to the release of your admission decision.

When will I hear back about my financial aid package?

Admitted students with complete financial aid applications will receive their financial aid award with their offer of admission.

Does applying for Early Decision affect my financial aid package? Will my financial aid package be different if I apply Early Decision or Regular Decision?

No. If you are admitted to Bates through either round of Early Decision, you will receive a financial aid package that is the same as what you would receive as a student admitted through Regular Decision. Financial aid awards are never dependent upon admission round at Bates.

Do I need to complete a FAFSA in addition to the CSS Profile to apply for financial aid?

Yes. Bates requires applicants who are eligible citizens or noncitizens to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to calculate an applicant’s eligibility for federal financial aid. While the 2024-25 FAFSA is now available on the website, there have been reports of delays in accessing the form. To allow families sufficient time to complete the FAFSA, and in recognition of the fact that FAFSA data will not be sent to colleges until the end of January, Bates has established February 15 as our FAFSA filing deadline

In the meantime, Bates financial aid applicants and their families should submit the CSS Profile and provide requested tax documentation by the applicable deadline, as this is the information Bates will use to calculate eligibility for need-based institutional grant financial aid. Applicants can review the status of their requirements on the financial aid checklist of their application status page at any time.

For more information about the FAFSA, please visit the Federal Student Aid FAFSA website. These short videos can also help you prepare to complete the FAFSA.

Application Status Page & Admission Decision

Where can I see my application status and ultimately my admission decision?

You can view your application status and your admission decision by logging into your Bates Application Status Page.

I’m having trouble logging into my Application Status page. What do I do?

You are able to reset your password using your email address and date of birth on the login page. If you continue to experience difficulties, email

Can I reapply to Bates?

Yes, you can reapply to Bates, as either a first-year or transfer applicant depending on your previous admission decision and your current circumstances. Please see this page for more details.

Admitted Students

I have been admitted to Bates. How do I make my enrollment deposit?

You can submit your U.S. $300 enrollment deposit through your Bates Application Status Page.

Paying the enrollment deposit is a financial barrier for me. What can I do?

If you have any concerns about paying your enrollment deposit, please email

When do I need to enroll by?

The deadline* to accept your Regular Decision offer of admission is May 1. The deadline to accept your Transfer offer of admission is May 20.

*Requests for Regular Decision Reply Deadline Extensions

For students offered admission to Bates through regular decision, the candidate reply deadline date remains May 1, 2024. If a student needs additional time to evaluate an offer from another institution that has extended its deadline, please contact Bates Admission to request an extension of our reply deadline. Bates is committed to making this educational experience accessible and affordable to all admitted students, regardless of family financial circumstances, and offers need-based financial aid to eligible students.

Where can I learn more about Bates!?

The Admitted Student webpage is a great starting point! Here you’ll find more information about the college; upcoming events exclusively for admitted students and families; and ways to connect with the Bates community.

I have questions about my financial aid award. Who should I contact?

Please contact Student Financial Services at or 207-786-6096.

I am interested in taking a gap year. What is the process?

Admitted students who wish to request deferred admission should do so in writing by June 1.  Explore our webpage on requesting a gap year, and direct any inquiries to

Waitlisted Students

How do I accept my place on the waitlist at Bates?

Log into your Bates Application Status Page and register your offer to remain on the waitlist. The deadline to register to remain active on the waitlist is May 1 for first-year applicants and May 20 for transfer applicants.

Can I update my application?

While we do not require additional materials for applicants on the waitlist, you are welcome to send an email with recent updates and your most recent transcript. First-year applicants should write to their regional admission representative, and transfer applicants should write to Assistant Dean of Admission Alec Morrissey at

Can I visit Bates to inform my decision on whether or not to remain active on the waitlist?

Yes. Explore our Visit Bates webpage to learn about our in-person, virtual, and on-demand offerings.

Are applicants ranked on the waitlist?

No. Bates does not rank active applicants on the waitlist.

How are applicants selected for admission from the waitlist?

If space in the class remains after May 1 for first-year students, or May 20 for transfer students, the Admission Committee will undertake a holistic review of applications and select applicants based upon academic preparation, involvement and impact, interest in Bates, and on occasion, financial need.

When is the earliest that I might receive an update about admission from the waitlist? When is the latest?

Any waitlist activity typically occurs after the universal Candidate Reply Date of May 1 for first-year applicants, or May 20 for transfer applicants. The Admission Committee makes every effort to notify active waitlist candidates by June 30. August 1 is our final notification date.

How many students are offered admission from the waitlist?

Every year is different. The Admission Committee has extended as low as zero to an average of seventeen offers of admission from the waitlist in the last five years. At this time, the Office of Admission cannot estimate how many students will remain active on the waitlist this year. On average, 743 students remained active on the Bates waitlist for each of the last five years.

If offered a place at Bates, how much time will I have to decide?

Active applicants on the waitlist need to be prepared to accept an offer of admission to Bates on a very short timeline, usually within 48 hours.

Can students admitted from the waitlist receive financial aid?

Bates College meets the calculated financial need for those waitlist candidates offered admission. Please ensure that your financial aid application is complete by checking your application status page.

Will applicants admitted from the waitlist be eligible for on-campus housing?

Yes. On-campus housing is guaranteed for four years for all Bates students.

Should I pay an enrollment deposit elsewhere even if Bates is my first choice?

Yes. Accept one offer of admission and enroll with a deposit (usually non-refundable) by the enrollment deadline of that institution, as the timeline for your decision at Bates cannot be definitively predicted.

What should I do if Bates College offers me admission after I’ve paid a deposit to another institution?

If you decide to accept an offer of admission from Bates from the waitlist, you must immediately notify the institution where you secured your initial enrollment of your withdrawal. You will likely forfeit your enrollment deposit at that institution.