Prologue to Bates

When Bates opened in 1855, it was New England’s first co-educational college. Since then, we have admitted students regardless of their nationality, race, religion, sex, or socio-economic status. While this openness was at the core of our founding identity and principles, it has been tested throughout time and requires us to constantly reflect upon and recommit to our mission.

At Bates, we value the diversity of persons 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 entering their senior year who express interest in being a part of our inclusive and pluralistic community. All seniors who attend school in the U.S. and Puerto Rico are welcomed to apply, especially students who are first-generation-to-college,* low-income, and historically excluded from higher education.

If you have additional questions about Prologue to Bates, contact the Office of Admission at 207-786-6000 or

Prologue to Bates is offered in two sessions:

Virtual Session: September 20-21, 2022
On-Campus Session: October 9-11, 2022

Students are welcome to apply to only one or both Prologue sessions!

The deadline to apply to Prologue to Bates 2022 has passed. Applicants are notified of decisions by mid-September.

Please see our Frequently Asked Questions below for more information on application requirements and session details.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is Prologue?

Prologue to Bates will be held virtual in two sessions: virtually September 20-21 and on-campus October 9-11. Prologue promises to be a unique and engaging few days of conversation and community. Together, we’ll talk about tips for the college application and financial aid processes; connect you with current Bobcats so you can get a sense of the student experience; and introduce you to our devoted faculty and staff. 

When is the difference between Prologue Sessions?

Virtual Prologue Session will be held online in the evenings of Tuesday, September 20, and Wednesday, September 21. We hope to expand access to the Bates community and the selective admission process to as many qualified and interested students as possible. Attendees can look forward to getting to know our students, faculty, and staff through small workshops and panels.

On-Campus Prologue Session will be held in person at Bates from Sunday, October 9 through Tuesday, October 11. Meals and lodging will be provided to all students admitted to this session, as well as transportation for any student requiring financial assistance. Due to space limitations, the Office of Admission can only invite a certain number of students to campus. Given this increased selectivity, we ask student applying to On-Campus Session to submit three additional materials: your transcript (we will reach out to your counselor); a brief list of your extracurricular activities; and a short essay on what you hope to gain from the experience.

Please note that per our campus safety policies, all On-Campus Prologue attendees must provide proof of either: being fully vaccinated and boosted; or, having tested negative for COVID-19 within 48 hours of arriving to campus. 

*Bates College defines a first-generation college student as an individual whose parents/guardians did not complete a Bachelor’s degree; or if the individual resides with and receives support from only one parent/guardian, that parent/guardian did not complete a Bachelor’s degree.

What will my school counselor need to submit for Prologue?

We request a transcript and school profile solely for applicants to On-Campus Prologue Session. Counselors can upload these documents in the form that is emailed to them following submission of your portion of the application. In the event that a counselor is unavailable to submit these documents, other school personnel (i.e. guidance office assistants, college counseling staff, etc.) can submit these documents by emailing Please ensure the email highlights that these documents are intended for the Prologue to Bates program.

I applied to Prologue to Bates and am interest in applying for first-year admission. Do I qualify for a fee waiver?

Yes. Any student who applied to Prologue to Bates, regardless of whether they participated or not, is eligible for an application fee waiver. To access your fee waiver, select “Bates Fly-In Program” under the prompt “Do you intend to use one of the school-specific fee waivers?” in your application. The necessary code to activate the fee waiver can be found in your Prologue to Bates decision email.