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 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 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, including students who are historically underrepresented from higher education, such as first-generation-to-college and low-income students.

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

Prologue to Bates will be held on-campus this fall from:

Sunday, October 8 – Tuesday, October 10, 2023

The deadline to apply to Prologue to Bates is Friday, August 11, 2023. Applicants will be notified of decisions by mid-September. The deadline for applying to the 2023 Prologue to Bates program has passed. Thank you for your interest!

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 on-campus from Sunday, October 8 – Tuesday, October 10, 2023.

What is Prologue like?

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. Prologue will align with our Fall Visit Day.

Who can apply to Prologue?

All rising seniors who attend high school in the U.S. and Puerto Rico are welcomed to apply, including students from groups that have been historically underrepresented in higher education, such as low-income and first-generation-to-college students.

*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.

Is Prologue Free?

Yes! Meals and lodging will be provided to all students admitted to this session, as well as transportation to the Bates campus for any student requiring financial assistance.

How do I apply to Prologue?

Due to space limitations, the Office of Admission can only invite a certain number of students to campus. Given this increased selectivity, we ask students applying 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.

What will my school counselor need to submit for Prologue?

We request a high school transcript and school profile for applicants applying to Prologue to Bates. 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 via their Guidance Counselor Form, 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. Please note that these materials are due by Friday, August 25, 2023. 

I applied to Prologue to Bates and am interested in applying for first-year admission to the college. 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.