Investing in Opportunity


From its founding, Bates has been committed to building a student body that is diverse across many dimensions — demographic, socioeconomic, intellectual interest, perspective, and post-college aspiration — and to providing students the support they need to succeed in college and beyond. This commitment is grounded in our ethical obligation to make sure that the opportunity to attend Bates is available to talented students regardless of their families’ financial circumstances, and it is reinforced by the imperative that we prepare our students for life in a pluralistic world.

Offering highly competitive financial aid also allows us to draw talent where we find it — from all corners of the United States, from around the world, and from every socioeconomic quarter.

Each year, Bates spends more than $30 million on financial aid. Between 43 and 45 percent of our students receive aid of some kind, and the average grant is more than $40,000. We deliberately keep loans as low as possible to minimize the debt burden our students will bear after graduation. Bates students who take out loans graduate, on average, with a total debt of under $15,000 — less than half the national average.

Bates’ annual expenditure on financial aid represents a huge effort relative to our endowment and operating budget. Gifts to financial aid will allow us to endow a larger portion of this critically important program and expand our financial aid offerings.

$5 Million Financial Aid Challenge

Bates’ commitment to affordability and accessibility demonstrates the ethical vision that inspired the college’s founders: an education that is open to all will ensure that future leaders and problem-solvers emerge from every walk of life.


Offering highly competitive financial aid allows us to draw talent from wherever we find it — from all corners of the United States, from around the world, and from every socioeconomic quarter. With your help — with your generosity — we elevate the very core of who we are as a college.

Challenge Details


Scholarships have given me and my family something that we thought was impossible.

- Newark, N.J.

Bates has shaped and transformed me; it has shown me the doors that are yet to be opened in my life.

- Concord, N.H.

I promise that the college’s investment in me will prove to be a smart decision.

- Newfields, N.H.

Financial aid has given me the opportunity to make my future whatever I imagine it can be.

- Natick, Mass.

At Bates, I am pushed to my full potential, the professors care, and I’m learning outside the classroom. That’s not something you get from every school.

- Bellingham, Wash.

Bates is undoubtedly challenging, but there is an atmosphere of kindness and camaraderie fostered by every member of the community.

- Grosse Pointe, Mich.

My biggest fear during the college application process was not being able to afford the school of my dreams. You made that fear disappear and for that I am incredibly grateful.

- Waukegan, Ill.

You have also allowed me to be enveloped in a campus where I have found acceptance, friendship, and academic success.

- Portland, Maine

“The intention is to endow the scholarship in perpetuity for a student who mirrors Sue.” — Jim Bristol ’68

Read more about Bristol's gift