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Bates College vs Boston University???

StraightRiderStraightRider 2 replies1 postsRegistered User New Member
I committed to BU on April 30th but I was recently admitted off the waitlist for Bates. I thought I'd see you guys' thoughts. I love Bates but BU just has a fantastic location, amazing internship opportunities, and a good reputation as well. What makes one better over the other? For me, prestige does matter. Thoughts?
edited May 4
12 replies
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Replies to: Bates College vs Boston University???

  • airway1airway1 695 replies3 postsRegistered User Member
    What’s your major? Plans? Both are great schools it really depends on you.
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 5488 replies10 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    You'll have very different experiences at each, and I would focus on that as well as the academics.

    I would encourage you, with course catalog in hand, to map out what your 4 years would look like based on your current major plans and the school requirements. Include internships, study abroad, etc.

    Also give some thought to how you would spend your free time. The options are many at both, but not the same.

    It may become clearer. They are both great options.


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  • LindagafLindagaf 9017 replies489 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited May 4
    Night and day. It very much depends on the type of experience you are looking for. If your top priorities are smaller classes, easy access to, and ease of getting to know professors, undergrad focused education, getting to know classmates, and an active and involved career center, you aren’t going to go wrong with Bates. Undergrad research will be easier to come by too, as you won’t be competing with grad students. Bates students have very high acceptance rates at grad schools.

    Bates is very prestigious, make no mistake. People who need to know, know about both of these schools and will not think Bates is the lesser choice. The Maine NESCAC’s particularly have an excellent reputation and are all well-connected. Bates is certainly a lot more difficult to get into than BU.

    At BU, you are going to spend more time in the city, which entails spending more money. You will not have quite as “traditional” a college experience as you will at Bates. Having said that, Bates students frequently go to Portland and even Boston, and they take road trips all over Maine. They avail themselves of ready access to winter sports. If being active outdoors is important to you, you should consider that it’s going to be harder to do that at BU.

    BU will of course have more courses to offer, and the excitement of living right in the city. I personally am not a fan of BU’s long, strung out campus, and Warren Towers are no one’s idea of a great place to live, lol.

    You have good choices, so focus on what’s important to you for the next four years.

    ETA: I don’t know any Bates students who haven’t had summer internships, jobs, etc... You aren’t going to have a problem getting summer positions.
    edited May 4
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  • StraightRiderStraightRider 2 replies1 postsRegistered User New Member
    edited May 4
    Studying Econ -- I've already made up my mind, and I'm attending Bates, but I'd be glad to hear more about why I made the right choice!
    edited May 4
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  • Sue22Sue22 6112 replies108 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Okay, I was trying to be even-handed in post #3, but I love Bates. The people are warm and friendly, the faculty really know you.

    Everyone says these things of things about their college, so what is the evidence?

    In addition to all the great Batesies I've met I can tell you that one of my kids (at Bates) recently told me that they and a good friend at a peer college travel to each other's schools with friends a couple of times a year for weekend parties and one thing they've noticed is while the kids at the other school (which will remain unnamed) are perfectly nice to the Bates kids they don't really interact with them, whereas the Bates kids welcome the other school's kids and engage them in conversation. It's a little thing but something my kid has noticed over the years.

    I graduated from Bates and have been back a few times. I've met multiple faculty members who remember me from my undergraduate days, including one faculty member whose subject I didn't major in but who somehow after more than 30 years remembered not only that I took his class but what I was like. "Your hair was different and you were quiet but thoughtful." Yup.

    As to other things I like about Bates, Short Term is awesome, as is, IMO anyway, the president, Clayton Spenser. She's forward-looking, active, and has a great sense of humor. She's instituted vibrant new programs such as Purposeful Work and the Digital and Computational Studies major. When a problem with the Bates Security force became apparent she made a change and the school now has a Head of Security the students love. The food is great and the vast majority of dorms and houses are quite nice. Don't let people convince you to hate Lewiston. It's got some great restaurants and brew pubs and is close to Portland (a great little city!), skiing and the great outdoors. Opportunities to get engaged in the city abound.

    Bates has a long history of quietly being on the right side of history. It admitted women and people of color from the start, pre-Civil War. Never had to get rid of Greek life like so many schools are doing now because it never had them. Made standardized testing optional in the 80's, long before the current national trend toward test-optional admissions.

    Congratulations on a great choice!
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  • StraightRiderStraightRider 2 replies1 postsRegistered User New Member
    Thank you!
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 5114 replies73 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited May 4
    I think it’s a great choice! It’s a classic small school versus urban research university. Personally I love Bates and would go there too.

    But it’s not more difficult to get into Bates than BU. The academic profiles clearly do not show that at all.

    Bates middle act is 30 to 32.
    BU avg act is a 33.
    Bates avg weighted gpa is 3.82
    BU avg student ranking is top 7%.

    BU is known for being an easier transfer opportunity and does have some funky overseas and doing admits.

    Probably a wash.

    It would appear to me though apples to oranges that BU is a slightly stronger academic profile.

    But they attract a very different student looking for a different experience. Equally great but entirely different.

    Congrats again and enjoy your time in Maine!
    edited May 4
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 5488 replies10 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Or as a young friend, attending another one of the Maine schools said, "I have the rest of my life to live in an overpriced city!

    Bates would have been my choice. Congratulations!
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  • EmpireappleEmpireapple 1558 replies25 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Congrats on your decision! I think Bates is an excellent undergrad choice. You can always go to the big city for graduate school! Enjoy!
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  • merc81merc81 10163 replies151 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Studying Econ -- I've already made up my mind, and I'm attending Bates, but I'd be glad to hear more about why I made the right choice!

    At Bates you will learn from economics faculty who are highly accomplished in their field:

    https://ideas.repec.org/top/top.uslacecon.html
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  • HCatmomHCatmom 32 replies2 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    You will be seeing my son there! Have fun.
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