Bates Colby or Bowdoin

<p>I know this has been asked many times, but what I'm mainly wondering is about students and student life. What are student like, how easy is it to play a sport and obtain good grades, and just overall comparisons of students and student life.</p>

<p>I can’t comment specifically on differences in the student body, except to say that if I got in to all three, I’d pick Bowdoin in a heartbeat, Bates next, and Colby third, mostly on the basis of location and resources. From our HS, kids who go to Bates and Bowdoin seem to lean strongly towards scholar-athletes, with the superior scholars going to Bowdoin. Bowdoin also has a very lively arts scene. It has a lovely campus in a charming town, and there is now train service to Boston a short walk from campus. It is half an hour from Portland, which is great little city with a lively music and art scene, amongst other attractions. (Think a mini-Seattle.) Colby has, I gather, a lovely campus, but it is in Waterville, which is not the most inspiring location. Bates has a nice campus, but again, Lewiston/Auburn, although improving, is not the most inspiring location.</p>

<p>Our family visited Bowdoin and Colby, and we have a friend who is a junior at Bates. Based on our brief impressions I would wholeheartedly agree with “Consolation’s” ranking and reasoning.</p>

<p>I may appear to be biased, since I will be starting at Bowdoin next fall. However, I toured and interviewed at all 3, and was recruited by Colby and Bates for sports. All three are great schools, but really Bowdoin is a step above. </p>

<p>I’m not so sure if the difference is academic, as Colby and Bates are obviously great schools as well. It comes down to location and quality of life. Bowdoin is a wonderful coastal town, 30 minutes from Portland. The town of Brunswick itself has a vibrant food and art culture. Unfortunately, Waterville and Lewiston are two of the worst college towns I’ve seen. Not bashing, since I like those schools too.</p>

<p>I think it’s very subjective and depends on the individual student. My son didn’t like Bowdoin at all when we toured. He thought the campus was too flat and hated the dorm tower. That being said it’s the most selective of the three but I think once there the academics are very similar and one needs to work hard to get good grades at all three. According to my son A’s are hard to come by - and I assume that goes for all three schools. I don’t think there is much grade inflation at any of these schools. He also is in a major and a minor where lots of reading (1000 pages a week is common) and lots of papers are required but very few exams. I think this is typical of all three schools if you are majoring in the humanities. My son also mentioned recently that the kids who are planning on medical school need to study all the time. </p>

<p>Lewiston is on the dumpy side but the kids don’t seem to mind. My son is extremely happy at Bates, participates in a club sport whose season is both fall and spring, is in several clubs, including student gov’t and just got a part time job on campus. He always had several EC’s and a part time job while in high school and is the type of kid who works better the busier he is so this type of schedule works very well for him. </p>

<p>Portland is also close enough that they go there often for concerts, go to the beach in south Portland and they also go to Bowdoin and Colby for parties - lots of intermingling between the three schools.</p>

<p>Please remember, the students at one school are neither superior nor inferior to the students at each of the other schools. Student life is probably similar as well with all three schools filled with kids who both work and play hard, and who are involved in some sort of activity outside the classroom, which requires discipline and offers balance. As always it depends on the student athlete but getting good grades is no harder for an athlete than any other student. All are capable and know about excellence. Visit if you can, talk with coaches, explore the facilities and the town. Develop your own thoughts. Good luck with your search!</p>

<p>I wouldn’t necessarily say that any one student body is “superior” to any other, but Bowdoin is definitely much more difficult to get into than Bates or Colby.</p>

<p>My Bowdoin grad has lived and worked with kids from Bates, Conn College, Middlebury, and other similar LAC’s and he was in awe of all of them. Smart, talented, adventuresome, humble, happy…Bowdoin receives more applicants than some of the other schools but, ultimately, all the Maine schools are quite excellent and challenging. Sorry if this is just a repeat of my above post.</p>

<p>True, they all receive so many overlap applicants that I’m sure most Bowdoin students could be happy at Colby/Bates, and vice versa.</p>