Bates College Prestige

Hi guys, I was lucky enough to be accepted by Bates College via ed1.

But my parents changed their mind and are asking me to transfer after my freshman year to a more prestigious university. I’m a fast learner(I self-studied for 8 aps in less than 14 days and got 5s on all of them except AP Lit), so I think I will earn the GPA required for transferring.

However, I absolutely love Bates from my visit. Everyone seemed so nice. So I’m trying my best to convince my parents. So it would be helpful if anyone can please answer these questions:
1.) Is Bates prestigious enough to get me into good law schools if I have a good gpa+LSAT.
2.) Is Bates considered as a target school by Investment Banks/Consulting firms?
3.) Is Bates considered a “good” school in America compared to schools like Emory, UCLA, USC…

Note: I don’t mean any offense to Bates College with these questions, I’m just looking pure factual answers.

Many Thanks to All

Congrats! Bates is a great school that is well known by many top companies. I graduated in the 90’s and still get employers recruiting me who mention they saw that I went to Bates and it caught their eye. I’m in marketing for a top tech company, a very well paying and cool job.

My husband went to Bates too and he’s a partner at a top consulting firm and he brings in bates students to shadow and hire. Bates has great placement at top grad schools as well.

I hope your parents can start to see how much you’ve accomplished by being admitted. Good luck!

Thank you for your response!

1.) Yes
2.) Yes
3.) Yes

Congratulations on getting in! The acceptance rate is going to be pretty low this year, based on last year’s over-enrollment.

The people who matter know about Bates.

Your parents are being ridiculous, frankly. If you go into Bates knowing that your intent is to transfer out as soon as possible, you are not going to enjoy your experience or get the most out of it. If your parents are really that concerned, tell them to look at this year’s USNWR rankings, where it’s ranked at #22, just below West Point and Wesleyan. They can look at Forbes list too, where Bates ranks #8 for Liberal Arts Colleges in the nation. They can look at Princeton Review, where it’s ranked in the Top 50 Colleges that Pay You Back. They can look at the Fulbright Scholars list, where it’s ranked #1. Bates grads have a very high acceptance rate to grad schools.

Your parents changing their mind is not a solid reason for you to want to transfer. Frankly, your ability to get into more prestigious colleges is going to likely be dependent on you getting very good prof recommendations and being very involved in campus life. Ask yourself if you are willing to invest the time and energy required to do all that stuff just so you can leave. Getting good prof recs means you will need not just good grades, but also to actively participate in class. Then you’re going to transfer out? Bear in mind that Harvard, for example, is not going to be interested in your parents’ desire for you to transfer for the sake of prestige. You will need explicit and demonstrable reasons why XYZ college is the place you need to be.

And just to be gauche, there are plenty of really rich kids at Bates (along with plenty of not-rich kids), but you’d never know it, because they’re just regular nice people. If your parents think you need to be rubbing shoulders with those who exude a “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” aura, Bates isn’t the place for that. Tell them it’s not them going to college. It’s you. Their attitude is going to do you no favors at all.



I don’t think my parents feel that I need to be rubbing shoulders with the “Rich and Famous”, they have just never heard of Bates. I’m an international student, and Bates only takes around 3-4 students per year in the ED Round so it’s not that famous in China.

Both of my parents are from a distant village in Northern China and didn’t get to go to college. So I guess it is natural for them to never heard of Bates College. They won’t listen to me, so the purpose of this post is to collect American’s opinion on the school in order to better persuade my parents.

Thank you again for your time and effort.

Bates is an excellent school. I will say that a barista at my local coffee shop went to Bates. It is probably best geared to students who want to go to graduate school.
I agree with the above posters.

You must have convinced them to sign the ED application agreement in the first place; maybe remind them of the arguments you made for Bates at that time and try to build on your case?

Did you receive financial aid from Bates ? If so, and if the amount of aid is significant, it would be foolish to forego such an outstanding opportunity.

Also, @JBSeattle: Bates College prepares students well for elite graduate schools.

No, I didn’t receive any financial aid from Bates College. I applied probably from the fiercest district(China), where they only took 4 students this year via ED, none received FA.

Thank you!

A list of colleges that most people in the world have heard of:
Oxford. Harvard.
Maybe Cambridge, Yale, the Sorbonne.

That’s about it. :slight_smile:

It’s not surprising that your parents haven’t heard of Bates. If you are in the most competitive school district in China and only four of you got into Bates, that seems like a good achievement. I suggest that you give your parents a bunch of good stats about Bates which might give them a little comfort knowing that you got accepted into a respected college with an excellent reputation.

Here are some fun facts about Bates: (I confess, I looked this up on Wikipedia.)
First college in New England to grant degrees to women.
Admitted African American students before the Emancipation Proclamation.
86 Fulbright Scholars, 22 Watson Fellows, 5 Rhodes Scholars, 5 Pulitzer Prize winners, 12 Olympic athletes, numerous members of Congress, CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies, etc…

Look up post-grad outcomes on Bates’ website. There is a lot of good information to be found. Meanwhile, enjoy your remaining time in high school knowing that in August, you will be meeting really great people on the beautiful campus of Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. Have fun on your AESOP trip!

You know a barista? Is that supposed to encourage OP to transfer? Lol. It’s a fabulous college. Top on many lists, top 25 or so among national LACs.

OP, why did you apply, if your parents want something more prestgious? And if they don’t know what that is, in the US? Why did you choose this college without researching enough, prior?

Sorry, but was the intention, all along, to get into a great US LAC and use it as a platform to transfer to a college anyone in China has heard of? Did you think you could avoid the original competition at tippy tops?

Sorry, but it’s even harder to transfer and you’ll need a superior reason you want to. And getting top grades at Bates is a different skill set than rushed AP self study.


I did research Bates before applying. Applied for the less “Preppy” vibe, awesome debate team, and a great history faculty.

For your second question, it was never my intention to transfer or to avoid competition when I applied. As of now, I don’t wanna transfer. The purpose of this post is just to gather information from American’s standpoint so that I can better convince my parents that Bates is a great school so that they won’t push me for a transfer.

Whether or not I have the skill sets to transfer is a different question, this thread is on the premise that if I earned the equivalence of transferring to a prestigious university, would it be worth it and will it make any difference in grad school application.

Thank you for your input, happy holidays!


Thank you for your kind response, happy holidays to you and your family!

It sounds like the OP has researched schools and is applying to Bates for the right reasons but needs to convince international parents who have never heard of the school. @iwantcollegeplz, if all you’re looking for is ammo, we can help. :slight_smile:
Please note, these are not the reasons my kids applied to Bates, nor are they the reasons I would normally cite, but in this case the parents are looking for prestige, so we can play that game.

  1. Bates is one of the NESCAC school, sometimes referred to as the "Little Ivies." Tell them the NESCAC is the equivalent of Ivy League but for liberal arts schools and show them this.

Personally, I’ve never even heard the expression “Maine Big Three” and I’ve been associate with Bates for 35 year, but hey, if it’s on Wikipedia it must be true, right? :wink:

  1. Debate is great preparation for law, and Bates has a long tradition of strength in debating. From a story on the World Debating Championships in Berlin (2013):

…and two stories from 2017. Bates won the North American Women’s Debating Championship

…and reached the finals of the World University Debate Championship.

That make Bates better than Harvard, right? :wink:

  1. Bates graduates do well in the job market. As of 6 months after graduation only a half percent of graduates in the class of '17 were still looking for work. For Yale graduates the percentage still looking for work was 3.4%
  1. Bates graduates go on to many great graduate schools, including Ivies. Bates is among the schools currently represented at Harvard's Law School, Business School and Medical School.

The law schools currently attended by Bates students include Stanford, Yale, Harvard, UCLA, Berkeley, University of Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, U Penn, and Duke. Not bad for a school with fewer than 2,000 students.

  1. Prestigious awards- Bates is a perennial top producer of Fulbright Award winners. Last year Bates won more Fulbrights than any other liberal arts school in the nation, and more than many top universities, including Yale, Stanford, Duke, Columbia, Dartmouth, Berkeley and many other schools with as many as 10x the number of undergraduate students.

Good luck, @iwantcollegeplz. Hopefully you’ll love Bates and your parents will be able to see what a wonderful place it is aside from the issue of prestige.

Yes to all. But I have to say almost no person on the street, let alone on the streets of China, probably heard of Bates. Amhearst, probably. And no person on the street outside CA probably heard of Pomona, arguably the best liberal arts college imo.

Brand names is almost solely due to colleges having a lot of money or athletic success.

You must be a genius being able to get 5s in 8 APs by studying on your own for 14 days. My kid took AP Arts History class, and all they did was study for AP test, and he only got a 4. And he got into Stanford early. Just goes to show you the smartest kids are not at HYPSM. I am impressed if what you say is true. You didn’t even take any AP classes? If true, you should have no problem acing LSAT.

Based on the academic preparation of its students as measured by standardized testing, Bates placed within the range of these schools at 56th nationally, with USC at 42nd, Emory at 47th and UCLA at 74th. A correction might be needed to account for the test-optional policy at Bates, but this nonetheless should give you some idea as to how Bates compares amid these examples.

It’s not about scores. It’s about what actually takes place, once on a campus.

OP, sorry. But I reacted to the idea you got in, haven’t started, and asked these particular questions. Those of us who know the college well are most impressed. We or our kids and their friends had no limitations. We found/find it to be an intellectually vibrant atmosphere, as well as promoting engagement in the community. And more. Graduates find work everywhere. (It is not just about grad school, which, among some, can be a putdown about employability.)

And it’s generally not a grade inflation school. AP quick study, imo, is not a predictor one will do well there. In fact, personally, I find that score focus can be contrary to learning.

I understand your concern. But the idea Bates needs to impress in all corners of China is not even related, to me, to what makes it an excellent institution. Nor whether someone/anyone in the US midwest or 3000 miles away, on the west coast, instantly knows the name. The proof is in the graduates.

My kids are superbly educated. Similar comments are made by other parents or grads on CC. These kids can create their futures. Name recognition outside the east coast matters far less. It’s about the individuals this college empowers.

Depends upon whether OP will be seeking employment in the US or in China.

I agree with @lookingforward . My daughter would say that Bates has grade deflation. As far as self-study for APs, my daughter did that for AP psych, which she knew she wanted to major in. She decided she should take intro psych anyway, even though she got a 5, and she was glad she did. You cover material in college at a much more in-depth level than you do in high school. She says she would have regretted skipping intro psych.

Anwyay, @iwantcollegeplz , i think you are going to find your groove at Bates and I definitely think you will love the debate team. My daughter did debate her first year, having never done it in her life, and was so well-prepared that she actually beat Yale in her second tournament ever.

You will find that most kids take their studies pretty seriously and the college has a collaborative atmosphere. I am sure you will be happy there. Happy holidays to you, if you celebrate!

Yes. But that’s a decision to be made before app deadlines. An informed decision.