Bates College Prestige

MODERATOR’S NOTE: Please stay on topic - I deleted the list that did not include Bates at all. I also deleted a few other posts.

For a kid like you, going to Bates or any good college won’t detract from your goals at all. But if making your parents happy by transferring school is that important to you, it’s your choice. Not a bad idea to experience two colleges as an undergraduate. I wouldn’t do it if you are happy at Bates.

I know OP said that right now you aren’t planning on transferring, and I think that’s really good. I’m a freshman right now. A kid I know here came here planning to transfer, and it’s the saddest thing because every little thing he views as a reason to transfer. Annoying construction? Professor unforgiving about a missed deadline (his fault)? Must not be a good fit, another reason to transfer. I think he would have a lot better year if he wasn’t looking for reasons to be unhappy. If you get here and don’t like it for legitimate reasons that’s one thing, but definitely give it a shot. Coming from a very competitive high school there was definitely a lot of pressure to go to a good school, and at first it bugged me that some people hadn’t heard about Bates. But now that I’m here I don’t regret my decision at all. Everyone here has been kind and very smart. At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter if people you don’t know have heard of your school, just that it was a good fit.
As for convincing your parents of Bates’ prestige, I agree with the stats a lot of previous posters have given.

I’ve been visiting this site as a non-member for quite a while now, and have read countless posts, but took the unexpected step of officially joining CC in order to respond to you in particular! I couldn’t help it :slight_smile:

As soon as I read that you are here to gather evidence to persuade your parents, I couldn’t help but chuckle. I thought, “We have a champion debater on our hands!” As I continued reading, I was delighted to learn that the debate team was, in fact, one of your main reasons for choosing the college. As a Bates alumna and former BQDC (Brooks Quimby Debate Council) President, later hired on as Assistant Coach of the team, I feel confident in assuring you and your parents that you have found the right school.

Back in my day, Bates wasn’t well known on the west coast (it is now) and I remember that my AP Physics teacher was concerned. He tried to convince me to accept an offer to attend a more prestigious liberal arts school a few states south, and felt that Bates would be a mistake. He was surprised and disappointed when I chose Bates. But I had visited and fallen in love with the rhetoric department and the debate team. (Incidentally, look into rhetoric for preparation for law school. It’s a fantastic major.) I also loved that the college had its own radio station, and became a WRBC DJ and talk show host. Fun times!

As a dedicated member of the debate team, I was invited to represent the college (all expenses paid) at major competitions and public debates in North America, Asia, Australia, and Europe. Our team hosted the North American Parliamentary Debate Championship. On many occasions, we welcomed visiting teams from around the country and the world for public debates on campus. If debate is what you want, Bates was and is the place to find it. You will learn to think differently. The experience will challenge, inspire, and enlighten you. You’ll see yourself, and your role in the world around you, in new ways, and you will be permanently changed. This thought-upheaval happens to students throughout the campus – not just those on the debate team – and it’s a real benefit of a high-quality liberal arts education. It’s my personal belief that the combination of parliamentary debate training and a liberal arts institution is unparalleled, and is the “magic” that makes Bates so successful on the national and international debate circuits.

The way that you’ve written your posts tell me that you’ll fit right in on the team, where, if your experience is anything like mine, you’ll find lifelong friends and decades of funny, engaging, well-rounded, intellectually-satisfying conversations. It’s hard work, and you’ll often miss weekend events on campus as you travel to tournaments, but it also will often bring you south or west during the cold Maine winters :slight_smile:

My fellow team members and I went on to law school (Yale, Vanderbilt), architecture school (Cambridge), graduate school (Stanford, Rutgers, Boston U, UC Berkeley), business school (U Chicago, Harvard), and more. One earned a Fulbright Scholarship. I agree with the comment, above, that Bates is especially good for students planning to study beyond the undergraduate level. Obviously, we all worked very hard in our courses (and I agree with the Bates mom, above, that there is significant grade deflation, which can be frustrating) but there is no doubt that the Bates name is well-known – and very prestigious – in law, medical, business, and graduate school admissions offices.

I hope this all provides insight for your parents. Like I wrote earlier, I couldn’t help but find a way to log in and assist an up-and-coming fellow BQDC member! My own formal involvement with the team ended decades ago, but we alums follow the team on social media and sometimes make it back to campus for events. You and I will probably meet in real life someday, in fact, at some invitational debate event on campus – when we’re both alumni! In the meantime, congratulations on your admission. Enjoy Bates, its delicious food, Winter Carnival, the debate team, and everything else the college has to offer.

Thank you so much for your kind response!
I will definitely join BQDC!

@CardinalBobcat So happy I read your comments my son is currently on the BQDC team and it’s been such an amazing experience. The commraderie, travel and overall experience has been eye opening. He is acting as moderator this year. Can’t say enough positive things regarding Bates!

That’s fantastic, @Olympia2!

Getting sidetracked by BQDC, but my D did it the first year and had a great experience. She had never done debate before and ended up beating a Yale kid. Great group! @CardinalBobcat

Since we are being frank, maybe its a good thing its not too well known in China. I live in a university town, which is well known in China. It does not appear that the Many, groups of Chinese students are assimilating into US college culture and language but staying comfortable with what they know. Bates is a very welcoming community and you will learn so much more outside of the classroom mingling with other students. My son has had a great 4 years of growth and learning and is sad to be leaving…

I guess I have a different take on this as a 20+ year grad. If your interest is graduate/med/law school, Bates is highly regarded. And it’s well known and regarded in the Acela corridor. Having said that, once you get out of the NE/Mid Atlantic, you will get some confused looks from people who don’t know elite LAC intimately, and almost nobody out west will have heard of it. As opposed to Bowdoin and a lesser degree, Colby, which most people will say back to you when you say you went to “college in Maine.” FWIW.

Or they make a Sopranos joke.

@FormerBobcat , I think that is changing. My D has been there for three years now. She says that people more often recognize the name than when she first started. At my kids’ high school north of NYC, there is definitely more awareness.

I grew up in So Cal and the only LAC I had ever heard of was Vassar, which I didn’t even know was an LAC. Hand on heart, I had never heard of Bates College until four years ago or so. I had heard of Bowdoin (thought it was pronounced Boh-doyn for a while), when a friend mentioned she was accepted there back in the day. I think there’s a pretty limited number of people who have heard of those schools, until their own kids are looking at colleges. As I said earlier, there are very few colleges that most people have heard of.

Bates had a record number of apps this year, so I guess they don’t mind too much if everyone doesn’t know who they are, lol.

The Vassar thing made me LOL, as I have a close friend who went there and just like Bates is the punchline of a Sopranos line, Vassar was the butt of a very pointed Simpson’s joke, and we often laugh about it.

In a way similar to that for Brown:

– Lisa Simpson

Bates got the Simpsons treatment as well. Bully to Lisa: “Have fun going to Oberlin!” Bully #2: “Maybe after a few years you can transfer…to Bates!” Bully #3: "“enjoy Maine in the winter,” and Bully #4 with the coup de grace: “I hope you like Division III basketball!”

Bates responded by reposting the strip and writing,

“We believe in you, Lisa, and we’d love to review your application. As a reminder, the deadline is January 1:

Of 117,950 Facebook users who saw it
22,996 of them took some action — the vast majority clicking to view the photo. Of the rest:
185 liked the post
13 shared it
11 liked the Bates College page
3 commented on the post
…and, most critically, 81 clicked the link to the Apply page!

I’m clearly missing out on something! Was Bates mentioned on The Sopranos?

I had to look up the Bates Lisa Simpson post on Facebook. Can’t link it here, but it’s now been liked nearly 800 times and shared 181 times, lol! Guess I should have watched more TV, as I also had to look up the Sopranos episode. Can’t find what the joke was though:-)

Tony Soprano took Meadow to visit Bates, Bowdoin and Colby. The trip created an opportunity for Meadow to ask Tony about his business and push him on whether he was in the mafia. IIRC, Tony also used the trip to take out someone in the witness protection program he spotted while with Meadow.

No joke in the Sopranos. Just a surprise reference. For me it emphasized the normal/abnormal dichotomy they live with. Meadow is a normal-excellent high school student looking at normal-excellent LACs, yet she lives with the knowledge that her dad is a mobster. Tony kills people, yet he also loves his daughter and wants for her the bucolic college experience he didn’t have.

@Sue22 and @Lindagaf - actually, there was a joke - right after her info session/tour, Meadow told Tony a current Bates student said that Bates was a woman’s most expensive form of birth control, or something to that nature. :confused: Not really a joke, more of an insult. :frowning:

^ I didn’t remember that! ?

This is an absurd discussion. Bates is a great place! HS students who get admitted to Bates should count themselves LUCKY, because they will get more out of 4 years of Bates than most will ever give back to Bates in a lifetime.

The Simpsons thing was tongue in cheek. Matt Groening attended the Evergreen State College, one of the crunchiest institutions around.

Bates IS an amazing place. In my neck of the woods (the NE) it’s incredibly prestigious and the college has a fabulous track record with job placement and graduate schools.

But then again, I wouldn’t want to attend a college that took itself so seriously or was so fragile that it couldn’t take a little ribbing. ?