Bowdoin Expands Need-Blind Admissions to International Students

The Maine college will not consider the financial background of any of its undergraduate applicants.

July 11, 2022 · Updated on July 11, 2022

Edited by Darlene Earnest
Bowdoin Expands Need-Blind Admissions to International Students
Admissions

  • Bowdoin will become 1 of just 7 institutions offering need-blind admissions to international students.
  • The policy will start with early decision applicants in November.
  • International students currently make up 7% of Bowdoin's enrollment.

Bowdoin College will include international students in its need-blind admissions policy starting as soon as this November.

The new policy, announced late last week, means Bowdoin will not consider the financial background of any of its undergraduate applicants. International students currently make up 7% of the student body at the Maine school.

"It is critical that a great liberal arts education like Bowdoin's be accessible to students from all economic backgrounds and all citizenships," Claudia Marroquin, Bowdoin's senior vice president and dean of admissions and student aid, said in the release.

School officials touted the expansion of need-blind admissions as the latest in a long list of student-accessible policies.

Bowdoin automatically waives application fees for first-generation students and students applying for aid. It was also the first college in the country to enact a test-optional admissions policy, according to the release.

Bowdoin President Clayton Rose said accessibility is "central to our mission."

"This commitment to need-blind admission for our international applicants is another important part of a remarkable program of access and affordability that only a few other colleges and universities are able to provide," Rose said.

Bowdoin joins six other universities in offering need-blind admissions for international students: Amherst College, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University, and Yale University.

“Although only seven institutions currently offer need-blind admissions to international students, the movement has grown since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Although only seven institutions currently offer need-blind admissions to international students, the movement has grown since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dartmouth enacted its own need-blind admissions policy for international students earlier this year, according to a January press release.

"In a time when many of humankind's most difficult challenges know no borders, we are proud to be a magnet for undergraduate talent regardless of citizenship and regardless of a student's ability to pay," Dartmouth President Phillip J. Hanlon said at the time.

Brown University previously announced it would "move toward need-blind admissions for international students," implementing the policy for international students in the 2029 graduating class who will start at the school in fall 2025.

"Need-blind admissions for international students will have wide-ranging positive impacts for the University and the world," said Provost Richard M. Locke, who has led multiple committees in assessing affordability and access in Brown University admissions. "It will create new opportunities for students to learn from international peers who have distinct experiences and perspectives, while also providing a Brown education for talented young people who will go on to serve their communities locally, nationally and globally."