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Bates College Reviews

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I honestly don’t get all the glowing reviews of this college. My son graduated two years ago. NONE of his friend group, all smart, good grades, good looking, many athletes were able to get good jobs after graduation. The career center was a big zero. We attended multiple parent receptions, the administration seemed only interested in the wallotometer when deciding whether to talk to us (even though we donated $5000 every year, it apparently wasn’t enough). President Spencer on one occasion made a disparaging remark upon discovering that our son had attended a ‘public’ high school. Both of my other children attended small liberal arts schools not as highly ranked as Bates, they had strong personal relationships with professors, huge help with alumni outreach in their professions, my son left Bates with none of that. The weather is awful. I was amazed that in a school of only 1800, the president and dean of students had no student connections.
Great liberal arts atmosphere, very chill. Campus can start to feel small after awhile especially over the long winter months. Lewiston is the middle of nothing and the town seems at odds with the students. Blue collar vs elite I suppose. I would love to see more diversity in recreation opportunities and ethnic foods.
Bates is a school full of people who care about you. Professors are sincerely invested in the success of their students, and will go out of their way to help you. Students also care about other students. Academics are very important and people try hard, but there is literally no hint of a competitive atmosphere. We just want everyone to succeed, which I love.
There is no "type" of Bates student, except friendly.
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Bates is great for academia but it definitely exists in a bubble. I don't think students are very prepared for real life and careers. Students love feeling like they are at a top college and can feel elitist at times. There's a serious lack of variety in extra curricular and dining options. Tradition seems more important than progress.
Everyone will tell you this but it's true- the people make Bates a special place! The students, professors, and faculty give the school a unique quality that makes your time here truly invaluable. Whenever I am away from Bates for too long, I find myself yearning to be back on campus, back home. The thirst for change and the passion for diversity, community engagement, and social justice create a vibrant atmosphere that is exciting to be a part of. There's never a shortage of things to be involved in! Even with little to no idea about what I want to do with my life, I am confident that when I leave Bates I will be able to draw on what I've learned to craft a meaningful career. Yeah, there may not be much to do in Lewiston, but make sure to get out and explore the rest of Maine! Skiing, hiking, surfing, biking, running, canoeing, .... all can be found within an hour of Bates.
Bates, at first, was a culture shock for me. Coming from Houston, a school of 2,000 majority rich, white students seemed overwhelming to handle, but when I arrived, I found an amazingly supportive community that was open and accepting to students of all backgrounds. Both the academic and student community were intellectually stimulating, collaborative, and open, and I found myself a community that I felt at home with. Though diversity could be better, food options could be more culturally appropriate, winters could be nicer and less conducive of seasonal depression, and student life could be less insular, Bates has been an amazing experience, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. The opportunities that Bates has granted me are simply incomparable to any other institution and I am grateful that I can translate my experience to the real world.
Bates has an incredibly supportive and tight-knit community of students, faculty, and staff. The resources for student support on campus are incredible and there's always someone to help and offer advice no matter the situation. The food in commons is always great, but if you're not feeling anything at the vegan bar or brick oven, there's always 30+ types of cereal to choose from on a daily basis. Winter semester can be a little tough, as the temps are freezing and the sun sets by 4pm, so it can be tough to find energy and motivation during the latter portion of the days. However, Reslife and health services/CAPS offer tons of support. Plus, once short term and the spring comes around it all becomes worth it. Overall, my experience at Bates has been an invaluable one and I'm so grateful for the way Bates prepared me for life and work post-graduation.
Bates can feel a bit claustrophobic because Lewiston leaves a lot to be desired. Half of the student body plays sports which seems odd to me for a serious liberal arts school. Great professors and academics, just a lack of variety and culture.
Bates provides a close-knit community, where the student body truly feels support from their peers and professors.
Though the professors are amazing, every major must suffer through terrible required classes, while the most interesting classes fill up quickly and are offered only biannually. Campus security is a nightmare, as they have destroyed any semblance of a party scene and terrorize the student community. Lastly, the administration has no transparency or interest in listening to student concerns. What makes it worth it are the students and professors, but improving current student experiences are low on the list of priorities for Clayton Spencer and her administration.
Bates was my first choice college and I did get accepted. Ultimately I chose a different college and the reason was lack of diversity. The only area of strong diversity is geographic which is nice but enough. The majority white and wealthy students only serve to recycle the same perspectives and ideals that are already in place at Bates.
I loved Bates. After having a close knit high school experience that emphasized camaraderie and empathy, Bates was the perfect environment to continue with this philosophy on a larger, more diverse scale. The professors genuinely care about you and really stress the critical thinking that is the hallmark of the liberal arts education. I would recommend Bates to any students who are both outgoing and introspective, well-rounded, and empathetic.
I had the best experience at Bates. The student body is intellectually curious yet super down to earth, professors are always accessible (many of whom I am still close with over a decade later), coursework/the pre-med committee is challenging but prepared me well for medical school, Maine is beautiful with great skiing and hiking nearby, and there are a bunch of really good restaurants in Lewiston with Portland only a 1/2 hour away. I met some of my best friends at Bates and had an absolute blast!
Looking at schools to continue with football at the collegiate level. Bates has a nice campus which is a bit of an oasis, since Lewiston isn’t really a town I see myself happy in. Obviously the academics are the draw here.
My experience at Bates has been incredible. Obviously, there are going to be negative things about any college. However, I believe that the academic rigor, commitment of the professors and faculty, and the passion and community of the students are what sets Bates apart from other institutions.
I cannot imagine a better college experience. Bates challenged me to grow academically and as a person. The close-knit collegial environment is unmatched, and the friends I made at Bates are the most important people in my life. I feel lucky to have ended up at Bates -- even though I have graduated, it will always be my home.
Attending Bates has been an incredible experience for me for the past 4 years. I have made lifelong friendships and invaluable bonds with professors that I don't think I would have found at just any school.
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My experience at Bates has been exceptional. The faculty and staff make students their number one priority, fostering a safe and supportive community. As a small but elite college, students have the opportunity to be exposed to top scholarship and immerse themselves in it in ways only small school allow with various research assistantships, fellowships, and internships. In addition, students at Bates are incredibly kind, making most students feel welcomed upon arrival.
I loved the environment and the people! The campus is beautiful, and the school is so deeply routed in tradition. It has been such a positive addition to my life.
I graduated 5 years ago, and Bates is still my favorite place in the world. It isn't for everyone--it is small; intense, both socially and academically; and in a cold climate--but the school has shaped and inspired me in ways that I could have never expected. I also loved Lewiston, even though many people don't, because of how diverse the demographic is, how great the food is, and how many activities it offers for service-learning and getting involved.