Bowdoin College is ranked 6th nationally in the U.S. news rankings of best colleges 2011. Bowdoin is a highly selective independent liberal arts college founded in 1794, with an international reputation, situated in the New England town of Brunswick, on the Maine coastline. Students are considered for their ‘academic, athletic, and personal traits’ but financial need is not a consideration for prospective students.
Bowdoin offers a needs blind admission policy which allows students to attend whatever their financial background. There are no merit aid awards as all financial aid is based on calculated financial need. Bowdoin has replaced the need for student loans with institutional grants, as part of its financial aid package.
The college states that “by eliminating student loans, Bowdoin seeks to attract and enroll students of great promise from all income levels who might otherwise choose a different college simply on the basis of cost and debt.” Thus students have the opportunity to graduate without the burden of student loan debt.
The current total costs of attending Bowdoin College are $55,300, of which tuition accounts for $41,150. Students with demonstrated financial need will receive financial aid packages which comprise the difference between the costs of attendance and the expected family contribution.
Financial aid is comprised of federal and state grants, and Bowdoin grants. The calculated family contribution includes $2000 from student summer employment, and student employment is also available on campus. There is no stipulated need for students to contribute from their own assets.
Expected family contributions are determined by completing the FAFSA and CSS profiles. The income of non custodial parents is also considered. If parents need assistance with the parental contribution then federal state loans can be utilized for this purpose. Family contributions are calculated based on income and assets, family size and the number of other children at college. Retirement savings are not taken into consideration.
There are a number of states which offer grant and scholarship assistance to students electing to study at Bowdoin. State assistance is available to students from Maine, and also from Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, the District of Columbia, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts. State based college aid is primarily needs based.
Local merit scholarships can be used to reduce parental contributions. Most outside scholarships obtained by students do not usually affect the amount of Bowdoin awards granted, which is a great benefit the college offers.
As Bowdoin is committed to providing institutional grants instead of student loans for students in need of financial aid it makes the college an affordable option. Students who aspire to attend the College should not be deterred by the costs involved as the generous financial aid can make it an affordable option.