Bates College

Lewiston, ME: Bates is a small liberal arts college with a fewcharacteristics that set it apart from others. It surprised me that Bates doesnot require any standardized tests for admission, and so SATs are not required.The college prides itself on this fact, reasoning that the tests give advantagesto certain students, while unfairly hurting others.

Bates has never hadfraternities or sororities, or excluded minorities or women. It is also proudthat it offers the largest selection of cereal of any college in the UnitedStates. Bates has an open meal plan, so a student is not limited to a set numberof meals.

The campus is picturesque, located in a residential areaseparate from the city. There is, of course, the red brick-surrounded quadlittered with trees. The campus also features a small lake, officially named LakeAndrews but more frequently and affectionately called The Puddle.

Housingat Bates ranges from regular dorms to Victorian houses to great seniorapartments. The gym, pool and fields are open to all students. The Olin ArtsCenter, Carnegie Science Hall and library are all relatively new and haveup-to-date technological resources. The twin cities of Lewiston and Auburn alsooffer opportunities to Bates students for many internship possibilities.

Academic life seems rigorous. All seniors are required to write a thesis withthe exception of biology majors (who can choose between a thesis or relatedresearch). Class size is small, with the largest lecture hall seating 75; theaverage class size is 20. Three “semesters” make up the year: tworegular terms in the fall and spring, and a short term in May.

Groups of12 to 15 freshmen are assigned to a junior advisor who helps them adjust tocollege life. Students also hailed the accessibility of professors, who all haveoffice hours.

The atmosphere of Bates was very friendly and secure. Ididn’t know what to expect from my visit, but was glad to find that I liked it.

Reviewed in 2001