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4 College Sophomore

Diversity: Compared to the rest of Maine, Bowdoin is a Mecca in it's own right. More international kids than I expected. All the while, there are a lot of white, wealthy, New Englanders.

2 people found this useful Report
3 Recent Alumnus

Diversity: It's pretty great for our location in Brunswick, ME, but honestly it could be better. There's an LGBT community, but it's rather small (but very supportive if you need it!), and many people who are LGBT aren't necessarily out and proud, but aren't hiding it either. But the social scene is lackluster at best for the gays, there are some fun parties that are just for us, but the general party culture is geared toward straight students which can be annoying after a while. As far as racial diversity, there are pockets here and there, and again, great for location and it's getting better, but still a bit of ways to go. Economic background is actually pretty diverse, but Bowdoin has a no-loan policy and has great work-study options, so they get a pretty good amount of people from different background in that respect because they don't have to rely on admitting full-pay students to support the endowment/general institution (which is pretty rare and pretty sweet). Politics are tricky because people don't really talk about it unless it's an election year, but it seems pretty liberal student-wise, although the older crowd (alumni/trustees) are pretty conservative, which gets weird when ideas clash between the old and the new. But things should get better over time.

7 people found this useful Report
2 College Freshman

Diversity: Everyone is an upperclass white kid from Boston/NY

6 people found this useful Report
5 College Student

Diversity: The student body is very diverse in terms of racial diversity and sexual orientation. People from many different racial backgrounds can be found on campus, people of all sexualities are accepted here and people in general are accepting of each other. There is little economic diversity, however, as the majority of the student body hails from middle or upper class families. In terms of political diversity, the majority of the student body is generally liberal.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Diversity: Although the college claims to be diverse it is made up of mostly upper middle class students. The campus is not at all accepting of conservative ideologies. Any student who holds conservative beliefs is forced to stay in the closet unless they wish to be labeled a bigot.

4 people found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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Diversity at Bowdoin is relative, and depending on a student's background, Bowdoin may seem diverse or not. Minority students make up about 30 percent of Bowdoin's student body; however, racial diversity isn't the only factor contributing to a student body of unique individuals. Although many Bowdoin students come from the wealthiest 5 percent of families in the United States, students describe the College as being an economically diverse place. Financial aid allows students from various financial backgrounds to attend Bowdoin. And, the international student population has been steadily growing in response to Bowdoin's initiative to increase diversity.

Bowdoin doesn't show much political diversity, and most students identify themselves as liberal. Interestingly, though, many view the rest of the student body as more liberal than themselves. There is also a small presence of conservative views. Religion does not play a large role on campus—although there is a broad range of religious views, differences in religion do not seem to build walls between students. The most diverse aspect of Bowdoin is probably sexual orientation. Students who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender are accepted. In general, most Bowdoin students are accepting of all minorities on campus.

Facts & Statistics

African American
Native American
Historically Black College/University?
Tribal College?
Out-of-State Students
Common States of Residence
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Foreign countries
  • Massachusetts
  • New York
Student Age Breakdown
Under 18: 2%
18-19: 49%
20-21: 44%
22-24: 5%
25+: 0%
Female Faculty
Male Faculty
Faculty Diversity
African American: 5%
Asian American: 7%
Hispanic: 5%
International: 4%
Native American: 1%
White: 80%
Unknown: 0%
Gay Pride
Bowdoin Gay/Straight Alliance and the Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity are organizations that provide support for students who wish to discuss relationships of all types. These groups also help inform the Bowdoin community about gay, lesbian, and bisexual issues. Bowdoin also offers a Gay and Lesbian Studies Program.
Political Activity
There is the Bowdoin College Democrats and the Bowdoin College Republicans, but the Democrats have a larger presence.
Economic Status
There is generally not a noticeable divide between affluent and less-fortunate students, but some differences can be noted in dress and speech if closely watched.
Most Common Religions
At Bowdoin, there are students who identify as Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, atheist, and so on, but there are no huge rifts between people of differing religious views. The Bowdoin Christian Fellowship, the Catholic Students Union, and Hillel are all active religious student organizations.
Minority Clubs on Campus
Bowdoin has an associate dean of multicultural student programs, and there are many minority clubs on campus. They include Africa Alliance, African-American Society, Asian Student Association, Hillel, International Club, Korean American Students Association, Latin American Student Organization, Middle Eastern Student Alliance, and Native American Students Association.
Did You Know?
  • It's commonly said that if you ask a Bowdoin student where he or she is from, they'll answer, "Twenty minutes outside Boston." Not all students are from Massachusetts, but about a quarter of the student body is, while approximately 10 percent of the population hails from Maine.
  • An interesting aspect of the town of Brunswick is its diversity in options for religious practice. While 57 percent of the town population identifies with the Catholic Church, 9 percent with the United Church of Christ, and 5 percent with the United Methodist Church, the remaining 29 percent identify with other (or no) religious services. The result is a wide variety of options for students who might want to join the community for religious activities. Options include Unitarian Universalists and a Buddhist Shambhala center, as well as synagogues and mosques in the surrounding towns.

Student Polls

Have you changed your political affiliation since you started college?    Based on 7 responses

  • 100% No
  • 0% Yes, Democrat to Republican
  • 0% Yes, Democrat to Independent/Other Party
  • 0% Yes, Republican to Democrat
  • 0% Yes, Republican to Independent/Other Party
  • 0% Yes, Independent/Other Party to Democrat
  • 0% Yes, Independent/Other Party to Republican

How would you best describe your personal political beliefs?    Based on 40 responses

  • 22% Progressive/very liberal
  • 42% Liberal
  • 12% Moderate
  • 12% Conservative
  • 0% Very conservative
  • 8% Libertarian
  • 2% Not sure

How would you best describe the political beliefs of campus as a whole?    Based on 39 responses

  • 18% Progressive/very liberal
  • 62% Liberal
  • 18% Moderate
  • 0% Conservative
  • 0% Very conservative
  • 0% Libertarian
  • 3% Not sure

How diverse is the student body in the following areas?    Based on 28 responses

Totally homogenous
Extremely diverse
  • Economic status
  • Ethnic heritage
  • National origin (international students)
  • Political affiliation
  • Religious background
  • Sexual orientation

How diverse is your personal circle of friends in the following areas?    Based on 27 responses

Totally homogenous
Extremely diverse
  • Economic status
  • Ethnic heritage
  • National origin (international students)
  • Political affiliation
  • Religious background
  • Sexual orientation

Have you changed your political views since starting college?    Based on 8 responses

  • 88% No
  • 0% Yes, I became a lot more liberal.
  • 12% Yes, I became a little more liberal.
  • 0% Yes, I became a lot more conservative.
  • 0% Yes, I became a little more conservative.

What political party do you associate yourself with?    Based on 7 responses

  • 0% Republican
  • 86% Democratic
  • 14% Independent
  • 0% Other party not mentioned
  • 0% I don't care about politics

Have your religious views changed since you started college?    Based on 7 responses

  • 86% No, my religious views have stayed the same.
  • 0% Yes. I've become more religious, but I'm still affiliated with the same religion.
  • 0% Yes. I've become more religious and have changed my religious affiliation.
  • 14% Yes. I've become less religious, but I'm still affiliated with the same religion.
  • 0% Yes. I've become less religious and have changed my religious affiliation.

How accepted is the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community on campus?    Based on 8 responses

  • 75% Very accepted. LGBT students are treated no differently than non-LGBT students.
  • 25% Accepted. LGBT students are treated fairly, but there are still some people who aren't accepting of them.
  • 0% Somewhat accepted. LGBT students aren't necessarily out and proud on campus, for fear of intolerance.
  • 0% Not accepted. LGBT students generally stay quiet.

How important is religion in your life?    Based on 7 responses

  • 0% Very important. I regularly attend religious services and also participate in related clubs/organizations.
  • 14% Important. I regularly attend religious services.
  • 0% Somewhat important. I sometimes attend religious services.
  • 86% Not important. I don't affiliate with any religion.

How accepting is the campus community as a whole toward someone who falls into the minority (ethnic, sexual, or religious)?    Based on 40 responses

  • 68% Very accepting.
  • 28% Most students are accepting, except for a few rare cases of intolerance.
  • 2% The campus is split on its acceptance-not all minority groups are as accepted as others.
  • 2% It's hard to be a minority here.
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