Bates College

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#110, overall score 48.5/100

Fun Fact:

The college holds an annual winter carnival, including a party celebrating fanciful facial hair called the Mustachio Bashio.

Why should Jewish students attend Bates? Bates Hillel is a super amazing club on campus. As the only Jewish life club, we have to create and maintain the Jewish community at Bates which we do very well. We are an entirely student-run group, which I now realize is very impressive since almost every other club on campus has help from faculty and staff which we somehow do not. Despite this we are able to host Shabbat services and dinner every week, hold High Holy Day services, have a huge campus-wide Passover Seder, host speakers such as a Holocaust survivor every year, and do other great Jewish bonding activities. We have a very close-knit group and since our community is so small we also have a strong bond. The connections made at Hillel are some of the strongest you will make at college and they stay with you all four years and beyond. - Matthew Winter, Bates Hillel


  • Location: Lewiston, Maine
  • Region: New England
  • Campus type: College town
  • Public/Private: Private
  • Liberal Arts: Yes
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 1,780
  • Jewish undergraduate enrollment: 200
  • Jewish population share: 11%
  • Student newspaper: The Bates Student
  • NCAA Division: III
  • NCAA team: Bobcats
  • Ultimate Frisbee team names: Orange Whip / Cold Front

COST & AID Score: 8.33/15

  • Score: 8.33/15
  • Tuition: $52,042
  • Room & board costs: $14,678
  • Average annual scholarship/grant package: $36,387
  • Average loan debt: $20,715
  • Starting median salary: $55,800
  • Scholarship for Jewish students: No

ACADEMICS Score: 13.33/20

  • Score: 13.33/20
  • Acceptance rate: 22%
  • Student/faculty ratio: 10:1
  • Median SAT range: 1270-1450
  • Jewish Studies program: No
  • Jewish Studies major: No
  • Hebrew major: No

ISRAEL Score: 12/20

  • Score: 12/20
  • Size of Birthright trip: 8
  • School-approved study abroad program in Israel: Yes
  • Israel Studies center: No
  • Israel-related clubs: J Street U
  • Jewish Agency for Israel fellow: No
  • BDS vote in last four years: Never introduced

SAFETY Score: 8.67/11

  • Score: 8.67/11
  • Anti-Semitic incidents in 2017: 0
  • Campus crime rate: 10.67/1,000 students (high)
  • City crime rate: 21.65/1,000 people (medium low)
  • LGBT center: None

JEWISH LIFE Score: 6.17/34

  • Score: 6.17/34
  • Hillel: Bates College Hillel
  • Chabad: No
  • OU-JLIC: No
  • Jewish fraternities: None
  • Jewish sororities: None
  • Can you get kosher food on the school meal plan?: No
  • Chicken soup hotline: No
  • Hillel Friday night services: 1
  • Average Shabbat attendance – Hillel: 25
  • Synagogues within 10 miles: 0
  • Eruv: No
  • Where do Jewish students come from?: All over the country, though most tend to come from the New England area.
  • Kosher food details: They do not have a kosher section in the dining hall but there are many options and it is very possible to eat kosher and still eat well. Shabbat dinners are always kosher.

Do you attend this school? Do you want to tell us more about what life there is like? Take our survey here, and your feedback could be featured in next year’s guide! And if you’re a student or campus professional, join our online community Jewish Campus Confidential, and apply to become a Forward Campus Ambassador.

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