See what students say:

Academics

A hop, skip, and a jump from stunning Acadia National Park, with its campus on Maine’s Frenchman Bay, College of the Atlantic (COA) offers undergraduates “an extreme degree of academic freedom.” COA’s “interdisciplinary structure” lets students create their own course of study with creative pedagogy from professors who regularly “provide immersive activities such as field work, class trips, and experiential opportunities.” Students rave about faculty who have “big hearts” while upholding a “rigorous academic” standard. Students have a chance to take traditional classes, but there is also an “incredible amount of experiential learning opportunities,” including hands-on projects like “working on a research boat” and building a “tiny house with other students” in a class dedicated to—yep—designing and building tiny houses. Furthermore, students say “the professors at COA foster a class environment that honors and values class discussion and a balanced student-teacher relationship.” This is evidenced by “everyone go[ing] by their first name,” and faculty “participating in every other aspect of life at COA” outside of the classroom. Independent students also noted that they were able to receive “substantial financial aid,” and had “flexibility in shaping [their] own education.” Students have numerous internship, residency, and study abroad opportunities, all of which complement the school’s “culture of social responsibility and environmental sustainability.” “Workshops,” one student adds, “most notably, the Thoreau gatherings held once per term...on student skill-sets enable us to better organize and advocate for change.”

Student Body

At the College of the Atlantic, you’ll find a fascinating assortment of “geologists, guitarists, teachers, poets, fashionistas, sailors, rock climbers, film makers, and economists” among the student body, who are “curious about learning, especially in the field setting,” “passionate about global climate change and social equality,” and “overwhelmingly willing to contribute to projects and help out people in need even if there is no individual benefit to be claimed.” Another student trait that “seems to be universal” is a “willingness for academic discussion on a range of topics, in settings like classrooms to the line in the dinning hall, in which students are keen to take sides and find real depths of thought together in a safe way without coming to personal jabs.” Proud COA students note that they have “few traditions” and are “experimental in the best sense of the word.” Students are inspired by “the words of... former school president Ed Kaelber: ‘Any college that is not constantly seeking new ways of doing things is only half alive.’” Students say their “tiny community is tied together much closer than most colleges get their students to be,” and full of “self-directed learners who want to take charge of their learning rather than follow the general current.”

Campus Life

Students are drawn to COA’s “small community with a commitment to sustainability.” Many classes “move outdoors in good weather” to “explore Acadia National Park across the street or other sites on the coast of Maine.” COA students also “play a large part in the governance and daily operation of the college, participating in work study positions and serving on committees.” Between classes, students “often hang out at a cafeteria called TAB (Take-ABreak), “a central location on campus,” that “besides being used for meals, is a common study or social space.” Hiking is popular year round, or playing water polo at the YMCA in town. Skiing and winter camping are go-to activities in the winter. Popular on weekends year round is the “movie theatre/ pizza place in town, Reel Pizza.” And “a lot of people go contra dancing once a month in a nearby city.” Students are generally passionate about their coursework and fieldwork, and serve “on the school’s research vessel, the MV Osprey,” and at the “Peggy Rockefeller Farm.”

Overview

Applicants
474
Acceptance Rate
68%
Average HS GPA
3.71

GPA Breakdown

41%
Over 3.75
23%
3.50 - 3.74
21%
3.25 - 3.49
12%
3.00 - 3.24
2%
2.50 - 2.99
1%
2.00 - 2.49

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Test Scores

SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
25th-75th percentile
(enrolled students)
640 - 700
SAT Math
25th-75th percentile
(enrolled students)
550 - 650
ACT Composite
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
26 - 30

Testing Policies


ACT Writing Policy
ACT with or without Writing accepted

Deadlines

Early Decision — December 1

Early Decision II — January 15

Regular — February 1


Other Admission Factors

Academic

Rigor of Secondary School Record
Application Essay
Recommendation(s)

Selectivity Rating


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Faculty and Class Information

Student/Faculty
10:1
Total Faculty
53
with Terminal Degree
36

29
Men
24
Women
2
Minority
1
International

Most frequent class size
10 - 19
Most frequent lab / sub section size
2 - 9


Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
53%
Graduate in 5 years
66%
Graduate in 6 years
66%

Majors

  • AGRICULTURE, AGRICULTURE OPERATIONS, AND RELATED SCIENCES.

  • Agriculture, General.
  • International Agriculture.
  • Taxidermy/Taxidermist.

  • ARCHITECTURE AND RELATED SERVICES.

  • Landscape Architecture.

  • BIOLOGICAL AND BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES.

  • Anatomy.
  • Animal Behavior and Ethology.
  • Animal Genetics.
  • Aquatic Biology/Limnology.
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
  • Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology, Other.
  • Biochemistry.
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Other.
  • Biology/Biological Sciences, General.
  • Biomathematics, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology, Other.
  • Biostatistics.
  • Botany/Plant Biology, Other.
  • Botany/Plant Biology.
  • Cell Biology and Anatomy.
  • Cell Physiology.
  • Cell/Cellular and Molecular Biology.
  • Cell/Cellular Biology and Anatomical Sciences, Other.
  • Cell/Cellular Biology and Histology.
  • Conservation Biology.
  • Developmental Biology and Embryology.
  • Ecology.
  • Entomology.
  • Environmental Biology.
  • Environmental Toxicology.
  • Evolutionary Biology.
  • Genetics, General.
  • Genetics, Other.
  • Human/Medical Genetics.
  • Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography.
  • Medical Microbiology and Bacteriology.
  • Microbial and Eukaryotic Genetics.
  • Microbiological Sciences and Immunology, Other.
  • Microbiology, General.
  • Molecular Biology.
  • Molecular Genetics.
  • Molecular Physiology.
  • Mycology.
  • Physiology, General.
  • Plant Genetics.
  • Plant Molecular Biology.
  • Plant Pathology/Phytopathology.
  • Plant Physiology.
  • Population Biology.
  • Structural Biology.
  • Systematic Biology/Biological Systematics.
  • Wildlife Biology.
  • Zoology/Animal Biology, Other.
  • Zoology/Animal Biology.

  • BUSINESS, MANAGEMENT, MARKETING, AND RELATED SUPPORT SERVICES.

  • Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneurial Studies.
  • International Business/Trade/Commerce.
  • Marketing/Marketing Management, General.
  • Non-Profit/Public/Organizational Management.

  • COMPUTER AND INFORMATION SCIENCES AND SUPPORT SERVICES.

  • Computer Science.

  • EDUCATION.

  • Art Teacher Education.
  • Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education, Other.
  • Biology Teacher Education.
  • Chemistry Teacher Education.
  • Curriculum and Instruction.
  • Education, General.
  • Education, Other.
  • Educational Evaluation and Research.
  • Educational Leadership and Administration, General.
  • Educational/Instructional Technology.
  • English/Language Arts Teacher Education.
  • Geography Teacher Education.
  • History Teacher Education.
  • International and Comparative Education.
  • Mathematics Teacher Education.
  • Multicultural Education.
  • Music Teacher Education.
  • Physics Teacher Education.
  • Science Teacher Education/General Science Teacher Education.
  • Secondary Education and Teaching.
  • Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education.
  • Social Science Teacher Education.
  • Social Studies Teacher Education.
  • Teacher Education and Professional Development, Specific Levels and Methods, Other.
  • Teacher Education and Professional Development, Specific Subject Areas, Other.

  • ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE/LETTERS.

  • American Literature (United States).
  • Creative Writing.
  • English Composition.
  • English Language and Literature, General.
  • English Language and Literature/Letters, Other.
  • Technical and Business Writing.

  • FOREIGN LANGUAGES, LITERATURES, AND LINGUISTICS.

  • Comparative Literature.
  • Foreign Languages and Literatures, General.

  • HISTORY.

  • American History (United States).
  • History and Philosophy of Science and Technology.
  • History, General.
  • History, Other.

  • LEGAL PROFESSIONS AND STUDIES.

  • Legal Studies, General.
  • Non-Professional General Legal Studies (Undergraduate).

  • LIBERAL ARTS AND SCIENCES, GENERAL STUDIES AND HUMANITIES.

  • General Studies.
  • Humanities/Humanistic Studies.
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities, Other.
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies.

  • MATHEMATICS AND STATISTICS.

  • Algebra and Number Theory.
  • Analysis and Functional Analysis.
  • Applied Mathematics, General.
  • Applied Mathematics, Other.
  • Computational Mathematics.
  • Geometry/Geometric Analysis.
  • Mathematical Statistics and Probability.
  • Mathematics and Statistics, Other.
  • Mathematics, General.
  • Mathematics, Other.
  • Statistics, General.
  • Statistics, Other.

  • MULTI/INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES.

  • Behavioral Sciences.
  • Biological and Physical Sciences.
  • Biopsychology.
  • Cognitive Science.
  • Historic Preservation and Conservation, Other.
  • Intercultural/Multicultural and Diversity Studies.
  • International/Global Studies.
  • Mathematics and Computer Science.
  • Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other.
  • Natural Sciences.
  • Neuroscience.
  • Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution.
  • Science, Technology and Society.
  • Systems Science and Theory.

  • NATURAL RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION.

  • Environmental Science.
  • Environmental Studies.
  • Land Use Planning and Management/Development.
  • Natural Resource Economics.
  • Natural Resources Conservation and Research, Other.
  • Natural Resources Management and Policy, Other.
  • Natural Resources Management and Policy.
  • Natural Resources/Conservation, General.
  • Water, Wetlands, and Marine Resources Management.

  • PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES.

  • Ethics.
  • Philosophy and Religious Studies, Other.
  • Philosophy.
  • Religion/Religious Studies.

  • PHYSICAL SCIENCES.

  • Atomic/Molecular Physics.
  • Chemistry, General.
  • Physical Chemistry.
  • Physical Sciences, Other.

  • SOCIAL SCIENCES.

  • American Government and Politics (United States).
  • Demography and Population Studies.
  • Development Economics and International Development.
  • Geographic Information Science and Cartography.
  • Geography, Other.
  • International Relations and Affairs.
  • Political Science and Government, General.
  • Political Science and Government, Other.
  • Social Sciences, Other.
  • Sociology.
  • Urban Studies/Affairs.

  • VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS.

  • Art History, Criticism and Conservation.
  • Art/Art Studies, General.
  • Ceramic Arts and Ceramics.
  • Cinematography and Film/Video Production.
  • Commercial and Advertising Art.
  • Crafts/Craft Design, Folk Art and Artisanry.
  • Dance, General.
  • Dance, Other.
  • Design and Applied Arts, Other.
  • Design and Visual Communications, General.
  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General.
  • Dramatic/Theatre Arts and Stagecraft, Other.
  • Drawing.
  • Fiber, Textile and Weaving Arts.
  • Film/Cinema/Video Studies.
  • Film/Video and Photographic Arts, Other.
  • Fine Arts and Art Studies, Other.
  • Fine/Studio Arts, General.
  • Graphic Design.
  • Intermedia/Multimedia.
  • Jazz/Jazz Studies.
  • Music History, Literature, and Theory.
  • Music Performance, General.
  • Music Theory and Composition.
  • Music, General.
  • Music, Other.
  • Musicology and Ethnomusicology.
  • Painting.
  • Photography.
  • Playwriting and Screenwriting.
  • Printmaking.
  • Sculpture.
  • Theatre Literature, History and Criticism.
  • Visual and Performing Arts, General.
  • Visual and Performing Arts, Other.


Degrees

Bachelor's
Master's

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available
Yes

Career Services

Alumni Network
Alumni Services
Interest Inventory
Internships
Regional Alumni
Opportunities at School

Coop
Experiential
Internship

Notable Faculty


Prominent Alumni


Chellie Pingree
Maine's 1st District Congresswoman, former Pres., CEO of Common Cause

Gregory Stone
Sr VP Chf Scientist for Oceans Cons Intl, key in Phoenix Isl Marine Preserv

Nell Newman
Founder of Newman's Own Organics - Second Generation

Surya Karki
Founder, Diyalo Foundation

Philip B. Kunhardt, III
Documentary producer, author; and founder of NYU's Transformative Lives Ctr

Jay McNally
Founder, former CEO, Ibis Consulting, renowned electronic data analytics co

Amy Toensing
National Geographic photographer

Academic Rating

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
53%
Graduate in 5 years
66%
Graduate in 6 years
66%

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available
Yes

Career Services

Alumni Network
Alumni Services
Interest Inventory
Internships
Regional Alumni
Opportunities at School

Coop
Experiential
Internship

ROI & Outcomes

Dates

Application Deadlines
Feb 1
Notification Date
Apr 1

Required Forms

Business Farm Supp
FAFSA
Forms Divorced Parent
School

Financial Aid Statistics

Average Freshman Total Need-Based Gift Aid
$40,936

Average Undergraduate Total Need-Based Gift Aid
$36,071

Average Need-Based Loan
$4,831

Undergraduates who have borrowed through any loan program
65%

Average amount of loan debt per graduate
$24,228

Average amount of each freshman scholarship/grant package
$38,696

Financial aid provided to international students
Yes

Expenses per Academic Year

Tuition
$42,993
Required Fees
$549
Average Cost for Books and Supplies
$600

Tuition / Fees Vary by Year of Study
No
Board for Commuters
Transportation for Commuters
$525

On-Campus Room and Board
$9,747
Comprehensive Fee

Available Aid

Financial Aid Methodology
Federal and Institutional

Scholarships and Grants

Need-Based
 

Need-Based College/University Scholarship or Grant Aid from Institutional Funds
Need-Based Federal Pell
Need-Based Private Scholarships
Need-Based SEOG
Need-Based State Scholarships

Non-Need-Based
Institutional non-need-based scholarship or grant aid is available

Federal Direct Student Loan Programs
Direct PLUS Loans
Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans
Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

Federal Family Education Loan Programs (FFEL)
Federal Perkins Loans

Is Institutional Employment Available (other than Federal Work Study)
Yes

Direct Lender
No

Financial Aid Rating

Overall


Student Body Profile

Total Undergraduate Enrollment
349
Foreign Countries Represented
40

Demographics

2.65%
Asian
1.18%
African-American
2.95%
Hispanic
66.67%
Caucasian
1.77%
Unknown
22.12%
International

75% female
25% male
78% are out of state
95% are full time
5% are part time

Overview


Campus Life

Undergrads living on campus
46%
Help finding off-campus housing
Yes

First-Year Students living on campus
100%

Campus Environment
Rural

Housing Options

Disabled Student
Dorms Coed
Other
Wellness Housing

Special Needs Admissions


College Entrance Tests Required
No

Interview Required
No

Special Need Services Offered

Calculator allowed in exams
Yes

Dictionary allowed in exams
Yes

Computer allowed in exams
Yes

Spellchecker allowed in exams
Yes

Extended test time
Yes

Scribes
Yes

Proctors
Yes

Oral exams
Yes

Notetakers
Yes

Distraction-free environment
Yes

Accommodation for students with ADHD
No

Reading machine
Yes

Student Activities

Registered Student Organizations
12
Number of Honor Societies
0

Number of Social Sororities
0
Number of Religious Organizations
0

Sports

Athletic Division
None


Student Services

Health
LGBT Support Groups: COA has a student-run support group, called Spectrum. Our health services clinic also provides counseling on issues related to gender.

Minority Support Groups: We provide have a staff coordinator and special programs for international students.

Sustainability

In the spring of 2013, the college adopted an Energy Framework which lays out steps to meet its energy needs by using local and renewable energy sources and to eventually become a fossil fuel-free campus. Implementation will involve students through hands-on, interdisciplinary classes and student-led projects to inspire and educate students to conceive of and implement similar work at larger scales in the world. Already, COA classes have researched, sited, and installed solar panels and a wind turbine on campus. These add to the college’s baseline renewables and environmentally sound building practices. COA routinely conducts energy audits of the campus with the goal of making existing buildings more energy-efficient. The college also focuses on providing local and organic food to its students, faculty and staff; COA has its own organic farm twelve miles from campus, which supplies the cafeteria with produce as the seasons permit. A new livestock farms produces broiler chickens for campus. An electric van charged by solar panels provides transportation between the farms and campus; the campus solar charger is open to the public for free. That said, the school is keen to note that “all food waste is composted.” In fact, with designated composting bins in the cafeteria as well as every dorm (not to mention recycling bins for plastic, glass, and paper in every building and on almost every floor), there’s no excuse at COA not to compost and recycle. The college also takes a proactive approach to teaching sustainability in the classroom through its Sustainable Foods Systems Program, which explores how COA’s work in organic agriculture can be applied to larger food system issues, as well as its Sustainable Business Program, which focuses on environmentally and socially focused strategies to encourage positive change, while another program focuses on environmental diplomacy empowering students to become youth leaders in international negotiations.

99/99
School Has Formal Sustainability Committee
Yes

Sustainability-focused degree available
Yes

School employs a sustainability officer
Yes

Public GHG inventory plan
Yes

% food budget spent on local/organic food
30%

Available Transportation Alternatives

Bike Share
Yes

Car Sharing Program
Yes

Carpool/Vanpool Matching Program
Yes

Condensed Work Week Option For Employees
Yes

Free Or Reduced Price Transit Passes And/Or Free Campus Shuttle
Yes

Incentives Or Programs To Encourage Employees To Live Close To Campus
No

Indoor And Secure Bike Storage, Shower Facilities, And Lockers For Bicycle Commuters
Yes

Reduced Parking Fees For Car And Van Poolers
No

School Adopted A Policy Prohibiting Idling
Yes

School Developed Bicycle Plan
Yes

School Offers A Telecommute Program For Employees
Yes

Campus Security Report

Campus Security Report

The Jeanne Clery Act requires colleges and universities to disclose their security policies, keep a public crime log, publish an annual crime report and provide timely warnings to students and campus employees about a crime posing an immediate or ongoing threat to students and campus employees.

Please visit The Princeton Review’s page on campus safety for additional resources: http://www.princetonreview.com/safety

The Princeton Review publishes links directly to each school's Campus Security Reports where available. Applicants can also access all school-specific campus safety information using the Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool provided by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education: http://ope.ed.gov/security


Other Information

Campus-wide Internet Network
Yes

% of Classrooms with Wireless Internet
100

Fee for Network Use
No

Partnerships with Technology Companies
No

Personal computer included in tuition for each student
No

Discounts Available with Hardware Vendors
Yes

Description
University of Maine Computer Connection

Campus Visits Contact

Contact
Donna McFarland
Associate Director of Admission

Address
Office of Admission
105 Eden Street
Bar Harbor, ME 04609

Phone
800-528-0025

Email
inquiry@coa.edu or visit@coa.edu

Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
Thorndike Library
Blair Dining Hall (aka Take-A-Break, or TAB)
The pier
Turrets
George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History
College of the Atlantic is located on the shore of Frenchman Bay, next door to the mountains, forests, beaches, and trails of Acadia National Park. We welcome visitors during any season, and offer regular tours of campus on weekdays at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm.

Most Popular Places Off Campus
Acadia National Park
Cadillac Mountain
Kayaking Frenchman Bay
Shopping in Bar Harbor
Sand Beach
Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park provide a wealth of opportunities for visitors. Whether you like to hike, bike, or kayak, enjoy good food, go on a whale watch, or attend a cultural event, the spring/summer/fall season in Bar Harbor is lively and engaging. The Abbe Museum, located downtown, focuses on Native American culture and history of Maine, and there are many local galleries, marine museums, and more. Downtown Bar Harbor is just a short walk from campus, and has a full range of amenities and services.

Campus Tours

Campus Visiting Center
Monday - Friday
8-4
800-528-0025

Campus Tours
Appointment Required: Yes
Dates: Year-round
Times: 10:00am, 2:00pm
Average Length: 1 hour

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews
Yes

Information Sessions
Available

Times
by appointment

Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available
N/A

Arrangements
Contact Admissions Office

Advance Notice
1 week

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Arrangements
Contact Admissions Office

Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays
Available

Arrangements
Contact Admissions Office

Limitations
High school seniors and transfer students

Transportation

Types of Transportation Available to Campus
Regularly scheduled flights are available to Bar Harbor Airport and to Bangor International Airport. Bus service is available to Bar Harbor, Bangor, and Ellsworth, though service to Bar Harbor is limited in winter. Taxis are available year-round.

Driving Instructions to Campus
Driving from the south, take Interstate 95 north to Interstate 395 in Bangor (exit 182A). Follow Interstate 395 to Re 1A Ellsworth (Exit 6). From Ellsworth, follow Rte 3 east to Bar Harbor. Keep left after crossing the bridge onto Mount Desert Island. College of the Atlantic is on the ocean side of Rte. 3, about 19 miles from the Ellsworth shopping district, eight miles from the head of Mount Desert Island and one-quarter mile beyond the Nova Scotia Ferry Terminal. Turn left at the COA entrance and park in the provided areas. The admission office is located on the first floor of Kaelber Hall, under the arch to the right.

Local Accommodations
Nearby year-round accommodations include: Atlantic Oceanside Hotel Acacia House B&B Acadia Inn Elmhurst Inn Quimby House Inn


Articles & Advice