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Admission to the College is a personal and highly individualized process. If you need help, you may reach us by phone five days a week during normal business hours at 800-528-0025, email us or write to us:
Office of Admission
College of the Atlantic
105 Eden Street
Bar Harbor, ME 04609-1105
A personal approach characterizes our review of applications. In arriving at a decision, the admission committee looks for evidence of the following:
academic preparation and achievement
intellectual curiosity and an enthusiasm for learning
desire to be part of a small college with a human ecology focus
a tendency to seek out intellectual and personal challenges
COA accepts the Common Application. Our supplemental form provides us additional information about you. It is available on the Common Application website, by calling the Office of Admission or downloading it below.
If you are looking for further inspiration — beyond the ideas listed on the Common Application — for possible personal statement topics, here are additional suggestions:
Maps serve as a guide to where one can go, while also providing a record of the landscape. Landmarks, geological history, and cultural details can all be found on a map. At COA, students use mapping technology to understand the relationships between individuals and their communities, and between communities and their land. Create a map of your life, using whatever media you prefer, charting the highlights that indicate your history, influences, and future. Landmarks can range from people to events to places.
For many years, science has been the preferred approach to addressing environmental problems. Significant progress has been made in many areas, but there remain a myriad of environmental issues that need to be addressed and science is only one part of any overall solution. Comment on the role of the arts and humanities in the effort to create a better relationship between humans and their environment.
An application for admission is complete when the Office of Admission has received all of the following:
A completed application form and $50 fee
An application essay as well as answers to all short questions
At least two teacher recommendations (see application for details)
Official transcripts of all academic work
Secondary school report (first year students only)
A personal interview, although not required, is strongly recommended for all candidates.
While standardized test scores (SAT or ACT) are optional, they are particularly helpful in assessing the academic ability of students from schools which do not give grades or have nontraditional programs. 59% of first year students for fall 2010 submitted SAT scores. Our CEEB code is 3305.
Early Decision or regular decision
As an applicant for admission, you have the option to apply as an Early Decision candidate, or a Regular Decision candidate.
If you know that COA is your top choice, then you may want to submit an Early Decision application.COA offers two separate deadlines for Early Decision applications: December 1st or January 10th, with our decision coming back to you by December 15th or January 25th, respectively.The primary benefit of applying Early Decision is that you will receive notification of our admission decision much earlier than if you apply as a Regular Decision candidate. If COA is your top choice, then applying Early Decision can provide significant peace of mind in your college application process.It also provides the college with a clearer indication of the makeup of our incoming class.
Please note:If you accept our offer of admission as an Early Decision applicant, then you are obligated to withdraw your applications from all other colleges and universities.COA’s Early Decision application is made official when you submit our Early Decision Agreement, which you’ll find on the Common Application website.
The deadline for Regular Decision applications is February 15th, and you will know our decision by April 1st.Applying Regular Decision gives you the freedom to keep your options open, and is the traditional and non-binding option for applying to the college.
Transfer or Visiting Students
College of the Atlantic welcomes applications from transfer students. About 20 percent of all new students annually are transfer or visiting students.
A student may transfer a maximum of 18 credits to COA (the equivalent of 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours). Although an evaluation of credit is not final until after enrollment, students may receive preliminary evaluations by contacting the Registrar's Office at 207-801-5681.
Transfer student applications are due by April 1st; you will be informed of our decision by April 25th.As a prospective transfer student you are also welcome to submit an Early Decision application.
Students who wish to spend one or more terms at COA and transfer college credit to another institution should apply as Visiting Students.
Visiting Students may be eligible to apply some of their financial aid to their time at COA. Please check with your financial aid and registrar's offices about whether you can bring some forms of financial aid with you through a consortium agreement between the two schools. A consortium agreement is a legal arrangement that may allow for the transfer of certain Title IV (federal) funds such as Pell grants, Stafford loans, etc. The number of credits that can transfer back to your home institution and the costs associated with taking classes at COA help determine your eligibility for aid. You may contact the COA Financial Aid Office at 207-801-5645 for more details, or you can start by inquiring at your home school.
COA welcomes applications from highly qualified international students. Application deadlines for international students are the same as those for freshmen and transfer students. Application requirements are identical, except that international students are also required to submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and a Declaration of Finances Form. Students who are graduates of any of the United World Colleges may have 100% of their financial need covered through the Davis UWC Scholarship and COA financial aid once their family's ability to contribute has been determined by the financial aid application. Financial aid for international students who are not enrolled at a United World College may be limited. Interested students should contact the Financial Aid Office for more information.
Older students of nontraditional college age wishing to take courses or pursue a degree are invited to inquire and become better acquainted with COA. Adult students are encouraged to contact the admission office early in the admission process to arrange a personal interview.
Advanced Placement and I.B.
College credit may be given for superior performance in the CEEB advanced placement examinations or the College Level Examination Program. Scores should be sent directly from the testing source. COA credit normally will be granted for scores of '4' or higher.
For International Baccalaureate (IB) work, two COA credits will normally be given for scores of '5' on higher level exams. These credits are officially recorded only following successful completion of the student's first year.
Students wishing to defer Fall admission may do so prior to June 1 by sending a written response to the Director of Admission and paying a $400 nonrefundable deposit ($200 of which will be applied to the student's first term tuition bill). Matriculation will be postponed for up to a full academic year, subject to successful completion of any academic work completed during that time, as well as continued confidence in the quality of the student's personal character.
Statement of Non-Discrimination
In its employment and admissions practices, COA is in conformity with all applicable federal and state statutes and regulations and does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, sex, marital status, religion, creed, ancestry, national or ethnic origin, or physical or mental disability.