College of the Atlantic

2014 Quick Stats
105 Eden Street

Bar Harbor, ME 04609

Phone: (207) 288-5015
2013-2014 Tuition
tuition and fees
male /
Feb. 15
application deadline

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U.S. News Rankings

Ranking score and category
U.S. News rank Category Name
#93 Overall Score: 57 out of 100. National Liberal Arts Colleges

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College of the Atlantic is a private institution that was founded in 1969. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 330, its setting is rural, and the campus size is 35 acres. It utilizes a trimester-based academic calendar. College of the Atlantic's ranking in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges is National Liberal Arts Colleges, 93. Its tuition and fees are $38,952 (2013-14).

School mission and unique qualities (as provided by the school):

Located between the Atlantic Ocean and Acadia National Park, College of the Atlantic is an interdisciplinary, hands-on, experimental college distinctive for its mission, structure and size. COA awards two degrees: a BA and MPhil, both in Human Ecology.

The one major means that students prepare their own academic trajectory, integrating knowledge from all academic disciplines and personal experience to fulfill the mission of Human Ecology: investigating and improving relationships between humans and our social, natural, built, and virtual communities. COA is fully transdisciplinary: no departments exist, and classes frequently bridge several traditional disciplines. Coursework consists of readings, usually from primary sources, as well as active investigation. Students may look into whale activity in the Gulf of Maine, contribute to the human genome project, participate in international meetings on climate change, investigate the impact of big box stores, prepare GIS maps for town planners, create health posters for local nonprofits, conduct research on heavily metalized plants. Still others compose cds, write novels, produce animations, films, and dance concerts, or write, direct and act in their own plays.

COA's small size encourages tutorials, intensive seminar style classes and frequent faculty student interchanges. These are as common in the college's one dining room as during faculty office hours. For most graduates, the mentoring relationships formed between faculty and students have been the most memorable part of their studies, seconded by the depth and self direction of an individualized curriculum.

COA is a remarkably democratic institution. Because of this, we have no student government. Instead, we have a weekly All College Meeting where many decisions, major and minor, get aired. Students are involved in all levels of governance, including faculty and even presidential searches.

To graduate, students must complete a one-semester internship and a one-semester capstone project, another defining aspect of the COA degree. Opportunities for travel abroad abound, as do international connections on campus, as COA has one of the highest percentages of international students of any college.

A degree in human ecology means that knowledge from the arts, sciences and humanities are valued and applied by faculty and students helping to shape a more sustainable, just and balanced world.

General Information

School type private, coed college
Year founded 1969
Religious affiliation N/A
Academic calendar trimester
Setting rural
2012 Endowment $29,288,248


When applying to College of the Atlantic, it's important to note the application deadline is February 15, and the early decision deadline is December 1. Scores for either the ACT or SAT test are due February 15. The application fee at College of the Atlantic is $50. It is more selective, with an acceptance rate of 70.6 percent.

For more information about the tests, essays, interviews, and admissions process, visit the Applying to College knowledge center.

Selectivity more selective
Fall 2012 acceptance rate 70.6%
Application deadline February 15
SAT/ACT scores must be received by February 15

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Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at College of the Atlantic is 9:1, and the school has 95.8 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at College of the Atlantic include: Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, General. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 85 percent.

Class sizes
Class sizes
Student-faculty ratio 9:1
4-year graduation rate 53%
Five most popular majors for 2012 graduates
Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, General 100%

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Student Life

College of the Atlantic has a total undergraduate enrollment of 330, with a gender distribution of 28.5 percent male students and 71.5 percent female students. At this school, 44 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 56 percent of students live off campus.

Total enrollment 340
Student gender distribution
Student gender distribution
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Collegiate athletic association N/A

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Campus Info & Services

College of the Atlantic offers a number of student services including nonremedial tutoring, health service, and health insurance. College of the Atlantic also offers campus safety and security services like late night transport/escort service, 24-hour emergency telephones, lighted pathways/sidewalks, and controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc). Of the students at College of the Atlantic, 40 percent have cars on campus. Alcohol is permitted for students of legal age at College of the Atlantic.

Students who have cars on campus 40%
Health insurance offered Yes

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Paying for School

At College of the Atlantic, 86.6 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $30,483.

Paying for college doesn't have to be difficult or devastating. Go to the Paying for College knowledge center to get advice on raising cash and reducing costs.

Tuition and fees $38,952 (2013-14)
Room and board $9,258 (2013-14)
Financial aid statistics
Financial aid statistics

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* Overview details based on 2012 data

College Rankings

Best Liberal Arts Colleges - Narrow your search with the U.S. News rankings of Liberal Arts Colleges, schools that emphasize undergrad liberal arts education.

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