- Quick Facts
- President's Letter
- What Makes Us Unique
- News & Events
- Environmental Commitment
- Facilities and Research
College of the Atlantic is a small college deeply committed to interdisciplinary study and preparing students to make a difference in the world.
Founded — 1969, as an alternative to a traditional liberal arts college
Character — Private; close-knit educational community; coed; non-sectarian; liberal arts
Accreditation — Fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges
Degrees Offered — Bachelor of Arts, Master of Philosophy, both in Human Ecology
Academics — Unique interdisciplinary learning. No departments. All students design their own majors. Three main resource areas: Arts and Design, Environmental Sciences, and Human Studies.
Learning Approach — Small classes (average size is 12 students) emphasize engaged, interdisciplinary learning. Many classes are project-based, hands-on and are taught in a seminar format. 65% of our students study abroad as part of their academic program.
Academic Partnerships — Eco League, the University of Maine, Olin College of Engineering, SALT Institute for Documentary Studies and National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS)
COA's faculty includes Fulbright Scholars, Peace Corps veterans, published authors, and active artists. 30% of the faculty are conversant in at least one language in addition to English.
Full-time Faculty — 31
Part-time Faculty — 15
Full-time Faculty with Ph.D. /Terminal Degrees — 86%
Campus — 35 acres on the rocky coast of Mount Desert Island, Maine in the seaside town of Bar Harbor. Acadia National Park is minutes away.
Additional Facilities — Beech Hill Organic Farm and Forest (81 acres), Peggy Rockefeller Farms at College of the Atlantic (117 acres), Mount Desert Rock and Great Duck Island offshore research stations, The Protectorate (101-acre conservation area), George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History, Ethel H. Blum Gallery.
Thorndike Library's collection includes over 36,000 books, 475 periodical subscriptions and newspaper subscriptions, foreign language tapes and recorded music.
Princeton Review — College of the Atlantic has appeared in the Princeton Review's "Best Colleges" volume for years, has been called one of the best education values in the country, and in 2013 COA's kitchen was ranked as #7 in the nation (such delicious preparations - so much farm-fresh food!). It was also noted for its encouragement of class discussions and politically active students. COA is one of only four colleges on the Review's "Green Honor Roll" all five years that this list has been compiled.
U.S. News & World Reports: Listed in the top 100 of colleges and ranked #4 in highest percentage of international students of all US private colleges (currently 19% of the student body come from outside the nation); and #12 on its "Best Value Colleges" list; COA has also been noted for its small classes, with 90% of classes having fewer than 20 students.
National Survey of Student Engagement (a.k.a. NSSE): Surveying students on actual learning experiences at colleges. Consistently, COA stands among the top 10% of all colleges for our students' engagement with learning.
Enrollment (using data from 2011 and 2012) — 350 undergraduate students; 10 graduate students
Student:Faculty Ratio — 9:1
Average Class Size — 12 students
Geographic Distribution — 38 states and 33 foreign countries
- Maine: 18%
- Middle Atlantic: 18%
- New England: 38%
- Midwest: 6%
- South: 8%
- West: 7%
- Southwest: 1%
Graduates — 55% of COA's graduates attend graduate school within five years of completing a COA degree. 20% of COA graduates become scientists, 12% go into social service of government work, 23% are involved in education, 17% pursue careers in art and design, and 13% go into business.
Fellowships and Prizes — COA students and alumni have received the following national awards: Watson Fellowship, Morris K. Udall Scholarship, Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, Kathryn W. Davis Projects for Peace, George C. Marshall Fellowship, Gilman Fellowship, Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Fellowship, Environmental Protection Agency GRO Fellowship, Humanity in Action Fellowships, Garden Club of America Scholarships, and NASA Space Grants.
For the year ending June 30, 2012
Operating Revenue — $15,187,000
Sources of Revenue — 60% student fees, 9% endowment, 31% other
Market Value of Endowment — $28,400,000
FY2009 form 990 (pdf - 1.6mb)
Admission and Financial Aid
For Fall 2011
Applications — 493
Admitted — 296
Deposited — 99
Average SAT (please note that COA does not require that students submit standardized test scores; only 49% of the class entering in Fall 2010 submitted SAT scores)
High School Rankings
Top 10% : 29%
Top 20% : 62%
Top 50% : 96%
Tuition, Fees, Room and Board (2011–2012) — $44,883
Percentage of Students Receiving Aid from the College — 84% (This means any student aid.)
Average Aid Award — $28,020 (or $31,981 for full-time undergraduates who were awarded aid)
Average Institutional Aid Award — (or $27,548 for full-time undergraduates who were awarded aid)
Student Consumer Information
The Higher Education Opportunity Act Act (HEOA) requires schools to make certain information available to prospective students and families as well as current students and families. In the interest of providing a user-friendly experience, COA has incorporated many suggestions offered by a working group established by the National Center for Education Statistics' (NCES) and aggregated access to information here.
Taking a Stand — COA was the first college in the country to pledge to reduce to zero the amount of harmful greenhouse gases that emits.
Today, its energies are going to instructing students to reduce their own carbon footprints through hands-on classes and opportunities in renewable energy.
Examples of our other sustainable practices include:
Food — Fruits and Vegetables: College of the Atlantic's Beech Hill Farm provides organic greens as well as potatoes, carrots, onions and apples. Students can help raise the food they eat. Other food items come from Maine co-ops and other organic and local sources.
Meats: 90% free-range, locally raised whenever possible.
Coffee: organic and fair trade only.
Water: no bottled water on campus.
Transportation — COA's solar-powered electric charging station is open to the community. E-Van, our electric van, offers transportation between campus and our two farms.
Office Supplies — Our environmentally and socially responsible purchasing policies include:
Paper: 100% chlorine and dioxin free with 60% post-consumer waste, for publications, photocopies and printing.
Printer Ink: Cartridge recycling on campus with training given to local schools to recycle as well.
Office Supplies: purchased through a source focused on recycling & offering products with environmental certifications.
Cleaning Chemicals — Using biodegradable materials for years; since 2004 using a 100% hydrogen peroxide cleaner.
Wood Procurement — Seeking products made from wood grown in sustainably-managed forests; no use of materials that off-gas chemicals or are cut from old-growth forests.
Energy — College of the Atlantic is now entirely powered by low-flow renewable hydropower. Whether through credits or actual purchases, COA has been powered by renewable electricity since 2004, when for three years it purchased Renewable Energy Certificates, also known as "green tags," from an existing out-of-state wind power source.
We invite you to look beyond just the quick facts about COA. Visit us and learn more.