International students from more than 45 countries comprise approximately 25% of COA’s student body. The majority of these students are Davis United World College (UWC) Scholars, but a growing number of international students come to us from a wide range of other backgrounds. We enthusiastically welcome admission applications from all international students.


College of the Atlantic has a need-blind admissions policy and meets full financial need for international students who apply as part of the Davis United World College (UWC) Scholars program. To be eligible for the Davis UWC Scholars program, students must be graduates of one of the United World Colleges

For international students who did not attend a United World College, we practice need-aware admissions and COA has very limited financial aid (and no full scholarships) available for non-UWC international students.

In addition to the standard application requirements, international applicants must also submit: 

  • TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English test scores (this requirement is waived for students who attended at least two years of secondary school where English is the primary language of instruction)
  • COA International Student Statement of Financial Need (this form can be found in your applicant portal and is required for all international applicants who are not graduating from a UWC) 
    • Additionally, upon acceptance, any international student who did not apply for financial aid will be required to submit the International Student Certification of Finances form.

Financial aid

COA will meet 100% of determined financial need for Davis UWC Scholars. Financial aid for other international students is limited. Learn more about applying for financial aid.

Connect with us

Would you like to meet with a COA representative? Our admission staff is available for online interviews throughout the year.  

A letter from President Darron Collins ’92

College of the Atlantic President Darron Collins ’92

Welcome to College of the Atlantic. By now you’ve likely learned that the COA community, although small in number, is made up of a fantastic array of people. Our students come from more than 45 countries and 40 US states. They come from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds. They’re straight, gay, queer, bisexual, transgender, or gender indiscriminate. They worship different Gods or no gods. Most importantly, they bring a diverse set of interests and worldviews. In a college of 350 students, that diversity is especially palpable. Diversity is not about a feel good check-the-box statistic; it’s a critical element of our approach to education. Our intent is not just to understand the world, but to improve upon it and, with that approach, you better be sure to have a real commitment to understanding and working across different perspectives.

In a recent November, during the break between our fall and winter terms, I invited anyone staying at COA to my home for a simple meal. A frigid night descended on us, so we sparked a fire and ate goulash around the hearth. There were about 30 students there with my wife Karen, my two daughters, and my dog Lucy. It was an evening that exemplified the diversity, the learning, the openness to have difficult conversations, and the real sense of community at our college.

We spoke collectively about the Baltic War, the effect of climate change on Maine’s maple syrup industry, the upcoming winter ecology class, the impact of fungal infections on bats, the skyrocketing costs of healthcare and their impacts on how we manage the college, the seasonal shifts of cranberry harvesting, Colson Whitehead’s novel Underground Railroad, and, well, the list goes on. I did more listening than talking and found myself thinking “What an amazing experience for my young daughters to be part of this!” and just as quickly understood that these kinds of experiences and conversations can be transformative for everyone.

The conversation invariably drifted to politics in the US. No matter what your personal politics, I think just about everyone agrees that there’s an ugly rift in the US and that has shaken the very fabric of our country. The language, the media-inspired frenzy, the attempt to whittle complicated matters into brief social media posts, and the discussion of a “post-truth” universe have been infuriating for me. But, to those who have long been marginalized in society, there is outright fear that the decades of progress around inclusivity are being turned back, and that those on the tails of many bell curves will be shunned or persecuted.

I want to assure you that we at College of the Atlantic are committed to fostering an inclusive, nondiscriminatory, diverse, secure place to learn, think, and grow. At COA you will be tested and you will be uncomfortable—perhaps physically as you climb across the Knife Edge of Mount Katahdin, sometimes intellectually as you confront material you either do not understand or do not agree with, sometimes socially, as you discover that your beliefs do not align with those of a close friend. But you will always be welcomed. Now, more than ever, we need a diverse group of doers and thinkers, and now, more than ever, this college is ready to stand by its commitments to support, challenge, and advocate for our students.

College of the Atlantic is a place to work on “wicked” problems. Those problems—like environmental justice, deforestation, racial violence, reactionary upheaval, water scarcity, injustice, meeting energy needs in the face of climate change, the causes and consequences of migration, the homogenization of native languages and cultures, industrial agriculture, the role of technology and artificial intelligence, poverty and population, the loss of traditional ecological knowledge—these problems demand integrative thinking, they demand open minds, they demand creative, entrepreneurial, adventurous thinkers and doers. In two words, they demand human ecologists.

If you are of that ilk, if you’re willing to work really hard, if you’re willing to test your own preconceived notions as well as respectfully testing and probing the notions of those around you, then you belong here. And I want you to know that we will do everything in our power to ensure you can thrive here, regardless of the national or global political situation and regardless of your background and identity.

There will always be room around our fire.

Be well,

Darron Collins, Ph.D.
COA President and Alumnus, ’92