Bates College is a private liberal arts college located in Lewiston, Maine, in the United States. The college was founded in 1855 by abolitionists. Bates College is one of the first colleges in the United States to be coeducational from establishment, and is also the oldest continuously operating coeducational institution in New England. Originally a Free Will Baptist institution, Bates is now a nonsectarian institution.
Bates College was ranked 22nd in the nation in the 2014 US News & World Report Best Liberal Arts Colleges rankings. The college is listed as one of thirty "Hidden Ivies" and one of the "Little Ivies". Bates offers 32 departmental and interdisciplinary program majors and 25 secondary concentrations, and confers Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees. The college enrolls approximately 1,800 students, 300 of whom study abroad each semester. The student-faculty ratio is 9-to-1.
Bates is a leader of the SAT optional movement for undergraduate admission. In 1984 it instituted one of the first SAT-optional admissions programs in the nation.