Even though Yarmouth High School senior Simone Laverdiere’s parents saved up enough money to pay for her college education, she is still happy to be headed for a school that guarantees that all its students graduate with no student loan debt.

Like many college-bound students, Laverdiere was considering several schools but had one clear favorite. In her case, that was Bowdoin College in Brunswick.

“I just loved the atmosphere of being there,” she said. “I knew I wanted a smaller-sized school so I could be involved in more of the activities.”

Laverdiere was so certain that she wanted to go to Bowdoin that she submitted what is known as an early decision application. Early decision students make a binding commitment to the college to which they are applying – if they get accepted, they must attend. Laverdiere did, and she will.

Because she is an accomplished violinist, Laverdiere already has a connection to the school: She plays in one of its orchestras in her spare time. While she is an excellent student, Laverdiere said she believes it was her musical ability that put her over the top and got her accepted.

“In the end, I think it was violin that got me in,” she said. “Everyone who applies is smart.”