Colby College

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Colby CollegeFirst founded by the Baptist theologian Reverend Jeremiah Chaplin in 1813, Colby College is the 12th oldest private liberal arts institution in the United States. In 1871, Colby made history by being New England’s first all-male college to enroll females. Enrollment today has soared to over 1,800 students from all 50 states and 60 international nations. Colby College is nestled on a beautiful 714-acre rural campus on Mayflower Hill in the quaint town of Waterville, Maine. Colby follows a unique 4-1-4 calendar with two four-course semesters and a winter term for independent research or real-world internships. The college has a high freshmen retention rate of 95 percent, which shows consistent student satisfaction.

With a long-standing tradition of excellence, Colby College is recognized by the U.S. News and World Report for being the country’s 19th best liberal arts school, 13th best value college, and 15th top university for veterans. In fact, the college is distinguished for having America’s 8th best undergraduate teaching. Forbes magazine ranked Colby as the 27th top institution in the Northeast with a financial grade of A+. Colby earned a spot among the 25 top value liberal arts colleges in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. Wall Street Journal named Colby College as one of the top 50 “feeder schools” for elite graduate universities.

Colby College Accreditation Details

Colby College has been formally accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Colby is wholly licensed by the Maine Department of Education. Furthermore, certain academic divisions have been granted programmatic accreditations from professional associations. Health science degrees are approved by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health (AAAHC). Nursing programs meet the standards of the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Art history degrees are accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). Some business programs are given the gold standard of excellence from the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Colby College Application Requirements

Admissions to Colby College are highly selective with an acceptance rate of 28 percent, so all incoming applicants must fulfill certain criteria before enrollment. First-year freshmen must have graduated from an approved secondary school following a rigorous college prep program. Colby looks for at least four years English, three years world language, three years mathematics, two years laboratory science, and two years history. Scoring a 4+ on an AP foreign language exam will also satisfy the requirement. Maintaining a minimum high school GPA of 3.0 is preferred. On average, admitted students score a composite SAT score of 2015 and ACT score of 29.

For undergraduate transfers, only a handful of spaces will be reserved each semester. Transfer applicants must have completed at least one full semester matriculated at a regionally accredited college with 12 or more transferrable credits. Students may transfer up to 64 semester credits toward a degree at Colby College and carrying a minimum overall college GPA of 3.0 is preferred. Students with less than 12 credits must fulfill the freshmen applicant criteria mentioned above. Non U.S. citizens will have to certify their English proficiency by obtaining at least a 100 on the computer-based TOEFL test or 7.0 on the IELTS exam.

Prior to the January 1st deadline annually, interested students wishing to study at Colby College must submit the following materials to the Admissions Office:

  • Completed Common Application form
  • Two teacher evaluation forms
  • Standardized testing scores (SAT or ACT)
  • One-page personal statement
  • Official high school and/or college transcripts
  • Early Decision Agreement Form (if applicable)

Tuition and Financial Aid

Colby College charges full-time students a comprehensive fee that includes tuition, room, board, and health services. Each semester, students will pay a fee of $30,865. This can be equated to an annual total fee of $61,730. Any undergraduates who receive approval to live off-campus could be granted a $7,370 residential rebate. Freshmen students will be charged a one-time orientation fee of $275 in their first semester. It’s advised that Colby students also budget at least $1,600 for textbooks and supplies each year. Anticipated travel expenses for studying abroad won’t be included either.

For help covering these costs, 51 percent of Colby students seeking a degree receive some form of financial assistance. Colby College has a no-loan policy, so Perkins, Stafford, and PLUS loans won’t be included within financial aid packages. Instead, financially needy students could qualify for receiving the Pell Grant, SEOG Grant, TEACH Grant, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant, or SMART Grant. In-state residents may receive the John R. Justice Grant, State of Maine Grant, or Educators for Maine Grant. Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces can receive tuition waivers and benefits through the Yellow Ribbon Program. Colby offers $1,000 National Merit Scholarships and college-based aid. Federal Work-Study (FWS) will also provide tuition support for part-time employment on campus.

Student Experience

Colby College infuses their rigorous liberal arts education with real-world research and project-based problem solving. Colby offers freedom of choice with 55 majors and 31 minors. Students can even design their own independent major for utmost flexibility. Unique undergraduate majors are Cinema Studies, East Asian Studies, Geoscience, Jewish Studies, Managerial Economics, Russian Culture, and Studio Art. Colby has a low student-faculty ratio of 10:1, so professors are highly accessible inside and outside the classroom. Volunteer programs are abundant for students to interact with the surrounding company. Nearly two-thirds of students study abroad in France, Spain, and Russia.

Thanks to partnerships with the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences and Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory, undergraduates enjoy easy access to world-class research. Colby has three libraries with over 47,500 electronic journals and state-of-the-art computer labs. On the Waterville campus, students can visit the Colby College Museum of Art for free. Students can attend the Emerging Leaders Conference and take the Colby Outdoor Orientation Trip (COOT) in their freshmen year. Nearly all undergraduate students reside on-campus, including the brand new Alfond Senior Apartments. Four separate dining halls are available too.

Boredom can’t set in at Colby College because there’s a myriad of over 150 student-run clubs to choose from. Some notable organizations include the Colby Film Society, Colby Woodsmen, Colby Outing Club, Student Government Association, and Students for Education Reform. For the athletically inclined, Colby’s Harold Alfond Athletic Center is highly regarded for being one of the finest facilities in New England. Students can select from 15 men’s and 16 women’s varsity teams competing in NCAA Division III. While learning at Colby College, students will have access to a range of outdoor adventures, such as alpine skiing, mountaineering, ice skating, climbing, and cycling.