Colby College

4000 Mayflower Hill Drive, Waterville, ME 04901-8840
Tel: (207) 859-4800
Private, non-profit | 1,820 students
One of America’s oldest and finest liberal arts institutions, Colby offers a rigorous academic curriculum, collaboration with professors, and a diverse campus community. Internships, study abroad, and Colby’s signature January term expand each student’s academic experience, while a focus on global issues and civic engagement prepares graduates to make a profound impact on the world. The residential, 714-acre campus overlooks Waterville, Maine, a small city not far from international airports and only a few hours from Boston and Quebec.

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School Overview:

Colby College
CountyKennebec County, ME
Title IV EligibleYes
Carnegie ClassificationAssociate of Arts Colleges
Institution Level4 or more years
Institution ControlPrivate, non-profit
Instructional Staff Total
(research/public service staff included)
216 staff115 staff
Student Body
Total Enrollment1,820 students1,633 students
# Full-Time Students
1,820 students1,434 students
% American Indian/Alaskan
% Asian
% Hawaiian
% Hispanic
% Black
% White
% Two or more races
Finances and Admission
In-State Tuition Fees
Out-State Tuition Fees
Tuition NotesComprehensive fee in
Percent Admitted26%64%
SAT Reading (25-75%)620-710450-570
SAT Math (25-75%)640-720460-573
SAT Writing (25-75%)620-720440-570
ACT Composite (25-75%)28-3220-25

School Notes:

  • Colby, founded in 1813 and one of America’s best liberal arts colleges, combines a challenging academic program, an emphasis on undergraduate research, and an active community life—all on one of the nation’s most beautiful campuses. Colby’s reach is global—in its recruitment of a diverse student body and faculty, in the scope of its curriculum, and in the number of undergraduates who study abroad. Colby celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2013, but the college is not resting on its long tradition of academic excellence. Looking forward, it is improving and expanding resources and opportunities for students. The 2013-14 year brings the addition of several new faculty positions, the opening of the Alfond-Lunder Pavilion in the Colby College Museum of Art, and the final stages of construction on a new science building. Located in Waterville, Maine, Colby is 20 minutes from the state capital and about an hour from Portland, Maine’s largest city. Maine’s western mountains, including the Sugarloaf ski area, are just over an hour to the north, and the Atlantic Coast is less than an hour to the southeast. Acadia National Park and Mt. Katahdin are both accessible as day trips. The 714-acre campus includes Johnson Pond and a 128-acre arboretum and bird sanctuary. 

    Academic Program
    Fifty-five majors and 31 minors are offered by 24 academic departments and nine interdisciplinary programs. In addition students may apply for approval of an independent major of their own design. Secondary school teacher certification may be obtained, and dual-degree engineering programs are offered with Dartmouth College and Columbia University. 

    January Term
    Colby’s 4-1-4 academic calendar includes an exploratory term in January known as Jan Plan. During the month, students can choose from classes in subjects such as blacksmithing or fly fishing, internships at top firms around the globe, language immersion experiences, or classes that will fulfill a distribution requirement. Though Colby requires students to complete three Jan Plan terms, 90 percent of students elect to do four. 

    Research Across the Curriculum
    Colby students in all disciplines—not just the sciences—take advantage of independent research opportunities and enjoy close collaboration with professors that often results in coauthoring peer-reviewed articles or presenting research together at conferences. This approach to learning fosters strong critical-thinking skills, a lively imagination, and a capacity for independent work. 

    Green Colby
    In 2013 Colby became the fourth college or university in the country to achieve carbon neutrality, reinforcing its standing as a national leader in sustainability and environmental education. The College has also been recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency and Maine’s governors for its commitment to environmental stewardship in academic programs and in campus operations. Notable initiatives include a new biomass-fueled heating plant and nine LEED-certified buildings on campus, more than any peer institution. In addition, Colby’s environmental studies program is one of the oldest and finest in the nation. The College enjoys a successful partnership with Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, sending a group of students to work alongside research scientists at the lab in East Boothbay, Maine, every fall semester. 

    In 2005 Colby became one of the first 10 colleges or universities in the United States to win the Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization. The award recognized Colby’s commitment to international content in the curriculum, a 70-percent participation rate in study abroad, and an internationally diverse student body. Colby students, representing nearly every state and more than 70 countries, take advantage of hundreds of international study opportunities. Many participate in Colby’s own programs in France, Spain, and Russia. Other students select approved non-Colby programs in countries throughout the world. 

    Cocurricular and campus life programs, beginning with orientation and continuing all four years with the Colby 360 plan, optimize learning opportunities in student life. Almost all students live on campus, and with a host of clubs, activities, teams, and more than 6,000 academic, social, and cultural events each year, students are busy. Colby’s 1,850 students participate in more than 100 student-run organizations, 32 varsity teams, 11 club sports, and more than a half dozen intramural sports. Community service is also part of the fabric of the Colby experience. The student-run Colby Volunteer Center coordinates dozens of volunteer programs, and civic engagement is built into many courses. 

    Postgraduate Success
    Colby has a superior record of placing students who seek postgraduate study, and career opportunities for graduates are virtually unlimited. The Colby Connect program (, run by the Career Center, uses a four-year sequence of activities to prepare students for careers and advanced study. Increasingly the Colby community reflects the diversity of the nation and the world, helping graduates acquire the abilities and experience to thrive in the multicultural 21st-century world. And the Colby Alumni Network provides resources to help graduates as they set out to make a profound impact on the world. 

    Financial Aid
    The College remains committed to its policy of replacing loans in financial aid packages with grants that don't have to be repaid—part of its longstanding commitment to accessibility ( for the most qualified applicants. Applying for admission is free, and financial aid packages meet 100 percent of need as determined by the College.
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Colby College
0 mi. away
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16.2 mi. away
Bates College
41.9 mi. away
Bowdoin College
47.0 mi. away

View all schools in: Maine, Kennebec , Waterville, Zip 04901

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