Located in Waterville, Maine, Colby College is a liberal arts school and private college that opened in 1813 as the Maine Literary and Theological Institution. Some of its early students trained and later worked in leadership positions within the Baptist Church. After the school became Waterville College in 1821, its leaders decided to move the theological programs and courses to a separate school nearby. Though it became Colby University in 1867, it adopted the name Colby College at the turn of the century and still retains that name today. The college is extremely selective and accepts less than 30% of the undergrad and graduate applications that it receives every year.

This rural campus sprawls across more than 700 acres and is home to many historic buildings that date back to the early days of the school. The campus also houses the college’s Museum of Art, which features more than 38,000 square feet of space and several outdoor sculptures. Colby College renovated a number of those buildings to provide students with more modern conveniences. Forbes ranked Colby College as the 41st best college in the nation, while U.S. News & World Report placed it at number 19 and Washington Monthly listed it at number 65 on lists of the nation’s best liberal arts colleges. Though Colby College’s graduate population is quite small, it has around 1,8000 undergrads enrolled in its programs.

Colby College Accreditation Details

Though Colby College does not have any specialty accreditation, it does have regional accreditation, which comes from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. This type of accreditation is especially important for students who want to take classes and transfer credits between two or more campuses and those who want to attend graduate school. The New England Association of Schools and Colleges requires that the college renew its regional accreditation at least once every decade.

Colby College Application Requirements

Recent high school graduates and those applying to an undergrad program for the first time can apply for regular decision or early decision. Early decision students will receive an answer from the college by January 1, but those who apply for standard decision will receive a response by April 1. The only difference between the two applications is that the deadline for early decision is in the early winter. Students must take 20 units of specific courses in high school that are within a college prep curriculum, including four English classes, at least three foreign language and math classes and a minimum of two classes each in laboratory sciences, social sciences/history and elective classes. They must complete the online application, mail in an official high school transcript and submit official scores from three subject areas on the SAT or a score from the ACT.

Colby College also offers a number of graduate degree programs. Each of its departments can set its own requirements, but each department asks that students fill out the online application. Prospective students must show that they have a bachelor’s degree or that they are on track to complete such a degree prior to enrolling in its graduate school. They also need to supply an official score from the GRE or a similar test and an official college transcript. Certain departments may also require that students submit a resume and/or up to three letters of recommendation.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Once students receive an acceptance letter, they must pay a deposit of $300 that the school uses to hold his or her spot in the upcoming freshmen class. The college estimates that full-time students will pay around $32,000 a semester or $64,000 a year, which includes both the cost of their classes and the cost of living on its campus. The cost of attending one of its graduate programs is around the same.

All students must supply the college with a copy of the FAFSA. The responses that students give determine if they qualify for financial aid and the amount of aid the college can offer. Undergrad students typically qualify for loans and grants, and the college works hard to cover 100% of the estimated need that each student has. They can also enroll in the college’s work-study program, which lets them earn a few hundred dollars a month or a few thousand dollars a year. Graduate students attending Colby College may qualify for unsubsidized student loans, certain grants and alternative loans.

Degrees Available

Colby College offers a small number of graduate program and approximately 36 undergrad programs. Many of these programs have concentrations available as well. Its educational studies program allows students to select a concentration in either human development or schools, society and culture. The basic program helps students graduate and earn their certification to teach in elementary, junior high or high schools and lets them choose the type of field they want to teach. The college also asks that students do a practicum or an internship in their final year. The human development concentration focuses on how children develop and the best teaching methods for each age range. Its schools, society and culture concentration deals more with the specific practices and methods that teachers use as well as school structures.

Is environmental studies program is among its more popular graduate school programs. This field of study looks at the dangers found in the modern world that impact the environment and what humans can do to protect and preserve the environment. Students take classes on conservation, pollution and other topics and complete a thesis in the final year of the program. Undergrads can enroll in the college’s interdisciplinary environmental studies program, which lets them take classes in related fields, including statistics and sociology.

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Colby College also offers a number of minors that go along with its majors, including minors in cinema studies, Jewish studies and Russian language and literature. The cinema studies minor requires that students take six courses that include at least two electives. Students often take field trips to the Maine Film Center and attend the Maine International Film Festival. The Russian language and literature minor allows students to study Russian authors and learn more about the language as a whole. Colby College encourages students to meet with their advisers before picking a minor to find one that works with their major choices.