niche colby college

Tremendous, Top-Tier Liberal Arts Degrees at Colby

Colby College appears in our ranking of the 50 Most Technologically Advanced Small Colleges.

Ranked 31st nationally by Forbes, Colby College is a premier private, nonprofit Oberlin Group member with a 10:1 student-professor ratio in Maine’s Kennebec River Valley to deliver 58 bachelor’s majors and 35 minors on a 4-1-4 schedule for 93 percent retention. For example, the Government A.B. is Colby’s most popular 128-credit program where undergrads engage in the Goldfarb Public Affairs Center, join Mock Trial, attend the Freedom of Expression Symposium, and take the Capitol Hill Internship. Chaired by Dr. Liam O’Brien, the 128-credit Mathematical Sciences A.B. lets students compete in MathFest, add the Budapest Semester, and enter the MIT Summer Research Program.

Since 2014, the Biology A.B. has utilized the 36,400-square-foot Davis Science Center for a 128-credit, hands-on degree with Bigelow Ocean Laboratory projects, CAPS Program funding, STEM Game Night participation, and Sloan-Kettering Memorial Cancer Research internships. The 128-credit Studio Art A.B. directed by Dr. Charles Orzech encourages students to practice in the Crawford Art Center, publish Whistler and the World, exhibit at L.C. Bates Museum, tour the Alex Katz Collection, and join Pottery Club.

Other degrees include the Astrophysics A.B., Classical Civilization A.B., Economics A.B., Educational Studies A.B., Geology A.B., Psychology A.B., and Spanish A.B.

About Colby College

Colby College originated on February 27, 1813, when Reformed Baptists led by Rev. Jeremiah Chaplin opened the Maine Literary & Theological Institution for religious training. In 1821, it was renamed Waterville College after being relocated to a 179-acre campus donated by Kennebec County citizens. In 1828, its college-prep academy split off to become the Coburn Classical Institute. In 1833, Waterville notably organized the first collegiate abolitionist society. On August 9, 1865, manufacturing magnate Gardner Colby made the $50,000 donation that gave the college its name. In August 1871, Colby College became New England’s first all-male institution to go coeducational. By 1965, it had formed the Colby-Bates-Bowdoin Consortium for Maine’s “Big Three” colleges. In 1983, Colby was the earliest institution to issue everyone email accounts. In April 2013, Colby became the fourth to achieve carbon neutrality too.

Endowed for $775.1 million, Colby College now employs 219 faculty teaching 2,100 Mules from 50 states and 70 countries in Waterville just 20 minutes from Augusta with 100+ clubs like the George M. Murray Debate Society. In 2018, Colby received a CASE Bronze Circle of Excellence Award. Three years prior, Colby College won an Association of Art Museum Curators Award for Excellence. The U.S. News & World Report named Colby the 18th best liberal arts college, 28th most innovative school, and 62nd top undergrad teacher. On Niche, Colby boasts America’s 20th best professors, 42nd top academics, and 44th hardest admissions. WalletHub noticed Colby College for the 28th best faculty resources and 42nd best education outcomes. The Princeton Review crowned Colby the 20th greenest college with the ninth happiest students. Money Magazine also declared Colby the 130th best buy.

Colby College Accreditation Details

On September 24, 2017, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) began a comprehensive evaluation visit at Colby College to extend the Level II accreditation through 2027-28 under its 20th president, Dr. David A. Greene, who earned the GrowSmart Maine Smart Growth Award for Outstanding Project. Located 177 miles down Interstate 95 in Burlington, Massachusetts, this swell six-state Upper Atlantic Region accreditor is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and Maine Department of Education (MDOE). Particularly, the Chemistry Department was certified by the American Chemical Society (ACS) in 2018. The Health Services Center is also accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC).

Colby College Application Requirements

Admission to Colby College is classified “most selective” by Peterson’s because only 1,767 of the 11,190 Fall 2017 applicants were successful for competitive 16 percent acceptance. First-year Mules must exemplify academic excellence in 20 college-prep high school units. This includes four English, four math, three foreign language, and three science units. Nearly three-fourths of students ranked in the upper 25th percentile of their graduating class. Freshmen present a median cumulative GPA of 3.94 from grades 9-12. The majority score between 30 and 34 on the ACT. The mid-range SAT composite scores are 1350 to 1510. Current college undergrads honorably released from accredited institutions with minimum 3.0 GPAs can transfer. Juniors and seniors with a 3.5 overall GPA or better qualify for the Honors Program. International learners on F-1 visas need a 600 paper or 100 internet TOEFL score.

Colby College has final freshmen deadlines of November 15th for Early Decision I or January 1st for Early Decision II and Regular Decision. First-year entrants must reserve their place no later than May 1st. Undergrad transfers have until April 1st for Fall and November 1st for Spring starts. Accordingly, complete the Coalition for College, QuestBridge, or Common Application online for free. Have official transcripts mailed to 4800 Mayflower Hill in Waterville, ME 04901. For testing reports, select institutional codes 1638 (ACT) or 3280 (SAT and TOEFL). Additional materials often include the signed Early Decision agreement, counselor recommendation, two teacher evaluations, art portfolio supplement, Advanced Standing credits, and personal essay. Please inquire further by contacting (207) 859-4800 or

Tuition and Financial Aid

For 2018-19, Colby College charged full-time Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) majors a comprehensive yearly fee of $69,400. This included annual tuition of $55,210. Room and board costs for living at the Waterville campus’ 26 dorms like Goddard-Hodgkins Hall were included for $14,190 too. Freshmen added a $275 fee for the Outdoor Orientation Trip. Off-campus study programs incur a $1,000 fee each semester. The senior rebate for Alfond Apartments residents was $3,790 annually. Juniors and seniors earned the $3,790 downtown rebate. Student health insurance premiums were $1,717 unless waived. Colby budgeted $1,800 for books and supplies plus $1,300 for transportation. Estimated annual bachelor’s attendance was $72,500 on-campus and $57,012 if commuting.

According to the NCES College Navigator, the Student Financial Services at Garrison-Foster Hall disburses $35.22 million each year for 46 percent of full-time Mules to receive median aid of $41,049. The Colby Commitment ensures undergrads fulfill all financial need without loans. The Fair Shot Fund caps estimated family contributions at $15,000 for families making under $150,000 total. Its Oak Institute for Human Rights offers $33,000 fellowships each semester for international students who’ve suffered political oppression. Colby College students often win the Boren Scholarship, Marshall Scholarship, Fulbright Scholarship, Udall Scholarship, Rhodes Scholarship, Davis Projects for Peace Scholarship, and more. Completing FAFSA forms coded 002039 determines Federal Pell Grant, SEOG Grant, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant, Work-Study, and Direct Loan eligibility. The $1,500 State of Maine Grant has a May 1st deadline for in-state undergrads. Other state options include the Alfond Leaders Grant, Educators for Maine Grant, Doctors for Maine’s Future Scholarship, and Public Servant Tuition Waiver.

Explore 23 accredited departments with The Wall Street Journal’s 71st best education at the Colby College website.