Colby College

2014 Quick Stats
4000 Mayflower Hill

Waterville, ME 04901-8840

Phone: (207) 859-4000
2013-2014 Tuition
tuition and fees
male /
Jan. 1
application deadline

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U.S. News Rankings

Ranking score and category
U.S. News rank Category Name
#22 Overall Score: 82 out of 100. National Liberal Arts Colleges

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Colby College is a private institution that was founded in 1813. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 1,863, its setting is rural, and the campus size is 714 acres. It utilizes a 4-1-4-based academic calendar. Colby College's ranking in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges is National Liberal Arts Colleges, 22. Its tuition and fees are $45,760 (2013-14).

Colby College is located in Waterville, Maine. Colby’s campus, home to the 128-acre Perkins Arboretum wildlife refuge, is a State Wildlife Management Area. The school also owns a nearby bog preserve and lakefront property for environmental studies. There are approximately 100 student-run clubs and organizations on campus, ranging from the Colby Ballroom Dance Club to the Society Organized Against Racism. More than one-third of students are members of Colby’s intercollegiate varsity sports teams, the Mules. Intramural and club sports are also popular. The majority of students at Colby live on campus in one of the 26 co-ed, mixed-class residence halls.

Colby has more than 50 majors across more than 20 academic departments. The most popular majors are biology, economics, English, history, global studies, government and psychology. Colby’s 4-1-4 academic calendar features the Jan Plan, a four-week term during which students can pursue an internship, independent study or focused course work. Past Jan Plan projects have included a Maine Jewish History research project and an internship with the Department of Justice. More than two-thirds of students study abroad, and Colby runs its own programs in Dijon, France; Salamanca, Spain; and St. Petersburg, Russia. Notable alumni include TV personality Billy Bush and counselor to President Obama Pete Rouse.

School mission and unique qualities (as provided by the school):

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 will see the addition of several new faculty members, 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. 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. Colby launched a successful partnership with Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences and sent its first group of students to work alongside research scientists at the lab in East Boothbay, Maine. Colby students in all disciplines - not just the sciences - take advantage of research opportunities and enjoy close collaborate with professors that often results in coauthoring peer-reviewed articles or presenting research together at conferences. Rigorous academic coursework during spring and fall semesters is punctuated by focused and independent study during Colby's Jan Plan, which gives students unique opportunities to indulge their intellectual curiosity. Co-curricular and campus life programs, beginning with orientation and continuing all four years with the Colby 360 plan, optimize learning opportunities in student life. 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. The Colby Connect program uses a four-year sequence of activities to prepare students for careers and advanced study. And the Colby Alumni Network provides resources to help graduates as they set out to make a profound impact on the world. As of June 30, 2012, 82 percent of the Class of 2012 was employed, was admitted to grad school, or had received full-time fellowships. The College remains committed to its policy of replacing institutional 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.

General Information

School type private, coed college
Year founded 1813
Religious affiliation N/A
Academic calendar 4-1-4
Setting rural
2012 Endowment $599,557,000


When applying to Colby College, it's important to note the application deadline is January 1, and the early decision deadline is November 15. Scores for either the ACT or SAT test are due March 1. It is most selective, with an acceptance rate of 29 percent.

For more information about the tests, essays, interviews, and admissions process, visit the Applying to College knowledge center.

Selectivity most selective
Fall 2012 acceptance rate 29.0%
Application deadline January 1
SAT/ACT scores must be received by March 1

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Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at Colby College is 10:1, and the school has 67.7 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at Colby College include: Social Sciences; Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies; Biological and Biomedical Sciences; English Language and Literature/Letters; and Area, Ethnic, Cultural, Gender, and Group Studies. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 94.5 percent.

Class sizes
Class sizes
Student-faculty ratio 10:1
4-year graduation rate 86%
Five most popular majors for 2012 graduates
Social Sciences 22%
Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies 13%
Biological and Biomedical Sciences 8%
English Language and Literature/Letters 8%
Area, Ethnic, Cultural, Gender, and Group Studies 7%

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Student Life

Colby College has a total undergraduate enrollment of 1,863, with a gender distribution of 45.4 percent male students and 54.6 percent female students. At this school, 93.5 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 6.4 percent of students live off campus. Colby College is part of the NCAA III athletic conference.

Total enrollment 1,863
Student gender distribution
Student gender distribution
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Collegiate athletic association NCAA III

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Campus Info & Services

Colby College offers a number of student services including nonremedial tutoring, women's center, placement service, health service, and health insurance. Colby College also offers campus safety and security services like 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, late night transport/escort service, 24-hour emergency telephones, lighted pathways/sidewalks, student patrols, and controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc). Of the students at Colby College, 70 percent have cars on campus. Alcohol is permitted for students of legal age at Colby College.

Students who have cars on campus 70%
Health insurance offered Yes

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Paying for School

At Colby College, 37.5 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $36,924.

Paying for college doesn't have to be difficult or devastating. Go to the Paying for College knowledge center to get advice on raising cash and reducing costs.

Tuition and fees $45,760 (2013-14)
Room and board $11,750 (2013-14)
Financial aid statistics
Financial aid statistics

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* Overview details based on 2012 data

College Rankings

Best Liberal Arts Colleges - Narrow your search with the U.S. News rankings of Liberal Arts Colleges, schools that emphasize undergrad liberal arts education.

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