President Adams Addresses College Costs

January 30, 2012

Dear Colby Community,

Last week, in his State of the Union address, and again just days later in remarks to an enthusiastic crowd at the University of Michigan, President Obama made it clear that he believes something must be done about the steadily rising cost of higher education.

I take exception to some of the means and methods the White House has proposed for addressing the issue, particularly those that seek to create a simple and, in the White House’s words, “easy-to-read” distillation of a very complex and difficult to understand business model. But I couldn’t agree more that it’s high time we all began to discuss more candidly ways in which this issue can be addressed.

In October, Colby's board and administration reaffirmed our commitment to providing financial aid packages that don't include loans, and, while that policy has already begun lowering the indebtedness of our graduates, it’s not enough. We provide financial support and sponsorship for undergraduate research, but would like to do more. Our alumni have generously established funds that allow students to pursue the internship of their dreams, whether it’s paid or not. We’re partnering with agencies that are helping us to open our doors wide to underserved sectors of our nation’s population. And our financial aid budget for any and all qualified students continues to expand.

We are grateful that the issue of college costs is being talked about with greater frequency these days, and we hope these conversations will lead to a greater understanding of how our business model does – and does not – work.

But ultimately, we do what we do because we are committed to making the Colby experience accessible and affordable to every qualified student who might benefit from it.

We hope you’ll take a moment to learn more about what we do at



William D. Adams