Colby admits students as candidates for the degree of bachelor of arts. Admission is highly selective, and evaluation is based on a holistic assessment of the candidate’s application.
The College actively seeks applicants who have special qualities or talents to contribute to the Colby community, as well as those who represent diverse geographical, racial, ethnic, religious, and economic backgrounds.
The quality of a candidate’s preparation is judged by the academic record, references from school administrators and teachers, and results of tests administered by the College Board or by the American College Testing Program.
To ensure a common educational base, a minimum of 16 academic preparatory units is strongly recommended, including four years of English, at least three of a single foreign language, three of college preparatory mathematics, two of history or social studies, two of laboratory science, and two years of other college preparatory electives. Most successful candidates for admission present at least 20 academic units.
Colby supports the efforts of secondary school officials and governing bodies to have their schools achieve regional accredited status in order to provide reliable assurance of the quality of the educational preparation of its applicants for admission.
The average rate of return from first year to sophomore year is 92 percent. The average six-year graduation rate is 91 percent.
|Early Decision I admission and financial aid: Nov. 15
Notification: by Dec. 15
|Midyear transfer admission and financial aid: Nov. 15
Notification: by Dec. 15
|Early Decision II admission and financial aid: Jan. 1
Notification: by Feb. 15
|Regular Decision admission: Jan. 1
Notification: by April 1
|Regular Decision financial aid: Feb. 1
Notification: by April 1
|Fall transfer admission and financial aid: March 1
Notification: by May 30
|Deadline for mailing parents’ and students’ signed prior-year federal income tax returns, including W-2s: by April 16
Candidate reply date for students admitted Regular Decision: May 1
Application forms are available at colby.edu/apply, where there are links to the Common Application and to the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success application. Because we encourage students from all socioeconomic backgrounds to consider Colby, there is no fee to apply for admission.
Colby requires official results of one of the following three options: the SAT or the ACT or two SAT Subject Tests in areas of the applicant’s choice. Students may elect to self-report their standardized test scores on the application. Students seeking to fulfill the College’s foreign language requirement may do so by earning a 640 or higher on a foreign language Subject Test. Please review our dates and deadlines for information about when testing should be completed. Applicants must request that test results be sent to Colby directly from the appropriate testing agency. Information about the tests is available at collegeboard.com/testing and at actstudent.org. The Colby College institutional codes are 3280 for the SAT and Subject Tests and 1638 for the ACT. Candidates planning to submit only ACT results are encouraged to take the ACT with the optional writing test component.
Interviews are encouraged, but they are not a required component of the application process.
On-campus interviews are available from early March through mid-December. Interested students may interview beginning in the spring of their junior year through December of their senior year. Off-campus interviews are offered in cities around the country each fall; specific sites and dates are posted to the website.
Interviews with alumni volunteers are available to students who have submitted applications. These interviews are held throughout the country and across the globe. Please visit the website for more information.
Global Entry Semester Admission
Colby offers two first semester abroad options—in Dijon, France, and Salamanca, Spain—which are described in the Opportunities to Study Abroad section. Students who participate in one of the College’s first semester abroad programs will earn academic credit and satisfy distribution requirements toward the degree at the same pace as their classmates. Admission to the fall semester abroad program is based on prior foreign language study, demonstrated independence and maturity, and personal qualities that suggest a smooth transition to campus in January.
Occasionally a student is admitted to the College without completing the senior year of secondary school. Students interested in being considered for early admission must interview with a member of the admissions staff to discuss the reasons for this interest. Students will be expected to have exhausted the curriculum available at the secondary school and to have the full support of the school in seeking to leave before graduating.
Colby participates in the Advanced Placement program of the College Board. Credits will be recorded on the Colby transcript for official AP scores of 4 or 5, and, where appropriate, advanced course placement will be granted. These credits may also be applied to certain academic areas of the College’s distribution requirement (see Academic Requirements section), but AP credits may not be counted toward the 128 credits required for graduation.
Colby also recognizes the International Baccalaureate and offers advanced placement and credit based on individual Higher Level examination results, as well as performance on the full IB Diploma program. At the discretion of individual academic departments, advanced placement may be earned for scores of 6 and 7 on higher level examinations. A full year of credit toward the 128 credits required for graduation and up to two full semesters toward the residency requirement may be earned for an IB Diploma point total of 36 or better, assuming all examination scores are 5 or better.
Finally, students who receive an A or B (superior level) on A-levels or comparable scores on the Leaving Certificate (Ireland), the Abitur (Germany), or the Baccalauréat (France) may be eligible for advanced placement.
Campus tours and group information sessions are available on most weekdays and on Saturday mornings in the fall.
Colby is located near exit 127 of I-95. Waterville also may be reached by bus or airport taxi from the Portland International Jetport. The Bangor International Airport and Augusta State Airport provide additional options. A list of area accommodations is available online at colby.edu/visit.
Colby has enrolled international students since the 1820s and actively engages in programs of international cooperation and exchange. International applicants must submit an official score report sent by the testing agency from one of the following tests:
- College Board SAT Test or
- American College Test (ACT) or
- SAT Subject Tests in two different areas
For international students whose first language is not English or whose language of secondary school instruction has not been in English, results from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) are also required.
Need-based financial aid is available to international students. Applicants for financial aid must complete the International Student Financial Aid Application and the Certification of Finances, which are available online. Documentation (with translation) of parents’ incomes
also is required.
An associate dean of students serves as the advisor to international students on immigration and other matters. An intensive English bridge program during the fall semester serves conditionally admitted students whose TOEFL, IELTS, or other verbal scores are below Colby’s standards. Individual English language tutoring is available to any international student at any time during the academic year.
Transfer Students and Veterans
Priority in admissions is to first-year students, though a small number of transfer students are admitted each year. Admission by transfer is open to those with strong academic and personal records from accredited colleges or universities. Application forms are available online at colby.edu/apply, where there are links to the Common Application and to the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success application.
Credits from accredited institutions are generally accepted for courses that are comparable to those offered at Colby and in which grades of C or better are received. No more than 64 transferable semester credit hours may be applied toward a Colby degree.
Veterans may request advanced standing consideration for completion of service schools before matriculation. Credit is not granted for military service or College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests.
Anyone interested in enrolling as a non-matriculated student must contact the Registrar’s Office for information about the application process. Registration in individual courses then requires the approval of the course instructor and may be limited; matriculated students have priority in admission to courses with limited enrollments.
All persons seeking to take courses for credit must present evidence that they are qualified to pursue the intended courses and must pay the established fee. A limited number of Waterville-area secondary school students may be recommended by their schools to take a course. Adults from the immediate Waterville area who are not degree candidates may qualify to take courses at one-half the usual fee or may audit courses at no charge.
Persons wishing to enroll as auditing students must also contact the Registrar’s Office and are referred to Auditing Courses in the Academic Procedures section.