Colby College Trustees approved an additional $1.2 million in financial aid for first-year students at their fall meeting. The funds will enable the College to admit many more highly qualified students to the Class of 2019 regardless of their families’ financial need.

This year Colby awarded institutional grants totaling $7.5 million for the Class of 2018, with an average aid package of more than $45,000. The additional $1.2 million is expected to increase the number of aided students in the Class of 2019 by 17 percent.

“This investment is another one of the College’s many efforts to make a Colby education accessible,” said Interim Vice President and Dean of Admissions Steve Saunders. “We meet one hundred percent of calculated need for all admitted students, and we offer grants—not loans—in all of our financial aid packages,” Saunders said, adding that financial aid awards can also be used for study-abroad costs. “And we try to ensure that qualified students aren’t discouraged from applying, so Colby does not charge a fee to apply for admission.”

Colby’s total financial aid budget next year will approach $32.5 million. For many students, the family contribution at Colby may be lower than at a public institution.