Colby College President William D. Adams announced today that, beginning next fall, Colby will eliminate loans from all financial aid packages for Maine residents, replacing them with grants. The new policy will make it possible for Maine students who earn admission and qualify for financial aid from the College to receive a Colby education and graduate with no debt from student loans.
The initiative is being supported by a lead gift from prominent Portland businessman and philanthropist Joseph F. Boulos and his wife, Sheri. Boulos graduated from Colby in 1968 and is chair of Colby's board of trustees, to which he was first elected in 1993.
"Sheri and I love the state of Maine and have had a commitment to higher education, and especially to Colby, for years. It is our sincere desire to eliminate any financial impediments that might stand in the way of qualified Maine students attending Colby."
Colby's financial aid policy is need-based, relying on specific calculations to determine a student's financial need, then meeting that demonstrated need fully with a financial aid package.
"Joe and Sheri have repeatedly demonstrated their generosity to Colby and now, by extension, to students and families in Maine," said Adams. "Colby has always had a deep and abiding commitment to prospective students in its home state, and this new approach underscores Colby's support and encouragement for Maine families who might not otherwise consider Colby as an affordable option. Loans can be an impediment for some students and families. This initiative addresses that problem in a most direct and tangible way."
The initiative is one of several steps Colby has taken in recent years to create better access for students in Maine. Last year Colby awarded nearly $3 million in grants to Maine students, with a total average financial aid package of $30,585 per student. The College waives its application fee for Maine residents and puts on events and workshops designed to familiarize Maine students and their families with Colby's admissions process, academic program, and financial aid policies.
"We hear many reasons why Maine students often leave the state to attend college," said Parker J. Beverage, Colby's dean of admissions and financial aid, "and some of the conversations are about the experience -- the desire to meet and study with people of different backgrounds. Colby brings students from around the nation and the globe to Waterville for four years. This is a world-class private college right here in Maine, and it is now possible for Maine students to receive this kind of education with no indebtedness."
Founded in 1813 in Waterville, Maine, Colby combines a challenging academic program, an emphasis on undergraduate research, and an active community life on one of the nation's most beautiful campuses, located an hour and a quarter from Portland, Maine's largest city. Colby's reach is international in its recruitment of diverse students and faculty, the scope of its curriculum, and its ambitious study-abroad program. The College enrolls 1,850 students. Additional information is available at www.colby.edu