Congratulations and welcome to Colby. Your student has reached an important milestone in his or her life and, as a parent, so have you. The next four years will be an exciting journey for your family. To help parents with the start of this journey, we have compiled this list of tips and links to other pages on the Colby website that are of particular interest to parents new to Colby.

If you cannot find what you are looking for from the information included here, please e-mail

On this page

Before the first semester begins

  1. What should you be doing between now and move in day? Check out the Class of 2020 timeline for information regarding important dates. Coming soon: Class of 2020 page.
  2. Read everything. In the months prior to the start of the semester, you will receive information in the mail from the offices of Student Affairs and Campus Life. Be sure to read this information thoroughly as it will include much of what you need to know to get your student to campus and on his or her way. It also includes information about financial aid, tuition payments, and more.
  3. Johnson PondSet up your parent account on the myColby portal. Here, you can pay your student’s tuition bill and view academic information and important reminders such as deadlines for financial aid applications or technology purchase guidelines. Your student will need to grant permission to give you access.
  4. Attend a send-off reception. The Office of Parent Programs schedules many send-off and welcome receptions during the summer across the country. These receptions are hosted by Colby parents and their students, offering new families an opportunity to meet each other as well as current members of the Colby community.
  5. Plan ahead. There are many resources available to help with planning logistics around move-in day, semester academic schedules, travel to and from campus, and exploring the region in and around Waterville as well as coastal Maine, ski country, and greater Portland.

Fall semester in Dijon or Salamanca

During the summer months, parents of students traveling to Salamanca, Spain or Dijon, France, for their first semester are contacted by parents whose students recently participated in these programs. These informal conversations between parents complement the considerable communication students receive from their student leaders and the Office of Off-Campus Study. A key tip from families who have participated in the first semester away (FSA) programs is to attend the send-off reception for FSA students and parents. This reception is typically held in early August and provides an opportunity to meet other students and parents preparing for the semester in either Salamanca or Dijon in addition to meeting students and parents who have gone through the experience. Contact the Office of Parent Programs for more information.

Send-off receptions

Each summer Colby parents host in their homes incoming students and their parents for joyous send-offs to Colby. If convenient for your schedule and location, this is a great opportunity to meet other Colby families as well as current parents and students. You’ll find that other parents are a great resource for questions you have about your student’s transition to campus.

The schedule and online registration form are e-mailed in early June to all incoming students and parents for whom we have a working e-mail address. Click here to go to the Class of 2020 Send-off Reception schedule.

Move-in day

Move-in day for first-year students for the 2016 – 2017 academic year is Sunday, August 28. (If your student is participating in the Dijon or Salamanca program for their first semester, the tentative scheduled move-in date is Monday, Jan 2, 2017.) Overall, the best advice for planning for move-in day is to become familiar with the day’s schedule and other communication provided by Colby’s Office of Campus Life. This office organizes orientation and the schedule for move-in day, also known as arrival day. Note that there are many student volunteers and staff members on hand to welcome you and to assist with the move onto campus.

Typically, detailed information about move-in day and orientation becomes available in July. Keep in mind that the process of moving into dorms (checking in, picking up ID and keys, moving belongings, etc.) takes place in the morning hours of move-in day. Students will receive their dorm move-in time slot as part of their communication with the Campus Life Office. The afternoon of move-in day includes a parent session and a family reception after which parents say goodbye to their students. Parents may plan to begin their return home by 4 p.m.

Waterville is relatively close to Augusta (30 minutes), Portland (70 minutes), Bangor (60 minutes) and Boston (3 hours). Therefore, travel options the day before move-in day may include staying outside of Waterville and driving to campus for your scheduled move-in time.

Find out more about travel to and from campus.

Local shopping for dorm supplies, etc.

If coming from a distance, you may choose to shop the day before or morning of move-in day. Some families report shopping online and arranging for pick-up at the nearby store location. Others plan to arrive in the region a day early in order to stock up on school and dorm room supplies.

Downtown Waterville has many specialty stores (see a full list at Waterville is also home to Walmart, Home Depot, Staples, and JC Penney.

Augusta, 20 minutes from campus on I-95 exits 112 and 109A/B, has a large offering of stores:

  • Exit 112 has Walmart, Old Navy, Pier 1 Imports, Barnes and Noble, Sam’s Club, Radio Shack
  • Exit 109A/B has AC Moore, Target, Best Buy, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Bed Bath and Beyond, Sears

Sending packages prior to move-in day

A key piece of logistical planning for families living outside the region is how to ship clothing, supplies, and other items for students to campus prior to move-in day.

  1. Your student’s mailbox number at Colby (which is provided during the summer) also serves as the street number to use when shipping packages or mailing letters.
  2. On package/box, clearly label: (Student’s Full Name), Colby College, (Student’s mailbox number) Mayflower Hill, Waterville, ME 04901
  3. On move-in day your student will first checkin and receive dorm keys at the Cotter Union. After this, you can go anytime to pick up shipped boxes at the Eustis Service Center (basement level of Eustis Building, adjacent to Cotter Union). There should be luggage carts available to help transport boxes.

The phone number for the Eustis Service Center is 207-859-4050. Please contact the center with specific questions about items being shipped (for example, is the box too heavy or too big?).