Access and Opportunity

The best educational environments are diverse, equitable, and inclusive. Respectful celebration of difference enriches community dialogue and personal development. As such, a variety of programs support Colby’s rich diversity while promoting student success.

Dean of Studies Access Programs

Colby College is committed to supporting all of our students, and providing educational access and opportunity regardless of a student’s financial background. In pursuit of this goal, the Dean of Studies Office works with partners on campus on a case-by-case basis to identify and connect our students with available resources to help alleviate pressing situations that can interfere with academic success.

Here you will find a list of financial support programs designed to assist students with managing challenging situations outside of their ability to predict or control.

The Dean of Studies Office receives and responds to financial requests as quickly as possible. For time-sensitive needs, students should contact their Class Dean directly.

Factors taken into account when considering support requests include:

  • Whether a student is on financial aid (some funds are restricted to students on aid)
  • Whether a student has previously received emergency support funding
  • What limitations there may be for specific types of funding
  • What the specific circumstances of the request are

Support may come in the form of a loan or a grant. It will be made clear to you which form of support you are approved to receive and you will be able to accept or decline the offer before any actions are taken on your behalf.

Note: Each year, demand exceeds available funding, and in most cases these loans and grants will not cover the entire cost of an event or emergency. These funds are not a replacement for financial aid or for responsible financial planning, and are intended to cover incidental or unexpected costs of modest amounts. Requesting and/or receiving emergency funds will not affect a student’s annual financial aid award.

    Textbooks and Required Course Supplies

    The Textbook Assistance Program is overseen by the Dean of Studies Office in partnership with Student Financial Services. The purpose of the Textbook Assistance Program is to support students who find themselves dealing with an unexpected circumstance outside of their ability to predict or control, making it difficult to manage financial obligations in a given semester.

    The Textbook Assistance Program can be accessed by submitting this application and consulting with Student Financial Services. All students requesting assistance will receive personalized advice and will be alerted to resources and options available to them. Textbook Assistance requests will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

    Some students may be eligible for direct financial support based on the specifics of their situation. Determination of eligibility for direct financial support will be made by Student Financial Services in consultation with Class Deans, reviewing information provided in the student’s application.

    All students regardless of financial aid status are eligible to request Textbook Assistance support during their time at Colby.

    For more information about the Textbook Assistance Program, please contact Student Financial Services or the Dean of Studies Office at (207) 859-4560 or email: deanofstudies@colby.edu

    Laptop Computers

    The Dean of Studies Office maintains a limited supply of refurbished laptop computers. First-year students with specific financial aid eligibility will be contacted directly by the Dean of Studies Office to determine their need for laptop computer support. All other students requesting laptop support will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

    All Colby students are able to use computer labs across Colby campus, or borrow a laptop computer for a short period of time from the Colby Libraries.

    Medical, Dental, or Optical Expenses not Covered by Insurance

    Some medical costs may be eligible for financial support if the student would be unable to successfully continue with academics in the event that care was not available to them. Please contact your Class Dean to discuss the specific circumstances of your request as soon as possible given the circumstances.

    For travel assistance in support of necessary off-campus medical appointments, the Health Center may be able to provide taxi vouchers or other travel support and should be contacted first.

    Travel and Lodging for Personal or Family Emergencies

    For travel and lodging support related to personal or family emergencies, please contact your Class Dean.

    For travel support related to jobs, internships, interviews, or active participation in conferences, please contact your DavisConnects Advisor.

    For travel support related to conferences (attending, but not participating) or other academic opportunities, please contact the sponsoring professor or academic department.

    The Campus Life Office provides limited travel support from campus to regional airports at the end of each semester. For more information regarding airport shuttle service facilitated by Colby College, please contact the Campus Life Office.

    Expenses not Covered by Emergency Funds

    • Tuition, fees, or study abroad costs
    • Test preparation courses (GRE, LSAT, MCAT, etc)
    • Non-essential personal bills such as credit card, cable, cell phone, etc
    • Parking tickets, library fines, lost keys, or other preventable expenses
    • Fines incurred due to violations of Student Conduct policies or residence hall damage
    • Financial support for family members of Colby students
    • Visits home
    • Costs associated with programs outside of Colby College, such as driver education, classes at other institutions, certificate programs, gym memberships, etc.
    • Graduate school application fees

    Partner Programs

    Colby Achievement Program in the Sciences

    CAPS offers summer research opportunities for incoming first-years from groups that traditionally have been underrepresented in the sciences. It provides them with hands-on research experiences in biology, chemistry, environmental science, and other natural science disciplines. Students work closely with Colby professors in classroom, lab, and field experiences specifically designed to help them thrive in their first-year science courses and get the most out of their Colby educations.

    Faculty Coordinators

    CAPS

    The Posse Program

    The Posse Foundation identifies, recruits, and selects student leaders from public high schools to form multicultural teams called “posses.” Posses are groups of 10 to 12 students from diverse cultural and economic backgrounds who support each other and ensure that each member succeeds and graduates from college. Posses also work to increase interaction among diverse campus groups.

    Faculty Mentor

    Posse Group Photo

    The Ralph J. Bunche Scholars

    The Bunche scholarship program was started at Colby in 1979 to honor the memory of Nobel Prize-winning diplomat, civil rights activist, and friend of the College Ralph J. Bunche. Scholars are chosen because of demonstrated academic achievement and community involvement. Each is recognized through various efforts throughout the year, earns a learning stipend, and has access to resources to fund further learning and engagement in peace, international, and social justice studies.

    Advisor

    Bunche Scholars