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Financial Aid

In order to ensure equal access and opportunity for students from all economic backgrounds, Colby offers financial aid to admitted students who demonstrate financial eligibility and are enrolled full time. Approximately 1,100 full-time students, or 60 percent of the student body, receive some form of financial assistance, including grants, campus employment, or outside scholarships.

More than $25 million in grants are awarded annually. The average aid package awarded to 753 grant recipients in 2010-11 was $34,220. In addition to Colby’s own programs,  state grants, Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), Federal College Work-Study, and Yellow Ribbon grants may be included in aid awards. Beginning with the 2008-09 academic year, the portion of calculated need previously met with student loans has been met with grants and campus employment; federal student (Perkins and Stafford) and parent (PLUS) loans are available to supplement the need-based financial aid package.

Colby requires all first-time aid applicants who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the federal processor and the profile form to the College Scholarship Service before February 1. On the basis of the FAFSA, parents’ and students’ 2011 year-end pay stubs, W-2 forms, and federal income tax returns, the College Scholarship Service Profile form, and other forms that may be required for special circumstances, the College determines eligibility within the context of Colby policy and federal regulations. Students who do not complete a financial aid application prior to admission will not be considered for Colby grant assistance for two award years, unless their family financial circumstances change unexpectedly and unavoidably.

Early-decision applicants for financial aid must file the CSS profile form before November 15 for fall-option early decision and before January 1 for winter-option early decision. International students must complete and submit the International Student Financial Aid Application and documentation of family income (employers’ letters and/or tax forms with translation) by the appropriate deadline.

To provide flexibility, Colby also accepts the Sallie Mae 10-month payment plan and proceeds from parent loans. Students who seek more detailed information may write for the financial aid and financing options brochures or may contact the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid.

Aid also is available for programs of study abroad and domestic programs of study away that are approved by the Office of Off-Campus Study. The only domestic programs for which federal or Colby aid may be used are those specified in the Off-Campus Study Handbook as Colby-approved programs

Aid for programs of study off campus is based on the actual cost of the program plus an administrative fee, up to a maximum of Colby’s cost. Student loans may enable financial aid recipients to replace term-time earnings, which are not available on foreign campuses.

Parents and students may review information in the Student Financial Services and Career Center offices concerning scholarships offered by non-Colby organizations.

As stated more fully in the section on Academic Procedures in this catalogue, the Committee on Academic Standing reviews the records of all students at the end of each semester to determine if each is maintaining satisfactory academic progress. Decisions of this committee govern eligibility for financial aid in accordance with federal regulations and Colby policy.

Committee decisions of dismissal may be appealed. When students have been readmitted after academic dismissal, federal Title IV assistance (to a maximum of 10 semesters) will be awarded on a cumulative basis according to Colby’s published funding priorities for financial aid. All standards are in accordance with federal laws with respect to satisfactory progress. In general, a Colby grant is available only for tuition charged for course work required to obtain a Colby degree, up to eight semesters of full-time enrollment. To ensure maximum aid eligibility, a student must maintain a minimum of 12 credit hours each semester, exclusive of credits taken during January.

Students who are admitted to Colby as other-than-first-semester freshmen are eligible for Colby aid for the number of semesters required for graduation as determined by the College at the time of entry. For example, a student who matriculates as a second semester freshman is considered for up to seven semesters of aid.