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Apply and Afford

First-Year Applicants


Each year Colby admissions counselors read thousands of applications to enroll a class of 500 students. Your application is what will set you apart from other applicants. Tell us what interests you. Share your accomplishments and what you’ve learned along the way. Emphasize your dedication to both academic and extracurricular activities. Tell us your story. Don’t let worry about costs keep you from applying. Our financial aid packages meet 100 percent of your demonstrated financial need, making this education available to students from every background.

Early Decision or Regular Decision?

If you’re 100 percent sure that Colby is for you, consider applying Early Decision. We’ll give you our decision quickly, but once we do, we expect you to withdraw all other applications. If you’re still weighing your options, Regular Decision applications are due January 1, and we’ll let you know our decision by April 1.

Application Materials

Application Dates and Deadlines

 Application Submitted/ PostmarkedComplete
Admission Decision and Financial Aid Offers MailedCandidate's Reply
Early Decision INov. 15Nov. 15Dec. 15Dec. 23
Early Decision IIJan. 1Jan. 1Feb. 10Feb. 24
Regular DecisionJan. 1Jan. 31March 17May 1
Spring TransferNov. 1n/aDec. 15Two weeks after admission
Fall TransferMar. 1n/aApril 15Two weeks after admission

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The Common ApplicationCoalition for Access, Affordability, and SuccessQuestBridge

Early Decision Conversion: If you have filed your regular decision application prior to the deadlines of November 15 or January 1, you can convert your application to Early Decision by submitting a signed Early Decision Agreement prior to December 1, in the case of ED I, or by January 30 at 5 p.m. EST in the case of ED II.

Deferral Policy: Students admitted to Colby may request to defer their matriculation.

NESCAC Statement of Common Admissions Practices: Guidelines and factors in admissions decisions for prospective student athletes.

FAQ for First-Year Applicants
Colby Nondiscrimination Policy

Colby is a member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) and has endorsed the principles contained in the association’s Statement of Principles of Good Practice (SPGP).

Financial Aid

Colby aid packages contain grants and work-study aid—but not loans. In fact, if you submit your aid application by the deadline and are eligible for aid, we’ll meet 100 percent of your demonstrated financial need.

Tuition and Fees

2016-17 Annual Comprehensive Fee
(tuition, room, board, student government and health services fees):
Other expenses (books/personal expenses):$1,600
Travel allowancevariable
Total Cost of Attendance$65,660
+ travel

Financial Aid Requirements

Financial Aid Deadlines

Submitted by:Early Decision IEarly Decision IIRegular Decision
College Board CSS ProfileNov. 15Jan. 1Feb. 1
FAFSANov. 15Jan. 1Feb. 1
2015 federal income
tax returns and W-2
(parents and student;
all pages and schedules)
Nov. 15Jan. 1Feb. 1

How We Calculate Your Expected Family Contribution

Net Price Calculator

Want to know what you might expect from your Colby aid package? Our net price calculator uses your family’s financial information to give you a sense of what your family would contribute toward your Colby education.

Net Price Calculator

Types of Colby Aid

Colby aid packages contain grants and work-study aid—but not loans. When you get your aid package you may see grants, both institutional and federal, as well as campus employment.

Scholarship Opportunities

Presidential Scholars Program

Colby’s Presidential Scholars Program offers several benefits to the top students in each incoming class, including the opportunity to conduct research alongside world-class professors from the moment they arrive on campus, access to a pool of grants to design their own projects, and the chance to take part in other activities that challenge them to achieve at the highest levels. The Presidential Scholar designation is one of the only academic honors that Colby confers on students before they enroll, and the good news is, you don’t even have to apply. Every applicant to Colby is considered for the Presidential Scholars Program.

Ralph J. Bunche Scholars Program

The Ralph J. Bunche Scholars Program is a Colby initiative that supports campus diversity and multiculturalism. Started in 1979, this program honors the memory of Nobel prize-winning diplomat, civil rights activist, and friend of the College Ralph J. Bunche. All Bunche Scholars are students of color who have demonstrated leadership ability and achieved academic success. As a Bunche Scholar you will be granted an internship stipend of $3,000 to be used during one summer while you are enrolled at Colby to pursue an internship integral to your field of study or career aspirations even if it is unpaid or underpaid. Bunche Scholars are chosen based on demonstrated leadership in high school and in their community as well as academic achievement. High school counselors are encouraged to nominate students for this opportunity, but all students of color who are admitted will be considered.

National Merit Scholarships

National Merit Scholars who receive financial aid will receive an annual recognition award of $1,000. Scholars who do not receive financial aid will receive an annual recognition award of $500. If you are a National Merit Scholarship Finalist, report Colby College as your first-choice school to the National Merit Corporation to ensure you receive the award.

Yellow Ribbon Program

As a Yellow Ribbon school, Colby seeks to enroll veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. The Yellow Ribbon Program is an agreement between colleges and universities and the Veterans Administration in which higher education institutions cover the cost of tuition and fees in excess of the amounts payable under the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. Veterans from all backgrounds have access to a Colby education.

Financing Options

Colby’s financial aid packages are designed to meet 100 percent of demonstrated financial need with grants and employment. There are families, however, who choose to borrow for out-of-pocket (family contribution) costs or who wish to spread out payments over a period of time. The Office of Admissions and Financial Aid will send detailed information about payment plans and loan programs to each admitted student. To get more information prior to our admissions decision, please contact us (

Prospective students may review publicly available information about Colby on the College’s consumer information webpage.

Contact Information

Should you have questions about Colby’s financial aid process, please contact Director of New Student Aid Jill Pierce at or 207-859-4830.

Apply Now

The Common ApplicationCoalition for Access, Affordability, and SuccessQuestBridge