Strengthening the endowment is Colby's top fiscal priority. The foundation of Colby's financial health is the College's endowment. A strong endowment provides long-term financial strength and allows a college to attract and support top students, hire and retain the best faculty, and offer a superior academic program.

The endowment operates much like any savings and investment portfolio. The principal is invested and, over time, grows. To support current operations, the College spends a small percentage of its endowment each year. Endowment gifts made to the Reaching the World campaign will help students next year, 50 years from now, and beyond.
Endowment Per Student, 2010
Endowment per student chart
Colby has a long and impressive record of careful management and conservative spending of its endowment. Built by gifts from generations of donors and through wise investment, the endowment provides significant support to the College. However, if one compares endowment per student (a common measure when comparing schools of different sizes), Colby ranks sixth among NESCAC (New England Small College Athletic Conference) schools and trails a significant number of other peer institutions. The College's endowment per student is one third that of Williams and Amherst and just over $70,000 per student less than Colby's closest NESCAC peer, Hamilton.