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Through one of the largest gifts toward financial aid in its history, Colby College has created a new fund aimed at making it more affordable to middle-income families.

The Fair Shot Fund will ensure that talented students from families in the middle-income brackets will have access to Colby’s extraordinary educational opportunities by capping the parent/guardian contribution at $15,000 for families making up to $150,000 (with assets typical of that income level). Currently, 87 percent of families in the country fall below the $150,000 annual income threshold, and families making less than $150,000 can expect a proportionally smaller contribution.

The fund was made possible through the contribution of an alumnus who sees the challenges of the “middle-class squeeze” and wants to ensure that students from middle-income families aren’t deterred from pursuing an education at Colby.

“Too many families are forced to compromise on their children’s college education because the best option for them isn’t affordable,” said Colby President David A. Greene. “Colby is already one of the most affordable four-year colleges in the country for families with incomes up to $60,000. With this new program, when Colby is the right educational choice for a student from a middle-income family, it will also be among the most affordable choices. This will be a life-changing gift for many students and their families.”

The Fair Shot Fund, which goes into effect with next year’s entering class, positions Colby as one of the most affordable four-year colleges in the country. The average published tuition, fees, and room and board costs for a public, four-year, in-state institution are $21,370. This initiative makes it possible for students in the U.S. to attend Colby for less than public colleges and universities.

“This fund helps remove the mystery from financial aid, making it clear that a Colby education is accessible for students from all backgrounds and experiences,” said Vice President and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Matt Proto. “It gives all students, no matter their financial background, a fair shot at a world-class education.”

In 2017 Colby announced a program that ensures families with incomes below $60,000 (with assets typical of that income level) can expect no parent or guardian contribution for their student to attend. This fund extends the commitment and the College’s already generous financial aid program.

The College meets 100 percent of each admitted student’s demonstrated need with a financial aid package that does not include loans. In recent years, more than 95 percent of families with a total income of $200,000 have qualified for some form of financial assistance.