Congratulations and welcome to Colby! Your student has reached an important milestone in their life and so have you. The coming years will be an exciting journey for your family. To help you with the start of this journey, we have compiled this list of tips and links to other pages on the Colby website that are of particular interest to families new to Colby.

To help you connect to Colby, we have prepared A Family Guide to Colby 2019-20, which focuses on information of interest to families, including a summary of key resources, a quick reference to student support services, dates and deadlines for your first-year student, and the academic calendar. We will send the 2020-2021 guide in May 2020. We hope you find this useful over the next 12 months.

If you cannot find what you are looking for from the information included here, please e-mail or ask a parent.

On this page

Before the First Semester Begins

  1. What should you be doing between now and move in day? Check out the Class of 2024 timeline for information regarding important dates.
  2. Read everything. In the months prior to the start of the semester, you will receive information in the mail from the offices of Office of the Dean of the College and Campus Life. Be sure to read this information thoroughly as it will include much of what you need to know to get your student to campus and on his or her way. It also includes information about financial aid, tuition payments, and more.
  3. Johnson PondSet up your parent account on the myColby portal. Your student will need to grant permission to give you access. This can happen immediately after your student has access to a Colby email and password and can access the MyColby Portal. Here, you can pay your student’s tuition bill and view academic information and important reminders such as deadlines for financial aid applications or technology purchase guidelines. Your student must give you permission.
  4. Attend a sendoff reception. The Office of Parent Programs schedules many sendoff and welcome receptions during the summer across the country. These receptions are hosted by Colby parents and their students, offering new families an opportunity to meet each other as well as current members of the Colby community.
  5. Plan ahead. There are many resources available to help with planning logistics around move-in day, semester academic schedules, travel to and from campus, and exploring the region in and around Waterville as well as coastal Maine, ski country, and greater Portland.

Fall Semester in Dijon or Salamanca

During the summer months, parents of students traveling to Salamanca, Spain or Dijon, France, for their first semester are contacted by parents whose students recently participated in these programs. These informal conversations between parents complement the considerable communication students receive from their student leaders and the Office of Off-Campus Study.

GES Orientation on Campus

GES Orientation will take place between Saturday, August 24, 2019 and Tuesday, August 27, 2019.
For more information contact the the Office of Off-Campus Study.

Sendoff Receptions

Each summer current Colby families host sendoff receptions for incoming students and their families. If convenient for your schedule and location, this is a great opportunity to meet incoming Colby families and students and learn from current families about college life. Talking with families is a great way to understand how your student can best transition to campus life.

The schedule and online registration are e-mailed in early June to all incoming students and their families for whom we have a working e-mail address. A postcard is mailed out as well. We look forward to welcoming everyone!

Arrival Day

Move-in day for first-year students for the 2020-21 academic year is Tuesday, September 1. The move-in day schedule can be found here.

Overall, the best advice for planning for move-in day is to become familiar with the day’s schedule and other communication provided by Colby’s Office of Campus Life. This office organizes orientation and the schedule for move-in day, also known as arrival day. Note that there are many student volunteers and staff members on hand to welcome you and to assist with the move onto campus.

Move-in day information and a schedule of events can be found on the Class of 2024 portal under ‘Orientation Schedule’. Keep in mind that the process of moving into dorms (checking in, picking up ID and keys, moving belongings, etc.) takes place in the morning hours of move-in day. The afternoon of move-in day includes a parent session and a family reception after which parents say goodbye to their students. Parents may plan to begin their return home by 4 p.m.

Waterville is relatively close to Augusta (30 minutes by car), Portland (70 minutes), Bangor (60 minutes) and Boston (3 hours). Therefore, travel options the day before move-in day, potentially including a stay over en route to Waterville, may make arrival for the day’s events more manageable. 

Local Shopping for Dorm Supplies, etc.

If coming from a distance, you may choose to shop the day before or morning of move-in day. Some families report shopping online and arranging for pick-up at the nearby store location. Others plan to arrive in the region a day early in order to stock up on school and dorm room supplies.

Downtown Waterville has many specialty store and is also home to Walmart, Home Depot, Staples, and JC Penney.

Augusta, 20 minutes from campus on I-95 exits 112 and 109A/B, has a large offering of stores:

  • Exit 112 has Walmart, Old Navy, Pier 1 Imports, Barnes and Noble, Sam’s Club, Radio Shack
  • Exit 109A/B has AC Moore, Target, Best Buy, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Bed Bath and Beyond, Sears

Sending Packages Prior to Arrival Day

A key piece of logistical planning for families living outside the region is how to ship clothing, supplies, and other items for students to campus prior to move-in day.

  1. Your student’s mailbox number at Colby (which is provided during the summer) must be used as the street number when shipping packages or mailing letters. DO NOT USE THE GENERAL ADDRESS – 4000 Mayflower Hill.
  2. Packages should arrive no sooner than August 15.
  3. On package/box, clearly label:
  4. (Student’s Full Name)
    (Student’s mailbox number) Mayflower Hill
    Waterville, ME 04901
  5. On move-in day your student will first check in and receive dorm keys at the Cotter Union. The Eustis Service Center (basement level of Eustis Building, adjacent to Cotter Union)will notify students by email if their packages have arrived and where to pick them up.

The phone number for the Eustis Service Center is 207-859-4050. Please contact the center with specific questions about items being shipped (for example, is the box too heavy or too big?).

Campus Laundry Service

This year E&R – The Campus Laundry will once again partner with Colby College to provide wash/dry/fold laundry and professional dry cleaning services to all interested students. E&R has been providing service to colleges, universities and preparatory schools for over 50 years, and has provided thousands of students across area campuses not just with clean clothes, but with an academic advantage of more free time. At Colby College, E&R provides convenient weekly pick up and drop off right from your dorm room door! For more information, please visit, or contact E&R’s customer service team at 800-243-7789.