Frequently Asked Questions
There are four key methods available to make payments on your student account, including electronic (ACH) payments, wire, by mail, or in person at the Office of Student Financial Services. Further details on the various payment methods can be found here.
Colby complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), which establishes the rights and restrictions of students to inspect and review education records, provides guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data, and establishes standards for disclosure of student information. You can go to the myColby portal to set both financial and academic permissions if you would like the College to communicate with others in addition to yourself; the financial, academic, and personal info permissions page can be found under the Finances tab of the myColby portal in the left-hand menu.
For the 2023/24 academic year, the payment for fall semester is due August 1st, 2023 and January 1st, 2024 for the spring semester.
A late payment fee of 1% will be assessed for unpaid student account balances of $1000 or more. This fee is assessed on the first day of classes each semester, and the first business day of the month thereafter (click here for the Academic Calendar).
If, after all financial aid has been finalized and semester charges are paid in full, you find that you have a credit or over payment balance on your account, the credit can be refunded to you. You can request a check for the credit amount; the credit can be direct deposited into your bank account (if you have direct deposit set up); it can be applied to your ColbyCard; or the over payment can be applied to anticipated charges for another semester. To request a student account refund please email us at [email protected]. Please note: if the credit balance/over payment is due to a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan, refund will be issued payable to the parent borrower.
Yes, to enroll in a new tuition payment plan or for additional information, please visit the Transact site by clicking here or by calling their Customer Care Department directly at 1-888-381-8054.
- Fall Only 4 month plan: Enrollment opens on May 1, 2023 and ends on July 28, 2023, with first and final payment dates of June 1, 2023 and September 1, 2023, respectively.
- Spring Only 4 month plan: Enrollment opens on October 1, 2023 and ends on December 15, 2023, with first and final payment dates of November 1, 2022, and February 1, 2024, respectively.
Please note, late enrollment may result in catch-up payments to bring the tuition plan contract up to date*
Before you begin, we highly recommend using our new tuition payment calculator to estimate your semester cost, to get started please click here.
Please note participants in any payment plan may continue to receive monthly statement reminders from Colby until the student’s account is paid in full. If the amount budgeted by the family does not appear to be sufficient to cover the student’s bill by the end of the term, a reminder may be sent to the family from Student Financial Services.
If you elect not to sign up for direct deposit through Workday, you may need to go to a bank in Waterville to cash your paycheck. There is nowhere on campus to cash checks. When cashing a check, you may be asked for personal identification such as your Colby ID or driver’s license. It is recommended that you cash checks at a bank in which you hold an account, though some banks in Waterville may cash paychecks for Colby students who do not have accounts at their bank.
There are numerous different banks in Waterville, offering services such as checking and savings accounts. All the banks are competitive in rates and in services offered so comparative shopping is important. There is no need to have an appointment to open an account but you will probably need to speak to a customer service representative. When opening an account, most banks require two forms of identification, such as your Colby ID card and a passport and driver’s license.
In general, banks vary in their hours of operation but most are open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 4:30 pm with slightly longer hours for those institutions with drive-through facilities.
Yes, there is a Bank of America ATM in Cotter Union. Individuals with a Bank of America account may use the ATM without a service fee. If you bank elsewhere, you may still use the ATM but you will be charged a small service fee.
In addition to providing identification, you will use your ColbyCard to gain access to residence halls and dining halls, check books out of the libraries, do laundry, buy postage, make photocopies, and make purchases at the Joseph Family Spa, Cotter Union Post Office, Bookstore, Library, and Health Center. Your ColbyCard essentially works as your personal campus debit card; once you add money to your secure card account, you can use your ColbyCard to make purchases wherever it is accepted on campus.
There are several ways to add cash to your ColbyCard account:
- ON CAMPUS—Visit one of our two Cash Management Centers (located in Cotter Union next to student post office or in Miller Library next to the circulation desk).
- INTERNET—Anyone may add cash to a student’s account with a debit or MasterCard or Visa credit card as long as they know the first and last name of the student (exactly as it appears in the ColbyCard system) and the student’s ID number. Click here to add cash to a ColbyCard online.
- BY CHECK—You may drop off a check to the card office and we’ll apply those funds to your card account
- STUDENT ACCOUNT TRANSFER—If you have a credit on your student account, you may request that all or a portion of those funds be transferred to your ColbyCard account without waiting for a check reimbursement to be processed.
NOTE: First year student card accounts will be available to accept deposits in mid-August.
In the event that your card is lost or damaged, please contact the card office ASAP (the card office is located in the Lovejoy building, room 118 and is open Monday through Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm). You can email or call the card office to report your lost card and order a replacement (click here to order a card). In most cases, cards ordered by 11am will be ready at noon and orders placed after 11am will be ready by 4pm. There is a fee of $20 to replace lost or damaged cards. Cards that fail for no apparent reason or are excessively worn are replaced at no charge.
Your may also deactivate or freeze your card at the card office online 24/7. If you are able to find your card, you can return to the online card office to unfreeze your card (reactivate your card) as long as that card is the current card you had been using. It is also possible to obtain a temporary card that will allow you limited residence hall access and access to the dining halls. These cards will only be valid for 72 hours. There is a $10 deposit required for a temporary card. Temporary cards are available from the ColbyCard office (M-F 8:30-4:30) or the Security Office (24/7).
Financial Aid Information
Students must reapply for financial aid each year so that annual aid offers reflect families’ most current financial circumstances. Applications are reviewed only when all requested documents and information have been received by Student Financial Services. It is strongly recommended that students and parents complete information together whenever possible beginning with federal tax returns, then completing the FAFSA and CSS Profile. Instructions to reapply for financial aid can be found here.
US citizens: As with returning US students who apply for financial aid, we ask that you complete your federal income taxes, then complete the CSS Profile Form as well as the FAFSA. Students who do not complete a financial aid application prior to admission will not be considered for College grant assistance for two award years.
All application materials are due April 30th in advance of the upcoming academic year. Required tax returns and income documentation relates to two tax years prior to the beginning of the school year. Though the government may allow tax filing extensions, it does not mean Colby can allow the same extension to apply for Colby financial aid.
(Ex. for the academic year 2023-2024, Financial Aid Application Deadline: April 30, 2023; Income Documentation: Year Ended December 31, 2021). Click here for more information on applying for financial aid.
Financial Aid Renewal Applications are reviewed in the order in which the application becomes complete. Students are notified via their Colby email when their Statement of Financial Aid is ready to be viewed online. Historically, files are reviewed approximately 2-3 months after the application has been completed. Students can check the status of their application here in order to see if any documents are missing from the application.
If a family wishes to request a review of Colby’s analysis due to a substantial change in their financial situation, they should call 1-800-723-4033 or email [email protected] to obtain the proper form and instructions. Student Financial Services focuses on initial awards through the month of July to ensure that families who have completed their Renewal Application in a timely manner will receive awards before the start of the school year. Attention is gradually shifted to requests for review in the month of August. We appreciate your patience as we strive to give each application a thorough analysis but if the review has not been completed, it is asked that the family pay at least one-half of the previous year’s family contribution before the first day of classes.
Aid funds (all grants and loans) will be finalized (credited to the semester’s charges) no earlier than 10 days prior to the first day of classes for the fall and spring term. Federal Stafford Loans do not appear as pending on the Student Account Statement until the student has completed a loan request form confirming his/her decision to borrow.
Outside scholarships are a great way to reduce the cost of attendance after Colby has awarded the need-based federal and institutional grants for which you may be eligible. There are many websites available to assist you in your search; it is advised that you do not spend money on scholarship search services as they are often not reputable and you can normally find the information yourself for free. Our new scholarship page provides many links to search services in addition to particular scholarships.
For those students living off-campus in non-Colby housing. Your financial aid will be based on an estimated budget using tuition cost, books and personal expenses. Since the cost of living off-campus varies for each student depending on their living arrangements and spending habits, the college will use a standard estimate for room and board for everyone.
Students who are approved to live off-campus will be billed a reduced fall and spring comprehensive fee and will receive 100 meal swipes per semester. Students whose financial aid exceeds their billed charges may receive a refund equal to the over payment after the start of each semester.
For the majority of Jan Plan courses on campus, there is no additional charge beyond the comprehensive fee for the school year. There are a few courses on campus that charge a fee for supplies or special instruction, such as pottery, woodworking, blacksmithing, and the EMT course. Furthermore, there are some off-campus Jan Plan courses taught by various departments that charge a more significant fee in order to cover travel and lodging during the trip. Unfortunately, there is no extra financial aid to cover these courses as they are seen as optional. In some cases, the departments might have limited funding of their own to offer students and therefore it is always a good idea to check with the trip leader about financial assistance. In short, there is no financial aid available at this time to cover the costs of January courses with an extra fee.
Finances While Studying Away
Yes, it is completely possible; financial aid status should not affect your choice to study abroad. Financial aid is portable to both Colby and (approved) non-Colby programs as long as a student’s plans have been approved by the Off-Campus Study office. In any of these courses of study, a student’s aid is based on the actual cost of the program up to a maximum of Colby’s student expense budget. The evaluation of the aid application includes consideration of necessary personal and travel expenses, and currency exchange rates. More information about financial aid while studying abroad can be found here.
Since program fees are billed by the host institution, they are paid by your family and not Colby. There are two important financial aid forms to be filled out for approved non-Colby programs: the Study Away Budget Statement and Agreement (required of all financial aid applicants, even if the only aid is in the form of loans), which is essentially a budget form to be completed by your program, and the Disbursement of Aid Funds Form, which directs the aid funds to a parent who may then pay your program. Another important note on payment for approved non-Colby study away programs is that an Off-Campus Study Fee of $1500 per semester will be charged by Colby and is due according to the College’s normal billing schedule (The $1,500 Off-Campus Study Fee is considered part of the budget when determining aid eligibility). Click here to access the current Study Away Budget Statement and Agreement.
First year students can borrow a maximum of $5500 (maximum $3500 subsidized); sophomores can borrow $6500 (maximum $4500 subsidized); juniors can borrow $7500 (maximum $5500 subsidized); and seniors can borrow $7500 (maximum $5500 subsidized). These amounts reflect the annual maximum loan amounts for dependent students. Some individuals won’t be eligible to borrow the full amounts based on information provided on their FAFSA and Colby aid application. Students will be notified of their eligibility on their Statement of Financial Aid (award letter).
A subsidized loan does not accrue interest while the student is enrolled at least half-time. Eligibility is based upon need as determined by the federal formula. Repayment begins six months after the student is no longer enrolled.
An unsubsidized Stafford loan is not based upon need and interest does accrue while the student is enrolled; however, interest can be capitalized (not paid but added to the loan amount) while the student is enrolled at least half time. Repayment begins six months after the student is no longer enrolled.
For a summary report of your federal student loans, click here to view the type of federal loan(s), the date posted(s), and disbursed amount(s).
A PLUS loan is a federal Parental Loan for Undergraduate Students. A FAFSA must be completed in order for a parent to borrow a PLUS loan. A parent can borrow a PLUS loan for an amount up to the full cost of attendance less any financial aid including student loans. The student and parent must be US citizens or eligible noncitizens, must not be in default on any federal education loans, or owe an overpayment on any federal grant. The parent borrower also must not have an adverse credit history. Lastly, when borrowing from the Federal Direct Loan Program (FDLP) for the first time, a parent must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN).
More information about Federal PLUS Loans can be found here.
You can update your address and other biographical data by logging in to the myColby Academic student portal. You can also notify Student Financial Services directly of any address changes by emailing ([email protected]), calling (1-800-723-4033), or via mail. If you are employed on campus, be sure to update this information in your Workday profile as well.
Yes. On an annual basis, Colby requires all students, including students participating in Colby billed programs such as Colby at Bigelow Laboratory, Colby in Dijon, and Colby in Salamanca, to certify proof of health insurance coverage. In furtherance of the College’s 100% health insurance coverage mandate, Colby has a Health Insurance plan for students, which is serviced by Cross Benefit Solutions. This Colby Health Insurance plan will be billed to students by default. The acceptance of the Colby Health insurance plan or the choice to waive the plan must be registered via the Health Insurance Registration Form by August 1st.
Colby has a student health insurance plan administered by Wellfleet Group and serviced by Cross Benefit Solutions, 150 Mill Street, Suite 4, Lewiston, ME 04240. Click here to review frequently asked questions, summary of benefits and coverage, and list of exclusions and limitations.
If you need health care beyond what the Health Center offers or during times it is closed, there are plenty of services available in Waterville. There are two hospitals located in Waterville—MaineGeneral Hospital and Inland Hospital—and both have emergency departments if necessary. Also, in the past, students have sought dental care in Waterville from businesses such as Main Street Dental and Aspen Dental, both of which have been very accommodating to Colby students. Although the Health Center does have a limited quantity of commonly prescribed medications available for purchase at the nurse’s desk, you may need to go off-campus to obtain a prescription. If the prescription medication that you need is not available at the Garrison-Foster Health Center, you can purchase it at one of Waterville’s local pharmacies such as CVS, Walgreens, and Wal-Mart.