Applying for Financial Aid (application process for returning/currently enrolled students)
Students must re-apply for financial aid each year so that annual aid offers reflect families’ more current financial circumstances. Our financial aid packages meet 100 percent of your demonstrated financial need, making this education available to students from every background. Financial aid eligibility is most commonly affected by changes in total income, the number of siblings enrolled in college, and changes in college costs. Students who do not complete an aid application for Colby institutional aid prior to admission will not be considered for College grant assistance for two award years, unless there have been substantial changes to family financial circumstances which were unexpected and unavoidable. This would not include changes which should have been anticipated such as an additional child enrolled in college, nor does it include employment changes which were discretionary choices. A written explanation of the change is required as part of the application. This two-year waiting period applies to Colby institutional financial aid only. Students who are eligible and wish to apply for U.S. federal financial aid can do so each year whether or not they did so prior to admission. Please call SFS at 1-800-723-4033 if you have any questions.
Applying for Colby Institutional Financial Aid
The table below lists the standard forms and documents required in order to apply for Colby institutional financial aid. Additional information may be requested when reviewing the application. All application materials are due April 30th in advance of the upcoming academic 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. In correspondence with the FAFSA and CSS Profile, required tax return and income documentation relates to two tax years prior to the beginning of the school year.
(Ex. for the academic year 2023-2024, Financial Aid Application Deadline: April 30, 2023; Income Documentation: Year Ended December 31, 2021)
|U.S. Citizens or U.S. Federal Aid Eligible Non-Citizens||Canadian Students||International Students|
|CSS Profile||CSS Profile||CSS International Student Aid Application|
|Parents’ Federal Income Tax Return and W-2s||Parents’ Canadian Tax Return and T-4s||Parents’ Tax Return or Wage Statements|
|Student’s Federal Income Tax Return and W-2s||Student’s Canadian Tax Return and T-4s||Student’s U.S.1040 NR-EZ, 1042-S, W-2s|
*Students who may be eligible for state grant must submit the FAFSA by the state deadline which may be earlier than Colby’s April 30th deadline. Colby does not replace grants and scholarships that a student doesn’t receive due to late application. Deadlines are available on the FAFSA website.
Tax returns and other required documents can be uploaded securely HERE indicating the student’s Colby ID number and type of document submitted.
Applying for U.S. Federal Financial Aid
U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens who are eligible and wish to apply for federal financial aid (Pell Grant, SEOG, Stafford Loan, Perkins Loan, Federal Work-Study, PLUS Loan), must complete the FAFSA which is free on the FAFSA website. Please don’t go to other sites requiring payment or pay someone to complete the FAFSA for you. The U.S. Department of Education strongly recommends students and their families use FAFSA on the web as this is the easiest and most accurate way to apply. You will be guided through the form, helping to ensure that it is completed accurately. If applying for Colby institutional financial aid, the FAFSA must be completed by the April 30th deadline mentioned above. If applying for only federal financial aid, the FAFSA may be completed throughout the academic year while the student is enrolled, and federal aid will be processed according to program regulations and deadlines. Students not applying for institutional financial aid are still encouraged to complete the FAFSA by April 30th so their federal aid eligibility can be determined and in place before the academic year begins.
When students submit a FAFSA, the Central Processing System selects some applications to be verified. There have been significant changes to verification requirements in recent years. Students are reminded to monitor their Colby e-mail account regularly as that is the official means of communication employed by our office to contact students. Students selected for federal verification will receive an e-mail from our office with instructions if additional information is required . This can vary from student to student. Please click here for answers to frequently asked questions regarding this process.
Federal Loan Information
Please click on the links below for information regarding federal loans for the student or parent.
Review of the Aid Application and Award Notification
Applications are reviewed in the order in which the application becomes complete. Historically, files are reviewed approximately 2-3 months after the application is completed. When the aid eligibility has been calculated, students may view their ‘Financial Aid Award’ under the ‘Finances’ tab of their myColby Portal. Applications not complete by the deadline, may be subject to an institutional grant reduction of up to $2,000; this is true even if the student doesn’t plan to enroll until the spring semester.
Request for Review Due to Substantial Changes in the Family’s Financial Situation
If a family wishes to request a review of our analysis due to a substantial change in their financial situation, they should call 1-800-723-4033 or e-mail [email protected] to obtain the proper form and instructions. Student Financial Services focuses on initial awards through the month of August to ensure families who have completed their application timely will receive awards before the start of the school year. We gradually shift our attention to requests for review in September. We appreciate your patience as we strive to give each application a thorough analysis. If the review has not been completed, we ask the family to pay at least one-half of the previous year’s family contribution before the first day of classes.
Financial Aid and the Student Account
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 will not appear pending on the Student Account Statement until the student has completed the Federal Loan Request Form confirming his/her decision to borrow.
For Information about Financial Aid or Student Loan Scams, click here.
Borrower Self-Certification Form for Private Loans
In accordance with Section 155 of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, (HEA) and to satisfy the requirements of Section 128(e)(3) of the Truth in Lending Act, a lender must obtain a self-certification signed by the applicant before disbursing a private educational loan. The school is required on request to provide this form or the required information only for students admitted or enrolled at school. Should you need information for Section 2 of the form, please contact [email protected] for assistance.