Frequently Asked Questions
How can I make a payment on my student account?
There are three key methods available to make payments on your student account, including electronic (ACH) payments, by mail, or in person at the Office of Student Financial Services. It is not possible to pay your student account with a credit or debit card. Further details on the various payment methods can be found here.
Why can’t my parents view my student account statement?
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.
When are payments due?
For the 2019/20 academic year, the payment for fall semester is due August 1st, 2019 and January 1st, 2020 for the spring semester.
What happens if I don’t pay on time?
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).
What can I do if I have a credit (overpayment) on my student account?
If, after all financial aid has been finalized and semester charges are paid in full, you find that you have a credit or overpayment 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 overpayment can be applied to anticipated charges for another semester. It is best to stop by our office on the ground floor of Garrison-Foster to request a student account refund though via email can also work. Please note: if the credit balance/overpayment is due to a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan, refund will be issued payable to the parent borrower.
Does Colby offer a payment plan
Colby College partners with Cashnet, a Blackboard Company to offer two payment plan options for the 2019-2020 academic year. Students who plan on attending can select a 4 month plan for either fall or spring.
- Enrollment for the 4 month plan for Fall 2019 begins on May 1, 2019 and ends on July 31, 2019, with first and final payment dates of June 1, 2019, and September 1, 2019, respectively.
- Enrollment for the 4 month plan for Spring 2020 begins on October 1, 2019 and ends on December 15, 2019, with first and final payment dates of November 1, 2019, and February 1, 2020, respectively.
*Please note, later enrollment may result in catch-up payments to bring the CashNet Contract up to date*
We understand that planning for college has been years in the making and we are committed to helping our students and their families understand the cost and financial impact. Offering these payment plans allows our families to design a more manageable payment option to better suit their own financial needs.
We highly recommend using our new tuition payment calculator to estimate cost, to get started please click here.
To enroll in a new tuition payment plan or for additional information, please visit the Cashnet site at http://commerce.cashnet.com/paymentportal or call their Customer Care Department directly at 1-877-821-0625.
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.
Where can I cash my paychecks?
If you elect not to sign up for direct deposit with the payroll office, you will 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.
Where can I do my banking while I am a student at Colby?
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.
Is there an ATM on campus?
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 (usually $2.00 or so).
What can I use my ColbyCard for?
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.
Where can I go to add money to my ColbyCard?
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 mailboxes 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.
What can I do if I have lost or damaged my ColbyCard?
In the event that your card is lost or damaged, please contact the card office ASAP (the card office is located on the lower level of Garrison-Foster 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
Do I have to reapply for financial aid each year?
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.
What do I need to do if this is my first time applying for aid?
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.
When is the aid application due?
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. Tax returns and income documentation are for the most recent calendar year ended.
(Ex. for the academic year 2019-2020, Financial Aid Application Deadline: April 30, 2019; Income Documentation: Year Ended December 31, 2017). Click here for more information on applying for financial aid.
How soon are applications reviewed?
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.
My family’s financial situation has changed. Can I have my financial aid award reviewed?
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 SFS@colby.edu 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.
My student account statement shows pending aid. When will the aid be finalized?
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.
How can I find out about outside scholarships?
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.
Is there financial aid available for Jan Plan?
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, with fees of about $100 for most courses (with the exception of the EMT course which is upwards of $600). 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
Is it possible to study abroad if I’m on financial aid?
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.
How do I pay for an approved non-Colby study away program?
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 $1000 per semester will be charged by Colby and is due according to the College’s normal billing schedule (The $1,000 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.
How do I take out a federal student loan such as a Stafford?
In order to document your decision to borrow, please complete this form: Federal Loan Request Form.
How much can I borrow through a Stafford loan?
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).
What is the difference between a subsidized and unsubsidized loan?
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.
Where can I see my borrowing history of federal student loans through Colby?
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).
How does my parent apply for a PLUS Loan?
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.
How can I change my address for official College mailings?
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@example.com), calling (1-800-723-4033), or via mail.
What documentation will I need to work on campus?
If you plan to work at Colby at any time, you must complete an I-9 form in person during new student orientation or at the Payroll Office when you are hired. Students are not allowed to work unless all required documents are completed. Please note that there are unplanned opportunities to earn wages on campus, such as working at athletic games. Even these short-term duties require the completion of payroll forms. You must bring official documentation with you to complete the required I-9 form.
Examples of acceptable, commonly-used documents include:
- A Valid U.S. Passport
- A combination of a valid picture ID (State Driver’s license, State ID card, Colby ID) and an official (raised seal) copy of your birth certificate or your original signed Social Security Card
A list of all acceptable documents can be found here.
Other Forms that can be filled out at Colby:
- Federal & State of Maine Form W-4
- Direct Deposit Form (strongly recommended)
Can I have my paycheck direct deposited?
Colby strongly recommends using direct deposit. If you would like your paycheck to be directly deposited into your savings or checking account, please click here to sign up online through your myColby portal. You will need to know the routing/ABA numbers, account number, and type of account (savings or checking) of your financial institution before submitting your request.
If you had direct deposit last year, we will assume that you wish to continue and will be using the same bank that you have used in the past. If you wish to change your banking information, you may return to this same link to update your data, however, we ask that you watch your bank account(s) online to be sure this change occurs.
If you wish to discontinue direct deposit, you must contact the Payroll Office.
Can any student get a job on campus (regardless of whether or not they have work study in their aid package)?
All full-time Colby students may work on campus regardless of whether or not they have been awarded a work study grant. At certain times of the year, job availability can be limited but the student employment office staff is available to give you some direction to help you start your campus job search.
What is federal work study?
Some students receiving financial aid qualify for federal work-study, a federal program that subsidizes term-time jobs. Institutional financial aid administrators at participating institutions have substantial flexibility in determining the amount of work study awards to provide to students who are enrolled or accepted for enrollment. Hourly wages must not be less than the federal minimum wage.
I need help finding a job. Where do I go?
There is ample information on the student employment website that can aid you in finding a job. If you have any further questions, Bill Pottle in the ColbyCard/Student Employment office can assist you.
Student Health Insurance Information
Will I need health insurance while I am a student at Colby?
Yes. On an annual basis, Colby requires all students 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 administered by Cross Insurance. 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.
What is the health insurance offered through Colby?
Commercial Travelers Mutual Insurance Company underwrites the Student Accident and Sickness Insurance Plan. Cross Insurance Agency, which services the college’s insurance plan, specializes in providing high quality affordable student health insurance. The plan offers coverage at a reasonable cost. It supplements the services provided by the on-campus Health Center. Should you have any questions or need more information, please contact Cross Insurance at 1-800-537-6444 and/or visit the website at www.crossagency.com/colby.
What if I need health care not available at the Health Center?
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. First of all, 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, Rite-Aid, and Wal-Mart.