Colby College in Waterville Maine is ranked 24th nationally in liberal arts colleges by the U.S. News college rankings. The Mayflower Hill campus is regarded as one of the most attractive in the nation. Colby is a private, independent college founded in 1813 which welcomes a diverse student body. The college president says that Colby “inspires intellectual, personal, and social growth and accomplishment. Almost everyone who breathes this atmosphere comes away transformed.
The total costs of attending Colby are high at an estimated $53,590 plus travel. However Colby is committed to meeting full financial need of eligible students and states “we don’t want any student not to come to Colby because of concerns about paying off student loans.” With this objective in mind the college has replaced all student loans which previously comprised part of the financial aid package with institutional grants. If family’s wish to they may take out federal loans which can be used to help make up the expected family contribution.
As Colby is committed to financial aid it offers only needs based financial assistance, and there are no merit or athletic scholarships on offer. Demonstrated financial need is determined by the difference between attending Colby College and the calculated family contribution. The college first assesses the FAFSA to determine financial need and then employs the College Scholarship in Service Institutional Methodology to evaluate a family’s actual ability to pay.
The calculated family contribution is comprised of the expected parental contribution, the student’s earnings and benefits, plus a portion of the student’s assets. The expected family contribution is based on income, the size of the family and other children in college. Where students are expected to work as part of their financial aid package they can earn up to $1850 per year, and college freshman are expected to work 10-12 hours a week.
Aid is then comprised of state and federal grants, student employment and Colby college grants. Students are encouraged to apply for outside scholarships. If received these are first used to reduce the students contribution from earnings, and if the scholarship amounts exceed this amount then they can be used to reduce the expected family contribution. The State of Maine offers needs based grants to students who are residents of the state, and students from out of state are encouraged to apply for their own state grants too.
Colby College is one of several highly regarded Colleges to replace the necessity of student loans with grant packages. This makes the choice to study at Colby an affordable option regardless of a student’s family background.