Through the Colby Commitment, we pledge to meet 100 percent of each admitted student’s demonstrated financial need without loans. In recent years, more than 95 percent of families with an income of $200,000 or less have qualified for some form of financial assistance, and families with a total income of less than $75,000 (and assets typical of this income range) will have a parent or guardian contribution of $0. Learn more about financial aid at Colby.

Financial Aid Requirements

Financial Aid Deadlines

Submitted by:Early decision I:Early Decision II:Regular Decision
College Board CSS ProfileNov. 15Jan. 17Jan. 17
FAFSA (required only for U.S. citizens and permanent residents)Nov. 15Jan. 17Jan. 17
2023 U.S. federal income tax returns and W-2 (parents and student; all pages and schedules)Nov. 15Jan. 17Jan. 17

How We Calculate your Family Contribution 

  • We carefully consider every student’s financial aid application for financial assistance. Through specific calculations, we measure your family’s financial strength, and if you’re deemed eligible for aid, your package will be tailored to meet 100 percent of your determined need.
  • Family Contribution is the combination of expected parent contribution, student earnings and benefits, and a portion of student assets as well as other available resources (i.e. gifts from relatives or tuition benefits from a parent’s employer). If parents are separated or divorced, the College may include an expected contribution from the noncustodial parent. Our calculation involves both federal and institutional methodologies and considers a number of factors affecting your family’s ability to contribute to the cost of your education, including:
    • Family financial strength
    • Current-year income (taxable and untaxed)
    • Family size
    • Parents’ or guardians’ ages
    • Emergency and medical expenses
    • Asset strength
    • Number of family members in college and actual cost at each undergraduate institution
  • Total Cost of Attendance – Family Contribution = Aid Eligibility
  • At Colby, eligibility for financial aid is based solely on relative financial strength; merit scholarships (based on academic achievement, athletic or other talents) are not available from the College.
  • Aid recipients must reapply for financial aid each year. Aid may increase or decrease with changes in family circumstances.
  • Students who do not apply for financial aid prior to admission will not be considered for College grant assistance until their junior year, unless their family financial circumstances change unexpectedly.

Please know we anticipate the comprehensive fee will most likely increase 1 to 2 percent above inflation each year. Regardless of this increase we will meet 100% of your demonstrated need without student loans.

Types of Colby Aid 

Colby aid packages contain grants and work-study aid—but not loans. When you get your aid package you may see grants, both institutional and federal, as well as campus employment.

  • Grants: The College awards over $50 million in grant assistance annually. Grants do not have to be repaid and are available from a variety of sources including federal and state governments, other outside agencies, and the College’s own funds. Eligible aid recipients are automatically considered for grants. Federal Grants including Pell Grants and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) are offered to students who submit completed financial aid applications to the College and demonstrate federal grant eligibility.
  • Campus Employment: There are hundreds of student job opportunities available, and we can often match student interest with specific openings across campus. Even if you don’t receive financial aid, you can earn up to $1,800 per year by working on campus. If you do receive aid, you may work up to 12 hours each week and earnings are often used to cover personal expenses.

Scholarship Opportunities

  • National Merit Scholarships: National Merit Scholars will receive an annual recognition award of $2,000, regardless of whether or not they receive financial aid from Colby. If you are a National Merit Scholarship Finalist, report Colby College as your first-choice school to the National Merit Corporation to ensure you receive the award.
  • Yellow Ribbon Program: As a Yellow Ribbon school, Colby seeks to enroll veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces and veterans’ eligible dependents. The Yellow Ribbon Program is an agreement between colleges and universities and the Veterans Administration in which higher education institutions help cover the cost of tuition and fees in excess of the amounts payable under the Post – 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. First-year students receiving Veterans Administration benefits should refer to their Colby Memorandum of Understanding for information regarding major declaration.

Financing Options 

Colby’s financial aid packages are designed to meet 100 percent of demonstrated financial need with grants and employment. There are families, however, who choose to borrow for out-of-pocket (family contribution) costs or who wish to spread out payments over a period of time. We understand planning for college has been years in the making, and we are committed to helping students design a payment option that best suits their family’s financial situation.

  • Supplementing with Outside Scholarships: There are thousands of outside scholarship opportunities available, and we encourage you to apply for as many as you can. Check with your college counselor for local scholarships and online for national scholarships for which you may be eligible.
  • Supplementing with Federal Loans: Students and parents may choose to borrow money through federal loan programs to cover education expenses. A number of loan choices are available, including Direct Loans (subsidized, unsubsidized, and PLUS).
  • Supplementing with Private Loans: Private loans are available from lenders across the country. These loans allow parents to spread payments of college costs over 10 or more years. Colby does not have a preferred vender list. Interest rates and repayment terms vary.
  • College Payment Plan: Colby offers two semester-based payment plans: a Fall 4-month payment plan and a Spring 4-month payment plan. For more information, visit Payment Plan Options.

Prospective students may review publicly available information about Colby on the College’s consumer information webpage.