Applying to Colby

Which applications does Colby accept?

Colby accepts the Common Application, Coalition Application, or QuestBridge Application.

What are the rounds of admissions and consequent deadlines?

Roundadmissions deadlinefinancial aid deadlineoptional and supporting materials duedecisions released
Early Decision INov. 15Nov. 15Nov. 22On or before Dec. 15
Spring TransferNov. 1Nov. 15Nov. 1On or before Dec. 15
Early Decision IIJan. 3Jan. 17Jan. 17On or before Feb. 15
Regular DecisionJan. 3Jan. 17Jan. 17On or before April 1
Fall TransferApril 1April 1April 15On or before May 15

Besides the application, what else is required to apply for admission?

We require your high school transcript, a completed secondary school report from a school official, one counselor recommendation, and two teacher recommendations. We require standardized test score results or official notice that you do not wish to submit standardized test scores. Should you choose to submit test scores, you may self report them.

For Early Decision applicants only, we require the Early Decision Agreement form.

If English is neither your first language nor your current language of instruction we require a score report of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), TOEFL Home Edition, International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or Duolingo English Test (DET). We will accept the conversation aspect of the new TOEFL iTP as an optional submission. You may self-report your scores when applying to Colby, either by reporting them on your application or sending a pdf copy of your score report to [email protected]. As of August 1, 2019 we will super score the TOEFL and accept MyBest score.

You may share with us the results from any AP, IB, or A-level exams you have taken.

For more detailed information about our admissions requirements, please visit our requirements page.

Does Colby offer interviews?

Colby does not offer interviews as a part of the application process.

Is Colby test-optional?

Yes, Colby is a test-optional institution. Students may choose whether to submit standardized test scores with their application for admission. You may email [email protected] to notify us that you do not wish to submit standardized test scores, or submit the Standardized Test Score Update form in your Colby admissions portal.

What are the median test scores for Colby’s admitted class?

Whether or not you submit standardized test scores with your application to Colby is completely up to you.

Of applicants who submitted testing and were offered admittance to the Class of 2025, the median SAT score was 1520 and the median ACT score was 34.

Does Colby superscore exams?

We superscore all exams, including the ACT, and will accept and include the individual section retest results as part of the superscore.

Can I submit any additional materials?

Applicants may elect to submit additional letters of recommendation and/or art supplements. Please visit our Arts Supplement page to learn more.

How do I apply for Colby’s scholar programs?

Colby has three scholar programs: Presidential Scholars, Bunche Scholars, and Pulver Science Scholars. All first-year applicants are considered for all three scholar programs. Selected students are notified of their nomination with their application decision.

Applying for Financial Aid

What is your financial aid policy?

Colby meets 100 percent of demonstrated financial need for all admitted students without including loans in financial aid packages. Please visit Cost and Aid to learn more about the Colby Commitment.

What is Colby’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) code number?

Colby’s FAFSA code number is 002039.

What is Colby’s College Board CSS Profile code number?

Colby’s CSS code number is 3280.

Please note: if your parents are divorced, separated, or never married, please submit the Non-Custodial Profile or the Non-Custodial Parent Waiver Form.

Does Colby offer merit scholarships?

At Colby, eligibility for financial aid is based solely on your family’s financial circumstances; merit scholarships (based on academic achievement, athletic, or other talents) are not available from the College.

Do I need to reapply for financial aid each year?

Yes. Colby is committed to meeting 100 percent of demonstrated need without packaging student loans for each year of attendance up to four years of full-time enrollment. Students must re-apply for financial aid each year to ensure annual aid packages reflect the family’s current financial circumstances. Financial aid can increase or decrease depending on changes to the family’s financial circumstances. The deadline for returning students to apply for financial aid is April 30. Applications are reviewed when all required documents and information have been received by Student Financial Services.

Is Colby need blind or need aware?

Colby is need aware.

What costs are not included in the cost of attendance in my financial aid package?

Colby requires that all students studying on campus or a Colby program have adequate health insurance. Completion of the insurance enrollment/waiver form is required annually. If a student is not covered by an insurance plan that meets or exceeds College requirements, and has family income less than $75,000, financial assistance will be provided to cover the cost of the billed insurance plan. (The premium for 2024-2025 was $2,493).

Is an estimated cost of books included in my financial aid package?

An estimate for books is included in the cost of attendance that is used to calculate your aid package; however, the cost is not billed directly to your student account. As with travel to campus, students must purchase books separately as an out-of-pocket expense.

Does having more than one child enrolled full time in college impact a financial aid package?

Yes. Your family contribution reflects the number of children enrolled full time in college. Your financial aid package will be adjusted if the enrollment status of your sibling(s) changes due to graduation, transfer, withdrawal, or other events.

How does work-study factor into my financial aid package?

Eligibility for work-study may be included as an option to help pay the total cost of attendance and other personal expenses. Students who choose to work throughout the academic year are paid bi-weekly for hours worked. It is important to keep in mind that the work-study eligibility is earned over time if the student chooses to secure a campus job and that the family contribution does not include the work-study eligibility amount. It may appear that the amount due on the student account statement is more than the family contribution if the work-study wages are not used to offset billed charges.

May I request a review of my financial aid application if my family’s financial situation has changed?

Yes. If there has been a substantial, unexpected change in your family’s financial situation, we will review your financial aid application upon receipt of documentation verifying the change. Examples of situations that may lead to a financial aid review include an increase in out-of-pocket medical expenses other than insurance premiums, a significant decrease in total income due to a non-elective change in employment, or the death of a primary wage earner. Financial aid reviews are performed at the discretion of the College depending upon the timing of the change. The change may affect future financial aid packages and not the current semester.

How do outside scholarships impact my financial aid?

Outside scholarships are used to reduce the student’s expected contribution and work-study eligibility. If additional scholarship funds are available after reducing the student’s expected contribution and work-study eligibility, there will be a reduction in the family contribution to the extent that the adjustment does not result in a negative number. Outside scholarships are common resources for entering students. However, many scholarships are not renewable for the sophomore through senior years; a family may see their contribution increase for the sophomore year simply because these outside resources are not available. Students are encouraged to proactively seek new outside scholarship opportunities to replace those outside funds that do not renew.

Early Decision

What is the difference between Early Decision I and II?

The only difference is timing. Early Decision I requires that you have identified your first-choice college at an earlier point in your senior year. The application deadline for EDI is November 15, while the application deadline for EDII is January 3. The admissions process is the same regardless of which ED round students apply in.

What are the advantages of applying Early Decision?

Early Decision is a clear statement that Colby is your first-choice college. Applying ED allows those students who are admitted Early Decision to finalize their college enrollment plans much earlier in the year. And for EDI specifically (with an application deadline of November 15), students who apply and are admitted typically have not invested time completing other applications for college admission.

Are there any disadvantages to applying Early Decision?

Many students do not have a clear first-choice college, and in that case, they should not apply Early Decision. College preferences may change over the course of senior year.

What is the difference between Early Decision and Early Action?

Early Action allows a student to apply and learn a decision early, but does not require a commitment to enroll until May 1. Colby does not offer the Early Action option.

May I convert my application from Regular Decision to Early Decision after these deadlines?

Yes, if you have filed your application prior to the deadlines of November 15 or January 3, you can convert your application to Early Decision by submitting a signed Early Decision Agreement prior to December 1, in the case of ED I, or by January 30 at 5 p.m. EST, in the case of ED II.

How do I apply Early Decision using the Common Application?

Early Decision candidates are required to submit the Common Application Early Decision Agreement. You should also indicate on the Colby Common Application Supplement which deadline you are applying under, and request that your counselor send your first term senior grades with your transcript.

Do I have to withdraw my other college applications if I am admitted Early Decision to Colby?

Yes. In order to abide by the Early Decision Agreement, and in fairness to other colleges and other applicants, you must withdraw all other applications immediately, and you may not initiate any new applications.

What happens to my application if I am not admitted Early Decision?

In some cases, students are notified that their applications will be reviewed again in March along with Regular Decision applications. Students may submit additional application materials to update their files, and they are notified of their final admissions decision by early April. In other cases, students are notified after applying in the Early Decision round that they will not be offered admission to Colby. We believe that being forthright with this news gives students who are not admitted sufficient time to explore other colleges.

If I apply Early Decision and am not admitted, can I apply Regular Decision?

No. The Office of Admissions will inform you if your application will be reconsidered in the Regular Decision process.

May I apply for financial aid if I am applying Early Decision?

Yes. Many students who are admitted Early Decision apply for financial aid and your financial aid package will be reviewed the same regardless of whether you are admitted Early Decision or Regular Decision. To apply, you must complete the FAFSA and CSS Profile.

When will I hear about financial aid?

Your estimated aid offer will accompany your admissions decision, provided that all required documentation arrived at Colby on time. This estimate of financial assistance will be finalized after we have reviewed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and other required documents.

What if the estimated offer of financial aid is not enough to enable me to enroll at Colby?

Colby remains committed to meeting the full financial aid eligibility of every student we admit. If we offer you admission, we certainly want you to enroll here. The first thing you should do is contact our office and request a review of your aid eligibility. In some cases, we may not be able to revise your aid package, but we do want the opportunity to understand your financial circumstances and to help you and your family find a way to meet college costs.

When must I take the required standardized tests if I am applying Early Decision?

Colby is a test-optional institution. Students may choose whether to submit standardized test scores with their application for admission. You may email [email protected] to notify us that you do not wish to submit standardized test scores. If you elect to submit standardized test scores, you should take all tests by November 15 for Early Decision I and by January 2 for Early Decision II.


What does being placed on the waitlist mean?

If you received a waitlist decision, we believe you have the potential to succeed at Colby. However, due to the competitive nature of the applicant pool and our need to carefully manage the number of students enrolling, we are unable to admit all qualified candidates. It is our intention to admit students from the waitlist provided we have space available in the class.

How many students are typically on the waitlist?

Based on recent years, we expect approximately 1,000 students will choose to remain on the waitlist.

Is the waitlist ranked?

No. If space becomes available in the class, we will evaluate each student based on the overall strength of their application and their wish to remain active on the waitlist.

What is the likelihood of being admitted from the waitlist?

It is very difficult to predict. Our ability to make offers depends on the number of admitted students who enroll, which varies from year to year.

What other materials should I submit?

In addition to submitting the Waitlist Response Form by May 1, we encourage you to send us an email emphasizing your interest in Colby. You may also send updated grades or new information about academic or extracurricular accomplishments to [email protected].

Is it worthwhile to come to campus for an individual meeting with a student or staff member?

Individual meetings are not offered to waitlisted candidates. It is up to the discretion of the waitlisted student as to whether they want to visit campus.

If I am admitted from the waitlist, will housing or course selection be affected?

No. Being admitted from the waitlist will not affect your housing assignment or course selections.

If I am admitted from the waitlist, am I still eligible for financial aid?

Any student who is admitted from the waitlist and qualifies for need-based aid will receive a financial aid package that meets 100 percent of their demonstrated need without student loans. If your financial circumstances have changed since you initially applied and you no longer require financial aid, you are encouraged to send an update to [email protected].

When will I hear whether I am admitted from the waitlist?

Should there be room for us to admit additional students for the fall semester on campus or to the Global Entry Semester programs, we will notify students as soon as possible. If you have to reserve your place at another institution by May 1, you should do so since an offer of admission to Colby from the waitlist may not happen until after that date. If you are admitted from our waitlist and choose to enroll, you will forfeit your deposit at the other college.

If I am offered admission from the waitlist, may I defer my enrollment?

When we offer admission to students on the waitlist, we do so to fill available spaces in the incoming class. As a result, we do not typically honor requests for deferrals from students admitted from the waitlist.


Is Colby open for visits?

In-person campus tours are offered four days per week. In indoor spaces, masking is encouraged. Please see our visit page for the most up-to-date information. Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected].

How can I inform Colby of the disruptions I’ve endured as a result of the pandemic?

We recognize students’ applications may look different than they have in the past and we remain committed to ensuring that the most talented students from all backgrounds have access to the best possible education as part of our holistic review. Colby strives to consider every extenuating circumstance in our holistic application review process. If you are an applicant who has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic or by any associated school closures, standardized test cancellations, and/or cancellations of activities, please don’t hesitate to update us with any relevant information at [email protected].

How has the evaluation process changed?

Though students’ college applications will likely look different than they have in the past, Colby remains committed to ensuring the most talented students from all backgrounds have access to the best possible education as part of our holistic review.