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Overall Score: 74.05

Colby College

Waterville, ME
Founded in 1813, Colby is one of the oldest private colleges in the U.S. and prides itself on the opportunities it provides for undergraduate research. Each January, students complete a "Jan Plan," an exploratory term that allows them to focus on a single subject or experience. That can mean anything from learning the art of fly fishing in California to studying West African music and performing live. While students are only required to complete three Jan Plans, often students will elect to complete a fourth term because the experience is so enjoyable. On campus, Colby's 2,000 undergraduates praise the close relationships they're able to form with professors, some of whom even invite students over for home-cooked dinners. Academically, the top fields of study are economics, natural resources conservation and research, and political science. The campus has an idyllic, New England feel, with an on-campus arboretum and nature trails. But its location in central Maine is a bit off the beaten path, with the nearest large city, Portland, some 90 minutes to the south. While the total cost of tuition, room, board and activities is nearly $80,000 a year, the average annual cost is brought down under $20,000 through grants and scholarships; lower-income students can expect to have nearly 100% of their costs covered.


Est. full price 2022-2023
% of students who get any grants
Est. price for students who receive aid
Average price for low-income students


Acceptance rate
Median SAT/ACT score
SAT/ACT required?
Undergraduate enrollment

Financial Aid

% of students with need who get grants
% of need met
% of students who get merit grants
Average merit grant

Student Success

Graduation rate
Average time to a degree
4 years
Median student debt
Early career earnings
% earning more than a high school grad

Notes: Students who get merit grants are full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants. Graduation rate measures degree completion within six years for both transfer students and first-time students. Early career earnings are the median earnings for both graduates and non-completers, 10 years after they first enrolled.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson’s, Money/Witlytic calculations.

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