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An Overview of Colby College

This article was written based on the information and opinions presented by Abigail St. Johns in a CollegeVine livestream. You can watch the full livestream for more info.

 

What’s Covered:

 

 

Location and Application Process

 

Colby College is a small liberal arts institution in Waterville, Maine. If you imagine Maine as the shape of a hand, Colby is right in the center of the hand, which means that Colby students have access to all the wonderful resources that Maine has to offer. Colby has approximately 2,000 students, and they are guaranteed on-campus housing during their four years at Colby.

 

Colby College meets 100% of demonstrated financial needs of every student without packaging any loans and does not have any application fees. Additionally, Colby requires no extra essays or supplementals, is test-optional, and accepts the Common, Coalition, or QuestBridge applications.

 

Academics at Colby College

 

Colby College prides itself on pioneering the 4-1-4 academic calendar, where students take four classes in the fall, pursue one intensive academic or career experience during January, and then they take four classes again in the spring.

 

The intensive academic or career experience in January is referred to as “Jan Plan,” and is a great opportunity for students to pursue a class that satisfies a major requirement or try something completely new that they’ve never had the chance to try before, such as blacksmithing or carpentry. Other students spend their Jan Plan time studying abroad, pursuing internships, or other career-based opportunities.

 

Colby offers 56 majors and 35 minors as well as the option to design your own major. Despite Colby’s small size, it offers an expansive academic curriculum with the goal of preparing all Colby students to solve some of the world’s most complex problems.

 

Colby is also home to several institutes, such as the Davis Institute for Artificial Intelligence, which is the first cross-disciplinary institute for AI at any liberal arts institution. The Davis Institute currently offers a suite of 20 different courses across the academic spectrum that are helping Colby students find and integrate AI with global ethical implementations.

 

Study Abroad and Career Opportunities at Colby College

 

At Colby, students can study at Mayflower Hill, where Colby’s main campus is located, as well as have a global experience. The Office of Off-Campus Study helps students explore more than 200 different programs in 70 different countries to have a global experience or study abroad opportunity, whether it’s for a semester, a year, a summer, or during Jan Plan.

 

In addition to the services offered by the Office of Off-Campus Study, students at Colby are also provided extensive career services through the Career Office. This office guarantees a career experience, global experience, and research experience for every Colby student regardless of personal networks or financial circumstances. 

 

The DavisConnects program also supports students by pairing them from the moment they set foot on campus with an advisor to mentor them and help them find opportunities related to their area of interest during their time at Colby.

 

Colby’s Museum of Art

 

As a liberal arts college, Colby has a variety of unique spaces available to students, including the Colby Museum of Art. This museum is utilized by more than 100 classes across the curriculum each year, such as Jewish history courses, which bring students to the museum to examine the differences in paint and paper quality in World War II-era paintings, or meteorology courses that have brought students to the museum to explore weather patterns in paintings. 

 

Overall, the Colby Museum of Art is a dynamic teaching center that is utilized by students, staff, and community members of the surrounding areas within the state of Maine. In addition to the museum, Colby’s Lunder Institute for American Art brings top American art scholars to campus to engage in discussion.

 

Athletics at Colby

 

Colby College is home to a new athletics facility that opened in 2020. The space is a $200 million, 360,000 square-foot state-of-the-art facility that features a new set of indoor squash courts, a basketball court, ice hockey rink, four full-sized tennis courts, and a 200-meter indoor track. Additionally, it also features the only Olympic-sized Myrtha pool in the Northeast. 

 

The facility is an incredible competition space for Colby’s 32 varsity athletic and 20 club sports teams. It is also a space that supports a healthy and active lifestyle for the entire Colby community as every Colby student can use the facility and its associated mindfulness and meditation rooms, dance studios, and multilevel fitness center.

 

Bill & Joan Alfond Main Street Commons

 

This Bill & Joan Alfond Main Street Commons is an important space for Colby College, but it’s not actually located on campus. It is located on Main Street in downtown Waterville. The commons serves as a living-learning community for upperclassmen with a focus on giving back to the local community in some form. 

 

Some students living in the commons participate in Colby Cares About Kids, a mentorship program for students in the Waterville area, which is Colby College’s largest student club with more than a quarter of the student body participating. Other students volunteer with the Office of Civic Engagement, which is also housed in the Bill & Joan Alfond Main Street Commons and works on other projects of meaning within the community.


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