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Colby College is a private college in Maine that went through a number of name changes over the years. Founded by a group of Baptists in 1813, it originally opened as the Maine Literacy and Theological Institution. Citizens of the surrounding town came together to donate the land where the college now sits. Just a few years after opening, it eliminated its theological studies programs and became a private college for men. Following the Civil War, the college struggled as its enrollment dropped and it raised less money, which led to the college admitting its first group of female students. Though it served as Colby University for more than three decades in the 1900s, it settled on the name Colby College at the turn of the century.

The college now offers more than 50 majors for undergrads and follows a unique semester schedule. Though it offers both a traditional fall/winter term and a second term in the spring, it also allows students to enroll in a January term. The January term runs for just a few weeks and allows students to study at an accelerated pace. In addition to the programs available on its campus, students can also study abroad during the January term. U.S. News & World Report ranked Colby as one of the top 20 liberal arts colleges in the country, and Washington Monthly included the college on its list of the best liberal arts schools too. Forbes ranked Colby as the nation's 41st best college. The college also ranks highly for its residence halls and for offering students an Ivy League education at a lower price.

Colby College Accreditation Details

Colby College has regional accreditation, which is important for those who want to continue their studies. As it has accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), you shouldn't have a problem transferring any credits you earned to another college. You can also apply for financial aid when you submit the FAFSA before enrolling. NEASC is one of several organizations that requires colleges renew their accreditation as well, which helps you rest assured that it will have accreditation when you start classes and when you graduate.

Colby College Application Requirements

Though thousands of students apply to Colby College every year, the college admits just 500, which gives it an acceptance rate of less than 20%. It looks for students of all backgrounds and interests and weights various parts of your application to determine if you are a good fit. To apply for early decision, you must submit the application and all documents by the middle of November, but all other students must complete their applications by January 1. The college informs early decision students within a few weeks, and all other students will receive a response by April 1.

Whether you opt for early or traditional decision, you must supply Colby College with an official high school transcript that shows you follow a college prep curriculum. The college looks for students who took four years of English, three years of a foreign language, three years of math, three years of natural science and two years of history and/or social science classes. You must also take the ACT or SAT and provide the college with your official score from that exam. The online application itself is available via the Common Application, which lets you apply to other colleges and submit most required information at the same time.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Colby College requires that all accepted students pay a deposit of $300 to hold their spot in the coming class. As long as you start classes in the fall, the college will apply that deposit to your total balance. The college estimates its cost of attendance at around $64,000 a year. This covers the cost of living in a residence hall, your meals for the semester and your tuition, and this rate allows you to take 12 to 18 credit hours of classes each semester. If you enroll in the January program, which is a shorter semester between the fall and spring semesters, you're responsible for paying around $5,000 for that program.

Though the cost of attending this program is fairly high, Colby College offers a number of financial aid options for its students. The college works hard to ensure that you receive 100% of your expenses covered. Once you fill out and submit the FAFSA, the college will create an aid package based around the amount you need minus any financial contributions your parents make. Your package may include a grant, loan and scholarship. There is also a work-study program that lets you make a few hundred dollars or more every semester in a job that you do on the campus.

American Studies

Colby College offers a number of traditional majors in fields like environmental studies and history, but it also offers a program in American studies too. There is also an honors program that students can join during their junior years. Students must maintain a grade point average of 3.5 across all their courses and be on track to graduate with a degree in American studies before joining.

The American studies program looks closely as how America changed over the years. Students take two courses on American history that include one on history before 1865 and one on the history of the nation after the Civil War. They also take three courses on American history and art and four courses on introductory and advanced American studies subjects. In addition to gen ed courses, students must also take a handful of electives. Colby College offers electives like screenwriting, queer identities and politics, the history of rock music, photography and women in certain cultures. The college encourages students to take courses on film studies, African American studies and gender issues.

Once you reach your senior year, the college also expects you to research and write a paper or create a project around an original topic in American studies. Past students did work on minorities in film, female authors and African American poetry. Those in the honors program must complete an honors thesis project or paper. Colby College also allows American studies students to earn credit for an independent project they do during the January term or during one of its traditional semesters.

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