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Diversity Profile

Colby College, one of the country’s premier independent liberal arts colleges, is a private institution located in Waterville, Maine.

Colby College, one of the country’s premier independent liberal arts colleges, is a private institution located in Waterville, Maine. The campus community embraces and celebrates diverse perspectives and experiences. Colby’s focus on strong academics and student-faculty partnerships, undergraduate research opportunities, and unique connections—to the community, to a supportive alumni network, and to global experiential learning opportunities—enriches the student experience and prepares graduates for lifelong success. Committed to making a Colby education accessible to all academically qualified students, the College meets 100% of determined financial need without loans, and there is no fee to apply. In 2014–2015 Colby awarded $30 million in financial aid grants.

Scholarships and opportunities
Colby provides opportunities specifically for students with diverse experiences and perspectives.
• The Ralph J. Bunche Scholars Program recognizes students of color who demonstrate leadership potential and academic strength. Each Bunche Scholar receives a stipend of $3,000 to pursue a summer internship and is invited to attend a weekend symposium held each spring.
• The Colby Achievement Program in the Sciences (CAPS) begins with a six-week summer program designed to provide entering students from groups who have traditionally been underrepresented in the natural sciences with the tools they need to excel in their chosen science major. CAPS support and faculty mentoring continues through the student’s years at Colby.
• Experience Colby, our fall overnight campus visit program, gives high school seniors opportunities to connect with our world-class faculty, meet our talented and diverse community of scholars, see our stunning campus firsthand, and experience life as a Colby student. Generous travel grants are available for qualified applicants.

Pedagogy grounded in research
Colby students don’t just absorb knowledge—they create it. Working in partnership with faculty scholars on cutting-edge academic and scientific work, students regularly present at national and international conferences and become authors, coauthors, and editors of articles, editions, and book-length publications. Each spring the Colby Liberal Arts Symposium showcases students’ academic accomplishments, and in 2015 one-third of Colby’s student body presented significant research work through papers, posters, and performances. In addition, every summer students engage in research alongside Colby faculty mentors, both on campus and beyond.

Education with a global reach
The Colby community celebrates diverse perspectives and experiences and connects students to experiential opportunities across the world. Many students intern and conduct research globally, and two-thirds of students study abroad in programs on every continent except Antarctica. Colby’s diverse student body, with students representing more than 75 countries, means that discussions in classrooms, in residence halls, and at dining tables are enriched by a variety of perspectives. Half of Colby’s majors have an international component, and every student fulfills international diversity and foreign language requirements.

Jan Plan: one month, infinite possibilities
Colby’s one-month academic term, Jan Plan, officially the January Program, allows students to pursue focused course work on campus or off, independent studies, collaborative research, or internships during an intensive four-week term. For example, students can obtain their EMT license, intern at a Fortune 500 company or small nonprofit, study the anthropology of utopias, or travel to Bermuda for a field research course in geology.

Unique partnerships
• Colby’s partnership with the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences enables select juniors to work alongside research scientists on the coast of Maine studying marine ecosystems and climate change.
• A five-year, $18.4 million grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences funds collaboration between the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory and Colby and a dozen other research institutions, providing money for faculty research, summer research fellowships for students, short courses and Jan Plan research, conferences, and scientific equipment.
• Premed Academy, an intensive job-shadowing and clinical observation experience, pairs students with MaineGeneral Medical Center–affiliated physicians during Jan Plan.
• The College offers two engineering dual-degree programs. Students can graduate with a Bachelor of Arts from Colby and obtain an engineering degree from either Dartmouth or Columbia.

Preparation for lifelong success
A robust global community of alumni and parents—plus partnerships with companies, nonprofits, and international institutions—offers students opportunities for internships, service learning, and research. New programs and initiatives foster networking and bolster students’ experiential opportunities, including a pilot program with Citi and an extensive job-shadowing program that pairs students with alumni and parents in senior-ranking positions across a wide range of workplaces. Colby Connect, a four-year sequential program, offers students résumé critiques, workshops, career counseling, mock interviews, internship and job search tools, and more. Colby’s Entrepreneurial Alliance program fosters skill development through programming and mentorship, preparing students to compete for $15,000 in the annual business competition. Students on a pre-professional track meet regularly with a designated staff member for advice and guidance as they prepare and apply for admission to the country’s best graduate programs.

Alumnus in Action
Justin Owumi arrived at Colby with an open mind and a long list of goals. He immediately got involved in activities on campus, including Students for Education Reform, Gentlemen of Quality, SOBHU (Students Organized for Black and Hispanic Unity), MAV (Mules Against Violence), and the track & field team. He traveled to Ecuador for Spanish immersion and dabbled in dance, taking a ballet class and joining the Ballroom Dance Club on campus. During Jan Plan he participated in Premed Academy, shadowing surgeon Philip Peverada, M.D., at MaineGeneral Medical Center. Justin, whose goal is to be a pediatric cardiologist, said this experience gave him insight into the life of a doctor.

Justin is currently working as a clinical research assistant in cardiology at Boston Children’s Hospital. He will be doing research for two years and applying to medical school for the fall of 2016.

Justin Owumi ’14
Major: Chemistry/Biochemistry
Minor: Education
Roxbury, Massachusetts
John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science


• 1,850 students, all undergraduates, represent more than 40 states and more than 75 countries.
• 57 majors and 32 minors
• 10:1 student-faculty ratio
• 75% of Colby graduates ultimately earn an advanced degree.
• More than 20% are domestic students of color, and more than 10% are non-U.S. citizens.