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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.

The campus community embraces and celebrates diverse perspectives and experiences. Colby’s focus on rigorous 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 demonstrated 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.
• The Commitment Experience, 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 2016 over 750 students 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.

Committed to access
The Colby Commitment is an extraordinary effort to ensure that the best students from every background have access to the best possible education. Colby promises to meet 100% of demonstrated financial need for all admitted students without including loans in its financial aid packages so that they can focus on their postgraduate goals, not repaying student loan debt. A robust global community of alumni and parents—plus dedicated faculty, staff, student community advisors, and institutional funding—enables students and provides support as they pursue internships, study abroad, engage in service learning, and perform research. New programs and initiatives such as the sequential four-year Professional Pathways Exploration and Planning (PPEP) and an expanded Career Center will offer students multiple opportunities to engage with career counselors, advisors, recruiters, and mentors, and to take advantage of Colby’s partnerships with companies, nonprofits, and international organizations. There are no fees or supplementary essays required to apply to Colby.



Facts About Colby
• 2,000 students, all undergraduates, represent more than 43 states and 75 countries.
• 58 majors and 33 minors
• 9:1 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-US citizens.

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, MD, 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 worked as a clinical research assistant in cardiology at Boston Children’s Hospital before enrolling in the Tufts University School of Medicine in the fall of 2016.