Colby College is a private liberal arts college and one of the oldest independent liberal arts colleges in the country. Originally an all-male college, Colby was the first exclusive school in New England to accept females. Colby is a highly selective institution, with a student body population of less than two thousand. There are 54 majors and 30 minors to choose from. Colby is one of the few colleges referred to as “little ivies”, or schools that are on par with those in the Ivy League in terms of the quality of academic offerings.
Colby is among the many schools that offer study abroad programs, and these programs continue to be popular among the students, with two thirds of the whole population participating in these programs.
In 1813, there was a petition from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to establish the Maine Literary and Theological Institution, which was to be the 33rd chartered collegiate institution in the United States. The petition was pioneered by Baptists that want to train new ministers for missionary work in the region. The new institution was established in Waterville when the citizens donated 179 acres of land for the creation of the school. In 1818, seven students attended class in a vacant Waterville home.
In 1820, the first Maine legislature established the Massachusetts charter for the school. However, the selection rocess for new students has been altered to include students of other religions. Board members were also chosen accordingly, with no regard for religion. Because of these changes, the school was renamed Waterville College. In 1825, the school decided to discontinue the original theological department.
Lacking funds, the school was supposed to close after the civil war. Waterville College was saved from closing in 1865, when a Boston businessman and Baptist philanthropist, Gardner Colby, donated 50,000 dollars to the school. The name of the school was changed to Colby University in 1867 in honor of its benefactor. The last name change to Colby College was made during 1889 by Colby president Nathaniel Butler from the class of 1873.
Colby housing plans for new students and upperclassmen are remarkable, with well-designed residence halls, some from the original Mayflower Hill construction. Rooms can be single or shared. There are apartment suites available for student. There are four common dining places on campus, and a pub.
Student social life is mostly organized by students themselves, with a committee that takes charge of scheduling parties and events. Student-run clubs vary in population size and function. The larger ones are the Colby Outing Club and Colby Cares about Kids. Specialized, smaller clubs like the Colby Quilting Club and the Colby Equestrian Club are also present. Many students want to go to Colby for the music clubs. Colby boasts of several a cappella groups, including all-male and all-female groups that perform in various school functions. There are also some support organizations that help the LGBT students deal with various issues like self-acceptance and coming out.
There’s a health center nearby for students to go to in case of medical emergencies. The Garrison-Foster Health Center, is a functional clinic that is fully staffed during the semesters. It’s the only accredited college health center in Maine. Students can benefit most from the counselling services, which include crisis intervention and psychiatric consultation.
Colby accepts students based on merit, and is committed to meeting these students’ financial needs upon application for aid. Students in need of financial aid can apply at the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid. Aid types include grants, loans and special scholarships. These financial aid types may be offered in one package. Some of the aid comes from College funds, but the school also offers information and assistance for students applying for federal and state scholarship programs. Guidance on non-need-based student loans and jobs in-campus is also given.
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