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How to get into Colby College Guide–General Information

Colby College is a private liberal arts college located in Waterville, Maine. The school was founded in 1813, making it the 12th oldest liberal arts college in the country. In addition to its liberal arts core, Colby is home to a state-of-the-art artificial intelligence lab, a climate change research center, and two on-campus art museums. 

What we’ll cover in this How to Get Into Colby Guide:

  • Colby College GPA requirements
  • Colby College SAT scores and Colby ACT scores
  • Details on the Colby College admissions application deadline
  • The Colby College acceptance rate
  • The Colby College interview policy
  • Additional information about the Colby College Class of 2025

When thinking about how to get into Colby College, pay attention to every part of your application. This includes your Colby college GPA, Colby College SAT scores (or Colby ACT scores), your extracurricular profile, and more. You should keep your GPA high, study well in advance to ensure strong Colby College SAT scores or ACT scores, and find engaging extracurricular activities. To boost your chances, you should start strategizing well before the Colby College application deadline. 

Figuring out how to get into Colby College takes strategy. We can help. CollegeAdvisor.com’s network of 300+ Admissions Experts (and former Admissions Officers) includes Colby graduates. Want to maximize your Colby admissions odds?  Create your free account or schedule a free advising consultation by calling (844) 343-6272. 

How can I get into Colby?

There’s not just one “how to get into Colby College” strategy. As a well-regarded liberal arts college, Colby accepts high-achieving students from a wide range of backgrounds. The best ways to stand out include having a high Colby College GPA, taking rigorous courses in high school, engaging deeply with your extracurricular activities, and submitting strong Colby College SAT or Colby ACT scores. 

The Colby College admissions process begins with submitting an application. The application lets you provide raw data like your Colby College GPA and Colby College SAT or Colby ACT scores. It also gives you space to provide more information through your essays and extracurricular activities. 

Colby does not require a supplement, nor do they offer a Colby College interview to applicants. So, your application will carry all the weight when it comes to how to get into Colby College.

The Colby College admissions team uses a holistic review process. This means that they try to look at every applicant as a whole person to envision how they’d enrich life on campus. So, try to build an authentic and engaging candidate profile when applying. Your candidate profile represents your academic accomplishments as well as your character. It should reflect who you are, what matters to you, and how you’d contribute to Colby. 

Is it hard to get into Colby?

According to the Colby College admissions profile, the Colby College acceptance rate is around 8%. This makes Colby College an extremely selective school. This means that out of the 15,875 applicants to the Colby College class of 2025, only 1,270 were accepted. Although the Colby College acceptance rate is competitive, starting your application early and applying Early Decision can bolster your “how to get into Colby College” strategy. 

If you know that you want to attend Colby, focus on maintaining a high Colby College GPA. Also, start preparing early so that you can achieve high Colby College SAT or Colby ACT scores. You should also seek out opportunities to visit campus either virtually or in person. 

Schools like Colby value demonstrated interest (DI), a measure of how invested you are in attending a school. DI helps schools make decisions between competitive applicants, so it can make a significant difference. Because there is no Colby College interview, making a positive impression in other ways can set you apart from other applicants. 

Want to learn more about demonstrated interest? Check out CollegeAdvisor.com’s helpful webinar here.

What is the average GPA for Colby College?

Because of their commitment to the holistic review process, Colby College GPA information is not available for the Colby College class of 2025. This does not mean that your Colby College GPA is not important; it just means that there is not a specific number that you need to be accepted. A student may have a high Colby College GPA because they took less challenging classes, indicating that a Colby College GPA alone is not a sufficient indicator of future success.

While there is no data about the average GPA for the Colby College class of 2025, they do report the average Colby College SAT scores for accepted students. The middle 50% of the Colby College Class of 2025 earned Colby College SAT scores between 1390 and 1530. Similarly, the middle 50% of Colby ACT scores fell between 32 and 34. 

It is important to note that Colby is a test-optional school. This means that neither Colby College SAT scores nor Colby ACT scores are required for admission. However, high scores can strengthen your case for admission. So, to boost your “how to get into Colby College” plan, we recommend you submit your scores.

What does the Colby application look like?

The Colby application is comparatively simpler than those of its peer institutions because it requires no supplement or Colby College interview. Colby College SAT or ACT scores are also optional. Here is what current members of the Colby College Class of 2025 submitted for their application:

  • Either the Common Application or the Coalition Application
  • High School Transcript with your Colby College GPA
  • Three Letters of Recommendation, one from a counselor and two from teachers
  • Optional Colby College SAT scores or Colby ACT scores
  • Early Decision Agreement Form (for Early Decision applicants only)
  • Arts Supplements (for Visual and Performing Arts applicants only)

One additional thing to note is that Colby does superscore any Colby College SAT or Colby ACT scores students decide to submit. So, if you submit multiple Colby College SAT scores or Colby ACT scores, they will take your best ones for each section, even if they come from different test dates.

What extracurriculars do I need for Colby?

Like many schools, Colby College admissions requires a list of your extracurriculars. Many students think they need to have certain activities on their lists in order to be accepted. However, there is no one-size-fits-all approach for how to get into Colby College. Colby looks for a diverse array of students to join their ranks. The school also values consistency and passion over quantity and prestige.  

When listing your extracurriculars, think about the activities that you are the most passionate about or have held leadership positions in. Write down any specific achievements, including awards or other accolades. This is not the time to be humble, so list all relevant information for each activity. If you don’t write about it, the Colby College admissions team won’t know about it. So, be thorough. 

What is the acceptance rate at Colby College?

As we mentioned, the Colby College acceptance rate was around 8% for the Colby College Class of 2025, making it a “most selective school” according to U.S. News. The Colby College acceptance for Early Decision applicants is also higher than the overall Colby College acceptance rate. However, Colby is a competitive school for any applicant.  

So, if you are looking for how to get into Colby College, you should find as many ways as possible to stand out. Because there is no Colby College interview or even any supplemental essays, try to achieve a high Colby College GPA and demonstrate strong character through your Common App essay and recommendations. 

Want more resources on how to get into Colby College? Check out this guide for personal statements and this guide to help you stand out as a candidate.

Does Colby require supplemental essays?

As stated above, applicants for the Colby College Class of 2025 were not required to submit any kind of supplement. However, students applying to the Fine and Performing Arts majors can submit an additional portfolio. So, for most students, you won’t need to worry about other essays when planning how to get into Colby College. 

Along with the lack of a Colby College interview, the decision not to require supplemental essays reflects Colby’s commitment to access. It also means that other aspects of your application, such as your personal statement and extracurricular activities list, will carry more weight.  

How does Colby review applications?

The Colby College admissions website describes their application review process as “holistic.” This means they look at all aspects of an applicant’s profile before making their final decision. Their ideal student for the Colby College Class of 2025 was “intellectually adventurous” and someone whom they thought would “make meaningful contributions” to the campus community. While these phrases seem vague, they give a helpful blueprint for how to get into Colby College.

While you can’t tell the admissions team about yourself in a Colby College interview, you can use your Common Application or Coalition Application essay to help them get to know you. Use this space to tell a story that reflects the key aspects of your candidate profile. Many applicants boast a high Colby College GPA and strong test scores. So, the easiest places to stand out given the competitive Colby College acceptance rate are your essay and letters of recommendation.

The best advice for how to get into Colby College is to start planning early. Find challenging courses and apply yourself to extracurricular activities. Then, as you start the application, come up with a short list of words that reflects who you are. Finally, think about how you can show those characteristics throughout your application. 

For example, let’s say you want your love of community service and scientific curiosity to shine in your Colby College admissions application. In this case, you could write your personal statement about a specific experience that helped inspire that passion. You could also share how in your extracurricular activities, you designed a product to solve a problem that you noticed, prototyping and testing several different designs. Whatever your interest is, sharing stories is a great way to showcase it on your application.

Will Colby consider my social media?

While thinking about how to get into Colby College, students may worry about how their social media presence might affect their admissions odds. However, Colby College admissions officers tend not to look at students’ social media profiles. Since Colby College receives thousands of applications, the admissions team usually doesn’t have time to look at students’ social media. 

This does not mean, though, that you should post offensive or irresponsible content on social media. While it might not directly impact your admissions odds, inappropriate social media usage could disqualify you from scholarships, research opportunities, or job placements. Even beyond the college application process, you should use social media responsibly

Our final recommendation is to play it safe. Colby College likely won’t read your Twitter or check your Instagram, but you should still exercise care when using social media.

Is Colby the school for me?

In addition to asking how to get into Colby College, students applying to Colby—especially those considering Early Decision—should also ask themselves if Colby College is a good fit for them. 

There are many factors to consider when evaluating a college. Start by doing some research. Look for lists of clubs and organizations to see what sparks your interest. The Colby website provides a list of extracurricular activities here as well as other information about on-campus opportunities on the “Life” section of the website.

Colby is a small school located in a rural area of Maine, and the Colby College Class of 2025 has just over 500 students. While this is very attractive to some students, others might not enjoy a small school in a rural setting. 

You should also make sure that Colby offers programs in your intended major by checking out their majors and minors. You may notice, for example, that Colby does not offer any majors in the field of engineering, making it not the best fit for students interested in that subject.

Finally, take the time to do a virtual or on-campus visit if you can. Since there is no Colby College interview, it is important to get to know your counselor in other ways. This might include asking questions, attending information sessions, and going on a tour. Your admissions counselor is one of the people who will be reading your application, so try to make a good impression on them. It may not have a ton of weight when it comes to how to get into Colby College, but it does help the admissions counselor remember you if you seek out a polite, professional relationship with them.

Additional tips to get into Colby

Start early

It is best to start building your application early, particularly if you plan to apply Early Decision. Because you need at least three letters of recommendation, make sure you ask your teachers and counselors for those letters as early as possible. In addition, having the time to write and edit your personal statement is important. Given the low Colby College acceptance rate, a strong essay can make all the difference.

Be honest and authentic

Since there is no Colby College interview, it is important to be as open as possible on your application. Colby College utilizes its application to get to know you. So, let your personality and passions shine through. Selective colleges like Colby want enthusiastic and driven learners on their campus, so don’t shy away from sharing your achievements and interests. Remember, if you do not say something on your application, the Colby College admissions team will not know about it.

Get help from a trusted source

Consider letting a parent, teacher, or advisor look over your essays and other materials and offer suggestions about how to get into Colby College. But be careful that they are not doing the writing for you; it’s vital that the application has your unique voice behind it.

The Colby College class of 2025 is a diverse and vibrant community. Though the Colby College acceptance rate is competitive, there are many ways to stand out in a positive way.


This guide was written by Alex Baggott-Rowe, Davidson ’16. If you want to know how to get into Colby College, we’ve got you covered. CollegeAdvisor.com’s network of 300+ Admissions Experts (and former Admissions Officers) includes Colby College graduates. Create your free account or schedule a free advising consultation by calling (844) 343-6272.