Colby Welcomes the Class of 2026 to Mayflower Hill

Announcements3 min. read

The largest class of first-year students arrives during a time of promise and possibility

Members of the Class of 2026
In addition to being academically accomplished, the Class of 2026 represents an incredible diversity of backgrounds and perspectives.
By Bob KeyesPhotography by Caitlin Penna
September 7, 2022

The largest incoming class of first-year students has arrived on Mayflower Hill full of hope, promise, and the abundant possibility of a Colby education. The College has enrolled 676 first-year students, representing 41 U.S. states as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and 60 countries.

Members of the Class of 2026 are well-prepared for the academic challenges that await them. Eighty-five percent of enrolling first-year students graduated in the top 10 percent of their high school class. The median SAT score is a 1490; the median ACT is a 34.

“We are thrilled to welcome the Class of 2026 to Colby,” said Randi Arsenault Maloney ’09, associate vice president and dean of admissions and financial aid. “Our admissions committee was impressed with their amazing breadth of talents, achievements, and backgrounds, and we look forward to experiencing the meaningful impact they will have on our community in the years ahead.”

In addition to being academically accomplished, the Class of 2026 represents an incredible diversity of backgrounds and perspectives. Among U.S. citizens, 35 percent of the incoming students identify as people of color. Eleven percent will be the first in their family to attend and graduate from college, and 14 percent are non-U.S. citizens. 

Forty percent of the class will benefit from Colby’s nationally recognized financial aid programs, and 11 percent of the class received Pell Grants. Colby has more than doubled its financial aid budget in recent years, making a Colby education attainable to students of all backgrounds. With the Colby Commitment, the College promises to meet 100 percent of each admitted student’s demonstrated financial need without loans.

The incoming students were selected from a pool of 16,891 applicants, the largest and most competitive applicant pool in College history. It offered admission to 1,258 students, and nearly 54 percent accepted. They arrived on campus for orientation in late August, celebrated convocation on Tuesday afternoon, and attended their first classes Wednesday.

Members of the Class of 2026 have arrived at Colby during a period of abundant growth and opportunity.

A time of abundant opportunity

The beginning of their Colby careers coincides with a time of growth and opportunity at the College. Colby has invested in both its people and its facilities. It has increased the size and diversity of the faculty, encouraging research and innovation. Students will benefit from Colby’s newly opened Island Campus off midcoast Maine, where Allen and Benner islands offer research and learning opportunities in the arts and sciences.

In recent years, Colby has launched numerous specialized labs and initiatives aimed at expanding opportunities for independent research and experiential learning, and positioning students and faculty to address many of the world’s most pressing challenges. The Davis Institute for Artificial Intelligence is the first artificial intelligence institute at a liberal arts college, allowing students to apply liberal arts thinking in search of real-world AI solutions.

DavisConnects provides funding to support students’ global research and internship opportunities. This fall, Colby will launch the Halloran Lab for Entrepreneurship, joining the Buck Lab for Climate and Environment and the Linde Packman Lab for Biosciences Innovation in connecting students with extraordinary resources to pursue their specialized interests. 

Also this fall, the College will open the Paul J. Schupf Art Center in downtown Waterville, part of Colby’s ongoing investment in the community. In fall 2023 it will open the Gordon Center for Creative and Performing Arts on campus, the largest academic building project in Colby’s history that will offer space for teaching, performing, and creating across artistic disciplines.

In addition, the students have access to Colby’s 350,000-square-foot Harold Alfond Athletics and Recreation Center, the most advanced and comprehensive D-III athletic center in the country.

“Our newest students have unparalleled access to the incredible resources and boundless opportunities Colby has to offer,” Maloney said. “It is an exciting time for our community.”

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