Colby-Sawyer College

Colby-Sawyer College


Colby-Sawyer College inspires learning through exceptional teaching, a vibrant and welcoming culture, and a challenging, innovative curriculum that deeply engages diverse students both in the classroom and through unlimited practical experiences. Here, smart, motivated students, graduate with the knowledge, skills, and sensibilities needed to flourish in a complex world. At Colby-Sawyer, challenging, adventurous, learning happens everywhere – from the peaceful campus setting in small town New England to rugged mountain tops and beyond. With support from faculty, staff, and peers, you chart your own learning path as you actively explore learning through extensive, hands-on experiences in and outside the classroom. In our inspiring campus setting and close-knit community, you are empowered to excel and to grow as a smart, purpose-driven, lifelong learner. Welcome!

Programs Supporting First-Generation College Students

Pre-College Prep & Outreach "I Am College Bound" Pre-College Outreach

In the Fall of 2016 the Directors of Financial Aid and Admissions collaborated with the New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Program’s (NHHEAF) Center for College Planning team. Their “I Am College Bound” program assists New Hampshire high school students and families, particularly low income families, and first generation students on the path to higher education. These Directors hosted an “I Filed!” event on Colby-Sawyer’s campus. This event provided education and assistance for local students and families unfamiliar with the FAFSA process. The Director of Financial Aid and Assistant Director of Admissions also attend “FAFSA Nights” at area high schools to reach to a wider group of students. Since 2015, each fall, the Assistant Director of Admissions engages with the NHHEAF and “I Am College Bound” initiative as a volunteer for the annual “I Applied!” event. This program assists any high school student, and primarily first generation students, navigate the process of applying to at least one college.

Pre-College Summer Experience Grant Funded Trial -Summit Scholars

In August 2016 a team of faculty and staff funded by the Davis Educational Grant hosted a three day Pre-College Program. This program, or Summer Summit, was created for local, rising high school seniors. The goal of the Summit was to introduce first generation students, and students underrepresented in high education to college experiences. Examples of topics include applying to college, understanding the FAFSA, liberal education, residential life, setting goals, skill exploration, grit, and cohort building. The students who attended the Summit will take these skills with them no matter where they apply, but will receive financial, academic, and social support if they attend Colby-Sawyer. Recently, the Davis Educational Grant funding was extended for one more year, and Colby-Sawyer College is looking forward to hosting Summer Summit 2017.

Scholars & Leadership Progressive Scholars

Colby-Sawyer’s Progressive Scholars program was created to recruit and retain talented and passionate urban and underrepresented students who demonstrate leadership in their schools, jobs, and communities. Most are first-generation college students. Their diverse perspectives and leadership abilities spread throughout all aspects of life at the College.

Academic Advising & Support Fast PAS

Six weeks, eight events, one goal: To get ahead - FAST! This six-week seminar series is a great way to decrease stress and increase success in your first semester of college. Join a cohort of diverse students who seek the secrets to academic success through experiential workshops on strategic study skills, time management, stress reduction, and career development.

Mentoring Charger Peer Mentors

Charger Peer Mentor network began in 2011 as a group dedicated to supporting students at-risk of not succeeding in college. The target audiences are first-generation college students, students of color and undeclared students. Charger Peer Mentors are specially trained to support these target audiences with weekly check-ins, social and educational events, and visits to campus resources. The Charger Peer Mentors serve as an extension to the professional student services already in place at the college: The Student Learning Collaborative, Baird Health and Counseling Center, the Harrington Center for Experiential Learning, Residential Education, Citizenship Education, and Student Activities.

Student Diversity

  • 1,074
  • 30/70
  • 40%
    First-generation college students
  • 1%
    American Indian or Alaskan Native
  • 2%
  • 6%
    Black or African American
  • 3%
  • <1%
    Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
  • 70%
  • <1%
    Two or more races
  • 9%
    Race and/or ethnicity unknown
  • 8%

Student Success

  • 78%
    First-to-second year retention
  • 53%
    Six-year graduation
  • n/a
    Six-year graduation for underrepresented minority groups
  • 96%
    Freshmen who live on campus
  • 81%
    Undergraduates who live on campus
  • 79
    Full-time faculty
  • 3
    Full-time minority faculty
  • 12:1
    Student–faculty ratio
  • Top 5 Majors

    Nursing; Business Administration; Psychology: Exercise Science; Biology:

  • Multicultural Student Clubs and Organizations

    African Students Association; Campus Activities Board; Cross Cultural Club; CSC Model United Nations; Hispanic/Latino Club or “HLC”; Interfaith Alliance; Napali Club; Peer Mentor Network: Safe Zones/Campus Pride; Voices of CSC (gospel choir)


Cost of Attendance

  • $39,200
  • n/a
    In-state Tuition
  • $250
    Required Fees
  • $13,260
    Room and Board

Financial Aid

  • $31,752,200
    Total institutional scholarships/grants
  • $28,082
    Average aid package
  • $19,206
    Average student loan debt upon graduation (of those who borrow)
  • 25%
    Pell Grant recipients among freshmen
  • 96%
    Students with financial need
  • 96%
    Students with need awarded financial aid
  • 96%
    Students with need awarded need-based scholarship or grant aid
  • n/a
    Students with need whose need was fully met


Applicant Academics

  • 2,552
    # of applicants
  • 87%
  • n/a
    Average HS GPA
  • n/a
    ACT Composite
  • n/a—n/a
    SAT Critical Reading
  • n/a—n/a
    SAT Math
  • n/a—n/a
    SAT Writing
  • yes
    SAT/ACT optional


  • Rolling
    Regular application closing date
  • $45
    Application Fee
  • n/a
    Application Fee (online)
  • n/a
    Fee waiver for applicants with financial need
  • n/a
    Early decision plan
  • n/a
    Early decision application closing date
  • yes
    Early action plan
  • 12/01
    Early action application closing date