Colby vs Tulane University: Which is the Better Choice?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Female student explaining something to her classmate.

Colby vs Tulane University: Which is the Better Choice?

Choosing a university is a big decision and one that requires careful consideration. Two universities that are often compared are Colby and Tulane. Let’s take a closer look at Colby vs Tulane University to help you decide which is the better choice for you.


Tulane University is a private research university located in New Orleans, Louisiana. It was founded in 1834 and has a long history of providing excellent education to students from all over the world.

Tulane University is known for its strong programs in medicine, law, business, and public health. The university has a diverse student body and offers a wide range of extracurricular activities, including sports, clubs, and community service opportunities. Tulane is also committed to sustainability and has implemented several initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint and promote environmental awareness.

Academic Programs and Curriculum: Colby vs. Tulane University

Colby and Tulane both offer a wide range of academic programs, but Tulane has more diverse academic offerings, with programs ranging from business to architecture, law, and more.

On the other hand, Colby is known for its strong liberal arts program, which includes majors such as anthropology, economics, and philosophy.

Liberal Arts

Additionally, Tulane has a unique program called the Altman Program in International Studies and Business, which allows students to earn both a Bachelor of Science in Management and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies.

Colby, on the other hand, offers a unique program called the Jan Plan, which is a one-month term in January where students can take a single course, participate in an internship, or travel abroad for academic purposes.

Faculty and Student Ratio: Colby vs. Tulane University

Colby has a student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1, meaning that students have the opportunity to develop close relationships with their professors. At Tulane, the student-to-faculty ratio is 8:1, making it similarly easy for students to build relationships with professors.

Both universities take pride in providing their students with access to top-notch faculty who are experts in their fields, providing students with an excellent education.

However, there are some differences in the way that the two universities approach their student-faculty relationships. At Colby, professors are encouraged to work closely with students on research projects and other academic endeavors, often serving as mentors and advisors. Tulane, on the other hand, places a greater emphasis on classroom instruction, with professors focusing primarily on teaching and less on research.

Despite these differences, both universities are committed to providing their students with a high-quality education that prepares them for success in their chosen fields.

Admission Process and Requirements: Colby vs. Tulane University

Both universities have highly competitive admissions processes, but Colby is known for being more selective. Colby’s acceptance rate is 8%, while Tulane’s acceptance rate is 11%.

college graduation concept and scholarship

Colby looks for students who demonstrate academic excellence, leadership potential, and a commitment to making a positive impact in the world. Tulane, on the other hand, values students who are well-rounded and demonstrate a passion for learning and making a difference in their communities.

It’s important to note that both universities also consider extracurricular activities, essays, and letters of recommendation in their admissions decisions. Colby places a strong emphasis on community service and encourages applicants to showcase their involvement in volunteer work. Tulane, on the other hand, values creativity and encourages applicants to submit portfolios of their artwork, music, or writing.

Student Life and Extracurricular Activities: Colby vs. Tulane University

Both universities offer a wide range of extracurricular activities, including sports teams, clubs and organizations, and events. At Colby, students can participate in over 100 clubs and organizations, while Tulane has over 200 clubs and organizations.

Tulane is located in the vibrant city of New Orleans, which provides students with many opportunities to explore the city’s rich culture and history. Colby, however, is located in the small town of Waterville, Maine, providing students with a peaceful and intimate campus experience.

One unique aspect of student life at Colby is the Outing Club, which offers students the opportunity to explore the outdoors through activities such as hiking, camping, and skiing. The Outing Club also organizes trips to nearby national parks and wilderness areas.

At Tulane, students can get involved in community service through the Center for Public Service, which partners with local organizations to address social and environmental issues. The center also offers alternative break programs, where students can participate in service projects during school breaks.

Housing Options for Students: Colby vs. Tulane University

Both universities offer a variety of on-campus housing options, including dormitories and apartments. At Colby, students are required to live on campus for all four years of their undergraduate degree, while at Tulane, students typically live on campus for the first two years and have the option to move off campus in their junior and senior years.

Both universities provide their students with comfortable and safe housing options, allowing students to focus on their studies.

However, there are some differences in the types of housing available at each university. Colby offers traditional dormitory-style housing, as well as suite-style apartments for upperclassmen. Tulane, on the other hand, has a wider range of options, including traditional dorms, apartment-style dorms, and off-campus apartments. This variety allows students at Tulane to choose the type of housing that best fits their needs and preferences.

Career Opportunities and Internships: Colby vs. Tulane University

Both universities have strong career centers that provide students with access to career counseling, job and internship listings, and networking opportunities. Tulane has a particularly strong reputation for placing graduates in jobs related to business and finance, while Colby is known for preparing its graduates for successful careers in a range of fields, especially in the nonprofit and public sectors.

Additionally, both universities offer a variety of internship opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience in their desired fields. Colby has partnerships with numerous nonprofit organizations and government agencies, providing students with opportunities to work on important social and environmental issues. Tulane, on the other hand, has strong connections with businesses and corporations in the New Orleans area, offering internships in fields such as marketing, hospitality, and healthcare.

Campus Safety and Security: Colby vs. Tulane University

Both universities take campus safety and security very seriously, providing their students with access to 24/7 campus security services. Tulane has a particularly strong focus on campus safety, offering a free shuttle service that runs 24/7, as well as a campus escort service.

Colby’s campus also has a reputation for being safe and secure, with low rates of crime on campus and a strong emphasis on maintaining a safe environment for students.

However, it is important to note that both universities are located in different areas with varying levels of crime rates in their surrounding neighborhoods. Tulane is located in New Orleans, which has a higher crime rate compared to Waterville, where Colby is located. Therefore, while both universities prioritize campus safety, students should also take precautions when venturing off-campus and be aware of their surroundings.

Affordability and Financial Aid Options: Colby vs. Tulane University

Both universities are known for being expensive, but they offer generous financial aid packages to help make tuition more affordable for students. The average financial aid package at Colby covers over 95% of tuition costs, while the average financial aid package at Tulane covers around 90% of tuition costs.

Financial aid for students

Both universities are committed to making their education accessible to students from diverse backgrounds, offering need-based and merit-based scholarships to incoming students.

In addition to financial aid packages, both Colby and Tulane offer work-study programs to help students offset the cost of tuition. These programs provide students with part-time jobs on campus, allowing them to earn money while gaining valuable work experience. Additionally, both universities have resources available to help students navigate the financial aid process and find additional funding opportunities, such as grants and loans.

Reputation and Ranking of Colby University

Colby has an excellent reputation as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the United States. It is consistently ranked in the top 20 liberal arts colleges by U.S. News & World Report and is known for its commitment to academic excellence and social justice. Colby has produced many successful alumni, including Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anthony Doerr.

Colby University is also recognized for its beautiful campus, which spans over 714 acres in Waterville, Maine. The campus features a mix of historic and modern buildings, including the Colby College Museum of Art, which houses over 10,000 works of art.

In addition to its academic programs, Colby offers a wide range of extracurricular activities for students, including over 100 student-run clubs and organizations. The college also has a strong athletic program, with 32 varsity teams competing in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC).

Reputation and Ranking of Tulane University

Tulane also has an excellent reputation and is ranked as one of the top universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report. It is particularly well-regarded for its strong business and law programs and is known for producing successful alumni in these fields.

In addition to its strong business and law programs, Tulane University is also recognized for its outstanding medical school and research facilities. The School of Medicine is consistently ranked among the top 50 medical schools in the country and is known for its innovative research in areas such as infectious diseases, neuroscience, and cancer. The university’s research facilities, including the Tulane National Primate Research Center and the Tulane Center for Gene Therapy, attract top scientists and researchers from around the world.

Alumni Success Stories of Colby University

Colby alumni have gone on to achieve great success in a wide range of fields. For example, actress, journalist, and writer/director are all Colby alumni.

Colby alumni have gone on to achieve great success in a wide range of fields. For example, actresses, journalists, writers, and directors are all Colby alumni.

Colby’s alumni network extends beyond the United States, with graduates making an impact in various parts of the world. For instance, Dr. Jane Aronson, a pediatrician and founder of the Worldwide Orphans Foundation, is a Colby alumna who has dedicated her life to improving the lives of orphaned and vulnerable children in countries such as Ethiopia and Vietnam.

Alumni Success Stories of Tulane University

Tulane has also produced many successful alumni, including politicians such as the former U.S. Secretary of State, journalists, and business leaders.

A journalist doing her/his job

One notable Tulane alumnus is a renowned cardiovascular surgeon who pioneered many surgical techniques and medical devices that are still used today. He was also a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States.

In addition to producing successful individuals in various fields, Tulane University is also known for its commitment to community service. The university has a strong tradition of volunteerism, and many of its alumni continue to give back to their communities through philanthropic efforts and public service.

Making the Final Decision: Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Colby and Tulane

Ultimately, the decision of which university is the better choice for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. Factors such as academic interests, location, campus culture, and financial aid options should all be carefully considered when making your decision.

Whether you choose Colby or Tulane, you can be assured that both universities provide an excellent education and a supportive community of faculty, staff, and fellow students. By carefully weighing your options and considering what is most important to you, you will be able to make an informed decision that will set you up for success in your academic and professional life.

One important factor to consider when choosing between Colby and Tulane is the size of the student body. Colby has a smaller student body, which can provide a more intimate and personalized learning experience. On the other hand, Tulane has a larger student body, which can offer more diverse extracurricular activities and a wider range of academic programs.

Another factor to consider is the location of the university. Colby is located in Waterville, Maine, which is a small town with a tight-knit community. Tulane, on the other hand, is located in New Orleans, Louisiana, which is a vibrant city with a rich cultural heritage. Depending on your personal preferences, one location may be more appealing than the other.

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