Scholarships and Financial Assistance
Applying for Financial Aid
Alma College is dedicated to the principle that a college education should be available to all students of merit, regardless of personal financial resources. Each year, many Alma students receive financial assistance through scholarships, loans or campus employment.
Applicants who hope to qualify for financial aid grants are expected to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1. This form is available from high school counseling offices and the Admissions and Student Financial Assistance offices at Alma College.
Alma College Scholarship and Grant Programs
Students showing intellectual promise and superior academic achievement are eligible for several types of scholarship assistance from Alma College. These renewable awards are for a maximum of four years or eight total semesters.
Alma College Merit Scholarships. Awarded to recognize designated National Merit Scholarship Program finalists with tuition assistance ranging from $500 to $2,000.
Distinguished Scholar Award. Merit finalists may receive up to full tuition at Alma. Financial need is not a requirement. Students must reside in campus housing to receive the award.
Distinguished Trustee Honors Scholarships. Based on superior academic achievement, national test scores and campus interviews. Winners may receive up to full tuition at Alma. These awards are granted without regard to financial need. Students receiving full-tuition awards must reside in campus housing.
Trustee Honors Scholarships. Conferred on the basis of superior academic achievement and national test scores. These awards are granted without regard to financial need.
Presidential Scholarships. Awarded by the College on the basis of outstanding scholarship and high national test scores. Financial need is not a requirement.
Dean's Scholarship. Conferred on the basis of academic achievement and national test scores. These awards are granted without regard to financial need.
Tartan Awards. Given by the College on the basis of academic achievement or high national test scores. Financial need is not a requirement.
Achievement Award. Awarded by the College on the basis of academic achievement. Financial need is not a requirement.
Transfer Scholarships. Available to transferring students who have demonstrated superior academic achievement at their previous undergraduate institution or high school.
Renewal of the preceding scholarships except for the Achievement and Tartan awards is based upon each student's academic progress and the overall contribution of the student to the campus. "B" (3.0) average work or better is evidence of academic progress and justifies renewal of the award. Each case involving work below "B" (3.0) average may be examined by the Director of Student Financial Assistance and the Vice President for Enrollment. Scholarship reduction or elimination may take place for students not achieving the required grade point average.
Alma College scholarships may be replaced by special scholarships of equivalent value. Alma College scholarships and/or grants may include earnings from special endowed funds.
Alma Alumni Scholarship. For dependents or grandchildren of Alma alumni.
Phi Theta Kappa Transfer Scholarship. For students who have been selected as Phi Theta Kappa Scholars at their current institution.
Heritage Need-Based Grants. Awarded on the basis of financial need. Submission of a FAFSA is required for consideration. To qualify, students must (1) demonstrate satisfactory academic achievement, (2) apply for the grant each year, and (3) submit a FAFSA each year.
Distinguished Performance Scholarships. Up to full tuition for students demonstrating exemplary performance in either art and design, dance, music, theatre or the Scottish arts. Students receiving these scholarships must complete performance requirements at Alma.
Performance Scholarships. Granted in art and design, dance, instrumental music, vocal music and theatre to incoming students. Awards are made upon recommendation of an Alma College faculty member according to established criteria. Students receiving these scholarships must complete performance requirements at Alma.
Alma College Religious Leadership Awards. Awarded to students on the basis of demonstrated financial need and ranking in an essay competition.
Designated Scholarships. Provided by individuals or corporate donors. The stipends are determined by the donors and are based on varied criteria, all of which take academic achievement into account. In some cases, designated scholarships are awarded to students specified by the donor. When criteria are not specified by the donor, scholarship recipients are selected by the Director of Student Financial Assistance.
Alma Opportunity Awards. Available to non-Michigan residents, under-represented student groups or non-U.S. citizens. Awarded to students with demonstrated financial need only. Non-U.S. citizens must reside in campus housing to receive the award.
National Presbyterian College Scholarships (NPCS)
Members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) who are high school and community college graduates may apply for these awards which are determined by a national competition according to need. Applications must be filed by January 31. Inquiries may be addressed to the Alma College Student Financial Assistance Office or to NPCS, at http://www.pcusa.org.
Scottish Arts Scholarships
Offered by the Alma Chamber of Commerce's Highland Festival Committee, these scholarships recognize skills in piping, dancing, drumming or highland fiddling. Also, the Saint Andrew's Society of Detroit provides awards for Scottish arts talents.
State of Michigan Scholarships and Grants
Many Michigan residents receive assistance through the State of Michigan Competitive Scholarship or Tuition Grant Programs. Students make application for this aid directly to the State of Michigan Higher Education Assistance Authority, Lansing, Michigan, by filing the FAFSA.
Michigan Promise Scholarship
Replaces the Michigan Merit Award or MEAP award — Michigan high school students who graduate starting in 2007 and score well on their high school assessments will receive $1,000 for their first year in college and $1,000 for their second year. Upon successfully completing their first two years of college, they will be awarded the remaining $2,000 from the State. An additional feature of the Michigan Promise Scholarship is the ability for students, who don't initially qualify for the program, to earn the entire $4,000 through successful completion of two years of post-secondary education with a 2.5 GPA. This feature was not available with the Michigan Merit Award.
The federal government sponsors several grant programs: the Federal Pell Grant, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG), and the National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant (National SMART Grant). Eligibility is determined from the results of the FAFSA.
The ACG is awarded to full-time students who are U.S citizens, eligible for a Pell Grant, and have successfully completed a rigorous high school program, and in the second year have a 3.0 GPA. The National SMART Grant is available during the third and fourth years of undergraduate study to full-time students who are eligible for the Pell Grant and are majoring in physical, life, or computer sciences, and mathematics. The student must also have maintained a cumulative 3.0 GPA.
Alma College participates in a variety of student loan programs. The College directly funds short- and long-term educational loans and participates in both the federal Perkins Loan and federal Stafford Loan programs. Loans are also available through the federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS), the State of Michigan (MI-LOAN) programs and other alternative loans.
Master Promissory Note Loan Confirmation
Alma College requires an active confirmation of federal Stafford Loan(s). No federal Stafford Loan(s) will be processed without direct contact from the student either in person, a signed and returned award letter, or a telephone call.
Students may earn part of their college expenses through campus or community employment. Students are employed on campus as laboratory and library assistants, dining hall attendants, maintenance workers, secretarial and residence hall employees and in other positions. Alma College participates in the Federal Work Study Program, which provides additional employment opportunities on the campus and with non-profit agencies off campus. Earnings are not directly credited to a student's account. Students are paid once a month; checks are picked up in the Business Office.
Inquiries and Information
All students are strongly encouraged to complete all admissions and financial aid paperwork including scholarship applications and performance scholarship auditions, by March 1. After this date, financial aid funds become limited and students may run the risk of being wait-listed for College funds.
Information on all scholarship and financial aid programs is available from the Admissions or Student Financial Assistance offices, Alma College, 614 W. Superior St., Alma, Michigan 48801-1599 and can also be found at our Web site www.alma.edu.
Policies Governing College Awards
General Policy Notice. Alma College reserves the right to change its scholarship and aid policies at any time. Written or verbal representations by anyone contradictory to the policies stated here and in the Understanding Your Financial Aid Package literature are not binding.
All final award amounts from Alma College may be adjusted to take into consideration any federal, state or outside aid for which a student may qualify. The Student Financial Assistance Office has the right to revise financial aid packages according to federal, state and institutional policies and regulations. Aid awards will be revised when there are changes in originally reported information or when additional scholarships are received. Alma College grant(s) and/or scholarship(s) will not exceed tuition.
In addition to the policies listed here, students living off campus are subject to a 25% reduction in institutional grant and scholarship aid.
Academic and performance scholarships are awarded for a maximum of four years or eight total terms.
Alma College aid can be used for one semester in overseas/off-campus Alma College-approved programs only by students who are U.S. citizens and live in the U.S. or a U.S. territory.
Probation for any reason, academic or disciplinary, shall be considered justifiable cause for the withdrawal of scholarships and/or need-based awards.
Students may be denied federal Title IV aid due to conviction for possession and/or sale of illegal drugs.
The Tax Reform Act of 1986 requires that scholarships and fellowships exceeding the amount of tuition, fees and books will be subject to tax reporting for degree candidates. Detailed information may be obtained from the IRS.
Voter Registration. Information will be mailed to students' campus address at the start of the Fall Term. This information is also available in the Student Financial Assistance Office.
Financial Aid Eligibility
All financial assistance administered through Alma College, including work, is governed by the provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Executive Order No. 11246 which prohibit discrimination in employment on the basis of race, religion, color, creed, sex or national origin.
Students receiving federal, state and Alma College financial aid must maintain satisfactory academic progress to retain financial aid for subsequent terms.
The policy requirements for students receiving financial assistance are as follows:
- Students receiving federal funds must be enrolled at least half-time (7 credits).
- Students receiving Alma College funds must be enrolled full-time (13 credits).
- Your institutional aid or scholarships may be adjusted from year to year. Factors affecting award amounts include academic performance at Alma, eligibility for other forms of aid from governmental sources, off-campus residency and other individual circumstances. The Director of Student Financial Assistance considers adjustments to financial aid packages and exceptions individually.
Full-time students must complete the
number of credits and achieve the
cumulative point averages indicated
after each year of enrollment to
continue to receive aid.
Year 1 2 3 4 5 Credits 25 56 90 110 136 GPA 1.70 1.85 1.90 1.95 2.00
- Students who do not meet the stated quantitative and qualitative standards are considered to be making unsatisfactory academic progress, and their aid will be withdrawn.
- Records are reviewed at the end of each year.
- Mitigating circumstances, such as illnesses, will be considered on an individual basis.
Financial aid may be reinstated if students
- Complete summer school credits sufficient to make up deficient credits and grade points (without financial aid);
- Complete subsequent terms at Alma College (without financial aid) or at another institution to make up deficient credits and grade points.
Students faced with the loss of financial assistance may appeal unusual circumstances in writing to the Director of Student Financial Assistance. Subsequent appeals may be made to the Vice President for Enrollment.