Financial Aid

Alma College Community Engagement Scholarship

The ACE Scholarship program offers access and affordability to the most engaged local students who would like to pursue a life-changing, liberal arts education.

Students working with Habitat for Humanity on an Alternative Break service trip.

The ACE Scholarship

The Alma College Community Engagement (ACE) scholar program offers up to 10 full-tuition awards annually to graduating high school seniors from Gratiot, Isabella and Montcalm counties. The ACE scholar program aims to foster a sense of belonging, while encouraging student reflection about civic responsibility as a form of vocational exploration, as well as create a sustainable relationship between Alma College and local community partners.

Each recipient will create an individualized plan for completing their community engagement, meet and collaborate with Center for College and Community Engagement staff and supervising Americorps VISTA, and reflect on the experience at the end of each semester.

Who is eligible to apply?

You are eligible if:

  1. You are a resident of Gratiot, Isabella or Montcalm counties.


  1. You will graduate from a high school within Gratiot, Isabella or Montcalm counties.

What are my first steps?  CLOSED FOR THIS YEAR

To get started complete the items below.   If you move beyond Phase I, your admissions representative, will provide the next steps you need to complete.

  1. Apply for admission to Alma College.
  2. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
    • A primary component of eligibility for the scholarship is financial need, which is determined by your FAFSA information.  The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opens October 1, 2022.
  3. Complete the ACE scholarship acknowledgement form.


Formal Application Process

Upon review of your admissions application and FAFSA information, we’ll verify if you’re eligible to move forward with the formal ACE application process.

The application process includes per-prompted questions to give students the opportunity to express their interest in the ACE program and service opportunities they have  been a part of.  In addition to the written portion, we ask students to submit at least 2 letters of recommendation.  The deadline to submit the application and letters of recommendation is January 15, 2023.  Any application materials submitted after this deadline will not be considered. 

Applications will be reviewed by our Center for College and Community Engagement staff.  Selected students will be asked to come to campus for an in-person interview with Dr. Andrew Pomerville, Director of the Center for College and Community Engagement, and other members within his team.  If selected as a finalist, you will need to attend in person for your final review on Thursday January 19.

Up to 10 students will be selected for this full tuition* scholarship. 

Scholarship Guidelines

Upon acceptance of the scholarship, students agree to live on campus and participate in a series of engagement activities during their four years to keep their scholarship status. The engagement plan is laid out for you below: 

Before Year One
  • Attend the Plaid Serves Camp during the summer  June 11 - 15 - free for ACE recipients

Year One - Explore   

   Examples of exploration include:

  • Attend the welcome session and Alma College Community Engagement Scholarship celebration
  • Complete service engagement in the community each term in coordination with the Center for College and Community Engagement (CCCE) (details below)
  • Scots in Service Day - first week on campus, all first-year students participate in a day of community engagement in the greater Alma area. Over 300 students participated last year in more than 25 community engaged projects.
  • Alternative Breaks - locally and travel trips to explore ideas, themes, and topic-based projects like environmental stewardship, food insecurity, sustainable housing, disaster relief, and pediatric medical care (just to name a few!)
  • Teams, clubs, and groups participate in engagement project selected with the 3CE to match the inclinations, passions, and interests of the group
Year Two - Develop
  • Internships, practicums, and higher-level engagement with projects and non-profits from year one
  • Find a place to explore leadership, sustainability, and non-profit support and management for ongoing work
  • Partner to recruit volunteers, plan for budgets, and fundraising efforts, where appropriate​
Year Three -  Practice  
  • Use experiences in the field as curricular opportunities for capstone projects and seminars
  • Compare and contrast your community engaged work with those of other similar projects and provide assessment
  • Learn how to do needs assessments of the community
  • Explore interdisciplinary approaches to community and civic action
Year Four - leave your legacy 
  • Seek eager students entering Alma College to carry on the legacy of creation, stewardship and belonging in this community. 


*This is a full-tuition scholarship and does NOT include room and meal costs.  Full tuition is covered using Alma College, State, and Federal aid sources.  Students receiving full tuition scholarships are not eligible to receive standard Alma College merit, competitive, or additional scholarships, grants or awards.