Financial Aid Policies and Conditions
Albion College awards academic, special talent and departmental scholarships, and/or need-based grants to qualified students based on high school GPA, standardized test scores, the academic rigor of the student's transcript, and other criteria specific to the respective award.
In general, Albion grants are used as a "placeholder" while the College and your family identify various need-based funds. These include Albion's resources and external scholarships and grants. When the entire process is completed, Albion will "fill" the grant "placeholder" with all sources of funding identified. In most cases, if demonstrated financial need remains Albion will meet that need with grant aid, depending upon your overall academic profile and when you file for aid assistance (students are not guaranteed grant aid after May 1).
Albion Scholarships and Awards
It is our policy that students may receive no more than one major merit-based and one smaller departmental scholarship in combination. Departmental scholarships are defined as those between $500 and $3,000. If you successfully interview or audition for more than one large departmental or talent-based scholarship, you may choose between the larger scholarships.
For example, you might receive a $14,000 Webster Scholarship, awarded automatically following acceptance based on grades and test score. Soon thereafter, you are awarded the Lomas Scholarship for Communication Studies, valued at approximately $8,000-$10,000 per year. You may choose either of the scholarships, but cannot "stack" the awards for a total of $22,400.
In some cases, a portion of the large academic or talent-based scholarship can be added to the initial merit-based award, depending upon need. In these cases, Albion grant (placeholder) funds will be reduced to accommodate the second, large talent-based award.
Additionally, no student may be awarded Albion College funds that, when coupled with external awards, exceed the total cost of tuition, room, and board. Occasionally, Albion must reduce institutional grants and possibly other sources of aid in order to accommodate external funds. However, your net cost of attendance will not change. Please contact the Financial Aid Office for a detailed explanation of our awarding policy.
In most cases you will be notified of any merit-based or talent-based scholarships before you receive your official financial aid award letter. There are circumstances that may alter the composition of your package, such as a new source of aid or an immediate change in your financial situation. A few examples are listed below:
Merit-Based and Need-Based Awards Supported by Endowed and Private Funds: If you are eligible for a merit-based scholarship, you will be notified soon after being admitted. If you apply for need-based aid, your financial award letter may reflect a specific amount of grant aid. Albion is fortunate to have many alumni, corporations, and nonprofit agencies that wish to underwrite a portion of a student's need-based grant, merit-based scholarship, or special talent award. The process of matching hundreds of students with philanthropic sources can take many weeks or months. For need-based students, Albion grants are considered to be "placeholders" and therefore give us time to match the student with potential donors. You may receive more than one "final" award letter. A subsequent award might reflect that some of your grant aid or merit-based aid has been "underwritten" by a private or endowed source. In a few cases the endowed or privately funded award will replace the grant or Albion merit-based scholarship entirely. The amount of the grant will not change, and the source of private funding will be reflected in the final award letter.
External Scholarships and Grant Programs: Sometimes an external scholarship or grant is awarded to a student after the final Albion College award package has been mailed. You may receive external scholarships from community organizations, your high school, nonprofit agencies, and state or federal grant and scholarship programs. It is your responsibility to inform Albion College of these awards in a timely manner. In some cases, a state or federal requirement mandates that we cannot "stack" external grants or awards on top of Albion College aid sources, and in these cases we normally try to reduce self-help sources of aid and then Albion College grants and scholarships to stay within external guidelines.
NCAA Regulations: The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has strict regulations pertaining to financial aid award policies for Division III athletic programs. In rare cases, a student athlete's package may need to be adjusted to keep the College in compliance with NCAA regulations, and ensure the student remains eligible to participate in varsity sports. If you have questions about eligibility and NCAA regulations, please contact your Admission Office representative. Do not contact the Athletics Department at the College. Our coaches may not discuss specific financial aid issues with any prospective student.
Special Financial Circumstances: Individual students and families can experience extraordinary and challenging financial circumstances that arise after an official financial aid package is mailed. Families who have experienced financial distress because of unforeseen personal circumstances, job layoffs, and other extraordinary issues beyond the family's control are encouraged to request and fill out a "Special Circumstances Form," available from the Financial Aid Office.