Lewis Cardenas, '02
Toll Free: 800/858-6770
In-State Territory: None.
Out of State Territory: International students and Americans living abroad
Education: B.A., international studies, Albion College 2002; M.S, international public service, DePaul University, 2007.
Hometown: Jackson, MI; Jackson County Western High School
Favorite Albion Moment: I think my whole first year in Wesley Hall is by far the most memorable. Other top contenders are convincing Dr. Yewah to take a group of Albion students on a first-year seminar trip to his home country of Cameroon and receiving one of the 2002 Michigan Campus Compact Awards for community service, as well as the Lux Fiat Award my senior year. I also had the opportunity to be one of the first residents of the Mae Harrison Karro Apartments and enjoyed countless mini-Albion reunions throughout Chicago in the last couple of years.
Hobbies: I have a passion for learning about different cultures, languages and people. I enjoy globe trotting, snowboarding, Capoeira, salsa dancing, cooking, shopping, watching movies, video games, tennis, and volleyball.
Favorite Season: Winter because of snowboarding. Plus, nothing beats a cup of hot chocolate by a warm fire after being out in sub-zero temperatures!
Favorite TV Shows: The Soup on E!, Cold Case, Top Chef, My Life on the D-List, Project Runway... (pretty much anything on Bravo TV)
Best Vacation Spot: Anywhere my frequent flyer miles take me to!
What Makes Albion Special to You: Albion College is special to me because of the support I received during and after my collegiate experience here. The staff on campus are truly invested in their students. They encouraged me to get involved on campus, pursue graduate level work, made time to talk to me whenever possible, and even helped me land my first job out of college. Most importantly, they helped shape who I am today. If you ask anyone who attended a different college/university who have partaken in an Albion College gathering of any sort, I guarantee that they will tell you that Albion grads, no matter what class years are represented, always have a great time! The friendships you develop with staff and classmates here truly do last a lifetime.
Best College Search Tip: College can be affordable! Start researching scholarships as soon as you begin your college search. Use the resources around you for assistance. For example, talk with your local community organizations, guidance counselor, the financial aid office(s) at your prospective college/university, and college/university alumni. You can also use the Web to obtain information about financing your college degree. Be a smart consumer and don't rule out any schools until you get an opportunity to meet with your admission counselor. You'd be surprised what schools will do if they are interested in you - remember, you are just as much of an asset to the school as the school is to you!
Nic Clements, '06
Toll Free: 800/858-6770
In-State Territory: Grand Traverse Area including: Leelanau, Benzie, Manistee, and Wexford Counties; Mid-Michigan including: Osceola, Clare, Midland, Bay, Saginaw; and Thumb Area including: Tuscola, Huron, Sanilac, Lapeer, St. Clair, and Macomb Counties
Out of State Territory: Southwest Chicago suburbs, Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, Arizona, New Mexico, Nebraska, and Kansas
Education: B.A., History, Albion College, 2006
Hometown: Eastpointe, MI
Hobbies: I enjoy watching any types of sports, especially the Detroit Tigers. I try to spend as much time as I can with family and friends, and I’m just living life :)
Favorite Season: Fall, for it's beauty, school is back in session, campus is very lively, and it's a great time for sports!
Favorite TV Shows: Scrubs, 24, Sportscenter, PTI…and Detroit Tigers baseball games!
Favorite Musician: John Mayer
Best Vacation Spot: Comerica Park :)
What Makes Albion College Special to Nic: Albion College is special to me for so many reasons. A liberal arts education is like a key that will open countless doors for further education or work opportunities. You'll have the chance to learn countless amounts of skills both in and out of the classroom that can be applied to so many different walks of life.
Best College Search Tip: You should visit every school you are interested in. A brochure for a college can only tell you so much. You need to get on the campus and meet current students, professors, and admission staff and experience the campus culture. It’s the best way to figure out if the college is a right fit for you.
Alternative/Private Loan Options
There are a number of lenders who provide alternative loans. The College can provide you with a list of those lenders that students have used in the past; we, however, don’t rank or recommend any lenders.
Be an Informed Borrower
Loan provisions and requirements vary greatly and change frequently. You should contact the lender for specific information regarding the most current interest rate, fees and eligibility requirements before taking a loan. You should carefully research the loan company you are considering doing business with. The Federal Trade Commission has a helpful web site that provides tips on items to look for when selecting a lender.
Important Information About Applying
Once you have decided to apply for an alternative loan allow 3-5 business days to have your application forwarded to our office. When you have completed your application online you should notify our office either via email
or calling 517/629-0440.
Items to Consider When Comparing Loans
To ensure that you are fully informed, you should read the lender's application and promissory note fully for specific information regarding the terms and conditions of your loan. Important questions to ask before taking a loan include:
- What is the minimum and maximum loan amounts offered per year and cumulatively?
- Is the amount you are eligible to borrow tied to school costs and other financial aid received?
- What is the approximate time it takes to obtain a decision for loan approval?
- Are there any minimum enrollment requirements? If so, what are they?
- What are the credit criteria for loan approval? Do they include a debt-to-income ratio or other income requirements?
- What is considered "poor credit," and is no credit considered poor credit?
- What steps will the lender take to help qualify borrowers with poor credit?
- Are co-signers an option or a requirement? Under what conditions are they required?
- Is there an option to release the co-signer at a later date? If so, what are the conditions?
Interest Rates and Fees:
- What is the interest rate? What is it based on (i.e. Prime, T-Bill, etc.)?
- Is the interest rate fixed or variable? If variable, how frequently can the rate change?
- Is there a maximum amount the interest rate can increase with each change?
- Is the loan adjusted based on a rate changes? For example, will interest be capitalized (added to the principal) or will the repayment term or amount be adjusted?
- What fees are charged? When and how are fees paid?
- What is the total cost of the loan over the life of the loan?
Repayment Terms and Conditions:
- What are the minimum and maximum repayment terms and payment amounts?
- Are there any restrictions or special conditions you need to consider?
- When does repayment begin? Is there a grace period before payments are expected? If so, how long is it?
- Can payments be deferred? If so, under what circumstances?
- Are payments required while you are in school?
- Are there any prepayment penalties?
After originating a loan, the lender can keep the loan until it is paid in full, sell it to a secondary market or keep it and contract with a servicer to manage the day-to-day details of tracking and collecting loan payments.
- When are the loan funds disbursed?
- Will you have online access to the application process and for account inquiry?
- Who do you contact for questions about your loans?
- Can the lender combine your private and federal loan payments into one bill?
Obtaining a Loan:
There are a number of lenders that provide alternative loans; review a list of popular lenders.
Meet Ann Whitmer
Director of Student Financial Services
Education: B.S., Program Management, Michigan State University, 1986; M.A., Higher Education Administration, Michigan State University, 1992
Hometown: Belleville, MI
Downtime: Distance running, long-course triathlons and reading. But my favorite activity is watching my son, Alex, run cross country and track for his college team.
What makes Albion a good investment? The personal touch. There is an incredible sense of community here. Students, faculty, and staff are connected. The staff and faculty are committed to assuring student success. At Albion, everyone is here for the same purpose – the success of the students. I've worked at larger schools and never knew the students. Here, we know the students, their background, their challenges, and their achievements.
Financial aid tip: Apply, read, succeed.
- Apply by completing the FAFSA, even if you don't think you'll be eligible. Many students are surprised at how much financial aid they can receive.
- Read e-mails we send you and the information we provide on our Web site. It is loaded with valuable information to get your aid faster, help you know what you're getting and any strings attached (yes, you do have to repay that loan.)
- Succeed: Your success at Albion is our success. Our goal is to help you finance your education so that you can experience all that Albion has to offer.