10 Tips About Financial Aid
Apply for admission.
When reviewing your admission application we'll also look for any scholarships for which you're eligible.
Complete your FAFSA.
Need help? Check out the 7 Easy Steps to the FAFSA video or contact our office at
Review your Financial Aid Award.
Once we've received your FAFSA we'll send you a financial aid letter that outlines any grants, loans or work-study that you may receive. We'll also include a link to the Albion College Information System (ACIS). This is your on-line portal that will give you all the details about each award and any outstanding requirements.
Complete your Financing Plan.
Included with your award notification will be your personalized financing plan that allows you to consider other resources that you'll have available to assist with your college costs.
Accept your aid.
Log into your ACIS account and accept any loans or work that you'd like. You'll also need to accept the Terms and Conditions for your scholarships.
Complete your loan counseling and promissory notes.
If you've accepted any loans you'll need to complete a promissory note – that's your agreement to repay the loan. And, you'll also be required to complete loan counseling. You can do both of those on-line. Your ACIS information will have the links for you to complete those requirements.
Make a plan to pay your bill.
We'll send your fall semester in early July. You can make sure all of your financial aid is ready to be applied to your bill by checking your financial aid requirements in ACIS. If you need additional resources to pay your bill now is the time to explore those.
Consider other resources.
There are additional loan programs – the PLUS loan for parents and alternative loans - to help cover your costs. You can learn more about those on our loan page. The college also has a payment plan through HigherOne.
Authorize your parents to have access.
If you'd like to have your parents get a copy of your bill you'll need to add them as an authorized user on your account. You can sign them up on our Authorized Users page. You also may provide them access to view your ACIS account under the Proxy Menu option.
Read your emails and check your ACIS account to make sure your file is complete. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates on available scholarships and learning opportunities through the Financial Skills Center.
10 Tips for Filling Out The FAFSA
The college search is an exciting and sometimes nerve-wracking time—for parents as well as students. There are so many things to do to prepare to send your child off to college. One “to-do list” item many parents dread is completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. We’re here to help alleviate some of that FAFSA anxiety. Keep these tips in mind.
It’s not as bad as you think and we’re here to help.
Both you and your student will need a PIN.
This allows you to electronically sign the FAFSA and gain access to federal student aid websites. You can get a pin at www.pin.ed.gov.
The FAFSA is free.
Don’t pay to submit the form or have anyone complete the form for you. If you need assistance, contact our office. File your FAFSA at: www.fafsa.gov.
It’s OK to use estimated information.
You don’t need to wait to complete your tax return before submitting your FAFSA. Use the best information you have available. You’ll be able to update your FAFSA once you’ve filed your taxes.
Submit your FAFSA by February 15.
We recommend this deadline to ensure you’re eligible for all available funds. You can submit your FAFSA at any time, but we recommend you do it early to help you plan.
Have the information you need before you start.
This includes your PIN, social security numbers, 2014 federal tax returns –or estimates, bank and brokerage statements.
Make sure both the parent and student sign the FAFSA.
The FAFSA won’t be processed until both the parent and student provide a PIN or signature.
Review your Student Aid Report.
This is your confirmation that your FAFSA was processed and provides important follow up information. It also provides instructions on how to update your FAFSA, if needed.
Make sure your student reads any email sent by the FAFSA processor or the financial aid office. Requests for additional information will be sent to the email address he or she submitted on the admission application.
Need more help?
Check out this video or contact our office at
2014-15 Scholarship Opportunities for Upper Peninsula Seniors
Up to Full-Tuition
Upper Peninsula students can earn non-competitive Albion scholarships of up to $94,000 awarded at up to $23,500 per year. These scholarships are based on academic achievement and are awarded at the time a student is accepted for admission. Additionally, there are two major, competitive, Albion scholarships which Upper Peninsula students may receive.
James A. and Verle A. Klungness, ’50 Scholarship
Each year, three students from the Upper Peninsula will be selected to receive a James A. and Verle A. Klungness, ’50 Scholarship. Each scholarship, when combined with any Michigan and Federal grant to which a student is entitled, covers the full cost of tuition, at Albion College. Preference in the competition is given to students from Iron Mountain or Kingsford High School and secondary preference is given to students from Dickinson County or elsewhere in the Upper Peninsula.
William H. Anderson ’37 and Clifford G. Anderson ’37 Scholarship
Each year, one student from the Upper Peninsula will be selected to receive a William H. Anderson ’37 and Clifford G. Anderson ’37 Scholarship. Each scholarship when combined with any Michigan and Federal grants and other scholarships to which the student is entitled covers the full cost of tuition at Albion College. Preference in the competition is given to students from Ewen-Trout High School with secondary preference given to students from elsewhere in the Upper Peninsula.
- By email or phone call, notify your enrollment counselor - Corey Grazul (517) 630-1811
- that you wish to be considered.
- Apply for admission before November 15th
- Before November 15th, prepare and submit to Corey an essay of 400-500 words in which you describe how living in the Upper Peninsula has shaped your life.
- Participate in a scholarship interview.
- If you have been selected to receive the scholarship, expect to be notified no later than January 15th.
- Indicate your acceptance of the scholarship and commitment to attend Albion within ten days of notification.
Dates and Deadlines (Current Students)
The following are key dates and deadlines you'll need to remember during the financial aid process.
May 1: FAFSA recommended deadline
We encourage you and your parents to complete your IRS tax returns two to three weeks prior to completing your FAFSA so you may use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when submitting your information.
Mid-May: Albion begins sending award notifications to continuing students
July 1: Recommended deadline for scholarship thank-you letters
August 1: Deadline for completing your financial aid requirements in order to have aid on your student account before your fall payment is due.
Student Account Bill
You've got your financial aid, you've developed your plan, now it's time to put it all together on your student account bill.
Getting Your Bill
In early July the College begins sending notification of your bill. This notification is sent as an email to you. If you'd like to have your parents get a copy you'll need to set them up as authorized users. If you're an entering student, you can do that at SOAR or by logging into ACIS and visiting the eBill section.
Understanding Your Bill
The charges reflected are only for the fall semester. Your financial aid offer and your financing plan are for the whole year, so the numbers will be different. Your bill will include your tuition, fees, room and board charges.
Financial Aid on Your Bill
Some of your financial aid will be reflected on your bill.
Some won't -- here's why:
Federal funds cannot be credited to your student account until ten days before the start of the semester. That includes, Pell and Supplemental Grants, Perkins and Direct Loans.
Michigan Tuition Grant funds will be applied when the State confirms your eligibility.
If you haven't completed all the requirements, we can't put funds on your account.
What Does 'Authorized Financial Aid' Mean?
These funds are all set and ready to pay. We are waiting until ten days before the beginning of the semester to put the funds on your student account (it's a federal rule, we can't put it on until then). These funds are already subtracted from the amount due on your bill.
What Are 'Memo Items'?
These are funds that are in process, meaning you are eligible for them, but you haven't completed all the requirements yet. In order to have these funds credited to your student account you need to complete the requirements—you can view those in your ACIS account.
Financing Plan for Entering Students
We understand that putting all the pieces together to finance a college education can be confusing, so we've developed a personalized Plan to help navigate all the options to help pay your student account bill. You will receive your Plan with your financial aid award.
These are the items that will appear on your student account with the College. You'll need to pay these costs or have a payment plan in place before the start of the academic year.
Scholarships and Grants
Grants and scholarships do not have to be repaid. Your Albion Merit Scholarship is renewed for four years (two for transfer students), as long as you are making academic progress. You will need to agree to the Terms and Conditions in ACIS before your scholarship is credited to your account. Other grants and scholarships are usually based on financial need and a FAFSA needs to be completed each year to determine if you remain eligible for them. You may be required to submit a thank you note for your scholarship, check ACIS to get more information.
These funds are offered to you to help meet your costs; you do not have to accept them if you have other resources available. In order to receive loan funds you must complete a promissory note and entrance counseling. Instructions on how to do so are in ACIS. You are responsible for repaying those loans when you leave school. Loan funds can be applied to your student account when all the requirements are met.
Work-study funds are earned by working on-campus or with a community organization. You get a regular pay check that you can use to pay incidentals or apply to your student account.
You can use this section to calculate your contributions from savings, outside scholarships you've earned or funds you plan on borrowing through an outside bank or lender. You can add those up and place the total under the 'My Plan' section.
This section allows you to include contributions from savings or current income. It can also reflect resources from the PLUS Loan (a loan parents can borrow up to the cost of attendance) or available payment plans. Total those amounts and place that in the 'My Plan' section.
We've included your Albion costs that will be billed to you, as well as your financial aid resources. Using the amounts you've included from the student and parent resources sections, you can subtract all of your resources to determine your remaining direct cost. This is the amount you'll need to pay to the College.
These expenses are variable depending upon your spending patterns. The amounts we've listed are typical for most students, you can change them depending upon your spending habits.
Taking your remaining direct cost from above and adding your indirect costs you can see what's left. The goal is to have this amount equal zero, so you know all of your expenses are covered. If it's not then you'll want to either reduce your indirect costs, look at how to add some additional resources or a combination.
Understanding Your Award Letter
Financing Your Albion Education
It's a partnership we think is worth the investment.
With your financial aid award you'll receive a guide to help you understand your financial aid offer from Albion, provide you the starting point to developing your own personal Albion Financing Plan as well as navigate you through the first steps in paying your bill.
Financial Aid Offer
1. Cost of Attendance
Included in your cost of attendance are those expenses that are paid directly to the College (tuition, fees, room and board) as well as what we anticipate your other costs will be while attending. Those include your books and supplies, transportation and personal expenses which will vary depending on your spending habits, but we want to make sure you include those in your plans.
When comparing other aid offers, make sure you've included all of the same costs.
The amount on your College bill will include only tuition, fees, room and board.
2. Financial Aid Offered
We've listed all of the federal, state and institutional resources available to you. You can learn more about each of the funds and what you have to do to receive them by visiting your personal online financial aid award. We'll tell you more about that in the ACIS section below.
3. The Bottom Line
If you accept all of the financial aid offered to you, this is the amount your family will need to contribute. There are many ways to cover this portion. We'll help you understand all the options by completing your personal Albion Financing Plan.
4. What Now?
Visit ACIS. That's the Albion College Information System and has all your important information you'll need as a student; including your personal online financial aid award. Information on how to receive all your financial aid awards is included here. If we need more information to complete your file, we'll list that under the requirements section as well. This is a site you'll want to visit often.
Develop Your Albion Financing Plan. We understand that navigating the financial realities of paying for college is complex. We're here to help, starting with walking you through the pieces of your Plan. But, that's just the start. We'll work with you to help fill in the blanks and explore all the options available to you.
Read Your E-mail. We don't want you to miss out on any funds available and we want to make sure your bill is paid on time. Sometimes we need to remind you about deadlines or documents that we need. We'll let you know by email; so read and succeed.
Net Price Calculator
Albion understands that financing a college education can be complex, and we're here to help.
Our Net Price Calculator will give you an idea of what resources will be available to meet the costs of an Albion education. Using the Net Price Calculator, you can find out your eligibility for our merit-based scholarships as well as financial aid from Albion and estimate your out-of-pocket expenses.
We hope the results will show you that an Albion education is within reach.
Launch the Net Price Calculator
Our mission is to assist students and their families in planning for and meeting their educational expenses at Albion College while supporting the College's recruitment and retention goals. To do this we strive to provide exceptional service, while ensuring that financial aid dollars are administered with the highest level of fiduciary responsibility.
- We strive to provide accurate, timely, courteous, professional, comprehensive and technologically current services to all constituencies.
- Our goal is to provide excellent service to all with whom we interact.
- We continually evaluate and improve services for all constituencies we serve.
- We are dedicated to providing open and effective communication and making the financial aid process as simple and streamlined for our families as possible.
- We strive to be sensitive to the diverse needs of our constituencies while maintaining confidentiality and being responsive to individual needs.
- We strive to award aid in support of student access, enrollment and retention goals, academic quality and equity in funding for all students.
- Our intent is to provide sound fiscal management in compliance with federal, state and association regulations and guidance.
- We strive to provide proactive assistance in support of stewardship related to institutional funds.
- We are committed to being prudent and effective managers of the funds we administer.
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 Skip Zabel
Senior Associate Director of Student Financial Services
Education: B.A., Albion College, 1977
Hometown: Albion, Michigan
Downtime: Spending time in the great outdoors.
What makes Albion a good investment? Albion offers an excellent education, and the scholarships and financial aid that are available can help bridge the gap between the cost of Albion and lower cost options that you may be considering.
Financial aid tip: Saving for college is a good thing. For most families, saving has little effect on financial aid eligibility, and it will give your family more options in funding your education.