10 Benefits of Private Colleges.
Usually the first consideration in any college search is big public school or small private one. Each has its benefits, and you'll probably find schools in both categories on your final list. Here are ten reasons you might want to go to a private college.
They're more affordable than what you've been told.
The "high price" of private colleges is just a myth. Smaller colleges typically work with families individually to offer attractive financial aid packages. And unlike public universities, it doesn't matter if you're a state resident.
You won't get lost in a mob of students.
Private colleges tend to be smaller, and the classes are smaller, too. Many students prefer a more intimate learning environment as opposed to the arena-like classrooms of bigger public universities.
Your voice will be heard.
With smaller classes, you'll have a greater chance to contribute to the conversation. You'll have a true dialogue with professors and other students, during and after class.
You'll have support.
From your academic adviser to the career services office, at private colleges you'll find many people who can help you identify and achieve your career goals—and who genuinely care about your future success.
Your professors will know their stuff.
Classes and lab sessions are taught by professors, unlike public universities, where graduate students often lead the class.
You'll have greater access to research opportunities.
Private colleges are more likely to support research for undergraduate students. Faculty mentors are available to guide you through these learning experiences.
You'll find a college education that has value(s).
Private colleges often have a religious affiliation, but how that's expressed in campus life varies greatly. If spirituality is important to you, look for a school that reflects your beliefs.
You'll find a campus that feels more like home.
With a smaller student population and a more intimate campus, you'll know the people around you. It's also easier to take leadership roles on campus.
You'll have access to a committed alumni network.
With fewer graduates, alumni are more likely to work with new alumni to provide support and access to career opportunities. You'll become a member of an exclusive, yet powerful group.
You'll make a worthwhile investment.
According to a national survey, 77 percent of private, liberal arts college graduates rated their experience as "excellent," compared to 53 percent for graduates of leading public universities.
10 Questions to Ask About College Academics.
Of all the things to consider in your college search, there is one important factor that is a fundamental part of every college education. Namely, the education. Gauge how the schools you're considering stack up academically by asking these ten questions.
What kinds of students are typically admitted?
Look at the average test scores and high school GPAs of admitted students. Higher scores equal greater selectivity, which means increased academic rigor. Make sure this equation works in your favor.
What special academic opportunities are available?
See if student research, honors courses, or other specialized programs are available to undergraduate students. Your very first groundbreaking research project? Finding out if research opportunities exist.
How career-focused are the academic programs?
Check out how the coursework in your major syncs up with your career. If you need special certification (for a career like teaching), make sure you'll be able to get it.
How much emphasis is placed on essential professional skills?
Effective writing and problem-solving abilities will be valuable in any career. Although you'll concentrate on your major, these vital skills should be an equally important focus.
What are the qualifications of the faculty?
And what priority do they place on teaching undergrads? Research your potential professors, and be sure that the most qualified aren't only instructing at the graduate level.
How much out-of-class interaction is there between faculty and students?
Ask current students, or check individual faculty Web pages to see policies on office hours. Make sure your professors are just as invested in your education as you are.
Will you have access to career planning?
Determine whether the college has a dedicated career planning office. A top-notch academic program is much more rewarding if you can use it to get a job afterward.
What internship opportunities are available?
Many colleges have relationships with certain businesses or a deep reach into a particular industry. Maybe you'll find your dream job before you even leave campus.
What off-campus learning experiences are offered?
Want to travel the country or the world to dig deeper into your studies? For many students, the best thing about a college campus is leaving it every once in a while.
What successes have previous alumni had?
Find out where a college's graduates have earned advanced degrees and what they have accomplished in their careers.
10 Questions to Ask Before You Make Your Final College Choice.
So, where do you want to go? To help you answer this big question, here are ten little ones you'll want to ask first.
Does it have my academic program?
Not only should it have your intended major, but also other academic fields that interest you in case you change your mind. Remember, it's much easier to change your major than to transfer to a new school.
What's campus life like?
Look at the range of campus clubs, groups, and activities available. Read the college's Facebook page to see what's going on. Can you do the things you like to do? Any new experiences you want to try?
How far do I want to go?
Some students want to experience entirely new terrain, and some like to have a short drive to their parents' house for the weekend.
Can I afford it?
This is about more than the cost of tuition; it's figuring out a total financial aid solution. Scholarships, grants, and loans can significantly reduce the amount your family will pay.
Are athletics important?
Whether you want to play or just cheer from the sidelines, sports might be a big part of your college experience. Or not. The size of the school may be a big factor here.
How are the campus facilities?
Look at the library, the science labs, the residence halls, the fitness facility, and any other campus building you'll spend time in. The quality of these facilities will tell you a lot about the experience you'll have.
Is it the right size?
There are lots of reasons to select a big school. There are just as many reasons to attend a small one. Medium-ish, too. Be sure to try them all on for size.
Does it have a good mix of students?
When you visit a campus, you may see students who are just like you. You'll also see students who are nothing like you. Some of both is usually best, so find the mix that feels right.
Will I be challenged?
Ask if this is a place where you'll be pushed to grow and learn. Also determine if you'll be able to handle the work. Find out what level of academic rigor seems best for you.
Does it feel right?
When you make your final decision, it often comes down to your gut. Maybe it's the helpful professor or student you met—relationships you develop will be a core part of your college experience. Maybe it was the amazing research lab or art studio you visited. Sometimes you can't put your finger on it — maybe you just knew this college was right for you the minute you stepped on campus.
10 Questions to Ask on Every College Visit.
Big university or small college. Public or private. Visiting a campus in person is the best way to learn about the environment where you'll be spending the next four years of your life. It's an opportunity to sit in on a class, or even spend the night in a residence hall. And during your visit, be sure to ask these ten questions.
What made you choose this college over the other ones you were considering?
Not too long ago, these students were in the same situation you're in now. Something helped them make their decision. Maybe it'll tip the scales for you too.
What are a few things you wish you had known before arriving on campus?
This is how you'll get the inside scoop—the information you won't find in the guidebooks.
What are the most popular majors on campus?
Get insight into certain programs, and find out what students are actually studying.
What's the average class size for first-year courses?
Yes, just first-year courses. It will give you a better idea of what to expect from day one.
Which professor has had an impact on your college experience, and why?
Technically these are two questions, but you're bound to get interesting answers to both.
What connections exist between the college and local residents?
This is another way to learn about the community that will be your second home for four years.
Which students live where?
Some colleges require first-year students to live on campus. Some don't. Either way, you'll learn the best places to live.
What do students do for fun on weekends?
Ask everybody you meet. Especially people who look like they're having fun.
How do you get around?
This tells you whether you'll be walking, biking, or shuttling between class, the store, and your room.
Who has the best cup of coffee or slice of pizza?
Actually, this should probably be the first question on the list.
10 Things to Consider About College Campus Life.
You'll study. You'll learn. You'll prepare for your future career. But when you're not doing that stuff, there are thousands of other things you'll want to do on campus. Here are ten things to consider about life outside the classroom.
Student government and other campus groups allow students to make real decisions and influence campus life. Find out how you can get involved.
Do you act, sing, or play an instrument? Look for theatre groups, choirs, or instrumental ensembles that fit your style. At a smaller school, you'll have a better chance to star in the show; at a big school, you may stand on an impressive stage.
Small colleges have more opportunities to join the team. Some have more specialized sports, like disc golf, equestrian, or curling. Find out your chances of making the team or leading it.
Supporting the team.
At larger schools, sports are often more competitive, and it can be harder for students to make the team. But these schools might also have a fiercely active fan base and play on the national stage. You may not know anyone on the team personally, but you'll still be part of the crowd.
Want to join a fraternity or sorority? Greek life is the cornerstone of social activity on some campuses and nonexistent on others. Ask a current student about the importance of Greek life.
Are you lost without your elliptical? Only feel at home in a weight room? Fitness facilities vary greatly at colleges of all sizes. If you'll be using them, make sure they meet your needs.
Many private colleges have a specific church affiliation, but nearly all of them welcome students of all faiths and offer campus groups and worship services for everyone.
You'll be busy during your college years, but you'll have to sleep eventually. Ask if you'll have roommates. Wi-Fi. Laundry facilities. Are the rooms comfy? Are there any unique housing options? See how you'll live for the next four years.
You'll eat a lot of meals in four years. Find out if you'll have to purchase a dining plan. See if you'll have access to options outside of the dining hall, like coffee bars or sandwich shops. And most importantly, stop by for lunch and check out the food for yourself.
College traditions often take the form of distinctive annual events. Ask around—you'll probably find surprising (and occasionally bizarre) traditions that will create your most cherished memories.
10 Things to Do When Starting Your Child's College Search.
Choosing a college is a huge decision, so make it a team effort. Work closely with your child from the very beginning, and all that school pride can be yours, too (just don't overdo it in front of your child's new college friends).
Do your homework.
Maybe you've been planning for college since your child was in a onesie emblazoned with your alma mater's mascot, or maybe you're just getting started. Either way, your child is doing research. Join in.
Talk. A lot.
Then talk some more. You and your child must agree on a number of different topics. Establish them early and keep an open line of communication. You'll thank yourself later.
Have the money talk.
Resist your parental instinct to protect your child from harsh realities. Have a discussion early on about what financial limitations may exist and how to accept or overcome them. But remind them that paying for college doesn't have to be scary, if they do the work to find scholarships and other sources of funding.
Go on campus visits.
Do it while school is in session, don't try to make it a vacation, and definitely talk to strangers. The more questions you ask, the more answers you'll get. You know, just like in college.
Trust your child.
She knows what inspires her, what engages her, and what makes her happy. Discuss it in terms of study and career prospects and realistic goals, but at the end of the day (and at graduation), it's all about your child (see #10).
Trust your gut.
Your parental instincts are there for a reason. If you feel your child's college goals are unrealistic, let him know early (and give him an honest chance to convince you otherwise).
You have expectations of what college will be like, and so does your child—the real experience lies somewhere in between. Establish some give-and-take, and the process will work for everyone.
How far away is the school? How will your child get around campus and travel home for the holidays? Where will your child live, how will he eat, and who's paying for what? The time to ask (and answer) these questions is now.
Establish ground rules.
And a mechanism to enforce them. Enough said.
Remember: It's not about you.
The knowledge your child gains in college is hers. The friendships and mistakes she makes will be hers, too (though we're sure she'll share both). Keep that in mind, and college will teach you a lot.
10 Things to Do When Starting Your College Search.
Some people make their college choice early, some wait until the mailbox starts filling up, and others follow the aid dollars. But everyone can benefit from a few sage bits of advice. Ten sage bits, to be exact.
Watch the mailbox.
You've probably been thinking about college since freshman year. By junior year you'll start getting a lot of materials from schools. There could be good reasons you're on their list. Find out why.
Do your research.
It's more exciting than any project you've been assigned so far, but exploring your college options can be more intense, too. Reading up in print and online is a must, but asking around is useful, too. Go to college fairs in your area and talk to admission representatives when they visit your school.
Talk to your counselor.
He will help steer you in the right direction (and occasionally steer you away from a dream college). It's his job to help you succeed. Put him to work for you.
Meet with a graduate.
When you find a school that interests you, it becomes easy to talk with someone who went there (alumni love to relive their college days). They can give you valuable insights—and cool stories.
Talk to your favorite teacher.
The things she learned in college made her the teacher you like today. Who knows? Your teacher might have even attended one of the schools you're leaning toward.
Go on campus visits.
There's a right way to do this (and we have a "Ten Things" card for it), and you can learn a lot of things that aren't in print. Get a feel for campus life, the facilities, the professors, and all the things that make a college the right fit.
Do the math.
College is a big investment in your future. But with the proper strategy, it can be done. Remember to look at more than just the price tag—see what scholarships and other sources of funding are available.
Make a list.
Write down your top college choices in order, with your dream college as number one. Now look at the last college on your list and come up with five reasons why it might work out better than number one. Why? Read on.
Prepare for disappointment.
Your first choice might not happen—not right away, at least. Being flexible and dealing with setbacks are great skills to have in college and in the future.
Prepare for excitement.
No matter which college accepts you, it's an amazing feeling. Planning your next steps will be more challenging than the last nine. (And we look at those steps in the box above.)
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
10 Ways to Better Understand How to Afford College.
A little hard work and resourcefulness can help you manage the costs and achieve your degree. It's about more than securing funds—it's just as important to find a school that's a good value.
Crunch the numbers.
Tuition is just the start, so estimate every cost—housing, food, and books. The sooner you know the numbers, the sooner you can start looking for aid (and developing your budgeting skills).
Learn the lingo.
FAFSA, SAR, EFC—is it the world's scariest bowl of alphabet soup? No, it's the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, the Student Aid Report, and the Expected Family Contribution, respectively. Knowing them is key to affording college (and not all that scary).
Apply on time.
Colleges use the FAFSA as a starting point to determine your eligibility for financial aid. Filling out the FAFSA (fafsa.ed.gov) is easy, but you need to make sure you do it on time to secure the funds for which you're eligible.
Once you've completed your FAFSA, make sure you submit any additional documents that might be requested. Stay on top of the financial aid process by carefully reading your e-mail and all the letters you receive.
Work with the school.
You might be surprised how hard a college will work to help you afford to attend. The fact is, they know where the money is, and they'll help you find it.
Shop for scholarships.
There are need-based, merit-based, and some—like community scholarships—based on a single special talent or a defined set of characteristics. Search online, and even ask teachers, administrators, coaches, and counselors. You'll be amazed at what you find.
Look in strange places.
Are you an accomplished duck caller? Over 6'2"? Thinking about making a prom dress out of duct tape? There's money out there for you, and finding it can be half the fun (and yes, those scholarships do exist).
Show up to work.
Having a job (or jobs) and saving during high school and throughout college is key. Most colleges offer work-study programs, and a part-time job can actually help you focus on classes (seriously).
Finish on time.
Every additional semester you spend on your degree generates all kinds of expenses, and (are you sitting down?) delaying your entry into the workforce can cost you around $250,000 over the course of your career.
Defer to better judgment.
Your dream college might not come true for you—not right away, at least. Once accepted, you can apply for a deferment, giving yourself extra time to get your finances in better shape (and show up a lot wiser).
15 Steps to Financial Success
Complete the FAFSA
We recommend everyone complete the FAFSA. Entering students by February 15, current students by May 1.
Review your financial aid award
We’ll send new students financial aid notifications beginning in mid-March. Current students will be emailed their notice beginning in mid-May.
Develop your Albion Financing Plan
Work with your admission or financial services counselor to explore your options and develop a plan to cover all of your college costs.
Visit your ACIS account to see what resources are available to you.
- Use the username and password provided in your award notification to log into ACIS.
- Review and accept the Terms and Conditions of your scholarship.
- Accept Your Awards
Review the Student Requirements in ACIS to ensure your file is complete
- Recommended deadline is June 15th
Write Your Scholarship Thank You Note
- In ACIS click on the name of your scholarship to get information on your donor and instructions on how to write your letter.
Complete Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN)
Go to Studentloans.gov
- Sign in with the PIN used for the FAFSA
- Sign the Master Promissory Note (subsidized/unsubsidized)
Complete Direct Loan Counseling
Go to Studentloans.gov
- Sign in with the PIN used for the FAFSA
- Complete Entrance Counseling (undergraduate)
Complete Perkins Loan Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note
Accept your loan on ACIS
When you receive an email from SignMyLoan
- Sign in with the PIN FAFSA used for the
- Complete the MPN and Entrance Counseling
Find a Job
- Work-study/Albion Work positions are available at http://www.albion.edu/hr/student-employment
- Complete the required paperwork before beginning employment.
Check Your Bill
- Your bill will be emailed to you at the beginning of each month starting in July. You are responsible for reviewing it and paying the balance owed.
Consider a PLUS or alternative loan
If you need additional resources to help cover your bill consider a PLUS or alternative loans
Request a refund
- If your account is paid and there is extra money remaining you may request a refund of those funds by emailing
Read your email
2015-16 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.
A Record of Career Success: Alumni Profiles
The best way to learn the value of an Albion education is from those who have experienced it. Check out what these recent graduates have to say.
Academic and Career Exploration
A powerful mix.
All parts of the Albion Advantage come together in our Career Readiness Model. In your first year, you will map out your path to graduation, working with your faculty adviser, the Career Development Office, and other mentors. You will evaluate your personal strengths and identify career fields where those strengths would allow you to shine. At the same time, you will develop an academic plan and look ahead to the selection of your major.
During your sophomore and junior years, you will refine your academic plan and gain practical, marketable skills through experience-based learning opportunities such as independent research, internships, and off-campus study. As you progress through your four years at Albion, you will compile your accomplishments in an electronic resume that may be shared with future employers and/or graduate and professional schools. You will leave Albion confident in your abilities and ready for success.
At Albion, education means much more than simply checking courses off a list. Here, beginning with The First-Year Experience, you'll quickly find that we’re into real, live learning.
The liberal arts is all about using your brain to make things happen. A geology lecture sparks an idea for a film project. The film project leads to an internship with the New York Arts Program. And that internship opens the door to a great job at Random House. Once you’re open to the connectedness of the liberal arts, there are no limits.
It makes problem solving easier. It strengthens your ability to make decisions. It starts with academics at Albion.
Access Your Aid
There is a wealth of information available online. Here at Albion it's no different. You can access your personal information 24/7 by visiting the Albion College Information System, which we refer to as ACIS.
We'll send you the information you need to access your personal account after you've been admitted and we start the financial aid process. Not applying for financial aid? We'll still send the information to you in mid-March.
We hope you’ve expanded your knowledge of financial aid through the information on our Web site. If you’d like to learn more, the options on the Web are virtually unlimited.
Here are a few recommended links and resources, as well as a review of financial aid terms, FAQs, payment plans, and other financial resources.
From who you are
to who you’ll become.
As an Albion College alum or a parent of a current Albion student (or both!), you can play a special role in the work of the Admission Office.
Your connection to Albion already runs deep, and one of the best ways to show it is by reaching out to the next class of Albion students and their families. Your perspective and passion can make a profound difference in a student's decision to choose Albion.
You can make an impact in a number of ways:
Refer a prospective student
Host a prospective student event at your home or in your area.
Represent Albion at a local college fair.
Attend a recruitment event in your area to meet and encourage prospective students and families.
Offer helpful information about local high schools and community programs to your area's admission counselor.
Provide personal outreach via a phone call or email to admitted students in your area.
Are you in? We hope so! Get things started by completing our volunteer form below , and an Admission Office representative will be in touch with you promptly. If you have questions about the program, call the Admission Office at 800/858-6770.
You can also subscribe to our email newsletter and stay up to date on our progress.
We look forward to hearing from—and working with—you!
What it takes to be a Briton starts here.
Albion has a selective admission process because we have many more qualified applicants than spaces in the class. Students are considered for admission based primarily on academic performance. We evaluate the following:
Your high school courses and GPA: we’ll look for AP, IB and Honors courses, the number of courses taken in each academic area, and the grades you received.
Your scores on either the SAT or ACT—it is not necessary to take both.
Your extracurricular activities: Tell us what you do outside the classroom—athletics, music, theatre, community service, clubs, organizations, and so on.
Your School Report and letter of recommendation: We’re eager to hear what your school has to say about you as a good fit for Albion.
Your application essay: We're interested to see how you write and how you think.
Admission interview: One of the best ways to help the Admission Committee learn about you as an individual (beyond your formal application) is to visit campus and interview with an admission counselor.