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10 Benefits of Private Colleges

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.


1

They're more affordable than what you've been told.

The "high price" of private colleges is a myth. Smaller colleges typically work with families individually to offer attractive financial aid packages. Unlike public universities, it doesn't matter if you're a state resident.

2

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.

3

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.

4

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.

5

Your professors will know their stuff.

Classes and lab sessions are taught by professors, unlike public universities, where graduate students often lead the class.

6

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.

7

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.

8

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.

9

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.

10

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.

 

 

Ready to get started?

Learn more about Albion! Then start by requesting more information from Albion, visiting campus, or contacting our Admission Counselors for questions! 

Apply to Albion

10 Questions to Ask About College Academics

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.


1

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.

2

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.

3

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.

4

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.

5

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.

6

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.

7

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.

8

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.

9

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.

10

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.

 

Ready to get started?

Learn more about Albion's academic programs! Then start by requesting more information from Albion, visiting campus, or contacting our Admission Counselors for questions! 

Apply to Albion

10 Questions to Ask Before You Make Your Final College Choice

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.


1

Does it have my academic program?

Explore your personal and career goals. When researching programs, consider which majors and minors would support these goals. Still not decided? That's okay, many students wait to declare their major during sophomore year in order to weigh their options.

2

What's campus life like?

Look at the range of campus clubs, groups, and activities available. Read the college's Facebook page, or check out the college's Instagram hashtag, to see what's going on. Can you do the things you like to do? Any new experiences you want to try?

3

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.

4

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.

5

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.

6

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.

7

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.

8

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.

9

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.

10

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.

Ready to get started?

See why students think Albion is a good fit. Then visit campus (again or for the first time), make your deposit, or contacting our Admission Counselors for questions!

Deposit Now

10 Questions to Ask on Every College Visit

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.


1

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.

2

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.

3

What are the most popular majors on campus?

Get insight into certain programs, and find out what students are actually studying.Get insight into certain programs, and find out what students are actually studying.

4

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.

5

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.

6

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.

7

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.

8

What do students do for fun on weekends?

Ask everybody you meet. Especially people who look like they're having fun.

9

How do you get around?

This tells you whether you'll be walking, biking, or shuttling between class, the store, and your room.

10

Who has the best cup of coffee or slice of pizza?

Actually, this should probably be the first question on the list.

 

 

Ready to get started?

Take a virtual tour of Albion, or check out our interactive map of campus. Then request more information from Albion, visit campus, or contact our Admission Counselors for questions! 

Apply to Albion

10 Things to Consider About College Campus Life

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 10 things to consider about life outside the classroom.


1

Leadership roles.

Student government and other campus groups allow students to make real decisions and influence campus life. Find out how you can get involved.

2

Performance opportunities.

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.

3

Playing sports.

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.

4

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.

5

Going Greek.

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.

6

Staying fit.

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.

7

Spiritual life.

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.

8

Residence life.

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.

9

Food.

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.

10

School spirit.

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.

 

 

Ready to get started?

Learn more about Albion's campus life! Then start by requesting more information from Albion, visiting campus, or contacting our Admission Counselors for questions! 

Apply to Albion

10 Things to Do When Starting Your Child's College Search

10 Things to Do When Starting Your College Search.

10 Tips About Financial Aid

10 Tips for About Financial Aid

1

Apply for admission.

When reviewing your admission application we'll also look for any scholarships for which you're eligible.

2

Complete your FAFSA.

Need help? Check out this video or contact our office at or 517/629-0440.

3

Review your Financial Aid Offer.

Once we've received your FAFSA we'll send you a financial aid notification 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.

4

Complete your Financing Plan.

After you receive your aid offer we'll send you your personalized financing plan that allows you to consider other resources that you'll have available to assist with your college costs.  

5

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.

6

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.

7

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.

8

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 TuitionPay.

9

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.

10

Stay connected.

Read your emails and check your ACIS account to make sure your file is complete. Follow us on Facebook to get updates on available scholarships and learning opportunities through the Financial Skills Center.

 

Ready to get started?

Start with our Scholarship Calculator, and get 10 tips on filling out the FAFSA

Apply to Albion

10 Tips for Filling Out The FAFSA

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.


1

Don’t panic.

It’s not as bad as you think and we’re here to help.

2

Both you and your student will need an FSA ID.

This allows you to electronically sign the FAFSA and gain access to federal student aid websites. You can get an FSA ID at www.fsaid.ed.gov. Each FSA ID will need a unique email address.

3

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.

4

You've got all the tax information you need.

The FAFSA uses your information from last year's tax return. You'll have the option to link your tax information directly from the IRS website to save time and increase accurracy. 

5

Submit your FAFSA early.

The FAFSA is available on October 1. We recommend you complete it when you complete your admission application 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.

6

Have the information you need before you start.

This includes your FSA ID, social security numbers, 2015 federal tax returns –or estimates, bank and brokerage statements.

7

Make sure both the parent and student sign the FAFSA.

The FAFSA won’t be processed until both the parent and student provide an FSA ID or signature.

8

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.

9

Read email.

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.

10

Need more help?

Check out this video or contact our office at or 517/629.0440.

 

 

Ready to get started?

Start with our Scholarship Calculator, and get 10 tips about financial aid.

Apply to Albion

14 Steps to Financial Success

  1. 1  Complete the FAFSA

    We recommend everyone complete the FAFSA. Entering Action applicants should complete it by December 1.  Everyone else we recommend March 1.  Current students by January 1.

  2. 2  Review your financial aid award

    We’ll send new students financial aid notifications beginning in mid-November. Current students will be emailed their notice beginning in mid- January.

  3. 3  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.

  4. 4  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
  5. 5  Review the Student Requirements in ACIS to ensure your file is complete
    • Recommended deadline is June 15th
  6. 6  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.
  7. 7  Complete Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN)
    • Go to Studentloans.gov
    • Sign in with the FSA ID used for the FAFSA
    • Sign the Master Promissory Note (subsidized/unsubsidized)
  8. 8  Complete Direct Loan Counseling
    • Go to Studentloans.gov
    • Sign in with the FSA ID used for the FAFSA
    • Complete Entrance Counseling (undergraduate)
  9. 9    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.
  10. 10  Authorize Access
  11. 11  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.
  12. 12  Consider a PLUS or alternative loan
    • If you need additional resources to help cover your bill consider a PLUS or alternative loans
  13. 13  Request a refund
    • If your account is paid and there is extra money remaining you may request a refund of those funds by emailing .
  14. 14  Read your email

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

advantage_academics_432

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.

Academics

guy-and-bookshelves-horiz


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

guy-at-computers-horiz


Albion Online.

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 sent in your enrollment deposit.

Admission Criteria

Students outside Baldwin Hall, fall 2012

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.

Admission Enrollment Deposit

A $350 enrollment deposit is required to secure your place in the incoming class. This deposit may be submitted the following ways:

Deposit Online

To deposit online, please log in to the Student Portal using your email address and the PIN provided to you via email by your admission counselor (please note, this is NOT your ACIS account credentials). Once you have logged in you may reply to the offer of admission.

Deposit Online

If you've lost your PIN, you may reset it at: https://apply.albion.edu/account/reset. If you need help with your account credentials or have any other questions, please contact your admission counselor, the Office of Admission by calling 800/858.6770, or via email at .

Deposit By Phone

To make your deposit over the phone, please call our office at 800/858.6770, during regular office hours, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Deposit By Mail

To make your deposit by mail, please make check payable to Albion College and mail it to:

Albion College
Office of Admission
611 E. Porter St.
Albion, MI 49224

If you have any questions, please contact the admission office via email at , or call 800/858.6770.

Admission FAQs

Albion College sign on the southeastern part of campus, with Ferguson Hall (left) and the Kellogg Center in the background.

They’re all good questions. These are the common ones.

 How long has Albion been around?
Albion College was founded in 1835 and was the first private college in Michigan to have a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. Today, Albion is a private, coeducational, liberal arts college, historically related to the United Methodist Church.

 How many students attend Albion?
Approximately 1,500.

 Where is Albion? How do I get there?
Albion College is located in the city of Albion in the south-central area of Michigan, between the cities of Ann Arbor and Battle Creek. Albion is 90 miles west of Detroit and 175 miles east of Chicago, near Interstate 94. It is easily accessible from Interstate 80/90 via Interstate 69. The nearest airport is Detroit International Airport (airport code DTW).

 Which majors are offered?
Albion offers 38 academic majors as well as 11 interdisciplinary concentrations and pre-professional programs—49 programs of study overall.

 Is Albion ranked nationally?
Albion is ranked among the top 100 National Liberal Arts Colleges in U.S. News' "America's Best Colleges" guide and is featured in The Princeton Review's The Best 378 Colleges. Albion is also considered a top-40 "bang for the buck" by Washington Monthly.

 What are the AP policies?
A score of 4 or 5 on an AP exam automatically earns college credit and may be counted toward advanced placement in that area. Depending on the department, a grade of 3 may result in advanced placement and, at the discretion of the department, may also be granted as college credit.

 What are the official costs?
See the costs of attending Albion College

 What scholarships are available?
All admitted students are considered for academic scholarships during the admission process. Qualified candidates will be notified at the same time that they learn about admission. Academic scholarships are based on information provided on the admission application. Departmental scholarships are also available. For detailed information, visit Financial Aid.

 What percentage of students receive scholarships or financial aid?
For the 2014-15 academic year, 99 percent of Albion students receive merit-based scholarships or need-based financial assistance, or both.

 What's the average need-based financial aid award?
For the Fall 2015 entering class, the average need-based financial aid award, from all sources, for a first-year student was $32,463.

 What grades and test scores do I need to be accepted?
Because we conduct a holistic review that incorporates a variety of factors, both academic and personal, there are no minimum figures. The average high school GPA for the Fall 2017 incoming class was 3.4, the average ACT composite score was 24, and the average SAT score was 1100.

 Are master’s or graduate classes offered?
No. Albion is exclusively an undergraduate institution.

 How can I find out more about Albion?
Try the Key Facts page for more information.

Admission Requirements for Veterans

Photo

What it takes to be a Briton.

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. For military members who have not completed college course work, 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 anxious to hear what your school has to say about you as a good fit for Albion. Your letter of recommendation may come from your commanding officer, an employer or current supervisor.


Military veterans who have completed one full semester of transferrable academic credits at an accredited institution prior to enrolling at Albion will need to provide the following information:

  • College academic program and GPA: Your courses and grades must be at least a 2.5 cummulative GPA

  • SAT or ACT scores: Required  if you haven’t completed two full years of  academic course work at an accredited institution.

  • What do you hope to accomplish at Albion?  Tell us about why you want to transfer.

Application Deadlines for Military Personnel

June 1: Priority due date for fall semester

December 1: Priority due date for spring semester

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