Scholarships and Financial Aid

Meet Rob Kniss

Rob Kniss, director of student financial services

Director of Student Financial Services


Education: B.A., Michigan State University, 2003, M.A., Michigan State University, 2011, PH.D, Michigan State University, 2017

Hometown: Haslett, Michigan

Downtime: Spending time with my family.

Hello everyone! I am Rob Kniss, the Director for Student Financial Services for Albion College. Before coming to Albion I was an Assistant Director in the Office of Financial Aid at Michigan State University. Where I also earned my B.A., my M.A, and my Ph.D, with a focus in Higher Education Administration.
When I am not at work I enjoy running, playing basketball, and spending time with my family. I have three children, two daughters and one son. My two daughters both enjoy gymnastics and my son plays basketball.

Financial aid tip: Make sure to file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) when it becomes available every year. Even if you are unsure about taking student loans. There are grant programs that students are eligible for but only if you file your FAFSA. You might miss out on gift aid if you do not file.

Build Albion Fellows Application Process

Application Process

Step 1. Contact your Admissions Counselor to determine your eligibility.

Step 2. Receive Build Albion Fellows Applications via email or U.S. mail, beginning Wednesday, January 4, 2017.

Step 3. Submit an application to the Office of Admission by Friday, March 10, 2017.

Important Dates

Wednesday, February 15: Complete FAFSA

Friday, March 10: All applications are due to the College Admissions Office by 5 p.m.

Saturday, April 1: Interview Day

Thursday, April 27: BAF Class of 2021 Dinner Celebration

Early June: New Fellows Retreat

Admission Counselors

Rhiki Swinton
Phone: 517/629-0769

Lloyd McPartlin
Phone: 517/629-0472

Eligible for the program? Apply today

Build Albion Fellows Details

Build Albion Fellows help with an Albion community park.

Program Eligibility

  1. Live within the former Albion Public Schools district
  2. Admitted to Albion College as a first-year student; or a middle college
  3. File Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA); full Pell Grant eligibility

If you do not fully meet the qualification requirements, you may still be eligible, given that enrollment space is available. Please contact your Admissions Counselor to learn more about your eligibility. 

Eligible for the program? Apply today

Program Basics

Summer Program

During the summer before the first semester, you will participate in a short retreat. You will engage with campus, faculty, and staff and be introduced to the program that will shape the next four years—and the rest of your life! For approximately 20-25 hours per week, you will participate in community service, weekly meetings, project development, leadership training, and on- and off-campus networking.

We understand that fun and excitement are important parts of education and summer! We will explore what other areas are doing to revitalize their people and cities.

At the end of the summer, we will prepare you for the coming semester with another retreat. This will help you navigate campus and gear up for classes, jumpstarting your transition to campus life.

Academic Semester

During the academic year, a 1/4 unit academic course reserved specifically for Fellows provides structure and support for effective service and community engagement. Fellows will participate in a project-based model of service to the community, and dedicated faculty and staff will guide you and work alongside you. The course will challenge you to think about leadership and community building from different perspectives. We are committed to helping you navigate and change the world around you. As you grow and learn over the course of 4 years, your responsibility and leadership in service will increase. We strongly encourage Fellows to participate in clubs and organizations and take on leadership roles as part of their Albion College experience.

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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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

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