November 10, 2014
ALBION, Mich. — Albion College is expanding and deepening its commitment to the City of Albion, its revitalization, and to its high school- and college-age students with the launch of the Build Albion Fellows Program.
Beginning in fall 2015, Albion College will meet the four-year costs of tuition, room, and board for up to 10 first-year students who attended Albion Public Schools for a minimum of three years (grades 6-8). Students must also live within the Albion Public Schools district and demonstrate high financial need, based on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Service in the community is an additional component of the Build Albion Fellows Program. Fellows will complete a work-study assignment as part of their aid package (10 hours per week for 40 weeks) and will also dedicate each summer (40 hours per week for 10 weeks) to projects that will likely include work, service, supplemental instruction, and other efforts to “build” the community of Albion. Over the course of students’ college careers, these positions will increase in responsibility as they gain meaningful experience toward a career or further education.
By 2019, four classes of Build Albion Fellows will be engaged in the program, representing an investment by the College of up to $4 million in the education of the city’s young people.
“This initiative is another way for Albion College to express its gratitude to its host community, but it truly is much more than that,” said College President Mauri Ditzler. “This represents a bold, confident, and important step forward for Albion—the city and the college. It’s a step that will feature the city’s next generation of leaders and impact-makers, as Albion College students, building their town of tomorrow.”
Andrew French, Albion College chemistry professor and Albion City Councilman, has led the development of this new program with the help of a group of dedicated community leaders, including Albion’s mayor, Joe Domingo.
“This is a true collaboration between our community and our college,” French said. “It will give opportunities to local college-aged students to receive a high-quality education that will empower these students to become community leaders. Working with community groups and the college, these Fellows will be part of a movement that will help revitalize the City of Albion.”
The Build Albion Fellows program is available to Albion residents attending area high schools, including Marshall, Concord, Homer, Springport, and Parma Western High School.
A selection committee of community and college leaders will interview eligible students who are admitted to Albion College, show high financial need through the FAFSA, and are interested in becoming a Build Albion Fellow. Up to 10 candidates will be selected by the committee to become Build Albion Fellows each year.
“In today’s world, we are preparing for a tomorrow we cannot see,” said Jerri-Lynn Williams-Harper, Albion Public Schools superintendent. “However, we do know that being college- and career-ready is important. We are proud that Albion College is stepping up to the challenge of being a force in the community and providing an excellent education to students from Albion Public Schools.”
Currently, tuition, room, and board for a full academic year (fall and spring semesters) at Albion College totals $47,422 before factoring in a student’s financial aid package (most Albion College students receive a scholarship and/or financial aid). Build Albion Fellows will be expected to apply for other external scholarships and grants for which they qualify. The cost of books and student activity fees, together totaling around $1,500 per academic year, are not covered by the program but other financial-aid resources, including loans, may meet those costs.
While the Build Albion Fellows Program is only open to Albion residents who attended Albion Public Schools, a number of well-established endowed scholarships at Albion College are available to Calhoun County students as well. These include the James L. Curtis, M.D., ’44 Endowed Scholarship; the Vernon G. and Myrtle Baldwin Sciences Scholarship; the Boggan-Womack Families Scholarship; the William A. Krenerick Scholarship; the Randall Family Scholarship; and the Esther Young O’Brien Endowed Scholarship.
“We want families in our neighboring communities to know that students who are admitted to Albion will be offered a compelling financial-aid package,” Ditzler said.
Fellowships will be renewed each year of enrollment, provided all program requirements are met, and students will be expected to complete their degree in eight semesters. However, if a Fellow needs a ninth semester to complete a degree—for example, to fulfill teacher education requirements—the College will provide tuition, room, and board for the additional semester. Albion residents entering Albion College with some college credit but who still qualify as first-year students are also eligible for the program.
“The Build Albion Fellows program is one of the best things to happen for Albion Public Schools students since I have been mayor," Domingo said. "My thanks go to President Mauri Ditzler and everyone at Albion College for affording this opportunity for our students to attend Albion College at virtually no cost.”
Albion College is a private liberal arts college located in south central Michigan. Founded in 1835, Albion was the first private college in Michigan to have a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. The College is best known for its distinctive blend of liberal arts education and pre-professional preparation in business, public service, the sciences, and medicine. Albion College is a member of the Great Lakes Colleges Association and the Michigan Campus Compact, an organization dedicated to encouraging student volunteerism.
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