Understanding Your Award Offer

Students in the fourth floor of the Kellogg Center.Financing Your Albion Education

It's a partnership we think is worth the investment.

With your financial aid offer 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,housing and meals) 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, housing and meals.

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 offer.  You'll have access to all that information once you pay your deposit - we'll send you all the log information to your student portal.

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?

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

Students look a computer screen in the east room of Stockwell Library's Cutler Commons.

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.

*The Net Price Calculator currently shows results for students entering in Fall 2016 - but it will give you a good start point.  We anticipate updating the information for Fall 2017 in January. If you are entering Fall 2017 we encouarge you to complete a FAFSA to get your actual financial aid eligiblity.

Launch the Net Price Calculator

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.

    Our Mission

    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 value:


    • 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.

    Fiduciary Responsibility

    • 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.

    Meet Skip Zabel

    Skip Zabel, senior associate director of financial aid

    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.

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