Financial Aid Programs

In a sense, every Kalamazoo College student receives a scholarship. Tuition and fees at the College cover only about two-thirds of the cost of an education. The remainder is made up from funds from endowments, gifts to the College, the Annual Fund, and other sources.

Additionally, through the generosity of alumni and friends, many named scholarships have been endowed to support students at Kalamazoo College. The Office of Financial Aid awards these funds, matching students with the criteria established by each donor.

Kalamazoo College believes in both financial aid based on promise and ability and financial aid based on need. For information about merit scholarships, contact the Office of Admission. For information about need-based awards, contact the Office of Financial Aid. Both offices are located on the first floor of Mandelle Hall.

Merit-Based Aid Programs

The College offers several scholarships based on merit criteria: Lux Esto, Trustee, Presidential, Founders, and Passages. These merit scholarships are awarded by the Office of Admission. These scholarships range from $10,000 to $24,500 per year (renewable for up to four years). These scholarships are awarded to students who combine strong academic achievement with significant engagement in cocurricular, work, and voluntary activities. First-year students and transfer students admitted to the college will be considered for these merit scholarships. No additional application is required.

Other scholarship opportunities are available to first-year students, provided in the form of our Enlightened Leadership Awards and Social Justice Award. Students are selected through a competitive application process. Awards are $5000 per year for up to four years. Complete details about the process to enter the competition for these awards can be found on our Office of Admission web page.

The College sponsors National Merit Scholars who are selected as finalists by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Finalist must be admitted to the College by March 1 and must have Kalamazoo listed as their first college choice.

Heyl Scholarship Program

Kalamazoo College has long been respected for the strength of its science program, and this is reflected in the Heyl Scholarship Program. A science scholarship fund established by Dr. Frederick W. Heyl and Elsie L. Heyl provides scholarship support for students graduating from the Kalamazoo Public Schools or earning a certificate of completion from the Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center to attend Kalamazoo College and major in one of the departments in the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

The scholarships are highly competitive and are renewed annually, provided the recipient maintains a grade point average of 3.0 or better while making normal progress toward a major in one of the above departments. A Heyl Scholarship covers full tuition and fees plus room charges and a book allowance. A student cannot simultaneously hold another scholarship awarded by the College and a Heyl Scholarship. However, scholarships offered by agencies outside of the College may be held concurrently, unless the combined scholarships exceed the "total cost of attendance," as defined by the Office of Financial Aid. Heyl Scholarships are not based on financial need, and some students may qualify for additional need-based financial aid from the College. Heyl Scholarships also cover tuition and fees for study abroad programs. Any situations that require a student to spend extra quarters on campus require a request for additional financial support. Students should direct this request to the Executive Director of the Heyl Scholarship Fund.

The Heyl Scholarship Fund also provides fellowships to any student graduating from Kalamazoo College with a major in the Division of Natural Sciences and who wishes to pursue graduate study in selected science fields at Yale University. Students who are interested in this program are encouraged to contact the Executive Director of the Heyl Scholarship Fund early in their senior year. Students should provide notice of their intent to apply and verify that their field of interest qualifies for Heyl support.

Postgraduate Fellowships

Many Kalamazoo College students compete for assistance in financing postgraduate education. The College specifically administers the Herbert Lee Stetson Fellowship, which was established by President Stetson's will to assist with graduate work at Harvard, Yale, or Johns Hopkins Universities, the University of Chicago, or at a European university. The Graduate Fellowships Committee oversees the application process for a number of other scholarship and fellowship programs including, but not limited to, the following: Fulbright, Goldwater, James Madison, Rhodes, Marshall, Truman. Language faculty members coordinate applications for teaching assistantships in France, and the German University fellowships. Interested students should contact Diane Kiino, Director of Health Sciences and Chair of the Graduate Fellowship Committee. As noted above, the Heyl Scholarship Fund provides fellowships for graduate study in selected science fields at Yale University.

Need-Based Aid Programs

Kalamazoo College participates in the following federal and state aid programs: Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Work/Study Program, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Stafford Loan, Michigan Competitive Scholarship/Michigan Tuition Grant, the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, and the Federal Direct PLUS (Parent) Loan.

In addition, the College is committed to the provision of Kalamazoo College Grants and the many endowed and annually funded scholarships that are based on financial need.

Within its resources, the College strives to meet the financial needs of its students. These are the steps that a student must follow to apply for need-based financial aid at Kalamazoo College:

  1. Apply and be accepted for admission to the College.
  2. Submit a completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) via the web at FAFSA.ed.gov or by sending a paper application to the address in the FAFSA instructions. Be sure to list Kalamazoo College (code 002275) as one of the schools to receive your data. This form is used to determine eligibility for federal and state awards.
  3. Submit a completed Kalamazoo College Supplemental Form if you are entering as a first year student or transfer student and wish to apply for College funds in addition to federal and state dollars. The Kalamazoo College Supplemental Form may be accessed on the College’s website. The Kalamazoo College Supplemental Form has no processing fee. First time applicants who are awarded financial aid based on need may be asked to submit a copy of the parent(s)’ IRS tax transcript and a copy of the student’s IRS tax transcript to the Kalamazoo College Office of Financial Aid.
  4. If you are a Michigan resident, take the ACT test before December of your senior year in high school and arrange to send scores to the State of Michigan for Michigan Competitive Scholarship consideration. High school counselors have information about test dates.

Financial Aid Policies

The following policies affect the amount of, and eligibility for, financial aid at Kalamazoo College:

  1. College financial aid is awarded to those students participating as regular students in the normal academic program for the purposes of obtaining a first bachelor's degree.
  2. College funded aid is awarded on an academic-year basis for those quarters in which the student is enrolled as at least a three-quarter time student. Enrollment in a course as a repeat of a first attempt cannot be counted toward enrollment for financial aid eligibility unless the original grade was a D, F, NC, or NG.
  3. The type, amount, and composition of the financial aid package will vary from year to year according to family circumstances and funds available to the College for distribution. If the family encounters a change in its financial situation after the application materials have been filed, they should contact the Office of Financial Aid.
  4. Incoming students should apply by February 15th for first priority funding. Continuing students should file as close to March 1st as possible. Continuing students complete only the FAFSA. If selected for verification, we request copies of IRS tax transcripts and the completion of a verification worksheet. Continuing students who are residents of the state of Michigan risk reduced funding from state need based program if they file later than March 1st. Otherwise, the College considers students who file by April 1st to be on time.
  5. Financial aid will be credited to each student’s account by the first day of classes each quarter. Aid items that arrive from external sources in the form of a check will be deposited to the student's account for the student's use and will not be available until the first day of classes.
  6. All aid awarded by sources other than Kalamazoo College must be reported to the Office of Financial Aid. The financial aid package will then be re-evaluated to incorporate these resources.
  7. Priority for campus jobs is given to financial aid recipients who have been designated as eligible to earn funds under the Federal Work/Study program. Campus employment assignments are made without regard to race, creed, age, sexual orientation, national origin, or physical disabilities.
  8. A student maintains eligibility to continue to receive financial aid support from the institution, as well as federal and state programs, by maintaining an acceptable standard of academic performance. Therefore, financial aid is provided and administered under the terms of the College's Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress policy as outlined in the next section.

Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policies

Kalamazoo College wants to assure that students progress toward graduation in a successful and timely manner. Furthermore, federal regulations require institutions that award federal student aid to implement policies and practices that monitor student progress toward achievement of a degree. This involves monitoring both a reasonable quality of academic achievement as measured by Grade Point Average and a reasonable "length of time" to earn an academic degree.

The following section explains how Satisfactory Academic Progress is measured at Kalamazoo College. The College will administer this policy to all students, whether their financial aid is funded from federal, state, and/or institutional sources.

Who determines if a student is making Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress?
The Committee on Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (CFASAP) shall include the Director of Financial Aid (chair), the Registrar, the Dean of Students, and the Dean of First-Year and Advising.

How often is Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress evaluated?
CFASAP will meet at the end of the academic year following the Committee on Academic Standards' review of student grades.

What are the criteria and standards used to measure progress?

Qualitative measure: Grade Point Average (GPA): A student who has been enrolled for three terms of study (first-year) must have achieved a minimum cumulative GPA of 1.67. At the end of the second year, and each year thereafter, the cumulative GPA must be 2.0* ("C" average) or above.

Failure to meet these standards will result in the student being denied financial aid for the next term of enrollment. A student whose financial aid eligibility is cancelled because of a deficient cumulative GPA may file an appeal and be granted an additional term under the status of "probation" at which time the student must meet the standards established for success. Refer to the section "Appealing Cancellation of Financial Aid" for information about the appeal.

*Note: however that the standard for renewal of college-funded merit scholarships, Lux Esto, Trustee, Presidential, Founders, and J.T. Williamson, has been established as a cumulative 2.5 GPA at the end of the sophomore and junior years.

Quantitative measure: Students are considered eligible for financial aid only for those terms which constitute a part of his/her program leading to graduation. A "term" at Kalamazoo is also referred to as a "quarter". The expected duration (number of terms/quarters) for which a student may enroll to achieve a first bachelor's degree is twelve. These twelve terms may include a maximum of 3 terms of study abroad/study away. Understandably, there are reasons that may require a student to need to enroll beyond this standard. Therefore, the College extends eligibility for some types of financial aid to allow a maximum of 18 terms to achieve graduation requirements. Not all forms of financial aid will be available for this extended length of time. Financial aid awards from the College (both merit scholarships and need-based grants) will not normally extend beyond 13 terms. The chart below explains the funding options available based on the length of time.

Number of Enrolled Terms:        
Eligible for Federal/State Aid     
Eligible for College-Funded Aid       
Up to 12 YES YES
13 YES Must Petition Director of Financial Aid
14 YES Must Petition Committee (CFSAP)
15-18 Federal Only NO

Transfer Students: As transfer students are admitted to the College, the Registrar will review the applicant's academic transcripts. This official review will establish the number of units needed to achieve our degree requirements and thereby will count enrollment at the prior institution. The number of terms of funding available at Kalamazoo will be based on the remaining credits required to complete the degree, using a standard of 3-class course load per term.

Tracking Academic Progress-Probation and Cancellation of Financial Aid: In order for a student to successfully complete graduation requirements within a reasonably established length of time, the student must be making reasonable progress toward the degree. A calculated ratio of units attempted to units completed illustrates a student's progress towards achieving a degree within the College's acceptable standard. In the chart below, a comparison is made to the cumulative number of units attempted to cumulative number successfully completed.

Successful completion requires that a passing grade is received for a course. First-year students are expected to successfully complete 67% of the courses attempted. After the first 9 units have been attempted, students are expected to successfully complete 75% of the courses attempted. Students who fail to meet this standard will no longer be eligible to receive any forms of financial aid and will have a financial aid eligibility status of "Cancelled". Please read below for steps to take to appeal a cancellation of financial aid eligibility.

The following table illustrates a sample the percentage of successful course completions to attempted:

Units Attempted             
Units Completed            
Ratio: at least            
9
6
67%
12 9 75%
20 15 75%
27 20.4
75%
36 27 75%

Note: Since Kalamazoo College students primarily attend at full-time status, the standards within this policy are established for full-time enrollment. All standards, however, function properly in the occasional term in which a student is not enrolled for three courses.

Clarifications/explanations:

  • Grades of F, NC, and W are not considered passing grades. Grades of I (Incomplete) must be successfully replaced with a passing grade within the timeline established by the Registrar. See section on "Grading Practices" in the Academic Policies section of the catalog for rules on incomplete grades.
  • When you repeat a course, removal of the first grade earned will count as an unsuccessful attempted unit.

If the required ratios are not met, financial aid for the next term will be cancelled. When it appears there are mitigating circumstances, CFASAP reserves the authority to withhold cancellation of aid. As a small, community-focused campus, members of the CFASAP may have documented information that a student has experienced a challenging quarter that led to withdrawn courses as a result of a death in the family or serious illness or injury. In such circumstances, the administration may automatically "mitigate" that withdrawal from counting in the student's ratio and extend the student eligibility. However, we cannot know all circumstances. If your financial aid eligibility is cancelled and you believe you have mitigating circumstances, follow instructions to appeal. If the appeal is granted, the Committee may excuse (mitigate) the withdrawn units. Grades of "F" cannot be mitigated.

If you need more than 36 attempts to complete your degree, you may petition CFASAP for permission to have an additional quarter of funding. Refer to length of time above.

Appealing Cancellation of Financial Aid

What is the process to appeal a cancellation?

Appeals will only be heard by the Committee on Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress (CFASAP), and its decision will be final. Appeals must be in writing and sent to the Office of Financial Aid. Consider the following when petitioning for appeal of cancellation of financial aid. 

Content of an appeal: The appeal must state the reason the student believes s/he deserves another opportunity to meet the standard, whether it is to achieve the minimum GPA or to reach an acceptable ratio of units attempted to units completed. Furthermore, it must be feasible for the student to return to a state of meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress in the next period of enrollment carrying a normal course load. The student should identify the reason for the academic difficulty and what has changed or been accomplished that will lead to a better performance. It may also include any other information the student feels is relevant to the case.

Responsibility of Notifying Students: Financial Aid shall notify the student of all Committee decisions in writing. Letters will be sent to the student's campus mail box or to the student's home address of record if a notification takes place during the summer period between academic years. As a courtesy, an email will alert the student that a letter has been sent. All communication with the CFASAP should be sent to the Director of Financial Aid.

What are the outcomes of a successful appeal?

  • Probation: A successful appeal will permit the student to receive financial aid in the next period of enrollment under the status of "Financial Aid Probation".
  • Conditions of Probation: While on probation, the student is expected to carry a full-time course load. The specific conditions and levels of achievement that are required to be met during the probation period will be conveyed in a letter from the CFASAP when the appeal is granted.

What happens after a term on probation?

  • Reinstatement/Cancellation: If the student successfully meets the academic requirements set forth by the Committee while on probation, s/he will be removed from probation and return to regular financial aid eligibility. If the academic results required while on probation are not achieved, all forms of financial aid (institutional, federal, and state) will be cancelled for future terms.
  • Regaining eligibility after Cancellation: A student who has been cancelled for financial aid eligibility, but not academically dismissed, will have to pay for the next term without any financial aid assistance. Such a student may petition the CFASAP committee on their own. A meeting with the Director of Financial Aid is advised before such an appeal is submitted.
  • Subsequent Cancellation: It may be possible for a student who was once cancelled to regain eligibility and subsequently return to a condition of cancellation again. Only in unusual cases will a student be reinstated following a second cancellation. Third cancellations are always final.

Appeal process for additional terms of financial aid funding

Students who have not been cancelled or been placed on probation may still find the need to enroll beyond 12 terms in order to achieve their degree. Consider the following when asking for additional terms of financial aid support.

For all students, circumstances that typically lead to approval for additional funding of institutional aid beyond the 13th term are course withdrawals necessitated by illness or injury of the student or a death in the family. Furthermore, any additional terms must be necessary for graduation and may not solely be the result of failures, under-enrollment, or poor planning.

Students who require financial aid beyond the basic standard of twelve terms must make a written request to the Director of Financial Aid or to the Committee on Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (CFSAP). Students who need one additional term must send a letter of appeal (not an email message) and include the specific reason why the additional term is needed to graduate. Students who wish to request financial aid beyond 13 terms must petition the Committee on Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress. The written appeal must be a formal letter (not an email message) and include the specific reason why the additional terms are needed to graduate. The petition letter may be delivered to the Director of Financial Aid who will bring the petition to the Committee on Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress.

All students requiring an additional term(s) must remember to file a FAFSA for the year in which the aid is being requested in order to be considered for all forms of need-based aid in addition to College-provided scholarships.

If you find you still have questions or concerns about Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress after reviewing this policy, we encourage you to contact the Office of Financial Aid for assistance.