K Admission is Committed to Flexibility

Suzanne Lepley and two students discuss flexible admission deadlines
Director of Admission Suzanne Lepley stands with two current K students

Dear Future Hornets,

Over the past several weeks, our admission team has been impressed by the resiliency of our K community and our applicants. For me, these uncertain times have highlighted the strength and compassion of our community, and repeatedly demonstrated what I’ve always told prospective students: At K, we take care of each other. Consequently, we’re extending the same compassion to you, our Future Hornets. As you move through the application process, please know that we’re committed to the following:

  • Grace for decision deadlines. Our decision deadline is still May 1. However, if you have any concerns about meeting this deadline, please communicate with your admission counselor.
  • Financial aid for special circumstances. If your family’s financial situation should change at any time, please know that K’s financial aid appeals process exists for this purpose.
  • Enrollment deposit flexibility. If you have special financial concerns regarding enrollment deposits, please contact your admission counselor to arrange a reduced-cost deposit. Enrollment deposits are applied to your first-semester bill; should you need to defer enrollment, you can apply your deposit to a future term.
  • Understanding toward credit/no credit grades. We’re happy to accept transcripts that document the grades awarded by your high school. We know that many high schools are changing to pass/fail or credit/no credit assessments, while others are actively considering their options.
  • Case-by-case approach to AP, IB and dual enrollment credit. Our policy toward evaluating credit for these exams has not changed; we’re looking into equitable solutions for all students. As soon as we learn more about changes to these exams, we’ll get in touch with you with more details about our approach.
  • Celebrating our test optional policy. We’ve been proudly test optional since 2015. If taking the SAT or ACT is not feasible for you, we understand.

In these times of uncertainty, I know that this K community is where I want to be. I hope you’ll join us too.

Suzanne Lepley

Future Hornets: Find Community at K

Dear Future Hornets,

Every day at approximately the same time, I receive a photo or video of a two-year-old in Oakland, California. Each time, the glinting smile of a bubbling toddler lifts my spirits tremendously.

Suzanne Lepley, pictured with a K alumna, helps Future Hornets
Director of Admission Suzanne Lepley often visits with K graduate Becca ’06. Lepley advises Future Hornets to build a strong community of friends in their years at K.

She’s the daughter of two Kalamazoo College alumni, Becca ’06 and Matt ’02. I have known Becca since she first set foot on campus; she was a student and eventually my daughter’s babysitter, and I was in the early years of what would become my 22-year career with K. I had the great fortune of witnessing the highs and (sometimes) lows of her four years at K. Years later, I watched as she found great love in her partnership with Matt.

The two moved to California a decade ago to build a life together. I watched the pair establish careers in tech startups, welcome a tiny human to the world and settle into their Oakland community. Through all of this, our relationship has evolved into a treasured friendship. Every trip to Kalamazoo for homecoming or holidays includes shared meals and laughs. When my family visited California, we explored San Francisco with personal tour guides. Matt challenges my son in video games, and Becca serves as a sounding board and steadfast support to my 17-year-old daughter as she navigates her high school experience. And we all snuggle their tiny human every chance we get.

I am lucky to spend my days talking about the value of a K education, a value that is exemplified by Matt and Becca’s experience. Both studied abroad and successfully graduated from K in four years, and both were employed quickly after graduation and built fulfilling careers.

Yet when I think about why a K education is valuable, especially in these challenging times, I also think of this: relationships matter. The connections you make at the College matter. The K community isn’t a four-year experience; it’s a lifetime of meaningful connections.  Beyond business or career connections, we achieve success in human connections. My friendship with Becca and Matt is just one small example of this gift.

Seniors, as you make this decision in a truly unprecedented time, consider the strength of the community you will join and the power of lifelong networks. I know with great certainty Kalamazoo College has the unique ability to connect people, as I continue to connect with so many students that I have met through the years. This is evident every day around 5:30 p.m., when a certain toddler brightens my inbox!

Visits Take Virtual Turn; Application Process Continues

Virtual Campus Tours Suzanne Lepley
Kalamazoo College Director of Admission Suzanne Lepley discusses virtual options for campus tours.

As the Director of Admission at Kalamazoo College, I like to remind prospective students that they’re in the driver’s seat of the admission process. It’s a metaphor that works, because a lot of the time, K’s admission counselors are along for the ride; we enjoy pointing out the sights, sounds and highlights of our beautiful campus as prospective students begin to see themselves at K. When we learn that a student has a particular educational or extracurricular interest, we discuss the K-Plan and help them map where that journey can take them.

Recently, students and families may feel like they’re running out of road. COVID-19 developments may cause some uncertainty about the future of K’s admission processes. Although campus is closed to visitors, I’m thrilled to report that each application is still receiving our full attention. We’re also moving ahead, looking forward to enrolling the class of 2024 and continuing to provide the best possible visit experiences for Future Hornets. Here are a few options we’ve put into place:

  • Video chats: Admission counselors are fully prepared to schedule FaceTime, Zoom or Skype chats to connect with students. Counselors can also be contacted for phone, text or email conversations. We’re still excited to tell you all about K.
  • Virtual tours: The campus visit is an integral part of the college decision process; you can explore our campus through a combination of videos, stills and 360-degree images. We encourage families to enjoy the virtual tour the way they would an in-person tour — together!
  • Ask a student: We know that our visitors love talking to current students about their K experiences. These interactions offer an authentic and realistic perspective on life at K. You can reach out through email to ask questions or schedule phone calls, texts or video chats.

We’re taking a detour from the usual admission process this year and working on more virtual visit opportunities that will allow prospective students to experience the depth and breadth of the K visit experience while remaining safe and healthy. We’re confident that K is a great destination, and we’re excited to meet our class of 2024.