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 located in The Admission Center. For information about need-based awards, contact the Office of Financial Aid located on the first floor of Mandelle Hall.

Merit-Based Aid Programs

The College offers scholarships based on merit criteria: Lux Esto and Passages. These merit scholarships are awarded by the Office of Admission. These scholarships range from $30,000 to $42,000 per year (renewable for up to four years) and are awarded to students who demonstrate strong academic achievement. First-year students and transfer students admitted to the College will be considered for these merit scholarships as their admission application is evaluated. No additional application is required.

Renewal terms are stated in the original award letter from the Office of Admission. A cumulative GPA of 2.0 is required at the end of the sophomore and junior years. First-year students are held to the overall standard required by federal programs, that is a cumulative GPA of at least 1.67. This allows first-year students opportunity to experiment with course selection and recover from any initial adjustments to college requirements.

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. The same renewal terms as for general merit scholarships apply to National Merit Scholarships.

For the latest scholarship information, go to

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.

Kalamazoo Promise

Kalamazoo College may enroll and support Kalamazoo Promise eligible students according to the terms of the program established by The Kalamazoo Promise Foundation. Promise eligible students can expect to receive college supported tuition scholarships concurrently with the Promise award. The level of tuition support is dependent on the qualifying years of eligibility earned under the terms of the Promise. For program details, please review the Kalamazoo Promise website or contact Kalamazoo College’s Kalamazoo Promise Liaison directly.

Posse Scholarship

The Posse Foundation identifies, recruits and trains student leaders from high schools in cities around the U.S. to form multicultural teams called “Posses.” These teams are then prepared, through an eight-month pre-collegiate training program, for enrollment at top-tier colleges and universities nationwide to pursue their academic interests and help promote cross-cultural communication. Kalamazoo College has partnered with the Posse Foundation to enroll students from Los Angeles. Scholarship renewal terms are stated in the original award letter from the Office of Admission and are dependent on meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress standards.

Veterans and Children of Veterans

Kalamazoo College is proud to support students eligible to receive veterans’ educational benefits. Eligible students should request a certificate of eligibility from the VA. The VA will determine whether or not a student is eligible for educational benefits. A copy of the certificate of eligibility should be sent to the Financial Aid Office.

Students eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program could receive up to $5,000 per year. Yellow Ribbon awards may reduce other institutional aid awarded depending on unmet need.

As required by Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018, section 3679 of title 38, any individual who is entitled to educational assistance under chapter 31 or chapter 33, Post 9/11 GI Bill® benefits is allowed:

  • To attend or participate in the academic term(s) during the period beginning on the date which the individual provides a certificate of eligibility for entitlement to educational assistance under chapter 31 or 33

Kalamazoo College will not impose any penalty, including the assessment of late fees, the denial of access to classes, nor will we require the student borrow additional funds due to the delayed disbursement funding from the VA.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at official U.S. government website at htts://

Postgraduate Fellowships

Many Kalamazoo College students seek 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 the Director of Grants, Fellowships & Research. 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 Direct Loan, Michigan Competitive Scholarship/Michigan Tuition Grant, 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:

  • Apply and be accepted for admission to the College.
  • Submit a completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) via the web at 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. Priority filing date is March 1 in the year preceding enrollment.
  • If you are a Michigan resident, take the SAT 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.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policies

Kalamazoo College wants to assure that students progress toward graduation in a successful and timely manner. Furthermore, federal regulations require that students make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) towards the completion of their degree and maintain good academic standing. Students who fall behind in their coursework,  fail to achieve minimum standards for grade point average and completion of units, or fail to complete classes in a maximum time frame risk losing their eligibility for federal and state financial aid, external scholarships/grants/loans, and Kalamazoo College grants and scholarships.

SAP is assessed qualitatively (by cumulative grade point average) and quantitatively (by earned units).  Progress is measured annually at the end of each Spring term to determine a student’s scholarships financial aid eligibility for future enrollment terms.  Students not meeting SAP standards are notified by the Office of Financial Aid (by mail to their permanent address and/or through their Kalamazoo College email account) that they have become ineligible for future scholarship and financial aid eligibility. A copy of the letter will also be emailed copying the academic advisors.

Requirements to maintain SAP

There are three components to SAP as detailed below.  Failure to meet ANY one of these requirements may result in the loss of scholarship and aid eligibility:

  1. Maintain a minimum cumulative 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 by the end of the first academic year regardless of enrollment level. At the end of the second year (enrolled for 4 quarters or more), and each year thereafter, the cumulative GPA must be 2.0 (“C” average) regardless of enrollment level. Grades are reviewed after Spring Term.  Remedial coursework is not offered at Kalamazoo College and therefore will not be included in this assessment.
  • Maintain minimum rate of earned units for all attempted units: Students must earn a percentage of all units attempted according to their grade level.  First-year students are expected to earn 67% of the units attempted.  After the first year, students are expected to earn 75% of the units attempted.  The following table illustrates a sample schedule:
Typical Total Units AttemptedPercentage That Must Be Earned
Up to 967%
9.1 – 1875%
18.1 – 2475%
24.1 – 3675%
  • Complete a degree program in a maximum timeframe of no more than 150% of the program’s average length: The number of academic units (not including PE) it takes to complete an undergraduate degree is 36 units.  That means 150% would equal 54 units would be the maximum number for which a student could receive financial aid (assuming the above requirements are also met). 

Failure to meet any of these standards will result in the student being denied scholarships and financial aid for the next term of enrollment. A student whose financial aid eligibility is cancelled because of a deficient cumulative GPA and/or pace may file an appeal and be granted one additional term under the status of “probation” at which time the student must meet the standards established for success. Refer to the section “SAP Monitoring and Appeals” for information about how to appeal.

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.

Change of Major/Double Major

If a student elects to double major or change majors, then all classes previously taken will count towards Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Transfer Students

As transfer students are admitted to the College, the Registrar reviews the applicant’s academic transcripts. This official review establishes the number of units needed to meet our degree requirements and includes enrollment at prior institutions. 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. The number of transfer credits accepted upon admission will be included in the quantitative calculation which includes number of credits attempted and completed.

Pursuit of a Second Degree

Students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree cannot be admitted to the College for the pursuit of a second degree.

Definitions for “Attempted Units” and “Earned Units”

  1. Attempted Units are the cumulative units a student has attempted during all enrollment periods at Kalamazoo College whether receiving financial aid or not.  The following grades are included as attempted units and count toward the cumulative maximum:
  2. All passing grades (A through D-)
  3. Withdrawal (W)
  4. No Credit (NC)
  5. Failure (F)
  6. Incomplete Grades (I) 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.
  7. Earned Units are all passing grades (A through D-) and grades of Credit (CR)
  8. CLEP, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate credits are included in both the measurement of attempted and earned units.
  9. Transfer credits accepted by Kalamazoo College are included in both attempted and earned units.
  10. If a student repeats a course, the unit for the repeated unit is included in both attempted and earned units when evaluating SAP.  The units for the first course are included in attempted units but are not included in earned units.
  11. Successful completion is measured using cumulative total number of earned units as reflected on the student’s academic transcript at the time of evaluation.

SAP Monitoring and Appeals

At the end of each Spring term (after grades are posted), the cumulative academic record is reviewed and SAP status is evaluated for all students.  Students not meeting any of the SAP requirements are notified of their loss of scholarships/financial aid in writing.

A student may appeal their loss of scholarship/financial aid eligibility if they believe there were circumstances outside of their control that interrupted their normal academic progression.  Examples of these circumstances include a personal or immediate family member serious illness (physical or mental), death or an immediate family member, pending incomplete grades, etc…

To appeal, the student must submit the Kalamazoo College SAP Appeal Form, which allows the student to explain and document extenuating circumstances.

The SAP Appeal Form, along with all required documentation, must be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid 30 days prior to the first day of class for the term you are requesting.  Any appeal submitted for a term after the student has stopped attending will not be granted. The Committee on Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (CFASAP) reviews SAP Appeals and includes the Dean of Financial Aid (chair), the Registrar, the Dean of Students, and the Director of Advising.

It must be feasible for the student to return to a state of meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress in the next term of enrollment carrying a normal course load.

There isn’t a limit on the number of times a student may submit a SAP appeal.

If a SAP appeal is approved, the student is placed on SAP Probation for one term and remains eligible to receive scholarships and financial aid during this term.

SAP Probation

If you are put on financial aid probation, your academic progress and financial aid eligibility will be reviewed at the end of the probation term.  While on probation, a student is expected to achieve a cumulative GPA that meets SAP standards (1.67 for First-Years, and 2.0 for all other students), be registered full-time, not receive an “I” in any coursework, and meet the specific conditions and levels of achievement conveyed in a letter from the CFASAP when the appeal is granted.

If the student successfully meets the academic requirements set forth while on probation, they will be removed from probation and return to regular financial aid eligibility.

Failure to Meet SAP Probation Requirements

If the academic results required while on probation are not achieved, all forms of financial aid and scholarships (institutional, federal, and state) will be cancelled for future terms. A written notification is sent to all students who fail to comply with the terms of their probation. 

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 or scholarship assistance. Such a student may petition the CFASAP committee on their own. A meeting with the Dean of Financial Aid and the Registrar 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.

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.

Additional Term of Scholarships and/or Financial Aid

Students are considered eligible for financial aid only for those terms which constitute a part of their 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 150% of the published program length (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/Quarters:Federal/State Aid Eligible?College-Funded Aid Eligible?
Up to 12YESYES
13YESMust Appeal to Dean of Financial Aid
14YESMust Appeal to Dean of Financial Aid
15-18Federal Aid OnlyNo

Additional Term of Aid Appeal Process

Students may need to enroll beyond 12 terms/quarters 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, 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 and scholarships beyond the basic standard of twelve terms/quarters must complete the Additional Terms of Funding Appeal Form. Appeals are reviewed by the Dean of Financial Aid. For the appeal, you will need:

  • a copy of your degree audit from the Registrar’s Office
  • how many additional credits and terms are needed
  • the specific reason(s) why the additional time is needed to graduate

All students requiring an additional term(s) should 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.

NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Financial Aid Regulations

Kalamazoo College is an NCAA Division III school with strict financial aid award policies and regulations. Questions about eligibility and NCAA rules should be directed to the Office of Admission. Our Athletics Department cannot discuss specific financial aid issues with any prospective student.

Special Financial Circumstances

Families may experience extraordinary financial setbacks different from what is reported on the current-year FAFSA. Families who experience persistent job loss, unplanned retirement, one-time significant income, etc… are encouraged to complete a Special Circumstances Form. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for more information.