This is a great starting place for quick answers to common questions about Alma College! If you would like more details, or can’t find the answer to your question, please call the Admissions Office at 1-800-321-ALMA, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact your admissions representative.
What kind of school is Alma College?
Alma College is a four-year, undergraduate, private liberal arts and sciences institution. This means while you will graduate with a bachelor’s degree by studying your choice of more than 40 majors, minors, pre-professional programs and self-designed Programs of Emphasis, you will also emerge from Alma a well-rounded individual with critical thinking skills and knowledge in a variety of topics. You will be cultivating your general intellectual ability and gaining specific expertise in your area of interest.
What is the difference between undergraduate and graduate school?
At undergraduate schools, students earn their bachelor’s degrees. Graduate school is the next educational step for many students, and refers to master’s, specialist or doctoral programs, including medical or law school.
Where is Alma located?
Alma College is located in Alma, Michigan, right in the center of the Lower Peninsula and about one hour north of Lansing.
How many students does Alma have?
Alma’s enrollment is approximately 1,400 students.
What is the average class size?
Alma students enjoy an average class size of 18 students.
What is the student/faculty ratio?
Alma’s 13:1 student/faculty ratio means professors personally interact with their students.
What is the average GPA and ACT for incoming freshmen?
The average first-year student enters Alma with a 24 ACT and a 3.5 GPA.
What makes Alma stand out among other colleges and universities?
Alma has a variety of unique opportunities and dedicated faculty that make student achievement possible. Specifically, we have an amazing number of nationally competitive scholarship winners; an academic schedule that features traveling courses; and unique leadership programs through the Center for Responsible Leadership and the Posey Global Leadership Initiative. If you want the full story, you’ll want to visit campus!
The Admissions Process
How do I apply to Alma?
Applying to Alma is as simple as filling out an application and submitting a counselor recommendation, high school transcripts and ACT/SAT scores. Transfer and international students have additional application requirements.
When should I apply to Alma?
The best time to apply to Alma is during the fall of your senior year. We have a rolling admissions process, however, and will accept applications at any time during your senior year.
What are the admissions requirements?
There are several factors Alma College considers when reviewing applications, including high school GPA, ACT/SAT scores, high school courses and your high school guidance counselor’s recommendation. Generally, students who have a 3.0 GPA and 22 on the ACT or a 1530 on the SAT are accepted, but we review all applications on an individual basis.
I want to attend Alma College — what do I do next?
If you’ve applied, been accepted and decided Alma College is the place for you, you may send your $200 commitment deposit in to the Admissions Office by check or credit card, or pay your deposit online with a credit card.
I’m not sure about my college decision — what is the deadline for depositing at Alma?
The National Deposit Deadline is May 1, but many families make college decisions during the winter. We encourage you to deposit as soon as you’ve made up your mind because items like your preference for housing, your choice of Orientation Week course and your chances for obtaining a parking pass are tied to your date of deposit.
Scholarships and Financial Assistance
What scholarships does Alma offer?
Alma offers merit scholarships based on your ACT/SAT score and GPA. Performance Scholarships in art, dance, music and theatre, and some other specialty scholarships are also available.
How much does it cost to attend Alma?
Alma’s total cost (tuition, room, board and fees) for the current academic year is available here. Please keep in mind the average financial aid package for the current freshman class was $24,000. Of that, $19,000 was composed of gift aid — not student loans.
How do I apply for financial assistance?
Your merit-based scholarship is automatically awarded to you upon your acceptance. The other special scholarships require auditions or essays by specific deadlines, depending on the scholarship. To apply for state and federal aid, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1. Click here to see the entire financial assistance process.
What are the scholarship deadlines?
Religious Leadership Award—February 1
National Presbyterian Award—January 31
Pre-Law Scholarship—February 1
Performance Scholarships (Music, Dance, Theatre, and Art)—March 1
How many Alma students receive financial assistance?
About 99% of Alma students receive some sort of financial assistance.
What is work-study?
Work-study is a federal program where the government and the College share in paying your wages for employment. Eligibility is determined by a family’s demonstrated level of need on the FAFSA. If you qualify for work-study, you will need to seek out employment on Alma’s campus. Jobs are not guaranteed, but they are not difficult to obtain.
What is the payment schedule for tuition?
Each term is billed separately. Fall Term bills are mailed the first week in August and may be paid in two equal installments. The first installment is usually due the first week in September, and the second is usually due six weeks later (around October 20). Winter Term bills are mailed the first week in December and may also be paid in two equal installments. The first installment is usually due the first week in January, and the second is usually due six weeks later (around February 20).
Alternatively, families may enroll in a monthly payment plan administered by Sallie Mae to spread out yearly tuition payments over 12 months.
When students enroll in Spring Term, tuition and board bills are mailed the first week of April and due by the end of April. Class fees for traveling Spring Terms are billed separately through the sponsoring faculty member, and payment schedules vary depending on the course.
What degrees does Alma award?
Alma awards the bachelor of arts (BA), bachelor of science (BS), bachelor of fine arts (BFA) and bachelor of music (BM) in education or performance.
What is a liberal arts education?
A liberal arts education is one that prepares you not only as an expert in your field, but also as a well-rounded individual knowledgeable in many different disciplines. A liberal arts education gives you the opportunity to explore a variety of subjects while still advancing toward graduation and helps you understand topics from many different perspectives. The benefits of choosing a liberal arts education include the ability to analyze situations from many viewpoints, the skills to think critically about complex issues, and the flexibility to tackle diverse challenges in our changing world.
Will I have an academic advisor?
All Alma students have an academic advisor in their field of interest. Your advisor will help you schedule your classes each term and is an invaluable resource when it comes to pursuing independent studies, seeking internships, deciding when to study abroad, applying to graduate schools or searching for employment after graduation.
Can I do independent research at Alma?
We encourage students in all areas of study to perform independent research. You will have the opportunity to present your research at Alma’s annual Honors Day, or even at professional conferences.
Are my classes taught by real professors or graduate assistants?
Alma classes are only taught by professors, most of whom hold the highest degree possible in their fields.
Do you have an Honors Program?
Alma does have an Honors Program; click here for all the details.
What is Spring Term?
Spring Term is a short term during the month of May that allows you to delve deeply into a specific topic on campus or travel with a professor and other students around the nation and the world.
Can I study abroad?
Yes; Alma offers semester-long study abroad programs around the world, including France, Spain, Germany, India, Ecuador and New Zealand. For more details, please click here.
How well will Alma College prepare me for a job or graduate school?
Your Alma College liberal arts education will make you extremely marketable in today’s economy. Nearly 95% of our graduates report working in full-time positions or attending graduate school within six months of graduation.
Does Alma have varsity sports?
Alma competes at the NCAA Division III level for all sports and carries eleven men’s varsity sports programs, including football, basketball, baseball, golf, tennis, track, cross country, soccer, and swimming and diving, lacrosse and wrestling. We also carry eleven women’s varsity sports: volleyball, basketball, softball, golf, tennis, track, cross country, soccer, and swimming and diving, lacrosse and tennis. In addition, Alma College has a co-ed competitive cheer team.
Does Alma give athletic scholarships?
Because Alma is a NCAA Division III institution, our athletic program features athletes who receive no financial aid related to their athletic skills. Make no mistake: our athletes are top competitors who excel at their sports. Alma College teams typically finish their seasons in the top half of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA), Alma’s competitive league and the oldest league in the nation.
What are the athletic facilities like?
Alma College takes great pride in its athletic programs and strives to reflect that pride in the facilities provided for student athletes. Our new Hogan Center is a state-of-the-art venue!
What do I do if I want to play varsity athletics for the Alma Scots?
The best thing to do if you are interested in competing in athletics while at Alma and the coach has not yet contacted you is to fill out the online athletic questionnaire.
Do I have to try out for the teams?
While our coaches do recruit student athletes they think would be good additions to their teams and Alma College, all teams have try-out periods open to any student interested. The length, time and requirements for each sport are different, so please contact the appropriate coach. Coach contact information is available here.
Are intramural sports available?
In addition to our varsity athletics programs, we also offer a wide variety of other opportunities to compete in athletics for every student who is interested. Through the Alan J. Stone Center for Recreation, we try to offer something for everyone; students can compete in traditional sports like basketball, volleyball, soccer and flag football, as well as sports that are less traditional but equally competitive like dodgeball, Ultimate Frisbee, slow-pitch softball, and even poker.
What performing arts programs do you offer?
Alma College offers vocal and instrumental music, dance and theatre.
Do I have to be a major or a minor to participate in performing arts?
No, you may participate fully in musical ensembles, dance productions and theatre productions no matter what academic major or minor you choose.
Can I get scholarships for the performing arts?
Yes, and you don’t have to major or minor in the performing arts, either! Performance scholarships are awarded based on an audition, which must be completed by March 1. Scholarship amounts begin at $1,000 and can range up to full tuition.
What are the performance facilities like?
Alma’s Heritage Center for the Performing Arts is the venue for most performances.
Can I attend a performance at Alma College?
We’d love to invite you to a performance! Click here to view the event schedule, then call 1-800-321-ALMA to reserve complimentary tickets.
What is there to do on campus?
Alma College students are involved in numerous student organizations: major-specific groups, activity-based organizations, social Greek fraternities and sororities, service groups, religious organizations, intramural sports, and much more! Many students also participate in athletics and the performing arts; even those who aren’t on the field or the stage come to cheer on our athletes and performers. In addition, student groups like the Alma College Union Board and the Residence Hall Association plan social activities for the entire campus. Check out all the possibilities here.
Can freshmen have cars on campus?
Yes, though space on campus is limited. The opportunity to purchase a parking permit is based on the order in which Alma receives your commitment deposit. Parking fees for first-year students are $175 per year, and the city of Alma also has municipal parking lots. Students who have submitted their commitment deposits will learn more about the parking permit process during the summer.
What is the town of Alma like?
The town of Alma is located in mid-Michigan and has a population of approximately 10,000. Students enjoy our local movie theatre, bowling alley, restaurants and shops. Mt. Pleasant is less than half an hour to our north, offering additional dining and shopping choices, while Lansing is about an hour south.
What do students do on the weekends?
Most of our students stay on campus over the weekend. With athletic games, performing arts events, student organization-sponsored activities, and just hanging out with friends, there is plenty to do on campus.
How do meal plans work?
First-year students are automatically enrolled in the 19-meal plan, which provides 19 meals per week and $150 per semester in Munch Money. Munch Money can be spent at Joe’s, Highland Java or our community partners, including Stucchi’s (in College Corner Coffee and Books) and Pizza 1.
Please click here for more information on meal plans and dining services.
What kind of food do you have?
Each of our dining facilities serves different kinds of food:
The main dining area, Hamilton Commons, offers traditional-style meals. It typically has two or three main entrees and several side dishes in addition to a full soup and salad bar, fresh fruit, deli sandwich bar, and the grill, which serves burgers, french fries, chicken nuggets, and pizza. The grill also makes omelets to order at breakfast and stir fry to order at lunch and dinner.
Joe’s Place is similar to a café/grill. It serves burgers, pizza, hot pretzels, and nachos. It also has coffee, smoothies, shakes, and ice cream. Joe’s is even open for a late-night meal!
Hours for all Alma’s dining options are available here.
Do all students live on campus?
Alma College is a residential college where, by definition, students are required to live in college-owned or approved housing. We believe students benefit from this type of close learning community. Local students do, however, have the option of commuting to campus; some seniors also live off campus via a lottery process.
What are the residence halls like?
There are four coed residence halls in which all first-year students live. Each is a traditional style residence hall with two students per room and a community bathroom in each hallway.
Sophomores, juniors and seniors have a few different options. They may live in the suite-style South Complex (two double rooms joined by a bathroom) or Wright Hall, our new environmentally-friendly, apartment-style residence hall. The rooms in Wright Hall feature bedrooms for four students, a kitchenette, a living room and a bathroom. Finally, Alma College owns a number of houses in which students may live, depending on their involvement in a fraternity, sorority or other student organization.
More information on Alma’s residence halls is available here.
Can I get a job on campus?
Many offices on campus hire student workers. The Center for Student Opportunity maintains a list of the offices are hiring at any given time.
How does Alma assign housing and roommates?
Our Housing Office uses a housing questionnaire asking about your preferences in areas like sleeping habits, music tastes, and other factors important in selecting your roommate. After you submit it, our Student Life Office will use the information to match you up with your new roommate. Every attempt is made to match roommates as closely as possible based on preferences and the personal information provided.
Some first-year students would like to room with a friend who is also attending Alma. Others like to meet potential roommates at events like Becoming a Scot Day, our summer orientation program. If you have a specific roommate request, you can simply indicate your request on your housing form. If you’ve already submitted your housing form, just call Alma’s Student Life Office at 989-463-7147 to make your request. Please note that both roommates need to request each other separately.
Most students find that having a roommate assists their adjustment to campus life. Your roommate need not be your best friend to be a good roommate. Open communication, respect and compromise are all necessary to develop a positive relationship with your roommate. Students are encouraged to contact their future roommate after receiving their room assignment and roommate information in July.
Will I have a phone in my room?
Each room is equipped with a private telephone line, and most students typically provide their own phones to stay connected with each other. Each phone line also features private voicemail boxes for each roommate.
Are there laundry facilities on campus?
Yes; each residence hall and small housing unit comes equipped with coin-operated laundry facilities.
Getting Ready for College at Alma
What is Alma’s freshman orientation like?
At Alma, there are two orientation programs: Becoming a Scot Day and Orientation Week. Becoming a Scot Day occurs during the summer and introduces you to your fellow students, our online course registration system, and what to expect in the fall.
Orientation Week occurs the week before classes begin at Alma College. All freshmen move on to campus one week before upperclassmen and spend that week taking one class, learning their way around campus and getting to know their classmates. Check your InsideAlma portal for move-in and Orientation Week information this summer!
Specific details and registration for Becoming a Scot Day will be available in the spring.
When do I register for Fall Term classes?
Incoming freshmen begin the course registration process at Becoming a Scot Day, our summer orientation event. Nothing will be finalized, however, until you meet with your academic advisor during Orientation Week. This face-to-face contact with a faculty member will help ensure your schedule meets your individual needs.
What should I bring to college?
Here's a list of items you may want to bring to campus:
Telephone, alarm clock, computer and printer, bed linen and mattress cover (extra-long twin size), blankets and pillows, bath towels, a rug, a hot pot, a memo board for your door, shower sandals, a shower caddy, laundry supplies, a desk lamp, a wastebasket.
Please AVOID bringing:
Hot plates, frying pans, microwaves and other cooking implements, halogen lamps, candles, incense, space heaters or pets.
Students are permitted to have televisions, VCRs/DVD players, stereos, hair dryers, irons, fans, lamps (not halogen), computers, and small refrigerators that are no more than five cubic feet in size and draw no more than 1.7 amps.
Should I bring my own computer?
Many students choose to bring their own computers, but it’s not essential that you do so. We have numerous computer labs around campus, including one in each residence hall that is available 24 hours a day.
If I bring a computer, should I bring a laptop or a desktop? PC or Mac?
Alma's network supports both Macs and PCs, so you can bring whatever is most comfortable for you. Similarly, choosing to bring a laptop or desktop is a purely personal preference; a laptop is not necessary, though many students enjoy the flexibility they provide. Others prefer the cost effectiveness of a desktop - it's up to each individual.
Does Alma have internet access in the residence halls?
Yes; the campus and its buildings have wireless internet access.
When will I get my housing and roommate assignment?
You should receive your roommate and residence hall assignment in July; please see the FAQ section on Student Life for a complete description of the housing process.
What are the room dimensions?
Room sizes vary, but once you have your room assignment, you can click here to see specific room dimensions for different residence buildings on campus.
Do the rooms have carpet?
Most of the rooms do not have carpet, so most students choose to bring area rugs or carpet remnants. Residents of first floor Mitchell do have carpet in their rooms, however.