A new Calvin legacy

Increased scholarships encourage prospective students


Spring 2014

Recently, the college announced that two long-standing financial aid opportunities for prospective students would be clarified and increased.

Starting this year, all first-year Calvin students who are members of a Christian Reformed Church (CRC) will receive an enhanced denominational grant of $1,500 (up from $800–$1,300 previously). This award will continue throughout their years at Calvin.

In addition, the Calvin Alumni Association, in partnership with the financial aid office, has also increased its Alumni Legacy Scholarships—scholarships awarded to third-generation legacy students—from $500 to $1,500.

Many CRC Calvin alumni will remember the old denominational grant system that was based on your parental home’s distance from the college. I can remember one classmate bemoaning that he lived just inside one of the grant’s geographical boundaries—“costing” him money.

Likewise, alumni have written to me asking why Calvin didn’t do more for “legacy” students who had parents, grandparents and yet more generations attend the college.

These steps by the college address some of these questions and they reassert the importance of Calvin’s relationship to the CRC and appreciation for generations of Calvin attendance. I hope these changes will encourage alumni to, at minimum, put Calvin on the list of schools their sons and daughters will visit before making a college decision.

For some reason, alumni “freeze” their memories of college days such that they don’t consider that their alma mater might have changed over the last 20 years. No, the Calvin of today is not all Dutch, all CRC, all white. Chapel is not mandatory but is daily vibrant.

In fact, there’s a new Calvin legacy at work. A diverse student body with interests that traverse the globe—and a superior faculty that nurtures and supports a “world ready” mindset. (That “superior faculty” part is nothing new.)

To expand that new Calvin legacy, there is plenty of financial support for families not as familiar with Calvin as well.

The college offers a First Generation Award of $2,000 to all first-generation students, which is automatically renewed each year for up to five years. Mosaic Awards are available for North American ethnic minority students or majority students from culturally diverse backgrounds. A plethora of donor-funded scholarships seek to make Calvin possible for students from nearby Grand Rapids neighborhoods to virtually every corner of the planet.

In his recent January Series lecture on the future of higher education, President Michael Le Roy noted statistics that show the average net cost (not the “sticker price”) of a private four-year college education is lower today than it was in 2004.

That’s a message both multi-generation and first-generation Calvin families need to hear and use as encouragement to carefully consider Calvin for their sons and daughters. Let’s spread this news so that the next generation of Christian leaders includes thousands of “new legacy” Calvin-trained agents of renewal.