Financial Aid


MAJOR: religion
HOMETOWN: Virginia Beach, VA.
ON-CAMPUS JOB: admissions student caller


Taylor-Mary Smith didn't plan to attend Calvin.

A spur-of-the-moment visit and some personal touches from the admissions department changed that.

"I thought I wanted a big school, but I would get postcards from people doing Young Life at Calvin or a phone call from students wanting to know how my school year was going—I thought it was really cool that they cared enough to call. After my visit, I just knew I wanted to go here."

But one thing she hadn't considered was Calvin's tuition costs.

"It's just my mom and me," she says matter-of-factly. "My mom always told me that I could go anywhere for college and we would make it work. But financial aid did play a huge part in me coming to Calvin. I remember getting the email that said how much assistance I would get, and I called my mom and we just cried. It was like, this is where I'm supposed to be."

Taylor-Mary works hard to make sure she can afford to complete her degree here. Between classes, Bible studies and volunteering as a Young Lives teen mom mentor, she has a job on campus, making calls to high school students—the same kinds of calls that impressed her about Calvin. She checks in regularly with the financial aid office, making sure her scholarship information is up to date. Her mom contributes where she can. And, realistically, "I have a lot of loans," she says.

The Calvin education, she says, makes it all worth it.

"My professors are brilliant, and they care about me, the person—not just on an academic level. You're asked hard questions here and you learn about life and about what it's like to be a part of a community. This place has shaped me in ways that I never would have imagined."

While she'll leave Calvin with debt, Taylor-Mary's financial savvy and work ethic are paying off, literally. She has already begun paying some of her student loans, thanks to the savings from her job and the financial aid she receives.

"There have been things that I haven't been able to do [because of finances], but there has never been a day that I haven't thought that it was worth it. If you really, really want to be here, Calvin really, really wants you here."


  1. Fill out the supplemental financial aid form. "It's an incredible thing that Calvin has—for the college to know what each person's family situation is and to actually care. I didn't find that in any other school that I applied to."
  2. Look for an on-campus job. "I can't imagine having a better boss in my life."
  3. Don't be afraid of student loans. "I didn't realize that taking out loans made people so nervous. I think that it's 100 percent worth your while to at least try. You'll be fine. You can't be stupid with your money, but you can do it."



  1. Your completed application form. The easiest way to apply is by visiting
  2. Your high school transcript. Print a form online and give it to your school.
  3. An academic recommendation. E-mail a recommendation link to a teacher, counselor or pastor.
  4. ACT or SAT scores

International applicants may have different requirements, so please check

In case you're wondering, interviews are not required, but we'd love to meet you during your campus visit!


Calvin will waive the $35 fee for applications received by these dates:

December 1 - U.S. citizens
January 1 - Canadian and international citizens


Applications are still welcome after the dates above and are considered on a rolling basis. International applications will be considered until April 1.


Calvin's mission is to shape hearts and minds for Christian living and learning, equipping students to follow and further the ways of God on earth. We examine tough issues and big ideas; we wrestle with difficult questions and understand that answers can be complex. We believe that God wants us to be actively engaged in every aspect of culture and every corner of creation, renewing His world. If this sounds like something you'd like to be part of, we hope that you'll apply.


(middle 50%)

  • GPA 3.7 (4.0 scale)
  • ACT 27
  • SAT 1200
  • 46:54 male/female ratio


Once we've received all of your application materials, please allow two weeks for an admissions decision. In some cases this may take a bit longer, but feel free to call if you're wondering about the status of your application. Your admissions decision will come via e-mail and regular mail.


General academic scholarships: Once you're admitted, you will be automatically considered for Calvin's general academic scholarships, which range from $1,000-15,000. Scholarship announcements are typically sent three weeks after admission. (Don't forget to apply for need-based financial aid, too.)

Additional scholarships: Explore other scholarships available to new students at

VERGE: fall 2012

First-Year Experience