Admitted and Prospective Students

Coronavirus Information Center / Admitted and Prospective Students

As the coronavirus situation develops, we're here to answer your questions about campus visits, admissions counseling, and more.

This page is updated regularly as new information becomes available. For the latest updates about how Calvin University is responding to the coronavirus situation, see the coronavirus information and FAQ page.

Questions about fall 2020 and campus life

What are Calvin’s plans for the fall right now?
We intend to return to in-person education, and this is what we are planning for. Looking back teaches us that a lot can change in three months. So, we know a lot can change in the next three months. We can’t control the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan, and we can’t control what guidelines will be mandated by government officials, but we can plan so thoroughly and effectively that we are equipped for any circumstance. We are actively reassuring our county health department and our state governor that we are highly prepared to re-open and that we have the ability to adapt to keep our faculty, staff, and students safe.

What are some unique capabilities that Calvin has to provide confidence for a safe return to campus?

  • Partnership with Helix. Calvin has signed a partnership agreement with Helix Diagnostics to conduct initial screening tests for faculty, staff, and students when they come back to campus. This will allow Calvin to quickly identify those that may need to be quarantined or isolated for their own safety and the safety of others.
  • Health Services. Calvin’s health services department, led by Dr. Laura Champion, has been ranked among the top 20 higher education health services in the nation by the Princeton Review for the last eight years. This is not just a statistic. The way that Dr. Champion and her team have served the Calvin community, both on-campus and off-campus, has attracted the attention of local and state health authorities. Protocols and processes that have been implemented through our learning over the last three months have greatly informed how we plan for the fall.
  • Adaptability. Being an institution of our size, where we can and do know students by name, gives us the opportunity to be nimble enough to adapt to new circumstances. Calvin’s leadership has been actively planning for multiple scenarios to allow us to move quickly as circumstances change.

What more can be said about Calvin’s health services to ensure the safety of those in the campus community?
We are confident that our health services team is capable of effectively caring for and managing the potential volume of infected members of the Calvin community.

  • Dr. Champion has built trust and strong communication lines with the healthcare community in Grand Rapids and the surrounding area, including local hospitals.
  • Because of the leadership of Dr. Champion and her team, in collaboration with our local health department, Calvin is further along than most schools in planning and piloting comprehensive mitigation strategies which include selective and widespread onsite testing/screening, contact tracing, and early isolation/quarantine of ill and exposed individuals both on campus and in the Calvin community.
  • Having students in residence halls for the past 13 weeks has provided valuable insight and experience informing feasible strategic plans as that number returns to normal capacity in the coming months.
  • By piloting so many protocols and monitoring processes among our health center staff, food services, and cleaning crews, Calvin is well past the theory stages of planning, and many best practice systems and protocols are already established. Calvin first began thinking about COVID-19 on January 23 and activated our emergency response task force on February 4.

How will orientation be different this year?
Orientation at Calvin traditionally includes programming to help incoming students connect with each other and to give their families the information they need to feel confident in Calvin. It’s also a time that students can connect with faculty to get their questions answered about courses that interest them.

We will still be doing these things, but the experience will be different. We are busy creating virtual small groups so incoming students can connect with their classmates and learn from current students and staff. Virtual advising appointments with professors will be scheduled starting in mid-July. We will be sharing more details as the summer unfolds. We’ll also have more specifics about wilderness orientation in the weeks ahead.

How will campus living be different this year?
We don’t have specific answers yet regarding where or how students will be placed. We are still thinking through quarantine logistics and how to ensure that those who have traveled long distances have time to acclimate in order to be ready for the start of the semester.

There will likely be new protocols and processes in place depending on health authority guidelines for how to gather (e.g., class sizes, social events, etc.), how to limit risk (e.g., taking temperatures, wearing masks, washing hands, tracking symptoms, etc.), and how to live, learn, and eat together (e.g., on-campus dining, social distancing, etc.). When it's safe for us to do so, we'll place students into on-campus residences in a way that both limits the risk of exposure to illness and builds the formative community that Calvin is known for.

What financial considerations will be given if students cannot be back on campus for a full semester?
Calvin will be delivering high caliber coursework, regardless of restrictions. Our preference is to do so on campus and in person. If the state does not allow this, our teaching and learning will move online. A Calvin education is made possible by a roster of top Christian academic minds, influential in their field, and committed to giving the best teaching to their students, no matter the means. Faculty will be preparing this summer to deliver an excellent experience online if necessary.

If Calvin University were required to close campus during the semester, we would follow the housing contracts when deciding on the amount of any refunds.

What support will first-year students receive if it becomes necessary to have online-only classes?
Calvin University is experienced in supporting students virtually when needed, from the Center for Student Success, to Campus Ministries, to the Career Center, to the Center for Intercultural Student Development, to the Center for Counseling and Wellness. While our community flourishes in face-to-face settings, virtual student support actively contributes to student thriving, even across oceans.

What about fall sports?
As we hope and plan to resume in-person classes, we likewise hope and plan to resume practice and competition for our sports teams in the fall. We will continue to watch how other professional sports leagues approach the resumption of competition. Our team physician is studying guidance from the NCAA, including best practices for bringing athletes to campus. Coaches have been given instruction for how to keep athletes healthy and safe.

Admissions questions

Can I still speak with an Admissions Counselor or the Financial Aid Office?
Yes! Admissions and Financial Aid Counselors are working remotely and are happy to communicate with you via phone, email, or text. See our list of domestic and international Admissions Counselors or contact the Financial Aid Office at 616.526.6134 or email finaid@calvin.edu.

What options do I have for virtual visits? How will those work?
You can schedule a virtual visit without even getting off your couch! You will have the option to schedule meetings with admissions, financial aid, faculty, coaches and more! We are adding other ways to engage with you, so check back soon!

I’ve scheduled an individual visit for this Spring. Will it be cancelled?
All in-person visits (including individual visits, Fridays at Calvin, and Department Visit Days) have been cancelled for the spring semester. However, we encourage you to connect with Calvin through a virtual visit instead.

Visits scheduled after June 1 are still considered tentative.

I’ve scheduled a meeting with a professor, coach, Admissions Counselor, or Financial Aid this Spring. Will it be cancelled?
In-person meetings with professors, coaches, Admissions Counselors, and Financial Aid Counselors have been cancelled; however, we’re offering many of these meetings through virtual visits now. More information for scheduling a virtual visit can be found here.

Will Calvin reimburse me if I’ve purchased flights and hotels for a visit that got cancelled?
Please contact your hotel and airline directly for reimbursements. For more information, please contact Stephanie Brink, Associate Director of Visits and Hospitality, at 616-526-8421 or sld25@calvin.edu.

Are there any cases of COVID-19 at Calvin?
Although no confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the Calvin community, we have been asked to adopt a "presumed positive" posture in cases of illness and report any symptoms to our health services medical team. Check the Coronavirus Information Center for the latest updates.

Where can I find additional information about how Calvin is addressing the COVID-19 situation as it relates to current students, faculty, and staff?
Check our coronavirus information page for the most recent updates regarding how Calvin is addressing the COVID-19 situation.

I want to retake my ACT or SAT, but testing dates have been cancelled. Will I still be able to submit my application?
Absolutely! Calvin is still accepting applications. Since standardized test dates are unclear right now, we invite you to send us what you do have (ex: an unofficial transcript, a recent set of grades) and we’ll connect you with an admissions counselor to guide you in the process. We understand these are unprecedented times and we will work with you on a case-by-case basis to keep the process moving.

I’m concerned that I might not be able to complete my senior year of high school. Will this affect my admission to Calvin?
We understand your concern and want to assure you that you’re not alone! High schools and secondary schools around the world are grappling with questions like this one. At Calvin, we’re communicating regularly with school and government officials as we work to understand and respond to the many implications of COVID-19. We are committed to staying in regular contact with incoming students and families so that your questions can be answered in due time. Please check this page again and watch your email for further updates.

Will the deadline for deposit be extended past May 1?
We’re excited to see that many students are still confirming their plans to attend Calvin in the fall! You can send your enrollment deposit now, or for those who need more time, we are extending the deadline to June 1.

I’m admitted to Calvin for the fall and want to sign up for an orientation program this summer. Will summer orientation programs still happen this summer?
Calvin is closely monitoring the global COVID-19 pandemic and is currently exploring how our orientation programs may need to change to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved. Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.

I am planning on attending the Entrada Scholars Program. If I decide to attend another university before Entrada starts, will I be refunded my Entrada enrollment fee? Unfortunately, we are not able to refund the Entrada enrollment fee. Our programming planning is based on the number of students attending the Entrada program. Additionally, we would like to accommodate our students in the waitlist should a space is available.

I received a postcard about Calvin Splash. Will the program be offered?
Unfortunately, Calvin Splash is cancelled this Spring semester. Stay tuned for Calvin Splash this fall semester!

I have a question that isn't answered here.
If your question is not answered here, contact us at:

Email: admissions@calvin.edu or visits@calvin.edu
Phone: (616) 526-6106 or (800) 688-0122
Text: (616) 202-3256 (admissions-general) or (616) 202-3845 (admissions counselors)

International student questions

What is the guidance for international students at this time?
We are planning for the arrival of international students, while understanding that so much depends on each student’s unique circumstances. We will be able to share more in June about the various paths for incoming international students to get started on their Calvin education as they make their way here safely. Let your international counselor know about your visa appointments so they can help you prepare. Please visit the FAQ for international students for more information.

My school is not open and I cannot obtain an official transcript or final testing from my country.
For now, we will accept an unoffical transcript for application review. Once you can obtain the official transcript please have your school send it to your admissions counselor.

I am worried that the US consulate will not be open in time for a student visa.
We understand that this can be a stressful situation that is constantly changing. For now, we ask that you keep checking back for when the consulate will be open and then book the earliest possible appointment. Please keep communicating with your admissions counselor for more information.

Financial aid questions

How will my financial aid be affected for the 2020-21 academic year?
For both current and prospective domestic students, the Financial Aid staff will consider and evaluate known changes in family resources that are shared with us through this Special Circumstances Form. Evidential documentation is required in order to be considered. Prospective International students should email intladm@calvin.edu to describe their circumstances and request consideration. Current International students should review and submit the Returning International Application for Financial Aid Form to FinAid@calvin.edu. Changes to prospective student financial aid packages will be handled promptly. Current students can expect to receive their 2020-21 financial aid packages during May and June, at which time their requests for special consideration will be evaluated. The Financial Aid office will accept special circumstances requests throughout the upcoming academic year.

Will I be considered for academic scholarships if I was unable to take the ACT/SAT prior to March 1?
Yes. Newly admitted students for Fall 2020 will be considered for academic scholarships based on other submitted materials, including high school GPA, recommendations, and admissions materials.

If I receive a check for an outside scholarship I was awarded, what should I do?
If the check is made out to Calvin University, please mail it to the mailing address shown below. If the check is made out to you personally, please contact the sender and have them reissue the check made out to Calvin University and then send it to the mailing address shown below. All outside scholarships (non-Calvin) that a student is awarded should be reported to us through this link: Outside Scholarships.

If I need to respond to the Financial Aid office with information to complete FAFSA verification, how do I do that?
We will continue to send you reminders of the information that we need, so continue to check your Calvin and personal emails for instructions. You may mail, fax, or email the information using the contact information below.

How do I contact the Financial Aid office?
Financial aid staff continue to work regular business hours from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. (EST), though we are currently working remotely to adhere to social distancing guidance and help prevent the spread of COVID-19. We look forward to assisting you and appreciate your patience as we respond to the many questions we are receiving. Our goal is to return your message within 24 hours. Currently, email is our preferred method of contact.

By email: FinAid@calvin.edu
By fax: (616) 469-2957
By phone: (616) 526-6134 or (800) 688-0122
By mail: 3201 Burton Street, SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546, Attn: Financial Aid Office

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