Tuition Gift Certificates

With the cost of higher education increasing an average of 7.5 percent annually, many families are exploring ways to save for college.

Calvin’s Tuition Gift Certificate Program offers you the opportunity to help make a Calvin education affordable for tomorrow’s students — at today’s costs!

Consider how a Calvin education could make a lasting impact on the life of your child, grandchild, niece, nephew, or neighbor. For over 130 years Calvin has been challenging young people to open their minds, strengthen their faith, and hone their gifts, preparing them for lives of service in God’s world. Such an education is life-changing and world-renewing.

Purchasing a Calvin tuition gift certificate for a young person would help make such an education possible — and clearly demonstrates your support and encouragement of that student’s future!

A Calvin tuition gift certificate is a unique gift because it will continue to grow in value, thus reducing the impact of future tuition increases. While its value can be measured in actual dollars and cents, its benefits can be seen in the lives of Calvin alumni all over the world.

Calvin Tuition Gift Certificate Information

Tuition Units

Tuition gift certificates can be purchased in increments called units.  One unit represents 1/100th of one full school years tuition at Calvin.  A certificate of 100 units would pay for one school years tuition.  A full school year includes two semesters of 12-17 credits each and the January term.

Tuition Increases

Once a certificate is issued for a certain number of units, that certificate will always be worth that fraction of a full school year’s tuition cost. In other words, the value of the units will grow at the same rate at which tuition costs increase.

Example: John and Marie Brown purchased ten tuition units for their daughter, Grace, in 1984 when Grace was born. At that time, Calvin’s tuition was $4,620, so their ten-unit certificate cost the Browns $462. When Grace enrolled at Calvin in fall of 2005, tuition had increased to $18,925. The value of her ten-unit certificate, therefore, had increased to $1,893 and, as planned, supplemented 10 percent of Grace’s tuition expenses.

Re-designating Tuition Gift Certificates

The purchaser of a tuition gift certificate may re-designate the certificate to another prospective student. Any changes to the certificate must be made in the records on file at Calvin College and not merely on the paper certificate held by the purchaser. Calvin will then issue a new certificate to the purchaser. Certificates may not be refunded — only re-designated.

Charitable Gift Implications

The money paid to Calvin to purchase tuition units does not in any way constitute a charitable gift to Calvin and cannot, therefore, be deducted as such. However, if the named student beneficiary does not enroll at Calvin and the purchaser is not able to re-designate the certificate to an alternate beneficiary, the purchaser may re-designate the certificate to the Calvin College Scholarship Fund. The purchaser would then receive a gift receipt for the value of the certificate units based on the tuition cost on the date of the re-designation.

According to Calvin’s best understanding of the law, neither the purchase of a certificate nor the application of a certificate to the cost of tuition is a taxable event. However, you should consult your own tax advisor regarding the tax implications for your particular situation.

Scholarship and Financial Aid Implications

Merit scholarships at Calvin are awarded on the basis of academic excellence. The opportunity to receive a Calvin-awarded merit scholarship would not be lessened in any way by purchasing or redeeming tuition gift certificates.

Need-based financial aid is awarded based on an analysis of family resources. The value of the gift certificates is considered an asset and should be reported as such when the application for financial aid is completed.

Expiration of Tuition Gift Certificates

If the certificate is purchased before the designated student’s 18th birthday, the certificate will not expire until the student’s 25th birthday. If the certificate is purchased on or after the designated student’s 18th birthday, the certificate will be valid for seven years beyond the date of issue. If a certificate expires without reassignment, the benefit will be credited to the Calvin College Scholarship Fund.

Costs and Procedures

The cost of a tuition unit (1/100th of a full year’s tuition cost at Calvin) is established on February 1 based on the tuition cost for the next academic year, which begins the following September. Therefore, purchases made on or after February 1 are made on the basis of the tuition cost for the next academic year.

Download an application to purchase a Calvin Tuition Gift Certificate.