Cutting the price tag
CUTTING THE PRICE TAG
Families just like mine? Really?
Really. Take a look:
Family income distribution (2021–2022) for students applying for financial aid.
Calvin has students from all economic backgrounds.
So how much does Calvin cost?
- $38,370 for tuition
- $11,150 for room & board
- $250 for wellness
- Average national 4-year private colleges
- Calvin University
Still, that’s a lot of money—how can my family afford that?
To answer that, let’s first discuss
STICKER PRICE vs. ACTUAL COST
That $49,770 number? That’s the sticker price. It’s big and it’s daunting. But for most families at Calvin, it’s not the number they’ll actually pay.
First, we subtract scholarships—up to $22,000 based on merit. If you have a 3.0 GPA or higher, you are guaranteed an academic scholarship.
Then we subtract Named Scholarships—which average between $2,500–5,000. We award over 1400 every year. Admitted Calvin students can apply for Named Scholarships from Dec. 1 to Jan. 31.
AWARDS & GRANTS
Next, we see if you’re eligible for awards—like the $1,000 Visit Grant, and Calvin’s Legacy, Diversity, and First Generation Awards.
Then we subtract need-based grants. Submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for federal aid (Pell Grants), state of Michigan aid (up to $7,000), or Calvin University’s need-based grants.
Finally, we subtract student loans—up to $5,500.
What we’re left with is the actual cost, often times significantly less than the original sticker price. It is the amount left over after scholarships, grants, awards, and student loans have been applied.
If you have a 3.8 GPA or higher, we will reduce your costs by at least $21,000 per year for up to four years. That's the Calvin Promise.
So how much can I expect my actual cost to be?
The cost of Calvin is different for each family, based on academic achievement, need, and other eligibility criteria. But we can tell you this ...
100% of new Calvin students receive scholarships and/or grants—gift money that doesn’t need to be repaid. How much financial aid could you get?
Then I’m guessing I’ll come out with
$100,000+ in loans, right?
Not even close.
You may have heard the shocking stories of six-figure college debt...
But of the students at Calvin who borrow, average student loan debt is $29,532—a far cry from the amounts we often hear cited.
That’s still a good chunk of change.
How will I repay that?
Calvin students develop a great work ethic, starting with 1,000+ on-campus job opportunities.
88% of Calvin students have participated in an internship by the time they graduate—great preparation for after they leave.
99% of Calvin graduates were either employed or in grad school one year after graduation.
The Calvin LifeWork program starts with your passion and unleashes your career path, all while teaching you about the value of living well.
As a result, Calvin grads are able to pay back their loans.
Take a look at theseamong graduates:
|Calvin University||National colleges/universities|
What will I get for my investment?
Global experiences that will change everything
You’ll be far more than a tourist in Calvin’s 40+ professor-led study abroad programs each year. Go to China, Hungary, Peru, Ecuador, India and Kenya, where Calvin profs guide global experiences that teach you about justice, privilege, power and humility. In the end, you’ll know what it means to act justly in all things.
The opportunity to study with great minds
Calvin professors are cancer researchers, composers, Fulbright Scholars, former Olympians and even include the Grand Rapids’ poet laureate. The amazing thing? Once you have them in class, they’ll know you by name and help you explore God’s plans for your life.
Excellence on and off the field
Many schools will tout an equal commitment to both education and sport, but Calvin truly lives it out. If you’re a member of one of our 21 varsity sports teams, you’ll study and live alongside your teammates, as committed to one another in academics as you are in the heat of the game. And it doesn’t just stop at varsity sports: Calvin has enough recreational and intramural teams to ensure you’ll find a place to get your game on.
A university where faith is a part of all we do
This isn’t just prayer-at-the-beginning-of-class faith integration. At Calvin you’ll think deeply about how Christian faith impacts business, biology, social work and even how you listen to your favorite music. Along the way, you’ll develop a thoughtful Christian worldview that guides you through life’s most complex situations.
Research opportunities that have real-world impact
In 2014, U.S. News and World Report placed Calvin next to universities like Harvard, Duke and U.C. Berkeley for amazing undergraduate research opportunities. Working on these research projects—in collaboration with your Calvin professors—you can have a significant impact on the lives of people with cancer, HIV and diabetes.
A place where you can thrive in community
Calvin replaces the baggage that comes with traditional Greek life with a Christian community that is always working to be more welcoming.
A school where diversity is more than just a nice idea
Because nearly a quarter of Calvin’s student body is comprised of international students (10%) and U.S. ethnic minorities (13%), you’re guaranteed to meet people at Calvin who aren’t just like you. And we think that’s a good thing—giving you even more ways to expand your world and become the kind of person who can thrive in any setting.
Calvin’s John M. Perkins Leadership Fellows spend two years learning together about community development, anti-racism and more.
Preparation for the real world
The numbers don’t lie. Calvin graduates surveyed from 2009–2013 say they are working and going to graduate school at astonishingly high rates—99%—even just a year after graduation. They’re working at places like Groupon, Google, Spectrum Health, Herman Miller and more.
Opportunities to give back
Literally from day one, you’ll have opportunities at Calvin to serve others on campus, in the Grand Rapids community and around the world. The best part is that while you’re working for the good of others, your life be transformed as well.
Yes, it takes a bit of courage to plunge into the freezing waters of the Sem Pond or to battle your professors on the gridiron, but it’s worth it to be part of traditions that span generations. If Calvin’s president and profs can do it, so can you.
This is the best kind of peer pressure, where your friends convince you to take part in one of Calvin’s most-talked-about traditions: The Cold Knight Plunge.
But don’t just take our word for it.
U.S. News & World Report ranks Calvin #4 among regional midwest universities.