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Albion College offering scholarships amid COVID-19

Kim Kozlowski
The Detroit News

An anonymous donor has enabled Albion College to cover tuition this fall for students admitted or not amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The "Michigan 2020 Promise," announced Wednesday by the private liberal arts college, will provide scholarships to all incoming Michigan students this fall. But the most generous scholarships will be awarded to students hailing from families earning less than $65,000 in an an effort to address concerns about college affordability due to COVID-19.

Albion College

The donor, an Albion College alum who wishes to remain anonymous, is adopting the Class of 2024, said Albion College President Dr. Mauri A. Ditzler.

That means the funding that the donor is allocating is for graduating high school seniors and transfer students who have already been admitted to the college.

But the college is offering the scholarship to other students such as those who were considering going out of state and want to stay closer to home as uncertainty continues with the pandemic, said Ditzler.

The college is trying to address concerns about affordability as unemployment has gone up and students are considering a gap year or wanting to stay closer to home instead of going to college outside of Michigan, the president said. It is also trying to offer a place for students who want to stay closer to home.

"A lot of students are uneasy about going so far from home and want to be in a familiar environment, so they are scrambling to see if there are quality comparable institutions closer to home," said Ditzler. "And they are worried they are applying late and all the scholarships will be gone. What we are trying to say to these students is we will provide a quality education. We are one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country and we will make space for you."

Albion College, home to 1,500 students, is seeing unprecedented interest this year in admissions, the president said, but the college is promising to open up its buffer capacity to make as much room as possible. 

But prospective students need to act fast: Deadline to apply for the scholarship is May 1.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has not only denied graduating seniors with the opportunity to walk in a high school graduation ceremony, it has evoked anxiety and concern for the financial and educational future of Michigan families,” said Ditzler.

The Michigan 2020 Promise will cover tuition after Michigan Tuition and Federal Pell grants are applied to the cost of attending Albion, where tuition costs $48,000 annually. 

Families making over $65,000 will, at minimum be eligible for $92,000 or as high as $136,000 in Albion College scholarships over the course of 4 years. 

"Even in the face of uncertainty," said Ditzler, "Albion provides the hope, help and resources to empower Michigan students and families to reclaim ownership of their educational future, and the power to make quality, life-advancing decisions on their own terms.”

kkozlowski@detroitnews.com