Alma College

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Alma CollegeAlma College was founded in the 1880’s by local Presbyterians from Scotland. While the college maintains a close connection with the Presbyterian Church, they welcome students of all religious backgrounds. Alma College offers students their unique four-year graduation promise, which is called the Alma Commitment, which pledges that students who meet their program’s requirements and cannot graduate in eight terms will not have to pay for their ninth term. The college also pledges that all students will have opportunities to participate in special programs, like internships, study abroad semesters and research fellowships. Each student that is accepted is given up to $2,500 from the college.

Resource: 50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest

Alma College offers over 50 degree programs that include a wide range of majors. These include everything from dance to German to Integrative Psychology to New Media Studies. As an alternative to traditional majors, students may create their own Program of Emphasis (POE) that allows them to work one-on-one with faculty to create their own customized major that is supplemented with internships and research experience. Alma College offers undergraduate degrees in the liberal arts and sciences. Every year, Alma College enrolls approximately 1,400 undergraduate students from 25 to 30 states and eight to ten foreign countries. There are almost 100 professors and over 80 percent hold doctorate degrees. The student-to-faculty ratio 12 to one and the average class size is 18 students. The average incoming high school GPA is 3.5.

Alma College is located in Alma, Michigan, which is one hour north of the state capital, on a 128 acre campus with 27 buildings. Although it is over 100 years old, the college maintains strong ties with its Scottish heritage. Alma College has a kilt-wearing marching band, a Scottish Highlands dance troupe and a student Scottish pipe band. The College hosts the Alma Highland Festival and Games every year, which features traditional Scottish games and activities. Alma College is one of the only higher learning institutions in the U.S. that offers a Highland Arts Program. This includes college-level Highland Dancing courses, off-campus performances and professional dance instruction training.

Alma College Accreditation Details

  • The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools’ Higher Learning Commission.

Alma College Application Requirements

The application requirements are very simple at Alma College. Prospective students must apply online, send their official ACT/SAT scores and submit their high school transcripts. They must also have a counselor submit the Counselor Recommendation Form. Transfer students must also submit a 250 plus word essay. International students must submit English language proficiency scores, a financial statement and their transcripts.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition is around $37,000, lodging $11,000, fees $400 and personal expenses $1,500 to $2,000. Students must complete the FAFSA to apply for financial aid, which is the federal government’s official form used to determine eligibility for both need-based and non-need based financial aid. New freshmen should file the FAFSA between January and March first of their senior high school year.

Federal and state grants and scholarships are available. This includes merit scholarships that are based on the student’s high school GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Performance scholarships are reserved for students of any degree related to art, dance, music or theatre. The Veteran’s Yellow Ribbon Program is for eligible military veterans. The work-study program is available to undergraduate, graduate, and professional full-time and part-time students.

Student Experience

One of the newest undergraduate degree is the health care administration for students interested in managing medical facilities or working in the field of health care policy. This field is expected to grow as regulation and consumer demand drives the improvement of health care structures, maintenance and supervision. Health care administrators are business leaders who manage finances, staff, operations and patient information within medical facilities. This program introduces students to health service management within various health settings. It uses insightful case studies that promote understanding of health care leadership, performance, organizational behavior, management thinking, information technology, cultural competency and quality improvement. The health care administration program will teach students about health care finances, which will use tools and concepts from financial management and health care economics to analyze real-world problems. Students also learn about health laws and legal frameworks for health care organizations.

A management degree will provide students with the leadership, communication, analytical thinking and problem solving skills needed to succeed in the business world. Learning about business administration involves the exploration of psychology and the behavioral sciences in order to understand motivation, change theories, decision-making, organizational culture, resource allocation, values development and productivity measurement. Students receive a broad introduction to various business disciplines like law, ethics, finance, accounting, marketing and international business. Students are trained to become entrepreneurs through preparing and presenting business plans and strategic initiatives. They also learn useful operational decision models and financial analysis techniques that help them evaluate scenarios and create capital budgets. Learning about leadership helps students to critically consider the outcomes of policies, processes and decisions. Studying the legal environment of business introduces students to legal concepts like the litigation process, negligence laws, product liability and consumer protection laws.

The pre-veterinary program is designed for students who want to continue into a graduate program and obtain a licensure to practice veterinary medicine. Students will take classes in physics, biology, organic chemistry, zoology and animal nutrition. Hands-on practice is a critical part of this program because graduate veterinary school applications require extensive documented experience under the supervision of a licensed veterinarians. This means that students cannot just observe, but they must demonstrate high levels of initiative and engagement. Exposure to both small and large animals is expected. The pre-veterinary program provides this experience through partner organizations that include zoos, kennels, racetracks, humane societies and livestock farms. Students will keep a journal of their off-campus activities that include dates, types of activities and who supervised. Graduates go on to find jobs researching animal diseases in livestock, caring for zoo wildlife and working in research labs testing drugs.

Alma College is a small, but popular higher learning institution in northern Michigan that offers excellent academic benefits.