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Alma College
"Alma College prepares students to positively impact communities both near and far through critical...

Alma College

Alma, Michigan

Alma College: Where Plaid Works


Alma College is at its best when it’s working with students who don’t have all the answers, but love to ask the questions. A beautiful residential college located in the middle of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, Alma College offers an individualized education where each student is encouraged to identify personal and professional goals and chart a path for the future. Alma does not prescribe a formula for your success. Rather, Alma feels that its job is to help you discover your options and open the right doors. Perhaps the best thing about an Alma College education is its dedication to help you put the ideas and theories that you discuss in the classroom to work in real-world settings. Or maybe it’s the lifelong friendships and amazing memories that you’ll make in the process.


Through the Alma Commitment, faculty will work with you to plan a college experience that includes all the classes necessary to complete a 136-credit degree in four years. As part of the Alma Commitment, the Alma Venture and other college-sponsored grant programs provide up to $2,500 to every student to offset the cost of a personalized experience, such as study abroad, internship, hands-on research or clinical project, and service. You will have practical experiences that look great on your resume, and you will have time to include other campus opportunities that are important to you (performing arts, athletics, Greek life, etc.).


So what’s all this about plaid? Alma College is home to the Alma Scots. The college is proud of its Scottish heritage and enthusiastically welcomes students from all backgrounds. Join in the fun of Alma’s Scottish traditions including the Kiltie Marching Band (in kilts!), Highland dance troupe, or drum and bagpipe band. Or maybe you would just want a college sweatshirt with the awesome tartan A. Come to Alma and before long, you will love the sound of bagpipes. Go Scots!



Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
1,345 undergraduate students
99% of undergrad students are full time
43% male — 57% female
8% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
96 full-time faculty
71 part-time faculty
11 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

Fall 2015
95% of first year students live on campus
88% of all students live on campus

School Location

Alma, Michigan — 60 miles north of Lansing

High-Impact Practices

High-Impact Practices Read more about the importance of High-Impact Practices

First-Year Seminars and Experiences X
Common Intellectual Experiences X
Learning Communities  
Writing-Intensive Courses X
Collaborative Assignments and Projects X
Undergraduate Research X
Diversity/Global Learning X
Service Learning, Community-Based Learning X
Internships/Coops/Practicums X
Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience X

Retention Fall 2015

84% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full time, first time freshmen)

6 Year Graduation Rate 2015

59% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 1%
Hispanic/Latino 4%
Black or African American 4%
White 83%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 1%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 2%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 4%


More than a third of all Alma students participate in intercollegiate athletics, joining the winning NCAA Division III tradition of the Alma Scots. Men’s varsity sports: baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, indoor and outdoor track and field, wrestling. Women’s varsity sports: basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, indoor and outdoor track and field, volleyball. The most recent addition, Alma’s 25th varsity sport, is competitive cheer/stunt.

Other Information

Founded in 1886, Alma College has provided a quality undergraduate education highlighting personal attention, social responsibility, leadership development and extraordinary achievements for 130 years.

Academic Programs

Alma College offers the following undergraduate majors: Accounting, Anthropology, Art and Design, Athletic Training, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Biology, Business Administration, Chemistry, Communication, Computer Science, Dance, Economics, Educational Studies, Elementary Education, English, Environmental Studies, Finance, French, German, Health Care Administration, History, Integrative Physiology and Health Science, International Business Administration, Management, Marketing, Mathematics, Music, Music Education, New Media Studies, Nursing, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Religious Studies, Secondary Education, Special Education-Learning Disabilities, Sociology, Spanish, Theatre. Pre-professional programs at Alma prepare students for further study and careers in dentistry, engineering, law, medicine, ministry, occupational therapy, physical therapy, physician’s assistant and veterinary.

More Distinctions

  • The Alma Commitment is designed to help students reach their personal and professional goals. The Alma Commitment includes a four-year graduation promise and up to $2,500 for each student to fund an experiential learning opportunity, such as an internship, research fellowship, or study abroad. Alma helps design Alma Ventures that match students interests and gives every undergraduate great experiences for their lives after college.

  • The Center for Student Opportunity is a one-stop shop for students to make the most of their Alma education. The CSO provides a program of advising and activities both to help each student identify a path to graduation and to support his or her career or grad school goals. The CSO houses expanded services related to academic and career planning, service learning, leadership development, off-campus study, diversity services, and international student support.

  • Service is part of Alma’s culture. The Corporation for National and Community Service has named Alma College to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for engaging students, faculty and staff in meaningful service. Typically, more than 85 percent of Alma’s students participate in academic service learning during their time at Alma College.

  • Alma College’s nationally recognized Model United Nations program has won top honors for 20 consecutive years (1997-2016) — the longest active winning streak of any college or university in the nation. Alma College’s 38 all-time “outstanding delegation” awards are the most of any college or university in the 95-year history of the conference.

  • Signs of momentum for a college “on the move” are everywhere. Alma College has completed several recent campus enhancements, including Hamilton Dining Commons, the Hogan Center (home of Alma College athletics) and Eddy Music Center. The renovation of an existing popular residence hall was completed in fall 2015, and two new Greek life houses have opened. In addition, several new majors have been added in high-demand career fields, including New Media Studies, Neuroscience and Nursing.

Delve Deeper

Ask Alma students about the amount of personal attention they receive, and they’ll tell stories of professors who personally helped them delve deeper into their areas of interest, arranged special study sessions or took personal time reviewing tests and papers with them. Alma’s small classes give students the opportunity to participate in class discussions, seek answers from their professors and work closely with their peers – individuals who chose the challenges of a liberal arts curriculum.

Spring Term

A highlight of Alma’s general-education requirements is the popular Spring Term, a one-month immersion on a single academic topic that offers learning experiences not typically available during the more traditional 15-week fall and winter terms. One might take an on-campus research course, or they could take a travel course that provides a more global perspective. Remember that $2,500 Venture Grant from the Alma Commitment? One might use it for a Spring Term travel course to explore marine organisms in Hawaii, study social change in China, examine medicinal plants in the Ecuadorian rain forest, or practice documentary-style photography in Spain. The list of courses and travel experiences changes annually. Every student is sure to find one that excites them.

Is grad school in your future?

Since 2003, Alma College students have been awarded 47 prestigious nationally competitive fellowships and scholarships, including 25 Fulbright scholarships to study in amazing locations across the globe. Alma’s Nationally Competitive Scholarship Committee identifies and nurtures exceptional candidates for postgraduate awards.

Global Education

Alma encourages its students to look beyond Michigan’s boundaries. The Posey Global Leadership Program, for example, provides funding and opportunities for Alma students to travel anywhere in the world and complete a self-designed project. Since 2006, more than 280 Posey Global awards have been granted to students for research and service projects in 47 countries. Thirty-two percent of students in Alma’s 2016 graduating class reported studying abroad during their time at Alma. In cooperation with colleges and universities overseas, Alma offers international study and research opportunities in Australia, Austria, Ecuador, England, Germany, India, Italy, New Zealand, Peru and Scotland.

Undergraduate Research

Alma undergraduates often design and undertake original projects in their fields. Almost half of Alma’s students pursue an independent project under a professor’s guidance, and another 10 percent work alongside faculty members in shared projects.These student researchers aim to present their findings at regional and national scholarly meetings or Alma’s annual Honors Day. Other students personalize their education by taking advantage of cooperative arrangements with urban teaching centers in Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington.

First-Year Seminar

All freshmen begin their Alma College experience by enrolling in a First Year Seminar that allows students to study a topic with their peers for an entire semester. The seminars are designed to be typical classes but illustrate the breadth of the liberal arts. Classes vary in topic; some are introductions to academic topics, while others give students a chance to develop study and time management skills.

Activities Offered

Campus Ministries X
Choral groups X
Concert band X
Dance X
Drama/theater X
International Student Organization X
Jazz band X
Literary magazine X
Marching band X
Model UN X
Music ensembles X
Musical theater  
Pep band  
Radio station X
Student government X
Student newspaper X
Student-run film society X
Symphony orchestra X
Television station  
Yearbook X

Rethink your Limits

All members of the Alma family—faculty, students, staff, and trustees—are committed to creating an institution of quality centered on the growth and development of undergraduate students. Here is Alma’s most important distinction—a superb faculty dedicated to mentoring students. Students’ years at Alma are times of high achievement, times when they rethink their limits and refashion their beliefs in ways that literally will last a lifetime.

STEM Opportunities

An Alma College initiative funded by The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation addresses the national demand for more graduates trained in the STEM fields. The initiative, titled “e-STEM: Enhancing STEM Education and Practice,” provides opportunities for students to engage in real-world research and learning in the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. A major component of the e-STEM initiative is the development of the Dow Digital Science Center, a place for the collection and storage of data acquired through remote sensing instrumentation. Linking environmental data from remote sensors in the field to the DDSC immerses students in STEM research.

Summer Science

First-year science and mathematics students have the extraordinary opportunity to engage in research before they even step foot on campus. Prior to their freshman year, selected students are invited to begin their academic journey through the ASPIRE summer research opportunity alongside Alma faculty and other students. Amazing undergraduate research opportunities continue throughout their academic careers.

Programs of Emphasis

Alma students have the ability to design their own area of academic concentration, with the assistance of a faculty advisor, to meet specific educational or career goals. In recent years, students have graduated with Programs of Emphasis majors in such fields as arts management, archaeology and anthropology, environmental policy and community advocacy, Foreign Service and international law, and music technology and digital media.

Hands-On Nursing

As the demand for nurses increases, so too does the requirement for more education and training. Alma’s new Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program, or BSN, enrolled its first class of students in 2014-15. A partnership with the local hospital provides early and frequent access to clinical experiences and patient care.

Pre-Professional Programs

Even if students are uncertain about the fields of health service they want to pursue, Alma’s pre-professional programs can prepare them for graduate training in medicine, dentistry, occupational therapy, physical therapy, physician’s assistantships, and veterinary sciences.

Common Core

Arts/fine arts  
Computer literacy  
English (including composition) X
Foreign languages X
Humanities X
Mathematics X
Sciences (biological or physical) X
Social science X

Class Size Breakdown

Size 2-9 10-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-99 100+ Total
Number of Classes 81 162 79 23 8 4 0 357


Students have many opportunities to participate in campus life outside of the classroom. No matter what activities students choose to get involved with, each one helps them explore new ideas and interests. Alma has a student organization for just about every passion one may have. Greeks, geeks, and everything in between—more than 80 student organizations offer opportunities to lead, laugh and learn. Chapel programming offers opportunities to develop students’ faiths. The popular Stone Recreation Center provides fitness and recreation opportunities. In addition to traditional residence halls and apartments, Alma has theme housing options devoted to varied interests.

Alternative Breaks

Alma College ranks first in the nation in the percentage of students—13.7 percent—who participate in alternative break service trips, according to Break Away, the national organization that supports the development of alternative break experiences that inspire lifelong active citizenship. During 2015-16, Alma students on alternative breaks provided disaster relief, engaged in activities with children with special needs, assisted with animal rescue efforts, partnered with National Park Service public health professionals and worked with various urban agencies responding to the hungry and the homeless.

Adventure Recreation

Alma College is located in the middle of Michigan, which offers excellent outdoor recreational areas and the longest freshwater coastline in the United States. Alma’s Adventure Recreation program sponsors student weekend programming experiences that include camping, kayaking, snowboarding and skiing to such locations as Sleeping Bear Dunes, Mackinac Island, the Pictured Rocks, and Boyne and Caberfae mountains.

The Performing Arts

Twenty-seven percent of Alma students take part in at least one performance each year. The college offers majors in theatre, dance and music, but students of all majors may join in productions. The Remick Heritage Center for the Performing Arts is the region’s premier performing arts facility.

Our Community

Located in a community of 10,000, Alma College features a walkable campus with historic and contemporary buildings. The campus is a block from downtown Alma and within two hours of Michigan beaches and ski areas. Gratiot and adjacent counties feature plentiful parks, outdoor recreation opportunities, golf courses and shops. The campus is bordered by the 41-mile Fred Meijer Heartland Bike Trail.


Coed dorms X
Men’s dorms  
Women’s dorms  
Apartments for married students  
Apartments for single students X
Special housing for disabled students X
Special housing for international students X
Fraternity/sorority housing X
Cooperative housing  
Theme housing X
Wellness housing X
Other housing options  

There is tremendous value to the Alma Experience. Students are prepared to meet the world’s challenges head-on. Students are equipped with a depth of knowledge and experience that prepares them to excel in their chosen fields. They have the advantage of being adaptable and flexible as new careers define the job market. Regardless of a student’s eventual profession, he or she will be inspired to impact communities positively both near and far through critical thinking, generous service, purposeful leadership and responsible living.

Developing the Person and the Professional

  • Ninety percent of Alma College’s 2015 graduates reported working in full-time positions or attending graduate school within six months of graduation.
  • Alma’s 4-year graduation rate for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) majors (88%) is higher than the rates reported at 4-year doctoral institutions (52%), non-doctoral institutions (34%), or at other 4-yr small, private colleges (80%) as reported in the March 2014 Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) report, Strengthening the STEM Pipeline: The Contributions of Small and Mid-Sized Independent Colleges.
  • Students have the opportunity to present their research at the annual Honors Day. Highlighted by student presentations, performances and art exhibits, Honors Day is a “distinctly Alma” tradition. Classes are suspended for the entire day so students, faculty and staff can attend the various sessions, revealing one of the best features of the Alma community: support for and pride in exceptional student accomplishment.
  • Alma College’s membership in Phi Beta Kappa is an indication of excellence within the liberal arts. Only 10 percent of colleges and university in the United States share this distinction. The Phi Beta Kappa Society is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious undergraduate honors organization.
  • Among Alma’s most noted alumni is U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, class of 1980. “Being in the U.S. Congress is like the ultimate liberal arts job because every day is different, and you are dealing with a whole range of subjects,” he says. “Having that kind of background helps me do my job each and every day.”


Admissions Fall 2015

2,479 Total Applicants
1,675 Total Admissions
336 Total Freshmen Enrollment

67.57% of applicants admitted

Admissions Deadlines for 2016-17 Admission

Rolling admission? No

Closing date: Aug 15
Priority: Feb 1

Admissions Factors

Very Important
Academic GPA
Standardized test scores
Application Essay

Rigor of secondary school record
Character/personal qualities

Class rank
Extracurricular activities
Alumni/ae relation
Volunteer work
Work experience
Level of applicant’s interest

Freshmen Profile Fall 2015

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 518 650
SAT Math 510 670
SAT Writing    
SAT Essay    
ACT Composite 21 27
ACT Math 21 26
ACT English 19 26
ACT Writing    

Application Requirements

Alma welcomes talented students from across the country and around the world. All applicants are encouraged to use the free online application at or and submit a personal statement. Paper applications are available for download or by request, but include a $25 application fee.

Specific additional requirements are as follows:

Freshman applicants

  • Official high school transcript
  • Official ACT or SAT scores
  • Counselor Recommendation Form


International applicants

  • Official secondary school transcript
  • Official ACT, SAT, TOEFL or IELTS scores
  • Counselor Recommendation Form
  • International Student Declaration of Financial Support (available on our Web site)


Transfer applicants

  • Official high school transcript
  • Official college transcript(s) from all institutions attended
  • Transfer Recommendation Form (available on our Web site)


Net Price Calculator 


Tuition $36,890
Fees $420
Total $37,310
Room and Board (on campus) $10,238
Estimated Total On Campus $47,548


Average Financial Aid Packages 2015-16 estimated

$28,592 First year students
$23,908 All undergrads

Financial Aid Breakdown 2015-16 estimated

78% on average, the percentage of need that was met
17% of financial need students that had need fully met

$23,908 Average need-based scholarship or grant award
$4,920 Average need-based loan

Scholarships and Need-Based Aid


  • Freshmen merit awards of up to $21,000 annually are based on high school GPA and ACT/SAT scores
  • Transfer student merit awards of up to $19,000 annually are based on college GPA.
  • Top scholars are invited to interview for additional scholarship funds.
  • National Merit, National Achievement and National Hispanic scholars also are invited to interview for additional scholarship funds that rage up to full tuition.



  • In addition to merit awards, students are encouraged to explore other scholarships that fit their interests. Please see the list at <> for further details, deadlines and applications.
  • Need-based aid helps make Alma College accessible. Families are encouraged to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1 for maximum financial aid consideration. Please visit <> for information on grants, loans and the financial aid process.

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