CRC increases denominational grant for Calvin students

Beginning in the fall of 2014, all first year students at Calvin who are members of a Christian Reformed Church (CRC) will receive a $1,500 grant, according to an announcement from the CRC Communications on Jan. 20, 2014. This is an increase of $200 to $700 from previous years.

This denominational grant is available to students for up to five years at Calvin. Paul Witte, director of scholarships and financial aid, explained that it is given to all students who self-identify as members of the CRC on their admission application — no separate application necessary.

“The grant is available for … students whose families are members of the CRC, presumed to contribute to CRC ministry shares and the support of the church’s ministries,” Witte said.

Currently, approximately 1,500 Calvin students receive denominational grants. The amount of the current grants vary based on the distance the student’s home is from Calvin. All CRC members receive at least  $800 per year, but can receive up to $1,300 per year if they live far from Calvin.

“Since the establishment of the distance criteria, financial aid packages have now migrated toward including a transportation component in the need-based aid determination,” Witte said. “To remove this unnecessary complexity while reasserting the importance of Calvin’s relationship to the CRC, the amount was revised to $1,500 for all recipients.”

Witte is not concerned about funding for the increase in the amount of the grant.

“It is expected that the additional funding for this change will be realized through an increase in the CRC student population, a population that has been declining both at the CRC level and within Calvin’s enrollment,” Witte said.

Witte explained that the grant has not been adjusted or reviewed for some time. The school decided it is time to increase the denominational grant in order to show thanks to the CRC for its support of Calvin.

“The Christian Reformed Church has historically supported Calvin College through the collection and disbursement of ministry shares,” Witte said. “In gratitude for that support and in order to encourage its members to attend Calvin College, the college established a denominational grant, partially returning support to its member students.”

The Alumni Legacy Scholarship, funded by the Calvin College Alumni Association, has also increased by $1,000 per student. The new amount, $1,500, is given to students in their first year at Calvin. Recipients must be third generation Calvin students, that is, students who have one parent and at least two other direct ancestors who graduated from Calvin. This scholarship is not automatic, but awarded through an application process.