2018-2019 Catalog 
    Oct 02, 2022  
2018-2019 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


Procedures for Admission

In selecting students for admission, Calvin looks for evidence of Christian commitment and for the capacity and desire to learn. Students who are interested in the Christian perspective and curriculum of Calvin and who show an interest in its aims are eligible for consideration. Although the prospect of academic success is of primary consideration, the aspirations of the applicant, the recommendation of a high school counselor, teacher, or principal, and the ability of Calvin to be of service will also be considered in admission decisions. The college admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.

U.S. and Canadian applicants should submit the following to the office of admissions and financial aid:

  1. Application for admission: either the Calvin Application or the Common Application, including Calvin specific questions (www.calvin.edu/apply);
  2. High school transcript;
  3. Academic/educational recommendation;
  4. SAT or ACT or CLT (Classic Learning Test)
    Note: Calvin does not require the writing sections of the SAT or ACT. The SAT is required for students interested in teacher education. Canadian students with cumulative marks above 75% are not required to submit ACT or SAT results.
  5. Transcript(s) from any college(s) previously attended.

A non-refundable application fee of $35 is required but will be waived for applications received by December 1 (U.S. citizens) and January 1 (Canadian and other international citizens).

All documents and supporting data required for admission become the property of Calvin and will not be returned to the applicant.

Of the students who submit an application, approximately 75% are accepted. Completed applications are considered on a rolling basis (see deadlines below). Applicants will be notified of an admission decision soon after their files are complete.

Application Deadlines

Completed applications are considered on a rolling basis until the deadlines below. For maximum scholarship consideration, students must be admitted tp Calvin and complete all scholarship application requirements by February 1.

Type Fall Semester January Interim Spring Semester
First-Year Aug. 15 Dec. 10 Jan. 10
Transfer Aug. 15 Dec. 10 Jan. 10
Canadian Aug. 15 N/A Jan. 10
International Apr. 1 N/A Dec. 15 *
Previously admitted and guest students Students applying for readmission or non-degree seeking students are admitted on a space-available basis until the first day of classes.

* Calvin does not accept international applications mid-year unless the student is transferring from a U.S. institution.

Admission Standards

Applicants must be high school graduates or have graduated from an equivalent program. Qualified applicants under the age of 17 will be considered for admission on an individual basis. Applicants who are at least nineteen years of age but have not completed high school or its equivalent may be granted admission provided they have successfully completed the General Educational Development test (GED) and submit satisfactory scores on one of the entrance examinations.

Application Process

Calvin College seeks students who will thrive in the academic, spiritual, and community life at Calvin. Each completed application is given careful consideration to assess the student’s academic profile based on several important markers of student success:

• academic performance
• strength and quality of curriculum
• ACT, SAT, and/or CLT (Classical Learning Test) results
• demonstrated leadership and service
• academic recommendation submitted by a teacher of the student’s choice
• college transcripts, if applicable

Admissions counselors are available to help throughout the entire application process.

Profile of Calvin First-Year Students

Calvin welcomes students who desire an education of the heart and mind. Calvin students come from a variety of backgrounds and locations, and bring amazing gifts, perspectives and intellect to this community.

The middle 50% of the first-year students who enrolled at Calvin in the fall of 2017 had the following academic profile:

  • High school GPA: 3.53-4.01
  • ACT Composite Score: 23-30
  • SAT critical reading plus math: 1120-1320 (new SAT)


The six-year graduation rate for entering first-year students is 72%; most students finish a degree in four years carrying a normal course load.

The first- to second-year retention rate is 86.7%.


Recommended High School Courses for Admission

  Recommended HS Program
English 4 years
Math 4 years are recommended for students entering math-related majors, including engineering.
Natural Sciences 2 years: biology, chemistry, or physics; one with a laboratory. Students considering programs in the sciences or health fields, including nursing and engineering, should take biology, chemistry and physics.
Social Sciences 3 years
Foreign Language 2-4 years, ideally the last year in grade 12.
Other courses 3 years: a strong college prep program is recommended.

Entrance Examination Information

Most prospective first-year students are required to provide the results of one of the following college entrance exams: the ACT (Code #1968), SAT (Code #1095), or CLT (Classic Learning Test).

Students are advised to take their college entrance examination during the spring semester of their junior year or in the fall of their senior year. Please note the following:

  • The SAT is required by the State of Michigan and is taken during the junior year of high school.
  • The SAT is required for students interested in teacher education.
  • Calvin does not require the writing section of the SAT or ACT.
  • Canadian students with cumulative marks above 75% are not required to submit ACT or SAT results.

The ACT, SAT, and CLT tests are administered several times throughout the year. Information is available from high school counselors or online at www.act.org, www.collegeboard.org, or www.cltexam.com.

Dual Enrollment: On-campus and Online Programs

Dually enrolled students are individuals who are still attending high school but are concurrently enrolled in college courses. The dual enrollment program is administered by participating high schools and interested students should first inquire at their high school. Students are eligible for dual enrollment until the time of their high school graduation.

Calvin welcomes qualified high school students who wish to be dually enrolled. Students must complete the Calvin Guest Application, submit a signed letter of recommendation and an official copy of their high school transcript. A copy of the application and format for the letter of recommendation is available at www.calvin.edu/go/dualenroll. No essays, application fees or college entrance exams are required for dual enrollment. Students who wish to enroll as first-year students for the following academic year must subsequently follow normal first-year admissions procedures. Students will be notified of their dual enrollment admission and course registration by mail or email. The cost of dual enrollment is the responsibility of the family, in partnership with their high school. Please refer to the www.calvin.edu/go/dualenroll for more detailed information about costs, frequently asked questions and contact information.

Early Admission to Specific Academic Programs

Certain academic programs-Nursing Speech Pathology and Audiology  (MA) and The Honors Program  -offer early admission status to incoming first-year students based on specific academic criteria. In most cases, early admission is determined by information provided in the student’s admission file. Please refer to the department website for further details and policies.

Admission of Transfer Students

Students transferring from other colleges or universities follow the same application procedures as first-year students. Transcripts from all previous colleges attended must be received prior to consideration for admission. ACT or SAT results are also required for transfer applicants with less than two-years of previous college experience or who are under the age of 21. (Canadian transfer students with cumulative marks above 75% are not required to submit ACT or SAT results.) The minimum cumulative GPA for students transferring from a four-year institution is 2.0 and from a two-year college, 2.5. Applicants with averages below the standard or with lower scores are reviewed individually by the committee on admissions.

Evaluation of Transfer Credit

Transfer credit will normally be awarded for work done in accredited institutions. The courses must be academic and similar in nature to courses offered at Calvin. A minimum grade of C is required in each course to receive credit. No more than seventy semester hours of credit will be allowed for work completed at an accredited community college; students may transfer community college credit any time during their academic career.

The transfer evaluation process begins with the transfer advisor at the office of the registrar, and may involve academic department chairs, as needed. A list of commonly accepted transfer courses from selected colleges is available online. Courses taken in residence at other accredited institutions are normally accepted, provided they have been approved by the transfer advisor in advance.

Veterans will receive credit, as recommended by the American Council on Education, for liberal arts courses taken through the USAFI and for a maximum of nine semester hours taken by correspondence courses from accredited universities in the program.

For minimum graduation requirements, see the formal bachelor’s degree requirements listed in the academic policies section of the catalog.

Admission of International Students

Calvin welcomes international students who demonstrate their ability to meet the academic standards of the college, who are prepared to do college-level work in English, who will contribute to a Christian learning environment and who show evidence of their ability to pay most of the cost of their education. Students should be certain that Calvin offers the programs they need. The college is authorized under federal law to enroll non-immigrant international students.

To apply for admission, international students are required to submit the following by April 1:

  1. Application for admission: either the Calvin Application or the Common Application, including Calvin specific questions (www.calvin.edu/apply);
  2. Transcripts from high school and/or college(s) attended and the results of any tests required in the student’s country;
  3. Academic/educational recommendation;
  4. Applicable tests and/or demonstration of English language proficiency-see below;
  5. Completed financial forms and supporting documents.

A non-refundable application fee of $35 is required but will be waived for applications received before January 1.

Calvin requires the SAT or ACT for international applicants who are in any one of the following situations: (Calvin does not require the writing sections of the SAT or ACT.)

  • Applicants who will have graduated from a high school in the United States
  • Applicants who will have graduated from an international school that follows a U.S. high school curriculum
  • Applicants who will have graduated from any school where English is the primary language of instruction
  • Applicants who will be transferring from a U.S. college or university where she/he has earned less than one year of credit
  • Applicants who are attending a Canadian high school and who have average marks below 75%

In certain situations, a student with a lower score on either test may be admitted with a provision for further intensive language training (such as ELS) at another institution.

International applicants who are not required to submit an SAT or ACT (according to the listing above) must submit the TOEFL, IELTS (International English Language Testing System), Pearson PTE or an ELS Level 112 certificate as documentation of English language proficiency.

Additional information about mathematics proficiency may also be requested.

Several scholarships are available to international students; some scholarships are awarded based on the results of the ACT or SAT. International students who wish to be considered for Calvin’s academic scholarships are encouraged to take the ACT or SAT even though these tests may not be required for admission purposes.

Before enrolling in classes, international students will participate in a self-placement process to select an appropriate English composition course. Normally, students meet with a member of the English department or the Center for Student Success who will lead them through a collaborative self-placement process, review their materials, and then recommend or require an English composition course or courses. International students who are proficient in a language other than English can use that language to satisfy the foreign language requirement.

Immigration Procedures for International and Canadian Students

International and Canadian students are required to have a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20) to attend college or university in the United States. An application for the I-20 will be sent to international and Canadian students at the time of their admission to Calvin. Upon receipt of the completed I-20 application, immigration documents will be processed. In addition, an I-901 Fee Remittance is required of all international students with an initial Certificate of Eligibility I-20. Admitted students will receive further information along with the I-20 application.

Enrollment Deposits for Incoming Students

An enrollment deposit is required of all first-year, transfer, international and readmitted students. This deposit serves as a confirmation of the student’s plans to enroll at Calvin. The deposit is first applied toward the student’s orientation fee and the remainder is applied to the student’s account. Enrollment deposits are not refundable after the due date. If space is available, enrollment deposits will be accepted after the due date.

Type of student Enrollment Deposit Due date*: For students starting in …
January Interim Spring semester Fall semester
U.S. First-Year $300 Dec. 15 Jan. 15 May 1
Transfer $300 Dec. 15 Jan. 15 June 1
Canadian $300 Dec. 15 Jan. 15 June 1
International $2,500 N/A N/A June 1 (Deposit required before an I-20 will be issued).
Readmitted students $30 Dec. 15 Jan. 15 Aug. 1

* Enrollment deposits are not refundable after the due date. Enrollment deposits will be accepted after the due date as long as space is available.

Nondiscriminatory Policy

Calvin does not discriminate with regard to age, race, color, national origin, sex, or disability in any of its education programs or opportunities, employment, or other activities. Questions pertaining to Title IX, which prohibits discrimination based on sex, and Section 504, which prohibits discrimination based on disability, may be directed to Calvin’s director of admissions at 3201 Burton Street SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 49546, (616) 526-6106.