Calumet College of Saint Joseph makes committing to a four-year college easy

Calumet College of Saint Joseph makes committing to a four-year college easy

Northwest Indiana high school seniors are dressing up in their graduation caps, tassels, and cords, ready to walk across the stage and receive their diploma. Some students might also not be ready to walk into a college too far from home. Calumet College of Saint Joseph (CCSJ) understands the needs of these students and is providing the graduating class of 2021 with a new scholarship program – The Calumet Commitment. 

The Calumet Commitment is a response to the urgent financial pressures due to the pandemic, as well as rising tuition costs and increases in years of post-secondary education according to Johnny Craig, senior vice president for enrollment, marketing, and athletics.

“We wanted to come up with an innovative scholarship to address some of those concerns because we know economic concerns are paramount for some families,” Craig said. 

The program is also a call-to-action that Craig feels needs to be addressed.

“The accessibility to college, particularly for students of color, continues to become out of reach and given our mission, culture, and what we are about, we wanted to respond to that too,” Craig said.

The Calumet Commitment is a scholarship aimed at first-time freshmen that make the “institutional promise” to continue their education with CCSJ until graduation. If the student maintains a 3.3 GPA or higher and has their FAFSA on file for the most recent year, they will then get their senior year at CCSJ paid-in-full by the institution. 

By applying to CCSJ as a high school 2021 graduate, students are automatically made eligible for the scholarship; no additional applications must be completed. CCSJ wants the opportunity for financial aid to be within reach instead of piled under multiple applications.

Craig says this is the first year for the program, with the class of 2021 as their main audience. Advertisements for it began in the last week of March, and the college has noticed an increase in website traffic ever since. He hopes that high school seniors will take advantage of this opportunity, even if CCSJ is known as a smaller college in the state. 

“If we had somewhere north of 200 students that were made eligible, that would be fantastic,” Craig said.

The Calumet Commitment is not just about the financial aspect, as Craig describes it as a “three-pronged approach.” Craig believes that The Calumet College will help students, faculty and the community expand its horizons in education for the betterment of the future. 

“I think the scholarship program is tangible and eye-opening, but it also includes academic and personal support that makes it much more than a monetary award,” said Craig.

With a newly-renovated academic resource center, 24-hour, free tutoring in-person or virtual, and low teacher-to-student ratios, academics are prioritized for students by the college. 

Outside of the classroom, CCSJ is still there for its students, offering a food pantry, counseling services, and accessible staff to meet the needs of any student. 

“When our students succeed, we succeed. We want to retain more students, we want to graduate more students, and we want them gainfully employed in the community,” Craig said. 

Craig hopes that CCSJ can assist any prospective student in any way that is necessary and does not want the financial burden of college to steer anyone away from the opportunities CCSJ has to offer. 

“We want to be affordable and accessible to students in and around the area,” Craig said. 

To learn more about The Calumet Commitment and to apply to Calumet College of Saint Joseph, visit