Hope Enrolls Record Number
Of First-Time Students

Posted September 10, 1997

          HOLLAND -- Hope College has enrolled a record
  number of first-time students, helping build overall
  attendance at Hope to the second-highest ever.
          Hope has 723 first-time students this year.  Hope
  had 695 first-time students last fall, and the previous high
  was 713, set in the fall of 1994.
          Overall enrollment this fall is 2,911, the second
  time in history that Hope has had more than 2,900 students.
  Enrollment last fall was 2,849, and the previous high was
  2,919 in the fall of 1995.
          The student body is comprised of 1,204 men and
  1,707 women from 38 states and territories, as well as from
  33 foreign countries.
          In addition to being large, the incoming class
  also brings in solid academic credentials, according to Dr.
  James Bekkering, vice president for admissions.  The class's
  composite ACT and SAT scores average 26 and 1,200
  respectively; the mean grade point average is 3.62; and more
  than a third of the new degree-seeking students come from
  the top 10 percent of their graduating high school classes.
  Hope has 22 National Merit Scholars among its freshmen--the
  previous high was 17 in the fall of 1995.
          Although the freshman class's academic statistics
  are up, it's not because Hope has required it so, according
  to Bekkering.
          "Our admissions standards as regards academic
  performance haven't changed dramatically," he said.  "What
  has changed, particularly over the last five or six years,
  is the applicant pool, which has become stronger."
          Bekkering cited a number of reasons for the
  development, including the college's growing academic
  reputation; the quality of life on campus, such as the way
  that students and faculty relate to each other; increased
  appreciation of Hope's Christian character; and the quality
  of the college's facilities and Hope's location in Holland.
          Students transferring to Hope from other colleges
  and universities total 54, compared with 64 in 1996.  There
  are 88 students enrolled in off-campus programs, compared to
  98 last year.
          The enrollment by class, with last year's class in
  parentheses, is:  freshmen, 740 (733); sophomores, 706
  (705); juniors, 657 (632); seniors, 656 (621); and special
  students, 152 (158).
          The largest student representation comes from
  Michigan with 2,118 students, followed by:  Illinois, 227;
  Indiana, 60; New York, 54; Ohio, 46; Minnesota, 32; New
  Jersey, 26; Wisconsin, 23; Iowa, 16; California, 11;
  Florida, 11; Missouri, 11; and Colorado, 10.
          Foreign countries represented in the student body
  include Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Ecuador,
  Ethiopia, France, Germany, India, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan,
  Kenya, Korea, Kuwait, Mexico, Nepal, Norway, Pakistan,
  Palestine, Peru, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Spain,
  Taiwan, Turkey, the Ukraine, the United Kingdom, Venezuela,
  Vietnam, Yugoslavia and Zambia.
          Hope College was chartered in 1866 and is
  affiliated with the Reformed Church in America (RCA).  The
  college offers courses in 53 majors leading to a Bachelor of
  Arts, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of
  Science in Nursing degree.

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