Overall Student Development
As a liberal arts college offering education within the context of the historic Christian faith, Hope is a place of open inquiry, acceptance of intellectual challenge, rigorous engagement with challenging questions, and vigorous but civil discussion of different beliefs and understandings. In the words of the Covenant of Mutual Responsibilities between the Reformed Church in America and its colleges, it is a place characterized by "an atmosphere of search and confrontation that will liberate the minds, enhance the discernment, enlarge the sympathies, and encourage the commitments of all students entrusted to (it)." For more than a century, Hope has cherished the conviction that life is God's trust, a trust which each of us is called to personally activate by an insistent concern for intelligent involvement in the human community and its problems.
In former New York Times education editor Loren Pope's book, Colleges That Change Lives , Hope is listed as being one of 40 schools that are "a well kept secret in a status industry" and one that outdoes "the Ivies and research universities in producing winners."
Hope is one of only 10 church-related colleges and universities nationwide highlighted in the book Putting Students First: How Colleges Develop Students Purposefully . The institutions were included specifically for being "individually and collectively distinguished in fostering holistic student development."
Hope is one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the United States and Canada, according to The Princeton Review , which selected Hope for inclusion in the third annual edition of its free downloadable book, The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges: 2012 Edition .
Hope received a $2 million grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. for its CrossRoads Project, "A Program for the Theological Exploration of Vocation."
The Templeton Guide: Colleges that Encourage Character Development  recognized the college's First-Year Seminar, Campus Ministries and Senior Seminar programs for providing leadership in character development.
The Fiske Guide to Colleges  describes Hope as one of "the country's best and most interesting schools, not only emphasizing academic strengths but also highlighting the college's friendly environment and sense of community through which, as one student put it, "People intentionally seek out students to support, encourage, and challenge in and out of the classroom."
Hope has many honor societies, including a Phi Beta Kappa  charter granted in 1971. Hope is one of only 280 institutions in the U.S. able to grant this distinction. Individual departments also offer honor societies, including education, which was the first in the nation to offer a student chapter of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, and dance, which established the nation's first honorary society for dance students.
Hope's Van Wylen Library received the "Excellence in Academic Libraries Award". The award recognizes library staff for quality services and resources to further the mission of the institution. Criteria include creativity and innovation in meeting the needs of their academic community, leadership in developing and implementing exemplary programs that other libraries can emulate, and substantial and productive relationships with classroom faculty and students.
Academic ReputationHope is the only liberal arts college in the nation to achieve national accreditation (recognition by national boards for high standards) in all four arts programs: art , dance , music , and theatre . Hope also has accredited programs in athletic training , chemistry , education , engineering , nursing , and social work . In the "America's Best Colleges 2014" guide published by "U.S. News and World Report" Hope appears in the first tier of the "National Liberal Arts Colleges" category. A total of 266 liberal arts colleges are considered on the national bachelor's list, as opposed to the publication's regional rankings.
Hope's dance  and writing  programs have each been selected as among the best in the nation and are profiled in the new, fourth edition of the book Creative Colleges: A Guide for Student Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers, which is aimed at college-bound creative students and designed to give them the information and resources necessary to pick the right program. Author Elaina Loveland meticulously researched programs from across the country and ultimately selected more than 250 art, drama, dance, music and creative writing programs in arts conservatories and at liberal arts colleges and universities to recommend to potential students.
Undergraduate Research and InternshipsHope obtains more funding from sources such as the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and NASA to support its undergraduate research program than any other liberal arts college in Michigan. Hope has one of the largest summer undergraduate research programs in the nation. Each year approximately 180 students participate in summer research at Hope. For the eighth consecutive year, in the category "Undergraduate Research/Creative Projects", Hope is again recognized as a national leader by "U.S. News and World Report".
Such faculty-student research partnerships have been common at Hope since the 1920s. Over 90% of Hope science majors have at least one semester or one summer of collaborative research with Hope faculty. Government and foundation grants to individuals, to departments, and to the college demonstrate the quality of the institution: outside grants to departments and faculty have totaled more than $4.6 million in the past two years.
Over 1,800 internships are available locally or through programs in Philadelphia , Chicago , New York , Washington, D.C , Oak Ridge  (Tennessee), and El Paso  (Texas). Recent internships have included the Mayor's Office (Chicago), Late Night with Conan O'Brien (New York), the Philadelphia Eagles, and the American Bar Association (Washington, D.C.). Hope ranks 34th among all U.S. Liberal Arts institutions in producing students who receive PhDs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.