September 20, 2012 | Matt Kucinski

Calvin College is seeing a boost in first-year enrollment, a strong academic profile and an increase in international students in its 2012 incoming class.

The first-time-in-any-college (FTIAC) and transfer student populations are up nearly two-percent from 2011. Calvin’s 2012 entering class totals 1,085 students (977 FTIACs, 108 transfers), marking the college’s largest incoming class since 2007, and pushing Calvin’s total enrollment over 4,000 students.

The incoming class has the strongest academic credentials of any class in the college’s recent history. This year’s class has an average GPA of 3.67, ACT and SAT scores of 26.6 and 1204 respectively, and features 23 National Merit Scholars. Including these 23 incoming students, there are now 73 National Merit Scholars in the student body.

“The message is out there that if you want a Christian college that is academically challenging and has some top programs, Calvin has to be on your list,” said David Hoekema, a professor of philosophy at Calvin, who was impressed by the caliber of students that he advised during the college’s recent orientation program.

Calvin also continues to increase its international diversity and global presence. One hundred and ten students from 17 countries are beginning their studies at Calvin this fall. The more than 4,000 students currently at Calvin hail from 55 countries, 46 U.S. states and six Canadian provinces. Just over half of the students are from Michigan.

Calvin is also increasaingly attracting students from a wide variety of Christian backgrounds. Narly 30 denominations are represented in the 2012–2013 first year class. (Students from the Christian Reformed Church comprise the largest group, coming in at 40 percent.)

“Calvin has a long history of enrolling students from diverse academic backgrounds and then championing their success. Our students have great opportunities to learn from the best faculty, to participate in important research projects, to author academic publications, to earn prestigious scholarships, and to gain entrance into top graduate schools,” said Russ Bloem, vice president for enrollment management. “This year, Calvin's outstanding academic programs have attracted a particularly gifted class of entering students. We are excited to see how they will enrich our community and enhance our presence in Grand Rapids and around the world."

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