September 17, 2021 | Matt Kucinski

Students walking on paths crossing through the center of Calvin University's main campus on a fall d
Students from 47 U.S. states and 49 countries around the world are enrolled at Calvin University for fall 2021.

Calvin University’s first-year undergraduate enrollment is up 15% year-on-year and the institution’s incoming graduate enrollment shows a 50% uptick during that time. The incoming class also represents geographic and demographic diversity and shows academic strength.

Calvin’s 2021 entering class totals 983 students, 785 of whom identify as first-time and transfer students in the traditional undergraduate areas. The remaining 198 or just over 20-percent of the class are nontraditional student populations (i.e. graduate, dually-enrolled, Ready for Life, Calvin Prison Initiative, and non-degree seeking). This represents the largest number of nontraditional students in an incoming class in Calvin’s history.

“Calvin’s vision is all about invitation, about meeting the needs of a changing environment and creating programming and pathways that serve both our traditional high school graduates and also students who are seeking master’s-level programming or looking to college to master a new skill,” said Lauren Jensen, vice president of enrollment strategy for Calvin. “We are encouraged that the makeup of our 2021 incoming class represents us leaning further into this exciting vision.”

Leaning into Vision 2030

Since 2020, Calvin has added six new in-person or online graduate programs, with four more set to begin between now and fall 2022. One of the newly added graduate-level programs is an online MBA, which launched this fall and has 22 students enrolled from six U.S. states and two countries. See full list of graduate-level programs.

The university also recently graduated the first two cohorts from its Calvin Prison Initiative program, which offers bachelor’s degree to inmates, and through a $1.2 million grant has expanded its commitment to serving students with disabilities through its Ready For Life program.

“Amidst a challenging landscape for higher education, particularly in the Midwest, it is clear that Calvin’s mission remains attractive to students across the country and around the globe, and we are excited to continue to find ways to welcome more learners here,” said Michael Le Roy, president of Calvin University. “Whether it be online (as we have students enrolled in our undergraduate and graduate programs from around the world), be behind prison walls, or here on the Grand Rapids campus, we are committed to equipping our students of all ages, backgrounds, and experiences, to think deeply, to act justly, and to live wholeheartedly as Christ’s agents of renewal in the world.”

Calvin’s total enrollment for 2021 is 3,256, with students hailing from 47 U.S. states, 49 countries, and four Canadian provinces. More than 12-percent of Calvin’s students hail from outside the U.S. Calvin also continues to attract students from a wide array of Christian backgrounds. More than 30 denominations are represented in Calvin’s student body.

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