This report provides data on Calvin's fall enrollment. Five and ten year enrollment trends are provided, along with student demographics, student majors, details on the new class of entering first-time students, and counts of faculty and academic department course activity.

2016 report summary

Overall Enrollment Trends

The total number of students enrolled at Calvin for the fall of 2016 is 3,918, a decrease of 72 students from last fall and down 75 from the year before. The Traditional Undergraduate Full Time Equivalent (FTE) enrollment stands at 3,641, down 98 from last year. (Traditional undergraduates are students working on their first bachelor’s degree and are not enrolled in a degree program at another institution. Calvin Prison Initiative students are also excluded.) Roughly ninety-three percent (92.9%) of Calvin’s total enrollment are enrolled full time, while the number of part-time students stands at 278 (7.1%), up somewhat from last years’ 233 (5.8%). The addition of our Prison Initiative students has been a contributing factor to the increase in the overall part-time numbers.

Table 1 also shows that the male/female ratio of Calvin students continues to tilt slightly more toward female students, but comes in this year somewhat more balanced than in recent years, at 54.8% female and 45.2% male. Two factors are contributing to a drop in the percentage female: 1) the addition of our all-male prison student population and 2) the smaller proportion of females in the incoming FTIAC class this year. Calvin’s gender composition is somewhat more balanced than at comparable four-year private (not-for-profit) institutions nationwide, where the undergraduate female percentage is generally around 57 percent.

The number of AHANA, or U.S. ethnic/racial minority, students at Calvin grew by seven students from 2015 after a gain of 45 from 2014 to 2015. The 575 AHANA students this year represent 14.7% of our student body, more than double the 268 AHANA students (6.3%) enrolled in 2007.

Slightly more than one-half of our students are from Michigan (52.5%), with another 16% coming from neighboring Great Lakes states of Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The number of International students is fairly steady compared to last year, representing 11% of the student body.

The percentage of students from the Christian Reformed Church decreased from 33.6% in 2015 to 32.4% this year, slowing a trend where we’d recently been declining over two percentage points per year. The percentage of students with at least one parent being a Calvin alum, at 34%, is also steady compared with last year, after a number of years of decline.

View data table 1

Student Majors

The top four programs of study this fall, as measured by overall student enrollment in specific majors or programs are Engineering (10.0%), Business (7.9%), and Nursing (6.5%). Other top choices include Elementary Education (4.6%), Secondary Education (4.4%), Biology (4.3%), Speech Pathology (4.1%) Kinesiology (3.9%), and Psychology (3.8%). Roughly 7.5% of students are pursuing a Pre-Health track (e.g. Pre-Med, Pre-Dental, Pre-Physical Therapy, etc.).

The departments with the largest number of students in majors/programs are Business (11.8%), Education (10.6%), Engineering (10.0%), Nursing (6.5%), Kinesiology (5.0%), Biology (4.4%), Communication Arts and Sciences, (4.3%) English (4.2%), Speech Pathology and Audiology (4.1%) and Computer Science (4.0%). Some of the smaller or mid-size programs showing substantial increases over the past few years are Computer Science, Economics, Graphic Design, and Sociology.

View data table 3

Merit Scholarships

The overall percentage of our incoming FTIAC class (First Time In Any College) awarded one of our merit scholarships comes in at 90.4%, slightly lower than last year’s 91.7%. The number of National Merit scholars in the class is 13, down from 16 last year, but up from 9 the year before. Of the 3,675 traditional degree-seeking undergraduates enrolled, 2,776 (75.5%) are receiving one of these merit scholarships. Our National Merit Scholars, at 52 overall, represent 1.4% of our degree-seeking undergraduates.

View data table 4


Both students’ place of residence and their citizenship provide insight into the regional distribution, diversity and international flavor of our student body. For detailed counts of students by residence see Table 5, which shows that Calvin students come from 48 different states, 5 Canadian provinces and 61 other foreign countries. After Michigan (52.5% of all students), the top five states/provinces represented are Illinois (9.1%), California (3.8%), Indiana (3.2%), Ohio (2.4%), and Wisconsin (1.7%). South Korea is the country outside of North America sending us the most students (71), with Ghana next at 55 students, China with 38, India with 23, and Nigeria with 19.

The 52 Canadian citizens reported in Table 6 represent 1.3% of our student body, a percentage that has decreased steadily from 2.2% (88 students) just four years ago. The top five non-North American countries represented by our International students based on their citizenship are South Korea (147 students), Ghana (52 students), China (29 students), India (24 students), Nigeria (19 students), Honduras (12 students), and Indonesia (11 students). The international flavor of Calvin’s student body also benefits from the presence of 87 North American students who come to Calvin with experience living abroad, as well as 88 U.S. students with dual citizenship.

The distributions of U.S. students by race/ethnicity are also shown in Table 6. The number of AHANA students (Ethnic and Racial minorities) at the college is 575, up 7 over last year, and up in percentage from 14.2% to 14.7%. The largest consistent increase among AHANA subgroups over the past few years are among Hispanics, jumping from 119 in 2012 to 165 in 2016.

Religious affiliations of students (Table 7) show Christian Reformed students comprising 32.4% of the student body, down about a percentage point from last years’ 33.6%. The second largest group of students is affiliated with a nondenominational church (16.1%). Other denominational families most frequently represented are Reformed and Presbyterian, each accounting for roughly 7% of the student body, while Baptists and Other represent another 6% each.

View data tables 5-7

Retention and Graduation Rates

This year’s FTIAC retention rate of 84.6% is 1.4 percentage points lower than the rate posted last year, continuing a similar decline experienced the prior year. The highest retention rates (based on four-year averages) can be found among the following subgroups: alumni children (92.8%), students who are Christian Reformed (92.6%), students from Christian High Schools (90.2%), top scholarship recipients (87.9%), and females (86.5%). AHANA retention, at 74.4%, is down slightly from last year and Access program participant retention came in at 67.6%, up seven percentage points from last year.

The six-year graduation rate of the 2010 FTIAC class, at 75.9%, is up nicely compared with the past three years’ reported rates in the 72.5% to 73.6% range. Higher than average graduation rates among the 2010 cohort are found among Top Scholarship recipients (83.2%), Alumni children (82.8%), Females (81.4%) and Christian Reformed students (81.1%). Graduation rates for AHANA students came in at 57%, while Access program participants struggle to graduate, with less than 40% of the 2010 cohort graduating within six years. Male student graduation rates this year also lag behind those of their female counterparts, by over ten percentage points.

View data table 8

New Students: FTIAC and Transfer

The incoming class of 2016 FTIACs numbers 909, a decrease of 35 students from last year’s class of 944. Incoming transfers number 75, down 7 from last years’ 82 transfers. The number of enrolled FTIACs that are Christian Reformed (265) is down only slightly compared with last year (272), after larger declines in prior years. The raw number of the class having one or more parents that are alumni has dropped slightly, from 307 in 2015 to 293 in 2016. In terms of where the new class of FTIACs comes from geographically, a slightly smaller percentage are from Michigan (49.8% in 2016 vs. 50.6% in 2015). Also, a slightly lower percentage of the class comes from nearby Great Lakes States (17.5% this year vs. 18.2% in 2015).

In terms of the types of High Schools FTIACs attended, the overarching trend over the past ten years has been one of increasing numbers from public high schools and fewer from Christian high schools. In 2016 that trend was interrupted as we saw 35 fewer FTIACS enrolling from Public high schools, and the same number from Christian High Schools (480). While our numbers from Key West Michigan Christian high schools also mirror the overall ten year decline since 2007, our numbers from these schools showed a nice rebound, up from 196 in 2015 to 218 in 2016.

The number of International students in the FTIAC class grew nicely from 81 last year to 113 this year. AHANA students, at 133 in this years’ class, represent 14.6% of the class compared with 168 students, representing 17.8% of the class, last year. The number of Access Program students in the FTIAC class remained relatively steady at 75 this year compared to 74 the prior year.

Admitted to Enrolled Yields

Our yield of FTIACs this year (percentage of admitted students that enrolled) decreased from 33.2% last year to 30.6% this year. The highest enrollment yields among FTIACs this year are among Key West Michigan Christian High School students (57%), Christian Reformed Church members (55%), and Alumni children (55%). Yields of AHANA students and those from public high schools (23%) were particularly low this year, while our female yield dropped unexpectedly compared with prior years, from 32% last year to 27% this year. Male yields, on the other hand, were steady.

View data table 9-10

FTIAC GPAs and Test Scores

The academic strength of this fall’s entering first-year class, in terms of HS GPA and test scores, has remained consistent with recent classes. Mean GPA came in slightly higher at 3.71 compared with last years' 3.70, while the mean ACT score remained the same, at 26.4. Mean combined SAT score decreased somewhat, from 1,194 to 1,175. The 25th and 75th percentile of HS GPAs are virtually the same as last year, at 3.45 and 4.0, while the 75th percentile of ACT test scores inched back down from 30 to 29. The 25th and 75th percentiles of SAT scores narrowed--higher at the 25th percentile and lower at the 75th percentile. The percentage of enrolled FTIACs graduating in the top 10% of their high school class, at 30%, edged upward from 27% last year.

View data tables 11-12

Faculty Characteristics and Departmental Activity

The number of full-time teaching faculty at Calvin this fall is 252, down 10 from last fall. An additional 104 part-time faculty brings the total faculty number to 356, down slightly from 358 last fall. The percentage of faculty that are full-time stands at 70.8% compared to 73.2% last year. The number of male faculty dropped seven from last year while the number of female faculty dropped three, resulting in a male percentage of 63.9% and a female percentage of 36.1%, relatively unchanged from last year.

The number of AHANA (ethnic minority) full-time faculty, at 25, dropped slightly from last year. They represent 9.9% of the total number of full-time faculty compared with 10.3% last year.

The percentage of full-time faculty with a terminal degree remains similar to last year at 89.3%, which is a high point compared with the prior eight years. The college-wide student to faculty ratio based on teaching duties continues to inch slightly up, to 15.4 to 1 in Fall 2016 compared with 15.1 to 1 last fall.

View data tables 13-16