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.

2015 report summary

Overall Enrollment Trends

The total number of students enrolled at Calvin for the fall of 2015 is 3,990, a decrease of 3 students from last fall and down 44 from the year before. The Traditional Undergraduate Full Time Equivalent (FTE) enrollment stands at 3,739, down 50 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.) Roughly ninety-four percent (94.2%) of Calvin students are enrolled full time, while the number of part-time students stands at 233 (5.8%), up somewhat from last years’ 196 (4.9%).

Table 1 also shows that the male/female ratio of Calvin students continues to tilt slightly more toward female students than in recent years, coming in this year at 55.9% female and 44.1% male. 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 45 students, after plateauing last year. The 568 AHANA students represent 14.2% of our student body, which is more than double the 235 AHANA students (5.6%) enrolled nine years ago, in 2006.

Slightly more than one-half of our students are from the state of Michigan (52.1%), with another 17% coming from the neighboring Great Lakes states of Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The number and percentage of International students has dipped slightly this year to 412, but still comprising slightly over 10% of the student body.

The percentage of students from the Christian Reformed Church decreased over two percentage points from last year, down from 35.9% to 33.6%. The percentage of students with at least one parent being a Calvin alum also decreased slightly, from 35.7% to 34.2%.

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 (10.2%), Business (7.6%), and Nursing (6.3%). Other top choices include Elementary Education (5.4%), Secondary Education (4.9%), Biology (4.7%), Psychology (4.4%), and Speech Pathology (4.2%). Over 6% of students are also pursuing Pre-Med.

The departments with the largest number of students in majors/programs are Education (12.1%), Business (11.2%), Engineering (10.2%), Nursing (6.3%), Kinesiology (4.9%), Biology (4.9%), and Psychology (4.4%). Departments showing increases over the past few years, including this year, are Computer Science, Economics, Engineering, French, and Speech Pathology. Recent increases can be seen in the number of majors in Graphic Design, Computer Science, Engineering, French, German, Sociology and Speech Pathology.

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 91.7%, substantially higher than last years' 85.7%. The number of National Merit scholars in the class is 16, up from 9 last year and 12 the year before. Of the 3,778 traditional degree-seeking undergraduates enrolled, 2,757 (73.0%) are receiving one of these merit scholarships. Our National Merit Scholars, at 58 overall, represent 1.5% of our degree-seeking undergraduates.

View data table 4


Both students’ place of residence and their citizenship provide insight into the regional distribution and international flavor of our student body. For detailed counts of students by residence see Table 5. This table shows that Calvin students come from 48 different states, 5 Canadian provinces and 55 other foreign countries. After Michigan (52.1% of all students), the top five states/provinces represented are Illinois (9.8%), California (3.6%), Indiana (3.1%), Ohio (2.5%), and Wisconsin (1.8%). South Korea is the country outside of North America sending us the most students (66), with Ghana next at 53 students, China with 33, Indonesia with 26, and Nigeria with 24.

The 67 Canadian citizens reported in Table 6 represent 1.7% of our student body, a percentage that has decreased steadily from 2.9% (116 students) just four years ago. The top five non-North American countries represented by our International students based on their citizenship are South Korea (146 students), Ghana (50 students), China (28 students), Nigeria (24 students) and Indonesia (19 students). The international flavor of Calvin’s student body also benefits from the presence of 94 U.S. students who come to Calvin with experience living abroad, as well as 79 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 568, up 45 over last year, and up in percentage from 13.1% to 14.2%. The largest consistent increase over the past five years are among those with Two or more races, jumping from 55 in 2011 to 141 in 2015. Hispanics also show relatively steady increases from 2011.

Religious affiliations of students (Table 7) show Christian Reformed students comprising 33.6% of the student body, down from last years’ 35.9%. The second largest group of students is affiliated with a nondenominational church (15.6%). Other denominational families most frequently represented are Reformed and Presbyterian, each accounting for roughly 7% of the student body, while Baptists represent another 6%.

View data tables 5-7

Retention and Graduation Rates

This year’s FTIAC retention rate of 85.9% is 1.5 percentage points lower than the rate posted the last two years. The highest retention rates (based on four-year averages) can be found among the following subgroups: alumni children (92.8%), International Students (92.2%), students who are Christian Reformed (90.1%), top scholarship recipients (90.1%), and students from Christian High Schools (89.2%). AHANA retention, at 77.6%, is up from last year, but continues to lag behind that of the overall student body. Access program participant retention came in at 60.7%, one of the lowest in the past ten years.

The six-year graduation rate of the 2009 FTIAC class, at 73.3%, is down slightly compared with last years’ reported rate of 73.6% for the 2008 class. Higher than average graduation rates among the 2009 cohort are found among Alumni children (81.9%), Top Scholarship recipients (80.8%), International Students (80.0%), and Christian Reformed students (79.8%). Graduation rates for AHANA students came in at 61.3%, up from 53.4% last year, and 58.3% the year before. Access program participants struggle to graduate, with only 43% of the 2009 cohort graduating within six years. The male graduation rate (69.5%) fell slightly from last year (72.5%), while female rates showed an uptick from last year, coming in at 76.9% this year compared with 74.6% last year. Female rates remain consistently above the rates for males.

View data table 8

New Students: FTIAC and Transfer

The incoming class of 2015 FTIACs numbers 944, a decrease of 7 students from last year’s class of 951. Incoming transfers number 83, up 7 from last years’ 75 transfers. The number of enrolled FTIACs that are Christian Reformed (272) is down considerably compared with last year (323), dropping from 34 percent of the class to 29 percent. The raw number of the class having one or more parents that are alumni has dropped slightly, from 317 in 2014 to 307 in 2015. In terms of where the new class of FTIACs comes from geographically, a slightly larger percentage are from Michigan (48.7% in 2014 vs. 50.6% in 2015). Also, a slightly lower percentage of the class comes from nearby Great Lakes States (18.2% this year vs. 18.6% in 2014).

One notable trend is the steady increase in FTIACs coming from public high schools and the corresponding steady decline in the number coming from Christian high schools. Since 2007, the number coming from publics increased 17%, from 395 to 464, while the number coming from Christian schools declined 25%, from 644 in 2007 to 480 this year. While our numbers from Key West Michigan Christian high schools also mirror this trend since 2007, the trend accelerated in 2015, with a drop from 224 in 2014 to 196 in 2015.

The number of International students in the FTIAC class dropped from 104 last year to 81 this year. The strength of the U.S. dollar appears to have been a factor in this decline. AHANA students, at 168 in this years’ class, represent 17.8% of the class compared with 147 students, representing 15.5% of the class, last year. The number of Access Program students in the FTIAC class decreased from 84 last year to 74 this year.

Admitted to Enrolled Yields

Our yield of FTIACs this year decreased from 35.3% last year to 33.2% this year. The highest enrollment yields among FTIACs this year are among Key West Michigan Christian High School students (61%), Christian Reformed Church members (58%), and Alumni children (61%). Yields of International students (26%) were particularly low this year due to the strong U.S. dollar.

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 inched upward again this year. Mean GPA came in slightly higher at 3.70 compared with last years' 3.69, while mean ACT score increased from 26.0 to 26.4. Mean combined SAT score also increased, from 1,180 to 1,194. The 25th and 75th percentile of HS GPAs are virtually the same as last year, at 3.45 and 3.98, while the 75th percentile of ACT test scores inched up to 30. The 25th and 75th percentiles of SAT scores broadened--lower at the 25th percentile and higher at the 75th percentile. The percentage of enrolled FTIACs graduating in the top 10% of their high school class, at 27%, edged downward from 32% last year.

View data tables 11-12

Faculty Characteristics and Departmental Activity

The number of full-time teaching faculty at Calvin in 2015 is 262, down 13 from 275 last year. An additional 96 part-time faculty this fall brings the total faculty number to 358, up from 345 last year.

The number of male faculty dropped eleven from last year while the number of female faculty dropped two, resulting in a male percentage of 64.1% and a female percentage of 35.9%. This represents a slight increase in the female percentage over last year (34.9%).

The number of AHANA (ethnic minority) faculty, at 27, remained steady from last year. They represent 10.3% of the total number of full-time faculty compared with 9.8% last year.

The percentage of full-time faculty with a terminal degree is up from 85.1% last year to 89.3% in 2015, which is the highest in the past ten years. The college-wide student to faculty ratio based on teaching duties inched upward slightly, to 15.1 to 1 compared with 15.0 to 1 last year.

View data tables 13-16