Phelps Scholars Program

The Phelps Scholars Program will help prepare you to succeed and to thrive in that world by teaching you how to connect and relate to diverse people here at Hope and in the world.

The Phelps Scholars community-student, faculty, and staff-represents a rich mix of cultural backgrounds. Living together in the same residence hall, Phelps Scholars get first-hand experience in developing meaningful relationships with a wide variety of people.

Phelps Scholars take courses in cultural diversity issues. In the fall, their first-year seminar focuses on a diversity-related topic. In the spring, they enroll in Encounter with Cultures, a course on racial and ethnic cultures in the United States.

Phelps Scholars participate in workshops, group discussions, and other special events on practical aspects of living and working in a diverse community.

Phelps Scholars meet special speakers and other guests who come to Hope College, take trips to diverse and interesting places, and engage the campus as a whole in conversations on diversity.

Live in Community
Every August since 1999, seventy or more new students, strangers to each other, have come to Hope to begin their first year of college as Phelps Scholars.

Living in community with African-American, Asian-American, European-American, Hispanic-American and Native American students-as well as international students from around the world-will provide a warm and stimulating home for you at Hope College. We have an advisory board of faculty, Student Development office staff and staff from the admissions office.

Numerous research studies show that college students with diversity-related experiences do better academically and achieve greater personal development than students without those experiences.

When we ask Phelps Scholars about the most meaningful part of their experience, the answer is always the same: Relationships. Year after year, Phelps Scholars build a strong community with people from many different backgrounds, and learn from both the differences and the similarities they have with others.

One of the best predictors of success in college is the extent to which students interact in rich and meaningful ways with other students, faculty, and staff. Phelps Scholars are part of a community intentionally designed to: 

  • Promote their academic success.
  • Enable them to get to know each other well, to learn from each other, and to enjoy each other.
  • Prepare them for leadership roles on the campus and beyond.