/ Phelps Scholars Program

About the Program

Interested in becoming a Phelps Scholar? We invite any first-year student to apply.

Phelps Scholars enjoying beverages outside Lemonjello's CoffeeThe Phelps Scholars Program is open to all students. We seek a diverse group and encourage applications from American students of every heritage, as well as international students from around the world.

What you can Expect

  • Live in the residence hall where the program is housed
  • Take the designated Phelps Scholars First-Year Seminar course during the fall semester
  • Enroll in Encounter with Cultures or Introduction to American Ethnic Studies during the spring semester
  • Faithfully attend and participate actively in regular meetings, workshops and seminars sponsored by the program
  • Take an active role in building community with other Phelps Scholars
  • Attend a minimum of one program-sponsored trip each semester
  • Meet once a semester with a Phelps Scholars Program staff member to make sure you’re on track for academic and professional success
  • Maintain an open, curious attitude about learning from people with various backgrounds
  • Do high-quality academic work
  • Enjoy the opportunity and have fun!

Application Information

Students may apply to become a Phelps Scholar before they submit their deposit to enroll at Hope. You’ll typically learn whether you are accepted within five business days of submitting your application.

The short application emphasizes your interest in the program and commitment to the program’s pillars of community, agency and diversity:

  • Which aspects of the Phelps Scholars Program most interest you and what do you hope to learn as a result of your participation?
  • Describe a situation in which you were generous with time or service. How did this experience help you to better understand the perspectives or experiences of another person? 
  • What skills and experiences will you draw on to be intentional about building community with Phelps Scholars? 
  • What additional information would you like to have regarding the Phelps Scholars Program? 

Apply to become a Phelps Scholar

About Our name

Philip Phelps posed with the first class of Hope students from Japan.Philip Phelps was the first president of Hope College. More than 125 years ago, President Phelps knew that Hope would be a better college if students had an opportunity to meet a wide variety of different people. As a result, he took steps to diversify the student body in significant ways. His commitment lives on in the program that now bears his name.

Students in the program are called scholars because of their commitment to high academic standards and to the exploration of an important social issue — not because they are receiving a special scholarship. Phelps Scholars are encouraged to apply for other scholarships for which they are eligible. Contact the Financial Aid Office for additional scholarship information.