Hope College has received a record number of deposits from incoming freshmen for the fall of 2022.

Hope had garnered 1,000 deposits for the Class of 2026 by the end of May 1, the date recognized as National College Decision Day by colleges and universities around the country.  Hope’s previous record was 947 deposits in May of 2012.

The well-rounded total of 1,000 doesn’t represent a pre-determined institutional cap; it’s simply where the deposits landed by midnight.  It does, however, top the goal of 800 that the college had set last summer.

“This is an incredible success, and the fact that so many students want to be a part of Hope College is cause for celebration,” said Matthew A. Scogin, president of Hope College.  “Our deposits aren’t just a number.  Each one represents a student, and we’re grateful that they and their families are entrusting us to serve them with a transformational education.”

“It is equally important to recognize that this year’s successful recruitment has been a collective effort, reflecting the exceptional talent and tireless commitment of our admissions team led by Nate Haveman working in partnership with the departments, programs, and individual faculty and staff who so often went above and beyond to connect with prospective students,” Scogin said.  “It is because of their hard work and dedication to our students and to our mission that our college is celebrating a banner year.”

Hope anticipates that — as is typical for colleges and universities — some of the students who paid deposits will change their plans and won’t attend.  At the same time, the college is on track for a record number of first-time students this fall.  The previous high was 904 in 2012 following that spring’s deposit record.

Even with a record-setting freshman class, however, total enrollment this coming fall likely won’t be the highest ever.  That mark, 3,433 students, was set in the fall of 2014, when the student body included three of the largest incoming classes in the college’s history.  Enrollment this past fall was 3,133.

Scogin noted that despite this year’s deposits and the fall enrollment projection, Hope’s goals don’t include continued growth in size.

“Although our enrollment can be higher or lower in any given year, we’re generally seeking to average approximately 3,200 students,” he said.  “That’s based in part on our facilities and staffing, but also balances being large enough to offer robust programs while small enough to be a community focused on individuals.”

In the past decade, Hope’s enrollment has ranged from 3,060 in 2020 to 2014’s high of 3,433.  With this year’s mark likely to be nearer the high than the low, Scogin noted that the emphasis across the summer months will be on assuring that the college is ready.

“Supporting a large incoming class and high total enrollment is challenging, but we know from the past that we can do so,” he said.  “Our focus now shifts from inviting the new students to join us to preparing for them and their returning peers, and assuring that our faculty and staff have the resources that they need to provide the exceptional Hope education — both in the classroom and outside of it — that generations of students have experienced.”

The new students are scheduled to arrive on Friday, Aug. 26, with New Student Orientation beginning that evening.  The rest of the students will begin to return on Sunday, Aug. 28, and fall-semester classes start on Tuesday, Aug. 30.