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Spring retention numbers show reason to celebrate

February 22nd, 2022

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Bethel’s spring semester enrollment, and in particular the retention percentage, showed numbers worth celebrating, especially in a pandemic.

Enrollment numbers become official on the 20th day of classes, which was Feb. 8 for spring 2022.

The report showed an official count of 449, the second highest spring number in a decade.

Equally important: the retention rate for all students is 93.2% (fall 2021 to spring 2022), and 89.9% for first-time freshmen, both of which are above average overall.

“Retention rates are one form of measuring our success,” Bethel President Jon C. Gering noted.

“Retention numbers reflect the investments we have made in student support over the last two years, which is ultimately why we have been successful,” he added. “And we have the dedicated work of staff and faculty thank for that.” 

“What’s most impressive about the outstanding retention numbers from this past fall semester is that athletics had some significant staff changes during the semester,” said Tony Hoops, athletic director.

“Strong retention takes everyone. This past semester, the Bethel community proved this by collectively working to serve all of our students.”

Added Vice President for Enrollment Management Heidi Hoskinson, “We are thrilled with these numbers and what they say about the Bethel campus community and its focus on students, their success and their fit at the college and in the wider community.

“These numbers show a laser-like focus on recruiting students who are a good fit for Bethel, having great faculty in the classroom and cultivating vibrant and engaging campus life, and represent the efforts of everyone who works for and cares deeply about the college and its success.”

Bethel is a four-year liberal arts college founded in 1887 and is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Known for academic excellence, Bethel ranks at #15 in the Washington Monthly list of “Best Bachelor’s Colleges” and #31 in U.S. News & World Report, Best Regional Colleges Midwest, both for 2021-22. Bethel was the only Kansas college or university selected for the American Association of College & Universities’ 2021 Institute on Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation, and has been named a TRHT Campus Center. For more information, see

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Bethel College prepares students for meaningful lives of work and service through faith formation, the liberal arts, and practical experience in career pathways.