NORTH NEWTON, KAN. -- Bethel College’s total enrollment showed about a 1 percent increase this fall over last. Bethel has 514 students this fall as compared to 509 in fall 2004. The number of new students on campus increased 2 percent over last year, said director of admissions Allan Bartel. "Much of this is attributable to the number of transfer students, which is up significantly. Nearly twice as many transfers are from our legacy market this year than last."
Legacy students are those with an immediate family member who attended Bethel in the past or is attending currently. For example, 14 new students already have a brother or sister at Bethel.
Sixty-six first-year students come from Kansas, representing 44 different high schools across the state. Besides Kansas, the new students (including transfers) come from Arizona, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Florida, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
In addition, there are four new students from Cameroon, two from the Philippines and one each from Canada, Ethiopia and Nigeria. The student body also includes two students from Germany as part of Bethel’s historic exchange program with the Bergische Universitat in Wüppertal.
Bartel also pointed out that the numbers show the percentage of residential students to be higher this year. "Our enrollment success continues the pattern of the last several years of building incrementally, based on factors such as increased residential participation, diversity of faith and culture, and students who fit at Bethel," he said. "These are all in keeping with Bethel’s core strengths."
Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Founded in 1887, it is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and in 2005 was named a Top Tier college by U.S. News & World Report for the 8th straight year. For more information, see the Bethel web site at www.bethelks.edu.