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Fall enrollment shows healthy increase

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College enrollment has jumped by more than nine percent from fall 2009 to fall 2010.

Bethel’s overall enrollment for fall 2010 is 476, compared to 437 last year. One hundred twenty-seven new students on campus this fall are first-time freshmen – the largest freshman class at Bethel in a decade – and 59 are transfers.

Another positive number is the fall 2009 to fall 2010 retention percentage of 82.4 percent, three points over last year’s figure and well above the national average of 66.3 percent for colleges similar to Bethel.

“It’s certainly encouraging to see an increasing number of students selecting Bethel for our excellent academic programs, co-curricular activities and intercollegiate athletics and values rooted in our distinctive heritage,” said Brad Born, vice president for academic affairs. “This success also affirms the hard work of a professional admissions staff, who worked in close collaboration with faculty and other staff to forge a unified campus effort to invite more students into the Bethel experience.”

Bethel’s class of 2014 includes 11 valedictorians and one salutatorian. The average ACT score is 23.29, with 20 percent of freshmen coming from the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class.

Other characteristics of Bethel’s fall 2010 student body include: first-time freshmen come from 16 states (Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas, plus Kansas) and two countries in addition to the United States (Mexico and South Korea); first-time freshmen represent 42 different Kansas high schools; and 44 first-time freshmen are legacy students, meaning a parent, grandparent or sibling has previously attended Bethel.

There is also one student from the Bergische Universität-Wuppertal in Germany, part of the exchange program that has been in place since 1951.

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2010-11 Forbes.com analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States and is in the first tier in its category in the U.S. News & World Report annual ranking of “America’s Top Colleges” for 2011. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see www.bethelks.edu.

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