NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – For the second year in a row, Bethel College enrollment has jumped by more than nine percent. In fact, it is up nearly 10 percent from fall 2010 to fall 2011.
Bethel’s overall enrollment for fall 2011 is 523, compared to 476 last year, for an increase of 9.9 percent. One hundred twenty-six new students on campus this fall are first-time freshmen and 77 are transfers.
The fall 2010 to fall 2011 retention rate for first-time freshmen is 77.2 percent, two points higher than last year and well above the national average of 66.6 percent for peer colleges.
Bethel’s class of 2015 includes 11 valedictorians, with 20 percent of freshmen coming from the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class and 45 percent from the top quarter.
Other characteristics of Bethel’s fall 2011 student body include: first-time freshmen come from 16 states (California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota and Texas, plus Kansas) with one new student from Taiwan; first-time freshmen represent 41 different Kansas high schools; and 39 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.
“Our success in increasing enrollment can be attributed to faculty following up with students, coaches filling athletic rosters and the entire campus understanding that growing enrollment is critical to the life-blood of the institution," said Todd Moore, vice president for enrollment.