Goshen College first-year class up 35 percent; Class marks highs in grade point average and SAT scores

GOSHEN, Ind. — When new students arrived on the Goshen College campus over Orientation weekend, Aug. 23-24, admission counselors, professors, administrators, staff and returning students realized their hard work over the past year had brought about needed growth and a high quality class of students.

The 2003-04 first-year class grew by 35 percent over last year, from 134 to 181 students. Overall new student enrollment is up by 23 percent, with a total of 258 students.

“What a tremendous difference one year has made. Faculty, staff and students all got involved in recruitment, helping us to exceed our own challenging enrollment goals,” said President Shirley H. Showalter. “We give thanks to God for these blessings and pledge ourselves to help these talented students develop their leadership gifts to serve in the church and the world.”

Not only is the first-year class larger, these students are also raising the bar for academic and extracurricular excellence. This class has among the highest grade point average (3.55) and SAT scores (1,165) in Goshen College’s history. The grade point average is .16 points higher than last year’s class. The national average SAT score is 1,026.

Among the first-year class are a student with a perfect ACT score, three National Merit Finalists and three students with SAT scores of 1580-plus. Also, the class consists of 16 valedictorians and four salutatorians. Thirty-seven students were in the top five percent of their high school class and 64 percent were in the top 25 percent, up seven percent from last year’s class.

The top four intended majors among first years are: biology, nursing, business and elementary education. Sixty-four percent of the class was involved in music during high school and 56 percent was involved in athletics. The class comes from nine countries and 18 states, and includes 99 women and 82 men. Goshen College gave scholarships to 148 of the first-year students, including nine President’s Leadership Awards.

“A larger, and continually stronger, class is a great start toward building our enrollment and enhancing our campus. We are looking forward to what this class will offer in and out of the classroom,” said Andrea Cook, vice president for institutional advancement. “Our job now is to begin recruiting an even larger class for next year.”

The college retained 81 percent of its total students from 2002-03, an increase from 76 percent last year.

Final statistics, released by Goshen College’s registrar’s office, showed a total of 912 students enrolled at Goshen College for the fall 2003-04 semester. The statistics include both full-time and part-time traditional students and those taking courses with Goshen’s Division of Adult and External Studies and the college’s extensions. The college experienced an increase of nine full-time enrollees over last year.

Goshen College is a national liberal arts college known for leadership in international education, service-learning and peace and justice issues in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program and exceptional educational value, GC serves more than 1,000 students in both traditional and nontraditional programs. The college earned citations of excellence in U.S. News & World Report and Barron’s Best Buys in Higher Education. For more information, visit the college’s Web site at www.goshen.edu.

Editors: For information, contact Jodi H. Beyeler at jodihb@goshen.edu or (574) 535-7572.