Goshen College enrollment on the climb as retention and academic achievement remain strong

GOSHEN, Ind. — When Goshen College’s Class of 2009 arrived on campus for Orientation Weekend, Aug. 20-21, there were 14 National Merit Finalists among the group – twice as many as had ever been in a Goshen College first-year class previously. In addition, among members of the class are a student who showed cows at a state fair, one who turned down a full scholarship to play rugby abroad, and two students who ride unicycles.

Goshen College has begun the 2005-06 academic year with the largest incoming class since the fall of 1999 with 195 first-year students enrolled, compared to 168 in 2004 – a 16 percent increase. Overall new student enrollment is 271 students, compared to 247 enrollees last year; among the new students are 23 international students.

According to final statistics released by Goshen College’s registrar’s office, the overall student head count is 921, compared to 908 in 2004, including both full- and part-time traditional students and those taking courses or seeking degrees through Goshen’s Division of Adult and External Studies.

“This news confirms our hopes of continued momentum of increasing our enrollment, as well as continuing to attract well-rounded students of the highest academic caliber,” said Galen Graber, executive director of enrollment.

The quality of incoming students to Goshen College continues to remain high. The Class of 2009 average grade point average is 3.58, with an average SAT score of 1167 and ACT score of 25.8. Among the Class of 2009 are 14 National Merit Finalists, 14 valedictorians or salutatorians. Sixty-four percent of the students placed in the top 25 percent of their high school class and 91 percent ranked in the top 50 percent. The class is from 105 high schools, 17 states and 7 countries.

One sign of student satisfaction is the retention rate of first-year students in returning for their sophomore year. As fall classes got under way, 79.8 percent of last year’s first-year students were again taking classes, marking the third year in a row of retention rates at or above 80 percent. Nationally, ACT data reports that in 2001, 73.9 percent of students enrolled in four-year colleges returned to the same college for their sophomore year.

The college has implemented several efforts to address retention over the past several years, including an alerts process that monitors and supports students who may be at risk (for any number of reasons) and responds with intentional interventions to assist them toward success, as well as improving campus facilities. As of this fall, all 660 beds on campus will either be newly constructed or renovated during the previous two and a half years, and a new apartment building for senior students now provides a further housing option.

Editors: For more information about this release, to arrange an interview or request a photo, contact Goshen College News Bureau Director Jodi H. Beyeler at (574) 535-7572 or jodihb@goshen.edu.


Goshen College, established in 1894, is a four-year residential Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. The college’s Christ-centered core values – passionate learning, global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking and servant-leadership – prepare students as leaders for the church and world. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program, Goshen has earned citations of excellence in Barron’s Best Buys in Education, “Colleges of Distinction,” “Making a Difference College Guide” and U.S.News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” edition, which named Goshen a “least debt college.” Visit www.goshen.edu/.