2009 Fall Day 10 Report Highlights

Overall Enrollment Trends (Table 1)

The total number of students enrolled at Calvin this fall of 2009 is 4,092, a decrease of 79 students from last fall and 132 from the year before. The Traditional Undergraduate Full Time Equivalent (FTE) enrollment stands at 3,905, still within the optimal enrollment range of 3,900-4,100 Traditional Undergraduate FTE as established in the college’s strategic plan. (Traditional undergraduates are students working on their first bachelor’s degree and are not enrolled in a degree program at another institution.) Over 95% of Calvin students are enrolled full time, while the number of part-time students stands at 197 (4.8%), one of the smallest percentages in the past ten years.

Table 1 also shows that the male/female ratio of Calvin students has increased slightly compared with last year—coming in this year at 46 percent males and 54 percent females. Calvin’s gender composition is slightly more balanced than at comparable four-year private (not-for-profit) institutions nationwide, where the undergraduate female percentage is roughly 58 percent.

The number of AHANA (African-, Hispanic-, Asian-, and Native-American) students increased by nearly 10% over last year. The 293 AHANA students represent 7.2% of our student body. This compares with only 187 AHANA students enrolled nine years ago. Roughly one-half of our students are from outside the state of Michigan (47%), with a substantial percentage (upwards of 9%) from outside the United States. The number and percentage with Canadian Citizenship has decreased this year (now comprising 3.7% of the student body). As recently as 1993, Canadian representation, at eight percent of the student body, was more than double what it now is.

The percentage of students from the Christian Reformed Church also decreased from last year, from 46.6% to 45.9%. The percentage of students with at least one parent being a Calvin alum remained fairly steady at right around 40%.

Student Majors (Table 3)

The top five programs of study this fall, as measured by overall student enrollment in specific majors, programs, or concentrations are Engineering (7.8%), Secondary Education (6.9%), Nursing (6.8%), Business (6.2%), and Elementary Education (6.1%). Other top choices include Biology (4.6%), English (4.2%) and Psychology (4.1%).

The departments with the largest number of students in majors/programs are Education (13.0%), Business (10.9%), Engineering (7.8%), Communication Arts & Sciences (7.4%), Nursing (6.8%), Biology (5.2%), English (4.2%), Psychology (4.1%) and HPERDS (3.5%).

Departments showing steady increases over the past few years, including this year, are Asian Studies, Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Engineering. In addition, substantial one-year increases from 2008 to 2009 can be seen in the number of majors in Computer Science, Economics, Political Science and International Relations, Psychology, Physical Education, Physics, Religion and Social Work. The number and percentage of students that are Undecided about their program of study has been slowly decreasing over the past four years, from 524 students, or 10.9% in 2005 to 364, or 7.8% in 2009.

Merit Scholarships (Table 4)

The overall percentage of our incoming FTIAC class (First Time In Any College) awarded one of our merit scholarships decreased slightly, from 80% in 2008 to just under 76% in 2009. The number and percentage awarded the Trustee and National Merit increased substantially, indicating we have a very academically gifted core of students in this class. Changes in the other scholarships are somewhat more reflective of adjustments made in the criteria for awarding merit scholarships to the 2009 class. Of the 3,933 traditional undergraduates enrolled, 2,291 (58.3%) are receiving one of these merit scholarships.

Demographics (Table 5), (Table 6), (Table 7)

Both students’ place of residence and their citizenship provide insight into the regional distribution and international flavor of our student body. For detailed counts of students by residence see Table 5. This table shows that Calvin students come from 46 different states plus the District of Columbia, 5 Canadian provinces and 47 other foreign countries. After Michigan (53.3% of all students), the top three states/provinces represented are Illinois (9.1%), Indiana (3.1%), California (3.1%) and Ontario (2.9). South Korea is the country outside of North America sending us the most students (41), with China next at 19 students, Hong Kong with 16, Ghana 15 and Indonesia with 12.

The 142 Canadian citizens reported in Table 6 represent 3.5% of our student body, a percentage that has decreased from last year’s 3.8% (157 Canadians). The top five non-North American countries represented by our International students based on their citizenship are South Korea (70 students), China (15 students), Ghana (13 students), India, Indonesia Hong Kong, and Nigeria (around 10 students each). The international flavor of Calvin’s student body also benefits from the presence of over 100 U.S. students who come to Calvin with recent experience living abroad, as well as an additional 38 U.S. students with dual citizenship.

The distributions of U.S. students by race/ethnicity are also shown in Table 6. The number of AHANA students (African-, Hispanic-, Asian- and Native-American) at the college is 293, up from 268 last year, and up from 6.4% to 7.2% of the student body. The number of African-American students increased the most, from 68 in 2008 to 88 in 2009. The largest subgroup of U.S. ethnic minorities enrolled at Calvin is Asian-American, at 124 students. Students of other ethnicity number 80 this year.

Religious affiliations of students (Table 7) show Christian Reformed students comprising just under 46% of the student body, down roughly one percentage point from last year. The second largest group of students are affiliated with a nondenominational church (13.1%). Other denominational families most frequently represented are Reformed and Presbyterian, each accounting for roughly 7% of the student body, while Baptists represent slightly more than 5%.

Retention and Graduation Rates (Table 8)

This year’s FTIAC retention rate of 85.7% is the lowest retention rate in the past ten years, dropping slightly from last years’ low of 85.9% and nearly three percentage points lower than the high of 88.6% two years ago. The highest retention rates (based on four-year averages) can be found among the following subgroups: top scholarship recipients (91.4%), alumni children (91.2%), students from Christian High Schools (89.6%) students who are Christian Reformed (89.7%) and International students (89.0%). AHANA retention, at 80.0% this year, decreased slightly over the previous year, but still lags about ten percentage points behind these high retention rate groups. While Access program participant retention is low (78.6%), it has also made some steady gains over the past five years.

The six-year graduation rate of the 2003 FTIAC class, at 74.6%, decreased slightly from the previous cohort’s (2002) rate of 75.4%. Still this years’ graduation rate is the third highest of the past ten years—with the 1998 FTIAC class being the highest ever, at 75.8%. Higher than average graduation rates among the 2003 cohort are found among Top Scholarship recipients (84.5%), Alumni children (79.3%), Christian Reformed students (78.9%) and Females (77.6%). Graduation rates for AHANA students inched up to 63% compared to a 59% rate last year. Contributing to the decrease in the overall graduation rate from last year to this year are lower rates among Access admits (down five percentage points), international students (down 4 percentage points), males and out-of-state students (both down about three-and-one-half percentage points.

New Students: FTIAC and Transfer (Table 9)

The class of 2009 FTIACs numbers 945, an increase of 9 students from last year’s class of 936 and 94 fewer than the 2007 class of 1,039. Incoming transfers number 110, up from last year’s 92 and the largest of the past five years. The percentage of enrolled FTIACs that are Christian Reformed decreased substantially compared with last year, from 46.4% in 2008 to 40.8% in 2009. Also, a smaller percentage of the class have parents that are alumni (37% this year vs. 41% last year). In terms of where the new class of FTIACs comes from geographically, a slightly higher percentage are from Michigan (52% in 2009 vs. 51% in 2008).

The number of Canadian citizens in the FTIAC class decreased substantially, from 43 last year to only 22 this year, while other International Citizens increased rather substantially--from 41 to 69 students. AHANA students represent nearly 10% of the class compared with 8% last year and 7% the year before. The number of Access Program students who enrolled remained steady at 70 this year.

Admitted to Enrolled Yields (Table 10)

Roughly 40% of admitted FTIACs this year chose to enroll, resulting in an incoming class of 945 students out of 2,346 admitted. The number admitted this year is 307 more than the number admitted last year (2,039), however a much lower yield than last year’s 46% resulted in a class fairly similar in size. The highest enrollment yields among FTIACs this year are among West Michigan Christian High School students (65%), International citizens (65%), Alumni children (63%), and Christian Reformed Church members (59%).

FTIAC GPAs and Test Scores (Table 11 & 12)

The academic strength of the entering first-year class has inched slightly upward compared with last year’s class on nearly every measure. Mean GPA inched up to 3.60, just above last year’s 3.58, while mean ACT Composite increased from 25.8 to 26.0. The mean combined SAT score stayed about the same as last year--1,200 last year and 1,199 this year. The middle 50% of GPAs also improved slightly while the upper end of the middle 50% of test scores also improved. The percentage of enrolled FTIACs graduating in the top 10% of their high school class increased from 27% last year to 29% this year.

Faculty Composition (Table 13), (Table 14)

The number of full-time teaching faculty at Calvin in 2009 is 326, up from 320 last year. An additional 69 part-time faculty this fall (substantially lower than last year’s part-time figure) brings the total faculty number to 395. Faculty FTE (a rough measure of the full-time teaching equivalent which adjusts for part-timers and reduced loads) inched upward from 316 last year to 320 this year.

The number of full-time female faculty increased from 104 to 111, now representing over one-third of the full-time teaching faculty (34%). The number of AHANA (ethnic minority) faculty has also increased this year to 32, up from 28 last year, now representing nearly 10% of the full-time teaching faculty. The percentage of full-time faculty with a terminal degree increased slightly from 81.3% last year to 82.2% this year, and the college-wide student to faculty ratio based on teaching duties is 13.7 to 1, down from 14.2 to 1 last year.