Hope College offers a innovative, residential community of students and faculty members that present the advantage to work towards their individual goals with a bonded support system. Offering a small student-faculty ratio, classroom settings help students to obtain an innovative and direct education in their subject area from teachers that hold advanced degrees in the areas themselves. This gives students an excellent advantage of learning the course material from educators that have personal experience in the field. Pursuing double majors in both liberal arts and sciences while incorporating professional program training is not uncommon around the Hope College campus. Many students prefer to engage in such a challenging academic journey to ensure that they are fully prepared for life after graduation.
The College offers students a dedicated liberal arts education based on the Christian faith and heritage. Providing the strong foundation of the heritage of the Reformed Church in America, the College provides students with a high quality liberal arts education, while encouraging the importance and satisfaction of community service. Implementing a structure based on community support and involvement helps students to develop strong skills and leadership abilities that will help them succeed in their professional and personal lives after graduation.
Originally established in 1851 as the Pioneer School for the Holland colony, the College was officially chartered in 1866. Founded by Rev. A.C. Van Raalte, the school was established to educate the children of the colony, making more options available to them during the time period. As time went on, the school evolved into the liberal arts education that reshaped the educational world, as it was one of the first Christian colleges in the region.
Hope College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
By 1966, marking the centennial of the school, the first history of the College was published. Former president Dr. Wynand Wichers was responsible for great deal of advancements at the school, including the updated curriculum to include more professional studies and community missions. During this reign as president, the Student Community outreach Program was implemented, allowing students to venture off-campus into the local community and national distressed regions to spread the Christian spirit and Hope College mission.
Being a residential campus, students are actively involved in daily campus life. With over 100 student-operated clubs and organizations such as sailing, scuba diving and even circus arts, all students are encouraged to participate in at least one of the campus organizations to help showcase their talents and abilities while helping others to develop theirs. This system of balance and support is a vital aspect of the success of each student. Faculty members are also actively involved in this success. Dedicating time and resources to helping students research their thesis, develop new organizations or expedite student awareness rallies for various causes, both faculty and staff work to develop close relationships with each student on campus.
All students retain access to the campus amenities such as dinning services, fitness center and laundry facilities. Many students spend their downtime in fitness center, taking advantage of the routine yoga, Pilates and aerobics classes. While other students prefer to spend their time in the library or computer labs, advancing their research for senior year. Many students take advantage of the study abroad program to learn cultural studies and foreign language first hand, advancing their experience and academic success. On campus, students live in the various residence halls, cabana-style houses and apartment dorms together. Each housing facility accommodates up to 4 students, while housing members of the Student Life Staff as well.
The Office of Financial Aid works diligently to assist students in finding the proper funding throughout their college experience. While the majority of students that attend Hope College secure financial aid in the forms of traditional loans, many students also apply for various grants and scholarships to ensure that tuition and all other college related expenses are accounted for. Hope College offers students the opportunity to take advantage of the work study program at the school, which places students in positions across the campus, some related to their coursework. All students are encouraged to visit the Financial Aid Office and consult with counselors before each semester to determine whether an increase of funding is needed to optimize their course schedules.