Despite pandemic, enrollment remains stable


High school students can tour Calvin virtually.

Although COVID-19 has created plenty of uncertainty about the future for many, enrollment for the fall of 2020 is still on track, according to Vice President for Enrollment Strategy Lauren Jensen. 

“As of this Monday, April 6 we had 325 deposits, which is where we projected to be,” Jensen said in an email to Chimes. The number of deposits made over the last four weeks by admitted students is similar to the number made by this time last year.

Colleges and universities across the country are making changes to their enrollment strategies and admissions practices. Jensen noted that because of COVID-19, “high school students have had their semesters disrupted, which can include everything from not being able to take the ACT or SAT this spring, to missing out on prom and graduation celebrations.” For this reason, Calvin is “integrating flexibility into our admissions process to ease, where possible, the disruption for fall 2020 applicants.”

Calvin has joined many universities in extending the deadline for admitted students to submit their enrollment deposit from May 1 to June 1. “We will not disadvantage 2020 fall applicants due to the pandemic’s effects on educational delivery,” Jensen said. 

Admissions strategies have also been heavily affected by COVID-19, as Calvin cancelled all in-person admissions events for the spring, such as the Fridays at Calvin program. As a result, the admissions team has launched a virtual visit program. Using Calvin’s website, admitted or prospective students can take part in webinars and virtual meetings with people they might otherwise meet during an in-person visit, such as faculty, coaches, students and admissions counselors. 

Jensen noted that there has been a “great response” to the new approach. “Everyone is working hard to adapt, and students and admissions alike are having great conversations remotely,” she added. According to Jensen, the admissions team is still developing new ways for prospective students “to engage with Calvin as well as begin to get to know each other — their future classmates and floor-mates.”

“We don’t know what the pandemic will bring for our future,” Jensen said. “But as we pray for everyone’s health and safety we work hard to help and support those around us, and we strive to extend Calvin’s Christ-centered education and mission.”