Counting the Class of 2016

August 30, 2012 | 11 a.m.

 This year's freshman class by the numbers

News | Bethany Hanson

Counting the Class of 2016

Class of 2016 move-in day. | Matt Kelley

Bethel recently welcomed 661 freshmen to campus. These wonderful additions are joining forces with continuing students, re-admits and transfers to total an undergraduate student body population of 2,789 students, with numbers expected to reach around 2800 within the next few weeks. With so many new faces around, it’d be helpful to learn a little more about them. Let’s take some time to get to know the new freshman class, shall we? 

The most popular major among the freshmen, painstakingly decided by more than 15 percent of the class, is…Undecided. Business and economics claim the No. 2 spot, followed by nursing with the bronze. 

There are 30 states represented by the freshman class. Minnesota ranks first, with 77 percent of the incoming students originating from the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Wisconsin and Illinois took second and third place, respectively. There are also several students who have come to Bethel from countries such as Canada, Kenya, Nigeria and China. 

As can be expected, 3 percent of the freshmen have the last name Johnson, making it the most common surname. If you ever forget a freshman’s first name, your best guess will be either Rachel or Matthew. The incoming class includes 18 Rachels and 16 Matthews.

We have a smart bunch of students this year with 35 valedictorians and salutatorians among the incoming class and three quarters of the freshmen receiving academic scholarships. One fifth of the incoming class will represent Bethel in their respective sports. 

The gender ratio is now 59 percent girls to 41 percent guys. The ratio is getting closer to 50/50… Good luck getting Gadkin and Nikdag tickets, upperclassmen.

Our incoming students are also well on their way to being world-changers, having been on mission trips to places such as Lithuania, Liberia, Guam, China, Egypt, Italy, Germany, Japan, India, Tanzania, Madagascar and Kenya, to name a few. 

Welcome to Bethel, Class of 2016!

Student body by the numbers

Continuing Students – 1,960

Freshman Class – 661

Re-admits – 11

Transfers – 157 

New student total - 829

Total student body – 2,789

Top 7 declared majors

#1 Undecided (more than 15% of the 

incoming class)

#2 Business/Economics

#3 Nursing

#4 Biology 

#5 Elementary Education

#6 Psychology

#7 Engineering/Physics

Geographic and ethnic distribution

• Diversity in Class of 2016 – 11% students of color 

• Incoming class represents 30 states and several countries (Canada, Kenya, Nigeria and China)

• Student body represents 48 states and 20 foreign countries


Most common first names 

1. Rachel (18), Matthew (16) 

2. Anna (13), Ryan (10) 

3. Sarah (13), Nathan (9)

4. Hannah (10), Daniel (8)  #1 in 2009-11

5. Abby (9), Jordan (8)

6. Emily (9)


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