“The secret to getting ahead is getting started!”

– Robin Roberts

So let’s get started!

My admission process to Hope College was a whirlwind and very unexpected as I started my year during the COVID-19 pandemic. Though I may have never visited the campus, since I am from another country, my admissions story is something that I find unique and I want to share to other high school prospects who are thinking of studying at an institution like Hope College.

In January 2020, I was a high school senior set to study at the University of the Philippines in the heart of Manila while also debating if my other college acceptances were needed to be considered. Though I was set on this decision, I felt like I wanted a different and more holistic experience within my life and education journey. I took a risk and thought about applying alongside with other American, Asian, Australian and British international schools. After going through rigorous and intensive interviews with different admission officers alongside my family, I was awarded multiple fellowships and academic scholarships given my unique background. Yet, Hope College stood out to me because not only was it different, but it was also an experience I was willing to embark on.

Fast forward two and half years later, I am now right here at Hope College more than 8,000 miles away from my family writing this article. Don’t be sad though, because I want to share some tips and tricks that helped me go through the Hope College admissions process.

Jairus Meer standing in the Grand Rapids airport. The neon sign in the background reads, Welcome to West Michigan.
Arrival at Grand Rapids Airport to embark on my Hope College experience.

Start as Early as You Can

It is so tough to decide which college to go through because there are so many factors to consider. From the locality to the academic programs the institution offers, I felt so overwhelmed as to how much I needed to consider when it comes to a very important decision within my life. My best friend An Ha’24 who is pursuing a degree within the Education Department, mentioned at least visiting the campus of your choice once or twice. Hope College offers admissions tours hosted by Hope College students themselves so that you can get a feel of the campus. You can also participate in an Anchor Day where you get to visit campus alongside other high school students. If you can’t arrive on campus, Hope has a virtual map online where you can see the facilities, scenery and beauty of our campus. While doing this, do not be afraid to ask as many questions as you can whether that be through online or in-person connection.

“Definitely visit campus once or twice and attend an Anchor Day if you can”

An Bao Ha’24 (she/her)

One of my closest peers Ada Rios (’24) mentioned that starting your application early is important. I also encourage trying to take AP courses in high school. I think that there is more to college than just academics, so also try to have fun along the way like going to games and learning about clubs. For me, Hope College offers me a lot of opportunities to grow and learn.

Ask Questions and Stay Engaged

As a high school student, I always volunteered within a lot of different school projects and tried to explore what I really wanted to do and focus on that one passion of mine with the hope that I can pursue such a career in college. Given this, I focused on the one passion I loved the most, which is science, and tried to develop upon this further. From doing microbiology volunteer research work to meeting different people from the field, I think this is a good way to not only prep for college but also help you develop your own leadership skills and networking skills. Don’t forget to be authentic to what you do and don’t be afraid to make any mistakes at all!

Amadu Bah (’24), a Psychology and Philosophy double major, president of the Black Student Union and working within Hope College’s admissions office, mentioned such an important point of the process. As he reflected on his Hope admission process, he mentioned the friendliness and the overall ambiance was something he fell in love with. He also gave important advice when it came to building skills for your passion within high school.

Focus on being a leader in high school. Don’t just be apart of clubs, but do your best to hold leadership positions in a club or two that you care about most. Make sure that throughout your time in high school you are consistently engaging with the same clubs rather than being involved in too many clubs with little participation.

Amadu Bah ’24 (he/him)

Enjoy the process and have a strong support system!

I get it! It can be the most stressful part of your college career. However, I think that it is important for you to sometimes smile and simply be able to think about what you want to do. It is difficult and believe me, looking back, I wish that I told myself to smile along the way. I had so many high and low moments within this process and making sure that having an amazing support system whether that be a family member, friends or mentor is important. For me, it was my parents who really pushed me and encouraged me that I had so much potential alongside my teachers in high school. Now, I am so thankful for their overwhelming support and advice during this time.

Overall, I hope this blog helped you picture what the Hope College admissions process is like and that the experiences of my peers and mentors showed you why Hope College is such an amazing campus.

Published by Jairus Meer

Class of 2024 Hometown: Las Piñas, Philippines Major(s): Biological Sciences Minor(s): Peace and Justice Studies

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