2019 Countdown to Hope

It’s a new year! And a new chapter for you as well. You’ll be starting college life in just a few months. These are exciting times — but let’s be honest, these can be stressful times, too.

We want to take the worry out of your upcoming transition to Hope College and Holland, Michigan, so we’ve created a “Countdown to Hope” — your checklist on next steps for financial aid, scholarships and enrollment.


  • Join Hope College Connect! Connect is our online community for admitted students.
  • Create a FAFSA account. If you have not done so already, create your Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) at fafsa.gov and send your information to Hope using our Federal School Code, 002273.
  • Complete and submit the FAFSA. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at fafsa.gov, using 2017 tax information.
  • Watch your mailbox for scholarship info. Hope began notifying admitted students about academic (also called “merit-based”) scholarships in mid-December.
  • Respond to requests. As the Office of Financial Aid staff reviews forms, they often contact families to request more information. Be sure to respond if contacted!
  • Join the conversation! Follow Hope on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat (hope_college) and YouTube. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #Hope2023.


  • Last call for scholarship materials! Submit or update your materials (new test scores, class rank, GPA or high school transcript) by the February 1 deadline to be considered for academic scholarships.
  • Watch your mailbox for a financial aid package. The Office of Financial Aid begins sending financial aid award letters in early February. This letter includes your award package, which indicates the types and amount of aid offered to you for the 2019–20 academic year.


  • Last call for financial aid forms! Still need to submit financial aid forms? Be sure to do so by the priority filing deadline, March 1.
  • Remember to save your spot. In early March, Hope mails admitted students a request to submit the $300 enrollment deposit at hope.edu/deposit. This deposit reserves your place in the Class of 2023.


  • Attend Admitted Student Day! Saturday, April 13 is our annual Admitted Student Day, the perfect day to take a final look at Hope before you make your decision.


  • May 1 — National Candidates Reply Date! To guarantee a place in Hope’s Class of 2023, submit your deposit at hope.edu/deposit. After May 1, a deposit reserves your place only if space is available. (The enrollment deposit is nonrefundable after May 1.)
  • Watch your inbox for housing info. In late May, Hope emails housing materials to all students who have reserved their place in the Class of 2023.
  • Watch your mailbox for class registration info. Also in late May, Hope mails personal Hope College account and class registration information to all students who have reserved their place in the Class of 2023.


  • Save the date. In early July, Hope mails orientation materials to all students who have reserved their place in the Class of 2023. Make plans for you and your family to attend the many activities scheduled throughout Orientation Weekend in late August.
  • Find out where you’ll be living. Also in early July, Hope mails housing and roommate assignments to all students who have reserved their place in the Class of 2023.


  • Review your schedule. Watch your inbox for your class schedule, which Hope emails to all students who have reserved their place in the Class of 2023.
  • Celebrate! You have arrived! Your first year at Hope begins with Orientation Weekend held in late August. Move-In Day is Friday, August 23.

Getting To Know Me–Orientation Weekend Style

Happy Friday Eve! I hope your week has been wonderful thus far.

I have to apologize—as college life tends to require—I hit the ground running with this whole blogging experience and did not take the time to introduce myself! So, here’s a little information about me Orientation Weekend Style 🙂

Name?: Erin Hoolahan
Year?: Freshman
Hometown?: I am from Wexford, Pennsylvania which is a suburb about 20 minutes north of Pittsburgh.
Where I am living: Van Vleck Hall (the oldest and most charming building on campus)

Photographic evidence of VV's lovely charm
Photographic evidence of VV’s lovely charm

Major?: Undecided
Hobbies?: Baking, guitar and Ultimate Frisbee

Finally got to use Van Vleck's awesome kitchen to bake some chocolate chip cookies tonight! (and they're gluten free :) )
Finally got to use Van Vleck’s awesome kitchen to bake some chocolate chip cookies tonight! (and they’re gluten free 🙂 )

Interesting factoid?: I am a triplet. I have a brother (who is at Slippery Rock University in PA) and a sister (who is at Roosevelt University in Chicago).

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How did I find Hope?: Online. Right HERE on U.S News Week’s National Liberal Arts Colleges Rankings. (The story of how I chose Hope, however, may become the topic of a future post.)

Over the course of Orientation Weekend and the week or two following these questions are asked and answered thousands of times. They are a great, succinct way to learn the basics about a new classmate and now I feel better knowing you know the basics about me. 🙂

Feel free to follow me on Twitter and Instagram to see little insights and photos of life at Hope thorough my eyes!

I hope you have a lovely rest of the week!

My first full week in France!

Hi everyone!

Sorry I haven’t written since my arrival! I have been so busy getting used to my new daily life and schedule. Last weekend, only a day after my arrival in France, I went to Tours for an orientation weekend.

I spent Friday night exploring the downtown area with some friends. We went on a ferris wheel and I was able to see the entire city in lights!

Exploring a chateau
Exploring the Chateau de Blois

Saturday and Sunday were spent exploring four famous Chateaux in the Loire Valley: Amboise, Chenonceau, Chambourd, and Blois. On some of them, we had guided visits, which was helpful for learning more about their history. Walking around the gardens and interior of buildings older than the United States was one of the coolest experiences of my life. My favorite chateau by far was the Chateau de Chenonceau, which  inspired Walt Disney!

Monday to Friday of the following week was spent getting more acclimated to Nantes and IES through various orientation sessions. We learned about safety, health, transportation, classes, and just about anything else you can think of. We spent some time getting a tour of the area and various places we might need, like the post office and grocery store. We took a test on Monday to be placed into our French language class at IES and spent Wednesday through Friday having grammar review classes. It wasn’t my favorite part of orientation but it was definitely helpful. Friday was spent choosing the classes to take at the IES center and at the University of Nantes. Classes begin on Monday and I can’t wait!

A bientot!


My Summer + Orientation 2013!

Hello Everyone!

Even though I already made my first post of the year, I wanted to talk a little bit about my summer!

From early May to mid July, not much happened. I was at home in Iowa, where I watched sheep play behind my house and way too many shows on Netflix. But seriously, that’s about all I did.

In mid July, I started work in a corn field. If you didn’t already know, the state of Iowa was pretty much made for farming. With the exception of the occasional hill, Iowa is very flat and has fertile soil. Size wise, it ranks 26th out of the 50 states, but only has a population of about three million people. So, if you add it all up, great land + few people = lots of farms and fields!

The farms in Iowa are used for several things. Any corn, pork, chicken, eggs, beef, or dairy you get from a grocery store (or McDonalds!) may have come from a farm in Iowa. Along with growing our nation’s food, a lot of the fields, including the one I worked in, are owned by companies that test crops.

The company I worked for tests genetically modified corn. I was involved with the growing process, which mostly means that I helped to cross-pollinate, or sib, the corn. This involved putting bags on the corn tassels, collecting the pollen, and dumping it on the growing shoots of corn. I did this work for about a month, until it was time for me to return to Hope for…


If I seem a little excited about orientation, it’s because it was one of the best experiences I’ve had at Hope so far, and definitely one of the best experiences in my life overall. My position on the orientation staff was an assistant director (AD). There were 23 of us, and our main goals were to:

1. Help Kian and Claire, the orientation directors, with any finishing touches.

2. Train the Orientation Assistants (OAs) to lead their group of new students.

3. Learn and perform an awesome dance for the new students!

Along with these responsibilities, I also had some work to do for the siblings program with two other ADs, Jess and Hannah. Over the summer, we solidified the plans for the younger siblings and older siblings programs, and on the Saturday of orientation weekend, were completely in charge of the programs.

I only knew a few of the other ADs before starting Orientation, but by the end, I felt like I had 22 new best friends. We couldn’t help but bond with each other; after all, we were together from 8:30 AM-11:00 PM every day for a week and a half! We stuffed the new student welcome bags and family registration packets, made folders for the OAs, and familiarized ourselves with all things Orientation.

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We worked hard, but we also played hard! We took a trip to Skyzone, a local trampoline gym, went to the beach, learned a fun dance (shout out to Audrey and Hannah for choreographing!), went a little crazy with Snapchat, memorized lines together for the skits Orange and Blue 4 You and H.O.P.E., and became a little family in the process. I would do it all over again with this group in a heartbeat if I ever got chance.

If you ever get the opportunity to be a part of the orientation program, I would highly encourage you to take it! It’s awesome and I know you’ll have a blast!

That’s all from me! Tweet me or comment below if you have any thoughts!


PS – If you remember this little post at the end of the year, you might recall that I said that I was planning to go to Lollapalooza. Long story short, I sold my ticket a week before the show and didn’t end up going. Sad, I know.

Hope Friends. Nothing Better.

Hello Everyone!

I hope everyone is enjoying summer! Life in Holland has been excellent. I would like to tell you a little bit about my friends from Hope and the people here. Some of you may be incoming freshmen who are nervous about making friends right away. I definitely was nervous about making new friends at college. I was one of those people who loved high school and grew up in a close-knit community. I felt nervous the summer before my freshmen year, because I feared losing my high school friends and not connecting right away with the people in college.

A great thing about being a freshman in general is that everyone is in the same boat as you. Everyone is new, and everyone is looking for some new friends. During orientation you will meet so many new people and no one really knows anyone. After orientation, I really felt like I was beginning to form new friendships. The people at Hope are so welcoming and kind. I am still good friends with my orientation leader from last year.

I love the people so much at Hope that I am here for the summer. I still am close with my high school friends, but it is so nice to meet new people and form new friendships.

It feels crazy to me that I have not known any of these people for even a full year, but I consider some of them my best friends. I have visited my friends from Hope several times this summer. It is also nice because my good friend Grace lives in Kalamazoo so I drive down to see her, and she also comes here to visit. Last weekend we had a fun sleepover. All in less than 24 hours, we went out to dinner, hung out in the hot tub, visited another friend from Hope, watched a movie, ran in the woods, swam in the lake, grabbed coffee at Biggby, enjoyed pedicures, ate sushi, and just chilled together. We definitely packed a lot of activities in such a short time.

I am so thankful for the wonderful friendships I have made in just attending Hope for one year. I look forward for more friendships to come. So if you are an incoming freshman, no worries…. The people at Hope are friendly and welcoming!

Have a great week!

Pictures with my friend Grace!