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.

November – January

  • Create a FAFSA account. If you have not done so already, create your Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) at 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, using 2016 tax information.
  • Complete and submit the SAF. Visit, where you’ll find Hope’s Supplemental Application for Financial Aid (SAF). Complete the online form, then print, sign and send it to the Hope College Office of Financial Aid via mail, email or fax. (NOTE: The SAF cannot be submitted online.)
  • Watch your mailbox for scholarship info. Hope begins 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 #Hope2022.


  • 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 2018–19 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 This deposit reserves your place in the Class of 2022.


  • May 1 — National Candidates Reply Date! To guarantee a place in Hope’s Class of 2022, submit your deposit at 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 2022.
  • Watch your mailbox for 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 2022.


  • Save the date. In early July, Hope mails orientation materials to all students who have reserved their place in the Class of 2022. Make plans for you and your family to attend the many activities scheduled throughout Orientation Weekend, August 24–27, 2018.
  • 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 2022.


  • 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 2022.
  • Celebrate! You have arrived! Your first year at Hope begins with Orientation Weekend, August 24-27, 2018.

Being Happy Where You Are

Beach photos. Tan, with ice cream cones dripping in their henna-tattooed hands. Driving a dune buggy and soaking up some rays.

No, I wasn’t on vacation this past week, but I sure saw a lot of pictures from people who were.

I was at home, taking pictures of my breakfast and my cat and dog, living it up in the clouds and brown grass outside my Detroit suburb home. I got a little bitter and jealous of everyone having a fun-filled vacations.

This is normal, I think, because isn’t it natural for someone sitting around in cold Michigan to wish they could be somewhere warm with friends? Sounds reasonable. But still there’s a part of me that realizes how far this extends into other places in life, such as the college you go to, the job you have, and so much more.

Life’s about being happy where you are. It’s about looking at what’s around you and finding the best in it, making the best of it. I tried to do that over break once I realized where my mindset was. So I made breakfast at midnight with my step-sister, Hannah, for her 22nd birthday (See Taylor Swift’s “22”), exercised, went on trips with my dog, and made homemade donuts. Sometimes you have to make your own adventures.

As I write this I’m in the car on the way back to Holland, and I’m so excited! The sun is warming up and we only have about 5 weeks left. The summer before Hope, I was so excited! Then when I was at school for about the first month, I wanted to be anywhere but Hope. After learning to love the place I’m at, there isn’t anywhere I’d rather be. It just takes some time to adjust : -) Even if you don’t feel okay at the beginning, I guarantee that it will turn around!

For anybody, I encourage you to keep this thought in your mind. For prospective students – remember that the college transition, wherever you go, will not be easy. You’ll find yourself perusing Facebook and wishing you were having as much fun as your friends, when they might be feeling the same way.

Give it time and give it love. : -)

I’m sure my bitter feelings will resurface once I see all of my friends tan faced, but I’ll just think of this post and be glad that I’m one less vacation away from wrinkly skin when I’m old.

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If you have any questions for me you can contact me at, through Hope on Facebook, or my Twitter @hopebrooke18! I’d love to answer them!