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K’s Next Class to be Most Diverse

By Viola Brown

Kalamazoo College’s class of 2018 hopes to be the most diverse in history with 32 percent of the incoming students identifying themselves as people of color.

The domestic ethnic breakdown of the class includes: 27 Asian Americans, 30 African Americans, one Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, 41 Latinos and 22 multiracial students. Eight percent of students will international students coming from 10 countries: China (eight), Georgia (one), India (two), Italy (one), Jamaica (three), South Korea (nine), Lebanon (one), Myanmar (one), Spain (one) and Vietnam (six). Domestically, the students represent 29 states.

“We won’t know how many will actually enroll until the day the students move in. So far we have 377 students who have said they are coming, but I know we’ll lose a few between now and September and maybe gain a few. I hope to matriculate around 360-ish students,” said Eric Staab, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid

Even though the College didn’t meet its goal of 390 students, it’s still proud of the numbers because college admissions have been down all across the Midwest.

“We are very pleased with many aspects of this class. It is slightly shy of our goal of 390 students, however this was a very rough year for liberal arts colleges in the Midwest. Many others saw shortfalls far greater that of K’s, so it could have been a lot worse. The academic quality of this class is excellent, similar to previous years,” said Staab.

Since this class isn’t as large as the previous incoming class of 464 students, Admissions believes that it will not be a problem to accommodate this new class through registration, housing or the College’s social atmosphere. The diversity of this class comes when students are pushing for an Intercultural Center on campus.

Admissions is still unsure of the impact this current crop of students will have on K history, claiming every class leaves a unique legacy at K.

“Every year the group of new students coming has some impact on the current students, but that is not something I could know in advance as to how this year’s new cohort of students will impact the returning students,” said Staab.