READING, Pa. -

Albright College in Reading is set to welcome the second largest class of freshmen students in the school's 158-year history.

The 550-member Class of 2018 will push total traditional day enrollment of students on campus to 1,740. The freshmen will be joined by an additional 45 transfer students.

The 2018 class members will come from 15 states, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Arizona, Kansas and California, and from nine foreign countries, including Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Macau, Mongolia, and Saudi Arabia.

The new class also includes 26 students from Berks County high schools who were awarded Eugene L. Shirk Scholarships. Shirk scholars receive $70,000 to $100,000 over their four years. 

In order to qualify for the scholarship, the students must complete 25 hours of community service per semester and maintain a 3.0 grade point average.

The freshmen are set to move into their campus housing next Thursday, Aug. 21.

Opening day festivities will include an opening day picnic for new students and their families, sponsored by the Albright College Alumni Association, and a convocation that features an academic procession and freshman "pinning" ceremony.

Returning students will move in on Sun., Aug. 24. Classes begin Mon., Aug. 25.