Hope College wants students to pay tuition after graduation
Hope College intends to turn tuition on its head by asking students not to invest in higher education until after they graduate.
An anonymous donor has fully funded tuition for a cohort of 22 students to launch the initial pilot of the small Michigan institution’s “Hope Forward” model. While enrolled, the students will be responsible for room and board.
“Once it’s implemented, students will receive a transformational education, for which others have paid,” President Matthew Scogin said. “Then, when they are graduates, we will ask them—out of gratitude for what they’ve received—to be generous in response by investing in future generations of students.”
Since Scogin’s inauguration in September 2019, the college has raised $27 million for the program.
Long-term, the college plans to fund tuition for all students through endowed scholarships. Administrators will work to increase the school’s endowment by more than $1 billion through a robust, affinity-based giving program.
Eliminating the need for students to finance their education upfront will help the college attain several of its goals, the first of which is ensuring access to admitted students from all backgrounds, the president said.
“Second, we believe the business model of higher education is broken and we want to pursue a more sustainable framework,” he added. “Finally, we want to enable our graduates to enter their careers and communities with a focus on positively impacting the world unburdened by tuition debt.”