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Hope College takes big step toward tuition-free campus

July 14, 2021 GMT

HOLLAND, Mich. (AP) — About two dozen students at a small college in western Michigan will attend school without paying tuition in the fall, part of a new plan to ease the financial burden in exchange for contributions after they graduate.

“Rather than require students to pay for their education in advance, through what is too often a transactional relationship, we are working toward a funding model based on the biblical principles of generosity and gratitude,” Hope College President Matthew Scogin said.

Hope is a liberal arts college in Holland, 30 miles southwest of Grand Rapids. It has roughly 3,100 students.

Tuition is around $36,000 a year. Students still will need to pay for campus lodging and meals but can apply for financial aid.

The goal is to eventually cover tuition for all students, which would mean increasing the college’s endowment. Since Scogin’s inauguration in 2019, $31.1 million has been raised for the plan, the Holland Sentinel reported.

“We want to enable our graduates to enter their careers and communities with a focus on positively impacting the world unburdened by tuition debt,” he said. “This vision will take many years to see to fruition, but the journey starts now and we are encouraged by early momentum.”