/ Admissions Office

Hope Forward

The beginning of a life-long journey with a learning community, grounded in faith, working to bring Hope to the world. 

The Big Idea

College has gotten too expensive. Hope College is doing something about it. Our long-term ambition is that every single student who comes through Hope receives tuition fully-funded up front. Graduates will then pay it forward: commit to donating to Hope College so future students can have the same transformational experience.

This is an entirely new way of thinking about funding college.

It transforms:

  • Your college education into preparation to pursue impact, not income to pay off student debt
  • Your college experience into a relationship based on gratitude and generosity, not a transaction between an organization and its consumers
  • Your college costs from bill-paying into generous giving


In 2021–2022, 20 students with big hearts, open minds and a God-given passion to bring Hope to the world will: 

  • Receive a Hope College education with tuition fully-funded by the generous gifts of others
  • Participate in Hope Forward programming — to prepare yourself and other Hope Forward students to pursue lives of impact in the world
  • As alumni, graduates of this program will commit to paying it forward — donating to Hope College so that future students can have the same transformational experience

Application Process

Phase one of the applications for the Hope Forward program will include an essay response to the prompt below and a letter of recommendation. Submissions are due by February 1, 2021. 



In 2021–2022, students with the following criteria were invited to apply for the Hope Forward Program:

  • Out of region: students from outside of MI, IL, IN, OH, and WI
  • GPA of 3.0 or higher
Phase One

Essay Prompt

hope /hōp/ noun: a confident and joyful expectation that something good is going to happen.

We at Hope believe that the biggest problem in the world isn’t that there are problems, but that there is no hope in our ability to solve those problems. Identify a role model of yours, whether historical, fictional or someone you know personally, and describe how they brought hope to an area of hopelessness in their life, their community or the world. (Essays should be 700–1,200 words)

Letter of Recommendation

Applicants will need to obtain at least one letter of recommendation. This letter should be from someone in their school, church or community that is not a relative and who can speak to the applicant's passion to spread hope to the world.

Phase Two
In late-February and early-March, a selected group of applicants will be invited to interview with the selection committee. Applicants will be asked to describe an area of hopelessness that they see in their life, their community, or the world, that they would bring hope to.


Please reach out to your admissions representative with any questions regarding the Hope Forward program or email admissions@hope.edu.