Hope College has announced the “Anchored Tuition Pledge,” committing to hold tuition at the starting rate for each incoming class beginning with the fall 2022 semester — and to keep it at the present level for all current students.
“‘Anchored Tuition’ means that the tuition rate you start with is the tuition rate you end with,” said Hope College President Matthew A. Scogin. “This will give students and their families financial peace of mind and confidence in setting their personal budgets for the years ahead.”
“It is yet another ‘new thing’ we are doing at Hope to begin to correct the broken business model of higher education,” he said. “For decades, the rate of college tuition has risen at double the rate of inflation. With ‘Anchored Tuition,’ we are saying, ‘No more.’”
Through the “Anchored Tuition Pledge,” the present annual, full-time tuition rate of $36,300 that has been in place since the fall of 2020 will remain constant for all current students for the duration of their time at the college. For freshmen and transfer students who enroll beginning next fall, full-time tuition will be $37,990 and will stay there through the duration of their time at Hope.
The “Anchored Tuition Pledge” is a component of the college’s “Hope Forward” initiative, announced in July, to one day fund a Hope education for all students through gifts rather than tuition. In a “Hope Forward” model, students’ education would be fully funded up front and students would then commit to give to Hope after graduation. Achieving that goal is a long-term ambition estimated to require increasing the college’s endowment by about $1.1 billion.
In the meantime, an anonymous gift is enabling Hope to pilot the “Hope Forward” paradigm for two groups of about 20 students enrolling this past fall and this coming fall. In addition, Hope held the 2021-22 tuition rate at the 2020-21 level for all students.
“‘Anchored Tuition’ is a next step in ‘Hope Forward,’” Scogin said. “Even as we are bringing in cohorts of students to pilot our ‘Hope Forward’ model and plan to continue to do so, we are committed to making a Hope education more affordable and accessible to all students. As fundraising for ‘Hope Forward’ continues, we hope we can eventually eliminate tuition increases that affect even the incoming class and ultimately begin to lower it until every student’s tuition is fully funded.”
The “Anchored Tuition Pledge” and “Hope Forward” models don’t apply to room, board and annual fees, whose cost could vary with inflation. For students in 2022-23, those costs will total $11,470.
The new program’s use of the word “anchored” connects more deeply to the college than simply the common definition of an anchor holding something steady. The anchor is the symbol of Hope, inspired by founder Rev. Albertus C. Van Raalte, who described the Pioneer School from which the college grew as his “anchor of Hope for this people in the future.” The symbolism follows the Epistle to the Hebrews 6:19, “We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul...”
“Reverend Van Raalte and Holland’s pioneers established the Pioneer School and ultimately Hope College because they recognized the importance of education,” Scogin said. “They were initially seeking to make a transformational Christian education accessible to the young people of the community, an ambition that quickly grew to encompass the nation and the world. ‘Anchored Tuition’ and ‘Hope Forward’ are ways that we are carrying that vision ahead for new generations.”