By Rebecca McGregor
President John C. Knapp sent an official email to Hope College students and faculty announcing free tuition.
“It is with much excitement that we announce this change,” the email read. “Here at Hope, we want students to be anchored in knowledge, faith and community, not student debt.”
The email also explained that free tuition would go into effect starting with the Fall semester of 2027. Therefore, the same email was sent to upcoming freshmen.
Rumors of a possible change in Hope tuition rates had flooded the college since the beginning of this school year. The story apparently circled campus after an apparent Board of Trustees meeting discussed the matter in September.
“All of my friends were talking about it,” Rachael VanDykstra (’27) said. “We all hoped that it was true, but honestly we had no clue that it would actually become a reality.”
The email sent to students and faculty did not go into details about how the free tuition change is financially possible; however, Dean of Students Richard Frost later told the media how the Board figured out all the specifics.
“After the gradual boom in the American economy, we’re finally seeing free tuition come to fruition,” Dean Frost said. “Also, we found a ‘National Treasure’-sized collection of gold and stuff hidden in the Hope underground tunnels.”
Media has reported that much of the treasure found underneath campus belonged to William I, Prince of Orange, who lived during the 16th Century and was a key figure in the Dutch Revolt against the Spanish. Therefore, much of Hope’s newfound treasure was bought by the Netherlands for historical preservation; thus, providing Hope with the funds to offer free tuition.
Parents and students have been notified, though, that free tuition must be chosen.
“Parents and students who still wish to pay tuition to Hope are greatly encouraged to keep doing so,” Dean Frost said. “We will still gladly accept $32,000 a year from each family.”
Parents, however, expressed that they will most likely choose the free tuition route.
“Am I going to keep paying Hope all that money?” Hope parent Debbie VanderPlex said. “Heck no. I will donate some money, but as far as the crazy cost of tuition goes, no way.”
Students alike are rejoicing over the new change as well.
“I used to cross College Ave. and pray that a car would hit me just so the driver would pay my tuition,” Matt VanVanVanVance (’29) said. “Now, I can actually look both ways before I cross the street. It’s such a blessing.”
Hope’s announcement also motivated many students to deactivate their accounts on SellYourOrgansForMoney.org.
“My kidney removal was scheduled for the end of June,” Katie Meijer (’28) said. “But I got on the phone and canceled it as soon as I got the email. You have no idea how relieved I am.”
Hope is now the 40th school in the United States to offer free tuition to students, just behind Liberty University in Virginia.
“We’re so excited that students and parents are reacting so positively,” President Knapp said. “I haven’t seen them this excited since the Concert Series booked Adele.”