St. John’s College is taking bold steps to become one of the most affordable private liberal arts colleges in the country. On September 12, St. John’s announced that it is moving away from “prestige pricing” and a tuition-centered financial model and is launching a new philanthropy-centered financial model to make the school more affordable and accessible for students.
The new financial model is comprised of two essential and concurrent actions: reducing the published annual tuition for undergraduate students from over $52,000 to $35,000 beginning with the 2019 academic year and at the same time launching a $300-million capital campaign, called Freeing Minds, to fund the difference between what it costs to educate a student at St. John’s College and what a student will actually pay in tuition. The campaign is supported by a major $50 million matching grant from the Winiarski Family Foundation, as well as two $25 million donations from alumni Ron Fielding and Warren Spector.
“Just as St. John’s has a unique curriculum, the ‘Freeing Minds’ campaign is a unique capital campaign. The $300-million campaign is not intended to fund a new stadium or new buildings or amenities. Instead, the dollars raised will go toward making the distinct education at St. John’s affordable and accessible for a larger number of students,” said Panayiotis (Pano) Kanelos, President of St. John’s Annapolis campus. “We believe that education is a common good, and it should be treated as one financially. We know that educating students well is expensive, and if worthy students cannot pay then we need to take bold steps to ensure they have a place here.”