St. John’s College announces plan to lower tuition by $17,000 a year

Laureen Lumpkin:

In a move to make education more affordable for its students, St. John’s College will slash tuition by $17,000 and attempt to bolster its endowment fund.

The private, liberal arts school in Annapolis is planning to install a new philanthropy-centered financial model that relies more on donor dollars, it announced Wednesday. This model will make St. John’s less dependent on tuition-paying students.

“We’ll make up that difference by doubling our endowment,” said Panayiotis Kanelos, president of the college’s Annapolis campus. St. John’s also has a campus in Santa Fe, New Mexico. “By next fall, no student at St. John’s will pay more than $35,000 a year.”

St. John’s on Wednesday also announced a fundraising initiative called “Freeing Minds: A Campaign for St. John’s College,” with the goal of raising $300 million to make up any gaps in funding. Alumni Warren and Barbara Winiarski announced Wednesday that their family foundation will match dollar for dollar every new gift up to $50 million.

“The capital campaign is to grow our endowment to ensure that we have the resources to do this,” Kanelos said. He also said the school has already raised more than 60 percent of its goal.

By the 2019-2020 school year, the new model — and tuition change — will take effect.

Related: Financial Aid Leveraging.