What Does it Cost to Attend Hope College?

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There are a lot of attributes that attract students to Hope College—its low teacher-to-student ratio, commitment to experiential learning, and ability to place students into the workforce and graduate school to name a few. Of course, there’s also Hope’s vibrant Christian community (don’t worry, it’s accepting of students of all faiths and no faith), not to mention its gorgeous campus in Holland, Michigan, is just minutes from what Parade Magazine called one of the best main streets in the U.S. and a few miles from Lake Michigan.

 

When considering applying to Hope College, there is another element that you can’t overlook: the price. New data from the College Board shows that college prices leveled off for public two- and four-year schools between the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 academic years, but the price of private institutions like Hope continues to climb, albeit slower than in the past, going from an average cost of $35,720 to $35,830.

 

If Hope College is on your list of dream schools—and why wouldn’t it be? Holland, Michigan was ranked the second happiest place in the U.S. sandwiched between Boulder, Colorado, and Honolulu, Hawaii, in a 2010 Gallup poll—don’t let the college’s high list price deter you. The fact is that most students do not pay full price for college.

 

College Costs are Highly Variable

 

When researching colleges, it’s easy to get locked into looking at list price; after all, that’s the number most institutions put front and center. However, the list price is a flawed metric for measuring the real cost of college. Instead, net price provides a more accurate representation of what a student can expect to pay for school.

 

Net cost takes into account any federal, state, or local government aid and institutional aid received by a student, along with any aid awarded for merit, and deducts it from the list price of the school to show students what they can anticipate paying for college either out of pocket or with loans.

 

After learning the net cost of a college, students can have a clearer idea if a college makes financial sense for them. And if it isn’t, there further steps that can be taken to reduce the cost even more. Keep reading, and we’ll show you how to decipher the cost of attending Hope College and offer a few tips for reducing overall college expenses.

 

Hope College’s List Price

 

List price is the cost of tuition, room, and board combined—some colleges and universities refer to it as “the cost of attendance.” The list price for Hope College in 2016-2017 was $43,840. Because Hope is a private institution, the price is the same for both in- and out-of-state students.

Before making a decision on Hope’s price, remember that the majority of students do not pay list price. Students who do pay full price are commonly from high-earning families with incomes greater than $175,000 a year who fall outside of the top third of accepted students academically.

 

What is the Price of Hope with Financial Aid?

 

Financial aid is given to students on the basis of their financial need. The average price of Hope College for students receiving financial aid is $38,213. Once again, because Hope is a private institution, there is no variance in price for in- and out-of-state students.

 

Cost of Hope Based on Household Income

 

The income level of a student’s family is one of the primary determining factors for how much financial aid a student will receive. Below is a breakdown of what students can anticipate paying based on their family’s annual earnings:

 

Family Income Average Net Price
Below $30,000 $14,857
$30,001-$48,000 $15,321
$48,001-$75,000 $20,519
$75,001-$110,000 $25,348
$110,000+ $32,559

 

How Much Merit Aid is Awarded at Hope?

 

Academic achievement, athletic excellence, and musical talent are just a few of the reasons why colleges award merit aid to students. 78.8% of undergraduates without financial need receive aid at Hope, with the average award being $6,870. This brings the cost of Hope College for students who don’t qualify for financial aid to $36,970.

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How Many Students Take Out Loans to Attend Hope?

 

Loans play a key role for many students in paying for college. More than half of Hope undergraduates (55%) have taken out a loan, with $5,522 being the average amount borrowed via federal student loans.

 

Student Outcomes

 

Student outcomes are one way that students and families can judge the return on their investment in an institution, as it’s indicative of a student’s future. Hope College graduates 79% of matriculating students within six years, a rate significantly higher than the national average of 66%.

 

Hope graduates can expect to earn an annual salary of $46,200 ten years after receiving their degree, which is approximately the same as the average salary of a person working in the nearby city of Grand Rapids ($47,890) and the national average salary for full-time employees ($46,800).  

 

Local Area Cost Considerations

 

While tuition, room, and board make up the major costs of college, the location of a school, and the costs associated with it, can also have an effect on the total cost of college. Holland, Michigan, home of Hope College, has a slightly-less-than-average cost of living—the city’s cost of living index is 97, making it 3% less expensive than the national average.

 

Hope College is a residential institution and believes that part of the college experience is learning within the community as well as the classroom. As students grow and develop, Hope’s housing options adapt as well: freshmen and sophomores live in residence halls, while upperclassman reside in college-supported cottages and apartments.

 

Fourth-year Hope students are permitted to live off campus but must apply for the privilege. For students given the go ahead to live off campus, here are the average rent prices for apartments in Holland, Michigan:

 

  • Studio: $720
  • One-bedroom: $730
  • Two-bedroom: $840
  • Three-bedroom: $1,200

 

If you’re curious about how the cost of living off campus stacks up to the expense of living on campus, Hope lists the 2019-2020 price for rooming as $4,880 and board (21 meals a week) as $5,750.

 

Michigan’s minimum wage is $9.45 an hour, making it one of 29 states (and Washington, D.C.) that have minimum wages higher than the federally mandated $7.25. Holland’s unemployment rate is 3.4%, which is slightly lower than the national average of 3.9%, but jobs in Holland are growing faster than the national average (1.66% vs.1.59%). Downtown Holland features over 100 shops, galleries, eateries, and brewpubs that offer numerous opportunities for part-time employment.

 

Other Ways to Pay for College

 

Scholarships represent another great way to help fund a college education. A Hope student’s admissions application automatically qualifies them to receive a variety of awards for academic achievement—including the Presidential Scholarship, Trustees Scholarship, and Distinguished Student Award.

 

Hope also offers scholarships to upcoming artists—Distinguished Artist Awards (DAAs) are offered in the fields of creative writing, dance, music, theatre, and the visual arts. DAAs are for $3,000 a year and are renewable for four years. Unlike academic awards at Hope, DAAs have their own unique applications and requirements.

 

Another scholarship high-achieving college-bound students should consider is the National Merit Scholarship, which is one of the most popular scholarship programs in the country due, in part, to its ease of entry. Every high schooler who takes the PSAT can opt into the program, and students who score in the top 1% become eligible to receive a $2,500 award. Read our blog How to Qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Program to learn more about this distinguished program.

 

High Schoolers who list Hope College as their first choice school and are a National Merit Finalist are eligible for Hope’s National Merit Scholarship, which is worth $22,000 in the upcoming 2019-2020 school year.

 

Rising prices have put the spotlight on cost for students considering colleges. If you’re having a tough time deciphering what college will cost, or are seeking financial advice on aid, outcomes, and how to save on school, CollegeVine has you covered. Our College Applications Program can show students real college costs, predict earnings and debt after graduation, and show students how to win larger scholarships. Contact us today and learn how to make college more affordable.

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Timothy Peck
Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
A graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in English, Tim Peck currently lives in Concord, New Hampshire, where he balances a freelance writing career with the needs of his two Australian Shepherds to play outside.