Kalamazoo College recently announced that the school will make tuition free for enrolled students, just two months after Germany made all schools free.
“We were inspired by the German example,” said Eileen Wilson-Oyelaran, current president of the school. “It’s beautiful how Germany could provide a basic twenty-first century necessity for all people for free.” She said she was inspired to make the change after reading an article written by The Index’s own Emily Pizza.
“Kalamazoo was never that expensive anyway, so we feel as though eliminating tuition would do a lot for social justice,” Wilson-Oyelaran said.
Kalamazoo College is able to do this because of a spending deficit. After only spending seven million dollars of more than twenty million that the school was endowed with to build the Arcus Center for Social Justice, K found itself in possession with a lot more money than planned.
Most of the leftover money will be given to alumni as an apology for the school charging them anything at all to attend. Meanwhile, the College’s Board of Trustees are debating whether to include handwritten letters as a possible addition to the apologies.
The rest of the money not spent a toward apologies will go towards grade-A investments to keep the college free forever.
“We’ve decided to invest the rest in penny stocks,” said Michael Scott, the recently hired stock manager of the school. “We feel as though they give high returns on low investments, something great for the cost of schooling.” Scott decided to fund Kalamazoo’s tuition through penny stocks after Scott received an email from a “Mr. Belfort.”
Student reactions have been mixed about the announcement.
“I liked paying money out of my pocket for tuition,” said Deb Bradshaw ’18. “From when I was a child, I knew the first thing I wanted to do with myself is to pay off student loans. It was a life experience I was looking forward to.”
Projections state that enrollment will increase to a few hundred thousand in the coming years due to the decrease in tuition.
“Classes don’t fill up quickly so we don’t think the extra load will be a big deal,” said Wilson-Oyelaran. “We think we’re doing a pretty good job already providing classes that people want to everyone that wants them.”
The administration has planned to convert several academic buildings to residence halls. Olds-Upton Science Building, Dow Science Center, and Dewing Hall are affected by their decision.
Kalamazoo’s dedication to providing affordable schooling for all has finally come through.