Now in its third year, Freeing Minds continues to generate attention and support–a strong indication that our alumni and friends are inspired by our new philanthropy-centered financial model and see solid evidence of results.
Our endowment is growing.
The St. John’s endowment ended 2020 at $178 million, driven by generous gifts to the Freeing Minds campaign and a strong recovery in the stock market.
Our endowment generates a permanent income stream for the college, significantly affecting the amount of scholarship aid we can provide. By continuing to grow our endowment through Freeing Minds, we are better positioned to offer our distinctive education to students who would not otherwise be able to enroll.
Our deficit is shrinking.
Despite the financial challenges posed by the pandemic, we met our FY20 deficit reduction goal of $1.9 million. To put this figure in perspective, our deficit has declined a remarkable 80 percent since 2016—a testament to the power of generosity in securing the future of the college.
Our tuition remains at $35,000.
In Fall 2019 we welcomed our first freshman class to benefit from a dramatic price reduction that saw our tuition drop from $52,000 to only $35,000. Consistent with our commitment to accessibility and affordability, our tuition will remain frozen at $35,000 in Fall 2021, the third year in a row.
Our ability to maintain this more affordable price structure is a direct result of support for the Freeing Minds campaign.
Doors are opening wider for our highest need students.
Although our lower and more reasonable tuition remains in place, so too does the chasm between those who can and cannot afford to pay. As usual, the financial impact of the global crisis has been an unbalanced one, with working-class families taking the hardest hits.
Against this backdrop, Freeing Minds is helping to keep the St. John’s experience attainable. Our percentage of Pell-eligible freshmen, whose families are typically in the lower and middle-income brackets, rose to 28 percent in Fall 2020 as a result of a transformational campaign gift that allows us to match 100 percent of a student’s Pell funding.
Class of 2024 Fall Freshmen
We are also doing more to assist high-need students by building relationships with select high schools around the world. As a result of these partnerships and donor generosity, our Class of 2024 freshmen received scholarships ranging from $5,000 to full tuition.
We are building bridges to student success.
As the most rigorous college in America, St. John’s will never be easy, nor do we want it to be. But we do want it to be a place where students can be enriched by that rigor—and ready for it.
In Summer 2020, St. John’s launched the Pritzker Promise Bridge Program, aimed at preparing students for the demands of the college. Funded by a gift from the Jay Pritzker Foundation, the program is part of a broader effort to equip students with the tools they need to succeed in the classroom and in their post-graduate lives.
Uncertain times bring challenges, but they also shine new light on questions as old as humankind. Learn how your gifts are helping students and tutors to carry out the Great Conversation forward.
Learn how gifts to the Freeing Minds campaign have made a difference during the coronavirus crisis, as students and tutors bring the Great Conversation to bear on a new reality.
Highlights include the growth in applications and enrollment, record-breaking attendance at Summer Academy, reduction of our structural deficit, and our recognition as Four-Year College of the Year.
A look back at our transformational beginning
Prior to the public launch, the Freeing Minds campaign received many early gifts from generous donors whose exceptional commitments laid the groundwork for success. These include two lead $25-million donations from board chair Ron Fielding and campaign chair Warren Spector. Their 2016 gifts earned them two spots in The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s list of the top 50 most generous donors in America (February 2017).
In summer of 2018, the college received a truly transformational pledge—the largest gift in the history of St. John’s. Through the Winiarski Family Foundation, Alumni Warren and Barbara Winiarski created a challenge grant that is matching every gift to the Freeing Minds campaign with an equivalent gift to the St. John’s endowment—up to $50 million.