Building-for-tuition swap in Hancock

HANCOCK, Mich. - Finlandia University and Hancock Public Schools have entered a school building-for-tuition agreement that gives the university more classroom space and local high school graduates a free college education, according to an Associated Press article published in the Chicago Tribune.

For at least 12 years, graduates of Hancock Central High School who quality for admission to Finlandia will receive free tuition, valued at $18,000 a year, according to AP. In return, Hancock will turn over to Finlandia a 73,000-square-foot, four-story school building that it no longer uses.

Finlandia President Philip Johnson said the move will allow the university to expand from enrollment of about 550 to a desired 700 students, AP reported. The university and school district also will share a 10-acre sports field, giving Finlandia the chance to introduce a new football program in 2012, according to the report.

Finlandia is seeking about $9 million in donations to upgrade the athletics field and the building, scheduled to be occupied by fall 2011, the report said.

Chicago Tribune, "Mich. college offers tuition in swap for building," Sept. 7, 2009

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "The Universal Tuition Tax Credit: A Proposal to Advance Parental Choice in Education," Nov. 13, 1997