Four years after Antioch College suspended operations due to financial problems, the private liberal arts institution in southwest Ohio is recharging its system by extending full scholarships to current students and anyone who applies over the next three years, CBS News reports.
Based on the value of the current $26,500 yearly tuition, that makes each scholarship worth at least $106,000, according to CBS News. In addition, students who qualify for financial aid may pay less for room and board, which costs around $8,600 per year.
"We don't want economics to be an impediment to a high-quality liberal arts education," Antioch President Roosevelt said in announcement on the school's website Tuesday. "By providing four year, full-tuition scholarships, we make attending Antioch College a realistic option for the best and brightest students, regardless of their familyâs economic situation."
So what inspired Antioch's grand gesture? The college is looking to expand its student population by enrolling 65 to 75 freshman for next fall with the eventual goal of reaching an attendance of 300 students by 2015.
The 150-year-old college was forced to suspend operations in 2008 after years of decline brought about by poor financial decisions, low enrollment and a small endowment, according to Inside Higher Ed. But an influx of donations by the school's alumni allowed the college to reopen in part and admit around 35 students to its freshman class last year.
According to Inside Higher Ed, the college began attracting students in the 1960's due to its association with liberal politics, but enrollment began to decline in the mid-2000's, around time the college introduced a new curriculum without faculty input and made a series of bad financial decisions.
A decade earlier, the college introduced a radical policy requiring students to give explicit verbal consent before any sexual act, causing it to become "a favorite target of pundits seeking to mock political correctness," Inside Higher Ed reports.
As the school looks to reboot, officials hope students from around the country will be attracted to the school and its 12 areas of concentration. The deadline for applying to the school for Fall 2012 is Feb. 15. Intersted students can check out the Antioch's website for more information.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Antioch College's enrollment began to decline in the mid-1990's. In fact, the college's enrollment steadily increased until 2004 and then started to decline.