“Hancock Promise” gives Hancock HS graduates higher education opportunities at Finlandia

Copper Country

HANCOCK, Mich. (WJMN) – The “Hancock Promise” between Finlandia University and the Hancock Public School District has been extended for another seven years.

What was originally known as the “Finlandia Promise” is now called the “Hancock Promise.” The promise dates back to 2009 when the Hancock Public School District gave Finlandia the old high school building. That donation has since opened up opportunities for local high school students.

The promise allows Hancock Central High School graduates to attend Finlandia University for up to $2,500 a year. The agreement also allows the school to utilize the university’s football field.

“We reached out to the students who have gone through and graduated using the promise,” said Hancock Public School District’s Superintendent Steve Patchin. “They’re doing all sorts of different things. I mean, you’ve got people who are nurses, who end up in physical therapy, we’ve got people working in business. They’re all over the board, and they all do share one common theme which is that many of these students came from households where it would’ve been a real struggle for them to come up with the money to carry on, and this gave them the opportunity to do that.”

Finlandia and the school district recently made an agreement for a change on the “Hancock Promise”.

“The original agreement didn’t have room for a gap year. So you had to go directly in from high school right into college to qualify for the program. But the gap years, they’ve gotten to be really, really important and have especially been highlighted during COVID. Students are looking, and if they’re not sure what they want to do, and especially Generation Z that’s coming through right now, they’re very cost-conscious. They don’t want to graduate with a ton of debt,” said Patchin.

Patchin and Finlandia University President Philip Johnson will be furthering their collaboration in the next few years. An enclosed athletic complex is in the works.

Johnson also added, “The Hancock Promise is a core expression of Finlandia’s commitment to champion and support private higher education for neighboring families who thought it to be out of reach. Finlandia’s strategic vision imagines a learning community that is distinctive, whole, and engaged.  We engage by leading with others to create conditions in which our closest neighbors may grow and thrive. The Hancock Promise creates such conditions.  

“The Hancock Promise (formerly known as the Hancock Award) brings to our campus highly motivated students, grateful for a quality private higher ed experience that is close to home and offers exceptional small college value.”

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