A progressive college in Western Massachusetts made a pitch to Florida students who are fed up with Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis' policies: come north.

"We can offer you a sanctuary," Hampshire College President Ed Wingenbach said.

The offer is meant to attract students of New College on the shores of Sarasota Bay. Florida's governor has repeatedly complained about “woke culture” on New College's campus. He replaced six members of the state college's 13 board of trustees with conservatives who said they intended to remake the school in the likeness of Hillsdale College, a Christian college in Michigan with a politically conservative bent.

DeSantis has also enacted new state rules that ban instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation and limit what schools can teach about racism.

Hampshire College, where students do not receive letter grades and do not announce majors, said it will admit all students "in good standing" from New College and match the school's tuition: $6,916 for in-state plus fees, and $29,944 for out-of-state students.

New College officials and DeSantis' office did not respond to requests for comment.

Like Hampshire College, New College allows students to design their own curriculum. The college said it's committed to free speech, inclusion and social justice, describing itself as “a community of free thinkers.” Hampshire's Wingenbach called it a "sibling" school.

Wingenbach, a former political science professor, said DeSantis and new board members at the Florida college are now trying to overhaul the curriculum, which spurred him to action.

"Those of us who care about the ability of higher education to support democratic citizenship have to start doing something to push back, because this isn't going to stop," he said.

The move would also help Hampshire, based in Amherst, Massachusetts. It has fewer than 500 students enrolled this semester, and has suffered from the same financial and demographic challenges facing many small private colleges. The college enlisted help from documentary filmmaker and alum Ken Burns to raise money to stay afloat.

Lynn Pasquerella, president of the American Association of Colleges and Universities, said Hampshire's offer is the first of its kind. And she added that she hopes other colleges follow its lead.

"There's real concern on the part of educators across the country about the very existence of American higher education,” Pasquerella said. "It's not enough to decry these attacks on academic freedom and shared governance. Leaders at colleges and universities need to act individually and collectively and Hampshire is leading the way and really living their mission."

Hampshire said four New College students have already accepted its admission offer since it was announced on its website last week, and at least 20 others have asked for more information.