GCU freezes tuition for 15th consecutive year

(Dec. 13, 2022) – In a time when record-setting inflation rates are impacting the prices on everything, Grand Canyon University is freezing tuition costs on its Phoenix campus for the 15th straight year.

The private Christian university’s ground campus tuition in 2023-24 will remain at $16,500 before institutional scholarships are included. Because more than 90% of GCU students qualify for institutional scholarships that totaled $180 million in 2022, that brings the average tuition cost in 2022-23 to approximately $9,200, which is comparable to public universities and well below other private schools. That total does not include federal aid such as Pell grants and subsidized student loans or external scholarships that lower students’ out-of-pocket expenses further. In addition to tuition, GCU students pay an average of roughly $1,000 annually in fees, excluding book access fees, which is less than last year’s amount and often much less than both public and private universities.

According to data from the College Board’s “Trends in College Pricing and Student Aid Report,” since 2008-09 when GCU began its tuition freeze, the average cost for in-state tuition and fees at four-year public colleges has risen 66% to $10,940, while it has risen 56.5% to $39,400 at four-year private institutions.

“The college experience should not be negatively impacted by the prospect of taking on large amounts of debt,” GCU President Brian Mueller said. “GCU is committed to making higher education affordable to all socioeconomic classes, and freezing tuition is one example of how we do that. As a result, our students take on significantly less debt than the average for students at state universities and pay back their loans at higher rates than the national average. Affordable tuition has also resulted in a high-quality student body that is very diverse with over 40% students of color.”

GCU’s housing costs are also well below the national average. The average cost of room and board at a four-year public college rose to $12,310 in 2021-22 and to $14,030 at a four-year private institution, according to the College Board. GCU’s average room and board cost is just $8,897 even though nearly all of the modern residence halls have been built in the past 10 years and roughly 58% of the University’s beds are single-occupancy, apartment-style living.

GCU’s remarkable transformation in the past decade is visible because you can see the growth as you walk around campus. During the 15-year tuition freeze, GCU has invested $1.7 billion into new academic programs, technologies, classrooms, laboratories, research spaces, residence halls and other student amenities in order to keep up with the growth of the University. On-campus enrollment has grown from less than 1,000 traditional students in 2008 to 25,000 today, while the number of colleges has increased from 4 to 9 and the number of academic programs, emphases and certificates is over 300.

“In challenging times with high inflation, it’s important to know that your tuition costs will not be rising every year,” Mueller said. “We have been blessed in that we have been able to continually invest in a campus that is now ranked among the top 20 in the country without passing those costs on to students through increases in tuition on our ground campus.”

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About Grand Canyon University:  Grand Canyon University was founded in 1949 and is Arizona’s premier private Christian university. GCU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers 312 academic programs, emphases and certificates for both traditional undergraduate students and working professionals. The University’s curriculum emphasizes interaction with classmates, both in-person and online, and individual attention from instructors while fusing academic rigor with Christian values to help students find their purpose and become skilled, caring professionals. For more information, visit gcu.edu.

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