PHOENIX — This week the largest freshman class in school history moves onto Grand Canyon University campus. With 3,400 new faces entering the halls, it’s hard to believe the campus was on the brink of bankruptcy just a decade ago.
“Today, we’ve got students coming from out of state,” said Mike McFadden with university admissions. “A couple hundred from Washington, a couple hundred from Oregon, almost a thousand from California, Nevada, Colorado.”
Dean of Students Pastor Tim Griffin stands outside with hundreds of volunteers greeting parents who drove cross- country with their kids. They’re queued up in lines wrapping around the dormitories.
“We have about 300 students that are lugging luggage from the cars lined up outside the doors, up to the students’ rooms,” he said. “Many of them were freshmen last year and they came back to kind of pay back the experience that they had last year when they were freshmen.”
Volunteers have grabbed boxes, bins and baggage and hauled them up two to five flights of stairs. When a piece of luggage gets lost, no one panics.
Griffin said there is a code of conduct instilled in the students — to serve.
It appears to be working. The incoming freshmen will bring the school’s enrollment to about 11,000 students on campus, up 25 percent since last year.
“Our average student has a GPA of 3.5,” McFadden bragged. A decade ago, academic standouts wanting a faith-based education looked to campuses such as Pepperdine University near Los Angeles, Baylor University in Texas, or Wheaton College near Chicago. But many students are turned off by the higher price tags.
“Paying 30, 40, $50,000 a year, for some students … it’s just not an option,” McFadden said.
Students don’t pay out-of state tuition or taxes. The average scholarship brings the total out-of-pocket tuition of most students to $7,800 a year.
It helps that the former Baptist college changed executive management in 2004 and became a publicly traded interdenominational institution in 2008.
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy