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Grand Canyon University welcomes record freshman class this week

(Grand Canyon University Photo)

PHOENIX – Grand Canyon University will begin the fall semester Tuesday with its largest freshman class to date, welcoming more than 8,200 new students, according to the university.

The school’s campus enrollment saw another increase with 23,000 students expected to take classes. In 2008, the school had 1,000 students learning in the traditional format.

According to the school, 4,700 on-campus students have opted to take classes fully online amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

GCU has an additional 85,000 students attending the institution online.

The first three weeks of the semester will be online for the majority of students before a blended model of in-person and online learning begins Sept. 28. The fall semester will conclude by Dec. 18.

In a press release, President Brian Mueller said the increased enrollment comes from an increase in students interested in private Christian education, the community atmosphere and the school’s experience in online learning technologies.

The school will implement enhanced safety measures including face mask requirements, physically distanced classrooms, increased sanitation and COVID-19 testing for as many as 10,000 individuals a month.

GCU is also taking measures to limit large gatherings.

“The health and safety of the campus community is our highest priority,” Mueller said. “The social events that GCU is known for will occur in smaller groups. For example, instead of having 6,000-7,000 students in GCU Arena for Chapel every week, those services will be spread out among four venues on campus and can also be viewed online via live streaming.”

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