Grand Canyon University Reverts to its Original Nonprofit Status

Provided by Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University has reverted to its original nonprofit status, from its recent status as a for-profit university. July 1, 2018, Grand Canyon Education sold Grand Canyon University to a nonprofit entity that will retain the Grand Canyon University name. The transaction returns GCU to its historical roots as a nonprofit university and ensures the long-term legacy of both GCU and GCE.

Brian Mueller, President of Grand Canyon University said, “Today, GCU is on solid footing financially and it is time to change that structure again by reverting to the nonprofit status that the University held from 1949 to 2004 – a status that puts us on a level playing field with other traditional universities with regard to tax status; that ensures our students and faculty have the same access to research opportunities and grants as other universities; that opens up the world of philanthropic giving to GCU; that allows GCU to participate in NCAA governance at the Division I level; and, most importantly, that better enables us to continue to freeze tuition, which we have done for 10 straight years on our ground campus.”

Mueller said the current structure is the best of both worlds for GCU and GCE and will allow the University to continue to expand and serve its community. GCU enrollment is expected to reach nearly 21,000 students on its 275-acre ground campus this fall, with an additional 70,000 students online – making it one of the largest universities in the country.

“The structure behind the scenes will change, but our goals and mission remain the same – to provide high-quality Christian education that is affordable to all socioeconomic classes of Americans,” Mueller said. “The aligned goals of both organizations, as well as the integrity and ethics of both organizations, will only increase our efficiencies by utilizing resources strategically that further the teaching and assessment of student learning, as well as the overall student experience.”

GCU, which is regionally accredited, was founded as a nonprofit institution in 1949 and earned a reputation as Arizona’s premier private Christian school. In 2004, on the brink of bankruptcy with $20 million in debt and fewer than 1,000 traditional students, GCU changed its structure by taking on investors and becoming a for-profit university. The structure changed further in 2008 when GCE was incorporated as a publicly traded company in order to secure the capital needed to develop a state-of-the-art online learning platform and expand its West Phoenix campus. As a for-profit, publicly traded institution, it should be noted that GCE never paid a dividend to its shareholders, reinvesting all profits back into the University.

“We pride ourselves on being innovative and forward-thinking, and this transaction is further testament to that,” Mueller said. “The future is bright, not only for GCU and GCE but also for anyone interested in affordable, private Christian education.”

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 more than 225 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.