For the 12th year in a row, Grand Canyon University has remained committed to its students by freezing tuition costs.

The private Christian university’s ground campus tuition will remain at $16,500 for the 2020-21 school year. A large majority of students – more than 90 percent – receive institutional scholarships that bring the average tuition cost to approximately $8,700, 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.

According to “Trends in College Pricing” released by the College Board, the average annual cost to attend a four-year public college in 2019-20 rose 2.3 percent to $10,440, while tuition and fees at four-year private institutions increased by 3.4 percent to $36,880 during the same period.

GCU also remains very competitive when it comes to room and board. The average cost of room and board at a four-year public college rose to $11,510 in 2019-20 and to $12,990 at a four-year private institution. GCU’s average room and board cost is just $8,038 per year even though roughly 50% of the university’s beds are in single-occupancy, apartment-style residence halls.

As a result, students at GCU are incurring less debt (an average of $18,750) than the average at public and private nonprofit colleges ($29,200) and far below the average at for-profit colleges ($39,900), according to data from the Institute for College Access and Success.

“GCU’s goal is to make college education affordable to all socioeconomic classes of Americans,” said GCU President Brian Mueller, “and we have taken a very innovative approach to make that happen.”

The result, Mueller said, has been a high-quality student body that is also very diverse with 47% students of color, including 29% Hispanic and 7% African-American.

GCU has invested more than $1 billion into new academic programs, technologies, classrooms, laboratories, research spaces, residence halls and other student amenities over the past 10 years. Mueller said an additional $500 million in investments is planned over the next five years.

To accommodate a boom in enrollment on the ground campus from less than 1,000 students in 2008 to today’s total of approximately 22,000, GCU has continued to expand the campus to include:

• 22 suite and apartment-style residence halls

• More than 1 million square feet of classrooms, laboratories, libraries and office space

• A new 136,000-square-foot Canyon Actives Center

• An innovation center that currently houses 27 companies in an office space for start-ups, an incubator, co-working space and more

• The launch of 10 new business enterprises that employ more than 400 people

• The approval of 42 new academic programs in the past year, bringing the total to more than 270 academic degrees, emphases and certificates offered in nine different colleges