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Grand Canyon University

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LAST UPDATED: June 27th, 2019

Grand Canyon University is located in Phoenix, Arizona and was founded in 1949. GCU has a long history of providing renowned educational opportunities including varying degree levels such as: undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees. The most popular areas of study include:

  • Business and Leadership
  • Psychology and Counseling
  • Nursing
  • Computer Science
  • Liberal Arts

There are over 100 different programs that can be completed online, allowing students the flexibility they need to continue working. GCU is a private-for profit Christian university and was purchased by Grand Canyon Education, Inc in February 2004. They service 14,5000 on-campus students but also have 60,700 students enrolled in their online programs.

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The Good

  • High Job Placement Rate
  • Other Program Amenities
  • Flexible Acceptance Policy
  • Reasonable Tuition

High Job Placement Rate

Grand Canyon University not only provides a quality online education, but they also take job placement seriously and provide students with multiple opportunities and resources to assist in career development. Although job placement rates vary according to different fields of study, some programs have achieved high rates of post-graduation employment. The nursing program in particular boasts a job placement rating of nearly 90%.

Other Program Amenities

Current and former students of Grand Canyon University have also expressed appreciation for their educational endeavors. Commonly stated benefits include:
  • Wide variety of programs and degree levels offered
  • Assistance for tribal students with Native American affiliation
  • Specialized education options designed for military professionals
  • Classes offered one at a time so students do not get overwhelmed

Flexible Acceptance Policy

Grand Canyon University can accept students who are at least 16 years of age, making it a viable option for a high school student wishing to get a head start on their college education. High school students can then transfer credit to other universities upon graduating or continue their education through GCU. The admission process for GCU is more comparable to traditional four-year universities than an online program. Certain transcripts and documentation will need to be submitted prior to enrolling in one of their programs. The acceptance rate of qualified graduates averages around 85 percent each year.

Reasonable Tuition

Tuition is also fairly reasonable compared to the average price of other private colleges that offer similar programs. Yearly tuition for a student who takes 24 credits in two semesters will pay $10,632 if they are full-time.

The Bad

  • No Associate's, Certificate
  • Student Concerns

Not Associate's, Certificate

Grand Canyon University does not offer Associate degree programs even though it does accept high school students, which means it is only suitable for students who wish to begin their college education in a Bachelor's degree program. This school also does not offer any certificate programs unlike most other online schools. For those who are working professionals looking for advanced training and certification to enhance their career will have to look elsewhere.

Student Concerns

Other concerns current and former students expressed include:
  • Billing/financial aid issues
  • Miscommunication with advisors

The Bottom Line

Grand Canyon University offers a quality selection of programs and tuition prices are kept at a reasonable level. The rate of post-graduation job placement is very high for some fields of study, although this is not true for all the programs offered. Requirements for admission for students having graduated high school (transfer students must meet separate requirements) and have not enrolled in other university programs are as follows:
  1. High school graduate with an unweighted GPA of 3.0 or higher
  2. High school graduate with qualifying college entrance exam scores (ACT: 19; SAT: 920 on 1600 point scale or 1380 on 2400 point scale)
  3. GED and transcript of all credit-bearing coursework
    • 2014 series and later: cumulative score of 680 or above
    • 2002-2013 series: cumulative score of 3000
    • 2002 series and prior: cumulative score of 258 or above
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