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Grand Canyon University came from humble beginnings. Originally known as Grand Canyon College, it was founded by the Southern Baptist Church in 1949. In those early days, the school was located in Prescott, Arizona. Just two short years after opening its doors, the university moved to west Phoenix, where it is now located. Throughout the years, it became a well-known Christian university in the state of Arizona, and has continued to grow.
In 2004, the school became a non-profit institution, which allowed the university to better serve students by providing more course offerings and degree options for non-traditional students. Enrollment continues to grow and the school is currently in the midst of a huge renovation and expansion project.
Grand Canyon University has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1968. The institution is also licensed by the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education.
Other current accreditations include:
● Accreditation Council Business Schools and Programs
● Arizona State Board of Education
● Arizona Department of Education
● Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
● Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education
Grand Canyon University has prided itself on offering flexible learning schedules for both traditional and nontraditional students. In addition to offering day and night classes, the following programs are available in an online format:
● Business and management
● Criminal, political and social sciences
● Engineering and technology
● Language and communications
● Medical studies and athletic sciences
● Nursing and health care
● Performing arts and creative design
● Psychology and counseling
● Teaching and school administration
● Theology and ministry
The institution also has online learning options for professionals who already have a degree but want to brush up on certain skills by taking a single course or those who want to advance their current skills with continuing education coursework.
Grand Canyon University’s online programs all feature a learning management system that acts as the hub for the learner. Students can virtually attend classes, turn in projects and receive feedback from professors, set reminders on their calendar, view how their degree is progressing, and interact with other students on specially designed forums. The learning management system also featuring learning tools and e-books students can use during their time in the program. Online learners can access these resources at anytime, making studying convenient and tailored to their schedule. Tech support is also available if students are having trouble logging on or submitting their assignments.
Grand Canyon University has both full-time and adjunct professors for their online programs. Full time professors teach throughout the year from two locations. Online adjunct teachers cover materials for a five to eight-week period, depending on the coursework being taught.
FINANCIAL AID AND SCHOLARSHIPS
Grand Canyon University has a wide range of scholarships and grants available to students. Direct start scholarships are available to high school graduates who plan to attend directly after high school graduation. Students must start with and maintain a specific grade point average to continue to receive funding. Indirect start scholarships are available to high school students who decide to start school later or to international students who do not have an F-1 visa. Students who qualify for this scholarship must attend school full time for the length of the scholarship.
Other scholarships and grants currently offered include:
● Canyon Christian Schools Consortium (CCSC) scholarship, which provides $5,000 per academic year to a student who completed their high school education at a CCSC school. To qualify, students must have a 3.0 grade point average, a 19 on the ACT or a 920 SAT score. Students must maintain a 3.0 grade point average and complete 20 hours of service each semester.
● Grand Canyon University grant (for in-state students only), which awards $1,000 per academic year to students who attended high school in Arizona or have an Associate’s degree from a Maricopa County Community College.
● Grand Canyon University grant (for out-of- state students only), which gives $250 per academic year to students who attended high school at one of Grand Canyon University’s affiliated high schools in another state.
● Computer Science/Information Technology/Engineering Program grant, which provides $1,000 per academic year to students wanting to earn a degree in the fields of computer science, information technology or engineering.
● Phi Theta Kappa grant, which provides $1,000 per academic year to students. To qualify, students must have current membership to Phi Theta Kappa, and must have at least a 3.5 cumulative grade point average.
● Priority registration grant, which gives students anywhere from $250 to $750 on a yearly basis. The grant renews based on the semester when registration was completed (spring or fall) and students must maintain a minimum grade point available to keep their eligibility.
SCHOOL AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS
Grand Canyon University has earned a variety of accolades for its online programming, including:
● Recognized as one of the top five online school for entrepreneurs by Fortune Small Business/CNN Money
● Ranked as a national university, tier 2 college by U.S. News & World Report
● Ranked #281 by High School Counselors by U.S. News & World Report
● Grade A status for its online courses from College Prowler
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Online tuition costs at Grand Canyon University can vary based on program and type of degree. Most online programs cost $470 per course, unless otherwise noted. For example, an undergraduate student going into the field of education can expect to pay $440 per course in the 2015-2016 school year. A graduate student going into the same program can expect to pay $515 per course in the 2015-2016 school year. Students who are currently serving active duty or in the reserve have tuition costs, at $250 per course. The school’s website features a calculator that allows students to estimate costs per semesters.
According to GradReports.com, approximately 55 percent of those surveyed would recommend Grand Canyon University to others. Approximately 66 percent of alumni who left feedback said their degree helped their career. The school has a robust alumni program, filled with events that allows graduates to network as they build their careers.
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