29% of graduates from traditional land campuses identify as first-generation students

PHOENIX, April 21, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Grand Canyon University will celebrate the largest graduating class in its history at launch ceremonies this month, including a traditional ground campus class comprised of 29% first-generation students.

Approximately 30,000 GCU students graduated in the 2021-2022 academic year, bringing the total number of graduates to more than 132,000 over the past five years. The achievements of these students will be celebrated at launch ceremonies at GCU Arena on April 21-22 for traditional students and April 25-28 for online students.

Number of GCU graduates since the 2017-18 academic year.

Number of GCU graduates since the 2017-18 academic year.

The class includes those who graduated in summer 2021, fall 2021, and expected spring 2022 graduates.

“Our graduates are sought after in industries across Arizona and the whole world, ”said the president of the GCU Brian Müller. “What they learn in the classroom, combined with the sense of purpose they cultivate through servant leadership in a Christian worldview context, prepares them well to become future leaders in our communities.

“What also excites me about this class is that 29% of graduates from our traditional land campuses identify as first-generation students. That’s a truly transformative number. These graduates will change the financial trajectory of their family for generations to come.

GCU is emphasizing ensuring that private Christian education is affordable for all socio-economic classes – by freezing on-campus tuition for 14 consecutive years – while putting in place support systems to ensure the academic, spiritual and emotional success of these students.

“Studies show that as tuition goes up, diversity goes down,” Mueller said. “By keeping tuition affordable, it creates equal opportunity and results in a very diverse, high-quality student body.”

The 2021-22 academic year was also historic in that it was again buzzing with activity on the GCU campus after the return to pre-pandemic levels of attendance in everything from chapel services, intramurals , clubs, community outreach efforts, NCAA athletics, fitness centers and outdoor recreation trips.

The 2021-22 academic year at GCU was filled with many other notable achievements:

  • Registration on the Phoenix the campus has reached 23,500 students, with nearly 90,000 more students studying online.

  • In its first year of operation, GCU’s CityServe initiative distributed over $1 million of household items to families in need from its on-campus warehouse. The Christian campus is the only university in the nation to serve as a CityServe hub, providing beds, furniture, heaters, fans and other surplus products from major retailers such as Costco, Amazon, Home Depot and Lowe’s to the surrounding community. .

  • The university continued its partnership with Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona, reaching 400 homes renovated in the largest initiative of its kind in the nation. More … than $4.6 million has been raised and 29,000 volunteer hours have been served by students, faculty and staff since the project began in 2014.

  • GCU continued its efforts to educate disadvantaged populations, awarding another 100 Inspirational Student Scholarships to high-achieving, low-income high school students, bringing the total number of scholarships awarded to 645 since 2016. Additionally, GCU launched the LOPES Academy at the Cardon Center for students with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities; announced the Fostering Futures Scholarships, a partnership with the Arizona Department of Child Safety that will cover full tuition, room and board for youth in foster care; and has served senior adults with academic offerings tailored to their needs with its Lopes d’or program.

  • GCU’s on-campus housing, ranked sixth among 1,392 colleges nationwide by, has begun construction on two more six-story, apartment-style residences that will open in August 2022. The university is expecting its largest ever incoming class in 2022-2023.

  • GCU’s Honors College has expanded to 2,800 students with incoming GPAs above 4.1. Honors also embraced Dr. Breanna Naegeli as the new Dean, joining Dr. Meredith Critchfield at the College of Education and Dr. Craig Detweiler at the College of Arts and Media as new Deans in 2021-22.

  • The university held a series of seven makeup debuts over the fall for online students whose in-person ceremonies were delayed during the COVID pandemic. Approximately 7,000 students from around the world took the opportunity to walk across the stage at GCU Arena, celebrating their accomplishments in front of family and friends after meeting their academic goals during one of the most challenging times in our history.

On Grand Canyon University: Grand Canyon University was founded in 1949 and is from arizona first private Christian university. GCU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers nearly 300 academic programs, accents, and certificates for traditional undergraduates and working professionals. The University’s curriculum emphasizes interaction with classmates, in person and online, and individual attention from instructors while fusing academic rigor with Christian values ​​to help students find their goal and to become competent and caring professionals. For more information, visit



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