Grand Canyon University is officially a non-profit institution once again according to details released at a recent press conference. Grand Canyon Education Inc. sold its academic assets to a non-profit entity on July 1 for approximately $875 million.
The private, Christian school was founded in 1949 in Prescott, AZ. The college relocated to a 90-acre tract in West Phoenix and was fully accredited in 1968 by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. It maintained a non-profit status between 1949 and 2004 until a group of investors purchased it and turned it public in 2008. It’s request to go non-profit was previously denied in 2015-2016.
Brian Mueller, GCU’s president, said the school wanted to be a nonprofit again to benefit its students and ensure the long-term legacy of the institution. Although the university received approval from the Internal Revenue Service and the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education, the move hasn’t been endorsed by U.S. Department of Education yet.
“We haven’t got their letter that says that there are no restrictions, but we would be very surprised, based on our discussions with them, if there were,” Mueller said. Construction was completed at GCU in 2016 on a 173,447-square-feet, state-of-the-art engineering building, designed to accommodate their growing number of students studying in STEM majors. The school’s current enrollment is estimated to be greater than 60,000 with a majority of those students taking online classes.