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GCU is a 4-year private university located at 3300 W Camelback Rd in Phoenix, Arizona. It's a Large campus in a City-based setting with 69,444 enrolled students and a student faculty ratio of 17 to 1. Campus housing is present on campus, and online programs are available.

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Grand Canyon University Seal About Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University (GCU) is a private research-focused for-profit institute. The University was initially established in 1949 as a non-profit Christian institute by Arizona Southern Baptists under the name of Grand Canyon College. Establishment of the college aimed at allowing Baptists to obtain bachelor’s or master’s degrees at the college rather than having to travel to Texas or Oklahoma. The college was initially founded in Prescott but it moved after only two years to its current location at Phoenix, Arizona. In 2004, the college was sold because of financial difficulties to Significant Education, LLC. The college was then converted to a for-profit institute making it the first for-profit college in US. In 2008, the university had to pay $5.2 million to settle a case sued by the federal government accusing GCU of violating the Department of Education’s “incentive compensation ban”.

The university currently operates several campuses in the state of Arizona besides the main campus including campuses for schools of nursing and health sciences at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, Banner Boswell Medical Center, and Scottsdale HonorHealth. There is a campus in Tempe offering postgraduate degrees in education. The main campus includes 17 residential halls and several distinctive facilities as the GCU arena and stadium. The official colors for the university are black, purple and white while its mascot is called Thunder the Antelope. Grand Canyon is the only for-profit university that is a member of the NCAA Division I with most of its teams participating in Western Athletic Conference.

The university is divided into 8 colleges besides an honors college offering Bachelor’s, Master’s and doctoral degree studies in 10 different fields of study. Courses can be studied in regular morning classes, evening classes or online mode of study. The university was ranked among the lowest 25% of the institutes included in the 2016 best Colleges from the U.S. News while it was ranked among the top 5 schools for entrepreneurs by Fortune.

School Facts

  • Years Estd.1949
  • NicknameAntelopes ("Lopes")
  • MascotThunder the Antelope
  • MottoFind Your Purpose
  • ColorsPurple, Black, White
  • LocationArizona
  • AthleticsNCAA Division IWAC, MIVA
  • Religious AffiliationNot applicable

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GCU Tuition and Fees GCU Tuition and Fees

We've provided you the following to learn more about this college. The tuition and demographic data on this page comes from recently published National Center for Education Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

Simple Tuition Estimate


Your Actual Cost/Tuition


The yearly tuition for GCU is $17,050. However, this number and one's actual expenses can vary. Some schools have tuition that is higher based on students with residency in-state vs out of state, books, fees, and on or off campus housing will all have an effect. We provide a free calculator tool so you can see what your actual yearly costs might be.

Tuition and Fees Rankings

  • #1052 Nationally for Universities with highest tuition

    Also check out, Check out Colleges with the best tuition

  • #1136 Nationally for Colleges with the most expensive cost of living.

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  • In vs. Out-of-State
  • Housing Expenses
  • Misc. Fees

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GCU Simple Tuition vs. Actual Fees: What's the Difference?

Here a few things that can increase your actual costs of college, and will vary from school to school. It's good to figure out what these are ahead of time when deciding on a school.

  • Out-of-State vs. In-State

    Colleges can charge higher rates of tuition for students who are out-of-state residents and less for students who are in-state residents.
  • Books and Supplies

    Books, supplies and misc student expenses can often be overlooked. Know what those will be!
  • On Campus Housing vs. Living Off Campus

    Whether students live on-campus in designated student housing, or off-campus in a house or apartment, will change the cost of attending college. Grand Canyon University is located in Phoenix which will also determine rents and cost of living. Use our free calculator to estimate your cost of living.
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Calculate your Actual Expenses for GCU

Fees Avg. Cost
Books & Supplies $G,BIG
On-Campus Room/Board $IG,S0I
Off-Campus Room/Board $G0,0IS
In-State Tuition $S0,BIG
Other Fees $1G,S00

College Rankings College Rankings

GCU is a prestigious 4-year institution in Arizona. The following are the rankings for the school relative to other universities across the country.

  • #1052 Nationally for Universities with highest tuition

    Also, check out Colleges with the best value tuition

  • #1136 Nationally for Colleges with the most Expensive cost of living

    Also, check out Colleges with lowest cost of living

  • #4 Nationally for Largest Number of students enrolled

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Can I Get Accepted to GCU? Can I Get Accepted to GCU?

The Acceptance rate for GCU is 43 Percent. Last year, there were 34475 applicants and 23 percent of those who were accepted actually attended (Enrollment Rate). To apply, it's required to have the following: High school GPA, High School transcripts, SAT/ACT test scores.

Total Applicants


Acceptance Rate


Enrollment Rate

  • This university requires SAT/ACT Scores.

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Can Help, But Not Required

  • US Military
  • Associates Degree
  • SAT/ACT Scores
  • Good GPA
  • Work Experience

Grand Canyon University

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Student Data & Demographics Student Data & Demographics

Total Students


Total Graduate Students


Student to Faculty Ratio

17 to 1