Top-10 Campus Ranking on Display as Grand Canyon University Welcomes Largest Student Body in its History

August 22, 2017

The atmosphere that makes the campus at Grand Canyon University among the top 10 in the nation will be on full display as the school welcomes back students for the start of the 2017-18 school year.

The school year kicks off with Welcome Week from Aug. 21-27, including GCU's spirited Move-In process in which 1,500 student volunteers spend the entire week helping their fellow students move into their residence halls. GCU was recently ranked No. 8 among college campuses by, and Move-In exemplifies the atmosphere that students experience at the university.

"Move-In at GCU is an incredible experience and sets the tone for the entire year," said GCU President Brian Mueller. "Social media videos do a good job of capturing some of that passion, but when students and families see it first-hand they are just overwhelmed. Our student leaders have created a vibrant community atmosphere that is evident throughout the school year in everything from our Chapel services to campus activities and athletic events."

The start of the 2017-18 school year marks the most significant period in Grand Canyon University history on a number of levels:


  • GCU will have a record 19,000-plus students on its Phoenix campus when classes begin Aug. 28. Of those, nearly 11,000 will live on campus in the University's 17 residence halls. GCU's dorms are ranked No. 3 in the nation by for their amenities, affordability, cleanliness and safety.
  • The 2017-18 school year marks the ninth straight year in which the University has frozen tuition on its ground campus.
  • The University, which was nearly bankrupt just over a decade ago, now employs approximately 10,500 people (including 2,100 student workers) - making it one of the largest employers in Phoenix. According to a study by Elliott Pollack & Co., GCU contributes $1.1 billion directly to the local economy each year.
  • The apartment-style Diamondback Residence Hall was completed this summer. A new basketball practice facility is also open and contains the Jerry Colangelo Museum, which will be unveiled in September. New stadiums for baseball and softball will open in the spring.
  • Academics
  • Students in the engineering program, which is in its third year, will have six new cutting-edge laboratories within the 300,000 square feet of engineering buildings to get hands-on experience.
  • The incoming class of nearly 7,000 new students carries an average GPA of 3.5.
  • The average incoming GPA for new members of GCU's Honors College -- which has grown to 1,600 students - is 4.1.
  • The University's newest entrepreneurial endeavor, Canyon Promotions, has opened. The merchandise company is the 12th business operation the University has launched in the last 18 months - providing hands-on learning experiences for students and job opportunities for GCU graduates and neighborhood residents. Revenue from the operations help the University continue to hold the line on tuition.

Regulatory approval

  • GCU awaits final approval from the NCAA in its four-year transition to Division I athletics in order to become postseason-eligible. That endorsement will cap an extraordinary period of regulatory approval in which the University met comprehensive reviews from the Higher Learning Commission, Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education, Association of Theological Schools, Veterans Administration and Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs with 100 percent compliance and/or maximum 10-year approvals.

"We are truly blessed with the remarkable achievements that have taken place in just the last year," Mueller said. "That's a testament to the extraordinary effort our faculty and staff put into building excellence into everything we do from an academic and operational standpoint."

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About Grand Canyon University: Grand Canyon University was founded in 1949 and is Arizona's premier private Christian university. GCU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers more than 220 academic programs, emphases and certificates for both traditional undergraduate students and working professionals. The University's curriculum emphasizes interaction with classmates, both in-person and online, and individual attention from instructors while fusing academic rigor with Christian values to help students find their purpose and become skilled, caring professionals. For more information, visit

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