For-Profit Grand Canyon U. Seeks Nonprofit Status

Grand Canyon University is once again attempting to convert to a nonprofit institution, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported. In a news release, President and Chief Executive of Grand Canyon University Brian Mueller, cited the recent deal between Purdue University and the for-profit Kaplan University as a possible model.

Grand Canyon, a for-profit Christian school based in Phoenix, Arizona, was previously rejected by the Higher Learning Commission, its accreditor, in an application to change its status in 2016. The institution abandoned its efforts at the time after the commission said that the university did not meet the requirements for the switch—Grand Canyon was allegedly rejected because it would have relied too much on a for-profit corporation to give academic and student support.

Founded in 1949 as a private college, the institution went for-profit institution in 2004 after being on the brink of closure and $20 million in debt, the Chronicle reported. Grand Canyon recently decided to pursue a partial conversion to nonprofit status—a move that would allow the college to accept philanthropic donations, pursue research grants, and participate in NCAA governance.

Mueller said in the Friday news release that a return to a nonprofit status would be best for the university community and that it would put Grand Canyon on the same playing field as nonprofit institutions.

Critics of for-profit colleges have said such conversions are an attempt to skirt regulations. However, the university, in an FAQs document, denied that was the case. It said the university "has very strong metrics for all of the current regulations."


Related Links

Grand Canyon University News Release

The Chronicle of Higher Education