Grand Canyon University Student Loans

Guy studyingA private, Christian university with flexible scheduling options, Grand Canyon University is nestled on 100 acres in the middle of picturesque Phoenix, Arizona. Students pursue bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees while enhancing their Christian values and ethics as they relate to the workforce and beyond. A vibrant community made up mainly of young adults under the age of 22, with a heavy female population, Grand Canyon University students engage in a variety of student activities, events, and athletics in addition to their academic coursework. Students generally live on or near campus and classes have a low 22 to 1 teacher-to-student ratio, creating a close-knit and cohesive community.

Tuition and Fees

Budgeting for college means calculating all of the costs associated with attendance. This total amount you will spend on everything is called your total cost of attendance, or COA, and should be used to determine how much your higher education goals will cost overall. You will need to take into account not only tuition and school fees for your chosen program, but also room and board, transportation costs, books and supply expenses, and personal incidentals.

Each program or field of study may have specific and additional fees as well. You should also budget for around at least $2,000 a year for books and supplies. The Net Price Calculator can help you estimate your COA at Grand Canyon University.

Housing and Transportation Costs

Student residence hall rates for the 2015-2016 academic year on Grand Canyon University campus range from $3,350 to $5,000 per year, and Grand Canyon University apartments range from $5,200 to $6,000 and $10,400 for a married unit per academic year. If you live on campus, you will also be required to purchase a meal plan. The minimum residence hall meal plan is Canyon $1,350 Dining Dollars for $1,350. You can save money by purchasing Canyon $1,800 Dining Dollars for $1,750 or Canyon $2,100 Dining Dollars for $2,000. Apartment and remote housing students must purchase at least the Canyon $500 Dining Dollars plan. These meal plans are good for purchasing meals at a variety of locations on campus.

If you have a car on campus, you will need a parking pass, and lots are divided by color. Be sure you have the correct permit to avoid additional fees. If you do live off campus, several commuter-related incentives are available for carpooling or using alternative travel methods. The Grand Canyon University Commuter Student page has more details on the current offerings. Personal incidental costs can vary greatly. Buying a meal plan and sticking to it may help you keep your personal costs downs. Be sure to budget for living, however. Student athletic events and recreational activities do cost some money, and you will want to be prepared.

Tips for Saving Money

You should consider buying your textbooks used and reselling them at the end of each semester for some quick cash as well.

Members of the various branches of the U.S. Military as well as U.S. Armed Forces veterans (and their dependents or spouses in some cases) may be eligible for Military Tuition Assistance programs. Check with a military enrollment counselor to discuss all of your options. Potential students should take advantage of any all private and non-profit organizations offering scholarships or grants that are essentially free money that doesn’t have to be paid back. These will all have different criteria and their own application process, so you should contact them directly.

Grand Canyon University (GCU) offers two types of scholarships based on merit. GCU Direct Start Scholarships for 2015-2016 academic year are awarded to students who graduate high school between December 2014 and June 2015 and then enroll at GCU for the fall 2015 semester. Award amounts range between $3,750 and $9,750, depending on your GPA. Indirect-Start Scholarships are for students that don’t immediately enter GCU after graduating high school, and awards range between $2,750 and $5,750 for students with qualifying GPAs.

Financing for Grand Canyon University

Financing your college education may take many forms. One of these may be to seek forms of financial aid in order to help afford the costs. In order to apply for financial aid at Grand Canyon University, you will need to fill out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine your eligibility. You will need to create a FSA ID in order to complete your FAFSA online. This is simple and only requires your name, date of birth, and Social Security number. This acts as a digital signature to electronically sign legal documents. It will also grant you access to your federal financial aid records, and you should be careful to keep it in a safe place and not share it with anyone. The FAFSA uses your personal information to calculate your expected family contribution (EFC) in order to determine what type of aid you may qualify for. This calculation may be used for federal, state, or institutional financial aid purposes.

Eligibility for federal financial aid requires that you be a high school graduate, have a GED or equivalent home school diploma, as well as be enrolled as a regular student in a degree- or certificate-granting program at a participating school. You also cannot have any federal loans in default, and you must sign an agreement to use any funds awarded to you for the purposes of funding your education and related expenses. Once your FAFSA has been processed, both you and your school will receive notification, and the school will determine how much aid money you should receive, which cannot exceed your total cost of attendance at Grand Canyon University. You then need to accept your aid package before you can receive your award.

Funds are typically disbursed at least twice a year directly to the school to cover your tuition and fees as well as room and board. Any remaining funds will be refunded to you directly to pay for any additional educational expenses. You are required to maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) as determined by GCU to remain eligible for financial aid.

Financial Aid Options

Federal and state financial aid will come either in the form of grants or student loans. Grants are gift money that is usually based on financial need, while student loans are borrowed funds that will need to be paid back. Grand Canyon University participates in several federal and state programs including:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant
  • Arizona Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (AzLEAP)
  • Federal Work-Study
  • William D. Ford Direct Loan Program

The federal Pell Grant is a need-based grant gifted to eligible students. Award amounts depend on a student’s enrollment status and intention to complete an entire academic year. The 2019-2020 maximum award amount is $6,195, and students also can only receive Pell Grant funds for up to 12 semesters or roughly six years. The TEACH Grant is not need-based, but rather service-based. Postsecondary students pursuing a degree in the field of teaching can sign an “Agreement to Serve” in a high-need and low-income area upon graduation in order to receive up to $4,000 a year in TEACH Grant funding.

Residents of Arizona with extreme financial need may qualify for an AzLEAP award of up to $2,500 a year funded through a partnership between the state of Arizona and Grand Canyon University. Federal Work-Study programs allow students with financial need to earn money to help offset educational costs. These programs are generally on-campus, part-time jobs in community service positions designed to match you with employment within your field of study or interest. Positions are not guaranteed, and you will need to discuss your options with your student services advisor.

Student Loans

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Loans made through the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program use the U.S. Department of Education as your lender. These are also low- and fixed-rate federal student loans with generous repayment options. Subsidized Direct Loans are offered primarily to undergraduate students with financial need seeking their first degree. The government subsidizes the interest on these loans while you are in school. Unsubsidized Direct Loans are offered to both graduate and undergraduate students, and you are responsible to pay your interest.

Loans may be combined but may not exceed between $5,500 and $12,500 a year for undergraduates and $20,500 a year for graduate students. The actual amount you can borrow depends on your year in school, dependent status, and enrollment as a full-time or part-time student. Graduate students and parents of undergraduate students may borrow Direct PLUS Loan funds up to the full amount of tuition minus any financial aid received. PLUS Loans are not based on financial need; however, a credit check is run.

In order to borrow federal student loans, you will need to sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and, in many cases, complete an entrance interview. The MPN is a legal document that, by signing, you agree to the terms and conditions of your loan. You are responsible for repaying your loan in the manner specified. Be careful only to borrow what you need even if you qualify for additional funds. Keep your MPN in a safe place, and make sure your loan servicer has your most current address to ensure that you are receiving all correspondence. Entrance and exit counseling helps to outline your rights and responsibilities as a student borrower. Oftentimes, these can be completed online. Contact your Grand Canyon University Student Services advisor with any questions or concerns.

You may wish to borrow funds from a private financial institution or organization like a credit union or bank to finance your college degree. Private lenders generally do not offer as favorable of lending terms as the federal government. Interest rates are often higher and may be variable, meaning that they may increase over the course of your loan. Private student loans usually require a credit check, and many student borrowers will need a co-signer in order to be eligible for the best possible rates. Private lenders also set their own maximum amounts; often, you can borrow up to the full amount of your tuition costs.