The Gordon Game Change is the right thing to do for our students and families, and the right time—and way—to do it. Some common questions:
What does the Gordon Game Change do?
Our new pricing structure is designed to connect the excellence and enduring value we all expect from a Gordon education with the greater affordability that students and families need—particularly those who might otherwise not consider us. Our founder, A. J. Gordon, was not only a man of faith—he was an innovator and someone willing to challenge the status quo when necessary, and for the greater good.
Tuition for the fall of 2021 will be 33 percent lower than this year, with the comprehensive fee dropping $670—as the overall “sticker price” reboots from $50,650 to $37,950.
Resetting the face value pricing is a bit like turning back the clock. The new pricing would mean a freshman entering next fall and graduating in four years would save more than $59,000 compared against the current sticker price (assuming a three percent annual increase).
What is tuition, room, and board currently, and how will this change under the new reset?
Currently tuition this year is $37,560 and the comprehensive fee is $1,670. Combined with room and board, the total is $50,650. Next year tuition will be $25,250, the comp fee is $1,000 with R&B the total sticker price will become $37,950—a nearly $13,000 difference.
Why is Gordon making this change?
Our data has shown that half of potential students interested in a Gordon education rule us out based solely on sticker price before taking the time to learn that—after factoring in scholarships and other aid—we are an affordable investment. The good news is Gordon is able to make this dramatic move toward greater affordability after systematically and proactively planning for the future over the last several years to create more savings for students.
And we are well-positioned to move ahead. This summer, even in the midst of COVID-19 and the need to continue to streamline operating expenses, the College was able to close the last fiscal year with important financial indicators that are stronger than they have ever been. As an example, the College has been able to steadily pay down its long-term debt over the last 10 years, and this year expects to save an additional $750,000 through bond refinancing. The College’s endowment has also grown by 250 percent, while overall giving to Gordon has grown 69 percent.
Moreover, while many of our peer schools saw first-year student numbers decline by 10 percent or more, Gordon’s freshman class is five percent larger than last year’s incoming class. As trustees, these factors give us confidence in Gordon’s ability to take a bold step forward toward greater affordability for students and families.
How important is Faith Rising: The Campaign for Gordon College?
It’s instrumental in allowing Gordon to take this bold step. Faith Rising is Gordon’s comprehensive fundraising campaign and launched publicly last October. We are able to move forward in faith and confidence, anchored by the extraordinary lead gift last fall of $75.5 million designated for the endowment and student scholarships, which remains the largest single gift made to an evangelical college. Since then the campaign has secured another $50 million in gifts and gift commitments, which are providing additional resources for student scholarships. Lowering tuition and the total face value of a Gordon education can be seen as a “Faith Rising dividend” to our students. This comes not only because of our generous donors but also as a result of the hard work of Gordon’s leadership, faculty and the staff supporting this remarkable campaign.
What is different about Gordon’s reset, perhaps from other institutions taking similar action?
Perhaps when compared to similar resets at other colleges and universities, Gordon is continuing to fund scholarships, including those which are not endowed. Gordon’s marquee Global Honors Scholar program is actually endowed directly from the $75 million gift mentioned above. While scholarship levels will be adjusted, when Gordon students combine a 33 percent reduction in tuition with scholarships and other financial aid, they will see true savings in their net cost to attend. Current Gordon students will have the opportunity to opt in at the lower price and adjusted scholarship levels next year, with most expected to save $1,000 or more next year alone. Or they can stay in the “old” model (with a higher sticker price but maintaining current scholarship levels.)
Why is this important to students and families, and to Gordon?
Excellence should be affordable. Even before COVID-19, the rising cost of college has been an issue—and a concern— for all college-bound high school students and their families, especially those seeking a distinctly Christian educational experience and community.
Most private colleges practice a “high-tuition/high-discount” model, and it is time for a change. We want to counter the myth that sticker price is a measure of the quality of an institution. This places us on the leading edge of a larger effort to make higher education more affordable for more families, and this move allows us to remove a barrier to initial interest and provide greater transparency in pricing that more closely reflects the real costs to students and families. It is a game change, one in which our students will be the ultimate winners.
Will Gordon still provide financial aid?
Nearly all—99 percent—of Gordon students receive some form of financial aid each year. We remain committed to providing aid and scholarships.
How will this work for current students who will be enrolled in fall 2021?
Current Gordon students will have the opportunity to opt in at the lower price and adjusted scholarship levels next year, with most expected to save $1,000 or more next year alone. Or they can stay in the “old” model (with a higher sticker price but maintaining current scholarship levels.)
What if I am a current student or family member, or I am interested in Gordon, and have questions?