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Aug 20, 2014 11:38 PM EDT

Grand Canyon University Welcomes Largest Group of Incoming Students in School's History

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Grand Canyon University in Arizona will welcome the largest group of incoming students in its history when classes resume Aug. 25 on the burgeoning Phoenix campus, school officials announced Wednesday.

 

A record 5,500 new students carrying an average incoming grade point average of more than 3.5 will descend on the Christian university this fall.

To prepare for the influx of new students -- which brings total enrollment on the traditional Phoenix campus to a record of nearly 11,000 - the school has added three new residence halls, a classroom building and a parking garage for the 2014-15 school year.

"The student demand for what we're doing here on our Phoenix campus just continues to grow," Brian Mueller, president and CEO of Grand Canyon, said in a statement. "We're finding that there's no end to the interest in obtaining high-quality Christian education that is also affordable."

The school is also ramping up its science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) offerings with degrees in computer science and information technology in 2014-15, followed by three engineering programs the following year. In addition, the university is launching its Center for Worship Arts this fall. The Worship Arts program, under the leadership of MercyMe founder and lead singer Bart Millard, will prepare students for careers ranging from national recording artists and songwriters to audio and lighting technicians and worship leaders at local churches.

Grand Canyon University has frozen tuition on its ground campus for six straight years --students pay an average of $7,800 per year in tuition after institutional scholarships -- while also investing $400 million into the campus infrastructure during that time.

The university plans to spend another $400 million in capital expenditures during the next five years, growing its Phoenix campus to 25,000 students while also opening a satellite campus in the East Valley of the Phoenix metropolitan area.

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