Arizona: Big News for Grand Canyon University: Accreditor Approves Non-Profit Application

"Grand Canyon University officials announced Tuesday that the school's accreditor has approved their application to convert to a non-profit," The Arizona Republic reports

"The Higher Learning Commission's approval is key for the private Christian school to move forward with plans for non-profit status. The commission previously denied approval for GCU in 2016. But since then, it has come up with additional guidelines for schools that want to convert to non-profits.

'This is consistent with GCU’s history and puts us on a level playing field with other traditional universities with regard to tax status and, among other things, the ability to accept philanthropic contributions, pursue research grant opportunities, and participate in NCAA governance,' GCU President Brian Mueller said in a statement.

GCU was a non-profit school from 1949 to 2004 before it fell on financial hard times and was purchased by a group of investors. The company went public on the Nasdaq in 2008.

The next step is for the for-profit company that now owns the school, Grand Canyon Education Inc., to sell academic assets to a newly formed non-profit entity. Mueller expects the transition to be complete by June 30.

GCU also will need approvals from the U.S. Department of Education, the Internal Revenue Service and the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education, which regulates for-profit schools in the state. Mueller said he doesn't anticipate difficulties with those three entities.

Under the plan, GCU will become a non-profit university governed by an independent board of trustees."

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Publication Date: 3/7/2018

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