GCU Tries For Nonprofit Status — Again

By  Casey Kuhn
Published: Friday, January 5, 2018 - 3:45pm
Updated: Friday, January 5, 2018 - 3:53pm
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(Photo by Casey Kuhn - KJZZ)
GCU President Brian Mueller announcing the school will attempt to get nonprofit status.

Grand Canyon University has been a private, for-profit school in west Phoenix since 2004. Now officials want to return it to the original nonprofit status.

But that doesn’t mean they would stop running their coffee company, hotel or advertising group.

GCU wants to splinter its operations in two, with education becoming the nonprofit institution.

Then, education services like marketing and land development would be under a for-profit company called Grand Canyon Education.

President Brian Mueller says the goal is to run both, while opening up GCU to grants and research.

“This arrangement will be very similar to hundreds of arrangements that already exist in the higher-education landscape today. So this is not new," he said at a press conference Friday.
"This is something that already exists in America.”

The Higher Learning Commission has to approve the new proposal after it rejected GCU’s last attempt in 2016.

GCU wants to put its education under a nonprofit designation, called Gazelle University, and its business operations under a for-profit company called GCE.

The HLC has new rules in place to manage similar programs, and Mueller is confident this time the plan will be approved.

“We feel strongly the Higher Learning Commission has been true to their word," Mueller said. "They developed the language. We are very satisfied with the language and so now we’re going to go through this process along with a couple others.”

GCU officials hope to be approved by summer of 2018 by both the HLC and the Department of Education.

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