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Christian Colleges Slash Tuition Dramatically as Americans Face Pandemic Challenges

(Image: AP File Photo)
(Image: AP File Photo)
With the coronavirus pandemic impacting education systems across the country, some Christian colleges are making education more affordable by cutting tuition costs dramatically.
Reuters reports that many schools have slashed tuition by 10 percent this fall, but three Christian colleges –Gordon, Houghton and Seattle Pacific— are offering even bigger cuts.
Gordon College is calling theirs a "reset" and dropping tuition for the fall of 2021 by 33 percent. Seattle Pacific will be cutting theirs by 25 percent and Houghton College by 53 percent.
At Gordon, current 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.
Gordon's President Dr. Michael Lindsay told CBN News that even despite COVID-19, the college completed the strongest fiscal year in history this year and also had the highest retention of returning students in four years.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has brought issues of affordability to everybody's mind and we became convinced that this is the right thing to do and the right time to do it," Dr. Lindsay said.
However, efforts to lower costs were in the works way before the pandemic swept the nation – Gordon has been working on this plan for 10 years.
Dr. Lindsay said the college has been looking back at trends over the last 25 to 30 years, which show a major divide between the colleges' "sticker price," what is listed as the total cost to attend the institution – and the net price, what families actually pay including financial aid and scholarships.
"We wanted to try and bring greater transparency by bringing those two things together," Dr. Lindsay said. "It's going to make a huge difference for lots of families, making Gordon much more affordable."
They're calling it the Gordon Game Change. With the new pricing, a freshman entering next fall and graduating in four years would save more than $59,000.
A 2019 survey by the Council for Christian College and Universities showed only eight schools had ever done a price reset in their school history. By Thursday, three major colleges in the CCCU will have done so in the last 14 days.
CCCU President Shirley Hoogstra said in a statement, "Gordon was a founding member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.  And given its long and exceptional history, it is no surprise that Gordon is innovating to meet the needs of students from all over the world. I applaud Gordon College's commitment to being more affordable and ensuring a distinctly Christian education remains within reach of the students who desire it."
Dr. Lindsay says he hopes Gordon's decision becomes a part of a larger trend that leads to higher education becoming more affordable for more Christian families.

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