Gordon College Lowers Tuition by 33 Percent

In a survey of over 60,000 high school juniors conducted last May, higher education consulting firm Ruffalo Noel Levitz found that the top reason why students lose interest in a college or university is price. This information affirms what college leaders across the nation already know—the widespread model of offsetting tuition increases with bigger and bigger scholarships is giving the wrong first impression and is scaring off students and families with a sticker price they don’t actually have to pay.  

To fix this, Gordon’s leadership team has spent the last several years developing a more transparent pricing structure—one that reflects the accessibility and affordability of a Gordon education from the very start. And last week, the College announced that in the fall of 2021, tuition will drop 33 percent. Overall, the sticker price will decrease by nearly $13,000, from $50,650 to $37,950.  

“As the gap has grown between our stated price and the more affordable net price families would actually pay, the irony became that even alumni were assuming that the Gordon experience they loved and want for their own children was out of reach,” President D. Michael Lindsay says. “It’s not, and better price transparency will remind students that educational excellence can still be affordable, and these new changes will now bring Gordon within reach for many.” 

Launched as the Gordon Game Change, the new pricing model makes it possible for next fall’s incoming students to save more than $59,000 in comparison with the current sticker price (assuming a three percent annual increase in tuition and a four-year graduation rate). The tuition reset will also save current students thousands of dollars over the course of their undergraduate study. 

Unlike a number of similar tuition resets at other colleges and universities, Gordon will continue to fund scholarships, including those which are not endowed. While scholarship amounts will be adjusted, when Gordon students combine a 33 percent reduction in tuition with scholarships and other financial aid, they will see savings in their net cost to attend.  This new pricing structure is optional for current students. They can either opt in at the lower price with adjusted scholarships (which is expected to save current students at least $1,000 per year) or continue with the “old” model (with a higher sticker price and current scholarship package).

A major reason why Gordon is able to continue offering stackable scholarships, even after a historic price reset, is because of the Faith Rising fundraising campaign. The campaign was publicly announced last October with a lead gift of $75.5 million—the largest single gift in history made to an evangelical college. This incredible gift, plus another $50 million in gifts and gift commitments already secured for the campaign, are funding student scholarships now and well into the future.

Looking back at the College’s history, this new pricing structure closely mirrors Gordon’s tuition model from 1970, when the cost of attending Gordon was one-third of the median family income. Next fall, with this 33 percent rollback, the cost of a Gordon education will be less than a third of the 2019 median family income. With this game change, Gordon is resetting the bar to a previous era of affordability and value for Gordon families. 

“We are thrilled to be able to significantly increase our commitment to affordability in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Lindsay. “This is a milestone in Gordon’s history, and we are so grateful for the generosity of our supporters and the hard work of colleagues across campus who have made it possible for us to reset our tuition and fees. This places us on the leading edge of a larger effort to make higher education more affordable for more families, and today’s actions allow 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.” 

For more information about this new pricing model, visit www.gordon.edu/gamechange