APU: A Cost Effective Education That Pays Off

by Rachel White

As students and their parents begin to explore college options, they may be surprised to discover that private colleges can be an affordable choice. According to the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), private colleges award billions in institutional aid annually, substantially more than that awarded by public schools. In addition, the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU) found that private California universities graduate more students in four years than comparable schools in the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) systems.

Among the more than 1,700 private, nonprofit colleges and universities nationwide, Azusa Pacific University standouts out as exceptional value and a smart investment.

Here are five things you should know:

1. Azusa Pacific University was recently named 1 of the 25 least expensive private colleges in the U.S.

StartClass examined 2014-15 data from the U.S. Department of Education to determine which private universities with at least 5,000 students had the lowest tuition and APU secured the no. 23 spot.

2. Last year, APU helped 1,111 incoming freshmen, or 94 percent of the freshman class, with grant aid.

APU offered more grant aid to incoming freshmen than both the average private not-for-profit college and public college in California.

3. Fewer APU freshmen took out federal loans than their counterparts at other private and public colleges in California.

U.S. News and World Report included APU on its college ranking list entitled Least Debt Class of 2014. Christian Universities Online recognized APU among 50 Christian Colleges and Universities with the Lowest Student Debt Burden.

4. Many APU undergraduates get a jumpstart on career earnings. By graduating in four years, they enter the job market earlier than the majority of their public college counterparts.

The AICCU reports that the cost savings of graduating from a private institution within four years in California, rather than a public institution that may take longer, can total as much as $100,000.

5. Based on national wage reports, APU alumni with bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees earn more than the rest of the nation’s population who hold the same degrees.

The Economist named APU graduates among the most employable in the nation. They ranked APU in the 92nd percentile of U.S. college graduates, citing actual earnings.

Rachel White is the associate director of public relations in the Office of University Relations at APU. rewhite@apu.edu