Though private colleges and universities can be expensive, recent research done by the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU) indicates that in the long run, the California State University and University of California systems can be even more costly. Excellent four-year graduation rates from AICCU schools put the majority of students in the workforce earlier than their state counterparts, allowing them valuable income that would have been lost had they stayed in school another year to finish their degree.

As a member of the AICCU, Azusa Pacific University boasts a 55 percent four-year graduation rate, placing it 39 percentage points above the average four-year graduation rate at California State University schools. Additionally, freshman retention rates at APU reached 82 percent in 2008 and have remained stable since. Still, the best draws to APU are its low student-to-faculty ratio (12:1), numerous student life events that create a strong sense of on-campus community, prolific study abroad and off-campus learning options, and a commitment to put God First in all its endeavors.

“If a student desires a Christian education, delivered by a caring and talented faculty and enhanced by opportunities for research, practical application of knowledge, international exposure, small class sizes, and a commitment by the entire educational community to mentor and disciple each student, then APU is without question the better investment,” said David Dufault-Hunter, M.A., vice president for enrollment management.

APU also offers summer courses discounted by 60 percent to help students finish up their requirements at a lower cost. With four summer sessions available, students can save money double-fold—taking discounted courses and potentially graduating early. Because budget cuts have significantly impacted summer school opportunities around the state, APU’s discounted summer sessions serve as an invaluable resource for both current APU students and students from other schools.

1 Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities, “By the Numbers,” (accessed April 20, 2010).