On Friday, Nov. 10 at The Master’s University, every student and staff member in chapel stood and applauded, shed tears of thankfulness and grabbed their phones to text both parents and friends.
TMU president, Dr. John MacArthur announced that the university’s tuition will drop by 26 percent beginning fall 2018, causing the anticipatory audience to erupt.
“Considering the fact that the (Board) believes the primary barrier to coming here is financial and that the price of tuition next year was expected to be $33,600,” MacArthur explained, “…the board yesterday made an amazingly encouraging decision, unanimously, and that was…to drop the tuition to $24,950.”
This announcement of a more than $8,500 decrease in tuition follows a year of campus renovations and program enhancements funded by Centers of Excellence, a $25 million campaign dedicated to student scholarships, faculty education, program development and facility upgrades and construction.
“This is a great day,” MacArthur said, and the students couldn’t agree more.
Transfer student and second semester sophomore at TMU, Karen Sanchez expressed her relief. “Thank God,” she said before she continued to explain that the amount of post-college debt she anticipated to carry off the graduation stage is now significantly less.
“I just feel blessed,” Sanchez said.
“I believe the Lord is calling me to teach English overseas,” said first semester senior Deborah Grindle. “I have to get a TESOL degree, still have some general education credits I need to fulfill because of units not transferring over from College of the Canyons, and there was no way I was going to be able to finish that in my final semester, let alone come back an additional semester because of the cost. I can do that now if I have to, and this announcement couldn’t have come at a more perfect time.”
Students texted friends about the announcement, encouraging them to come back to Master’s because it is now financially feasible. The parents of Matthew Logan, class of 2019, celebrated as their son broke the news over the phone right after chapel.
Sara Williams, TMU sophomore, expressed “it was a crazy answer to prayer, and I’ll be able to finish my education here because of it. . .”
That weekend, Williams proceeded to tell her church during their announcements before the sermon — finances to finish at Master’s had been a long-term prayer request that had now been answered. A family approached her afterwards and expressed their utter surprise and excitement, it meant that their daughter could now better afford to go to Master’s as well.
“I know one friend was looking at places to transfer last night because of how expensive it was,” another student said. “My friend after chapel expressed how excited she is because, now, that’s no longer the case.”
Dr. Kevin Hill, dean of faculty, shared his own excitement at the student response. “In my class right after chapel, 70 percent of my students had already texted their friends back home telling them they’ve got to come here,” he said. “We are right now at or below the national mean for Christian schools throughout the country and on the low end for Christian schools in California. So that will really open the opportunity for others to come here.”
“We would like everyone who would like to be here to have a better shot,” MacArthur concluded in chapel.
Now they do.