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North Hills Monthly

Grove City College: Academic Excellence. Amazing Value.

Jul 30, 2015 01:31PM ● By Vanessa Orr
While many colleges and universities provide students with a high-quality education, there is something even more important that students realize when they attend Grove City College—their calling in life. At this private, Christian, liberal arts and sciences college, they are encouraged from the very start to pursue their passions and to discover their purposes—resulting in success in their professions and in life.

In addition to immersing students in a climate of faith and freedom, Grove City also stands apart in another way; the college is committed to making education affordable to all of its students. In fact, Grove City has earned the reputation of having one of the lowest cost tuitions of any private liberal arts college in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; allowing students to concentrate on their studies instead of worrying about what they owe.

Keeping Costs Down
“Despite the fact that our tuition is less than 50 percent of the national average of other baccalaureate programs, we emphasize that prospective students should not look at the price, but at the quality,” said Vice President for Financial Affairs Roger Towle. “Our goal has always been to keep tuition affordable, but not by distracting from the quality of education or the quality of the Christian environment. It is our responsibility to maintain all three legs of our mission.”

According to Towle, there are a number of reasons why Grove City College is so affordable. “First, we don’t accept any federal money, so we do not have to deal with the regulations or administrative burdens of Title IX reporting,” he explained. “We also run a tight administrative ship; our faculty, on average, teaches more courses than at other schools, so we need fewer faculty, and no one has more than a one-year contract, including the president. We try to live within our budget, with a break-even budget as our goal.”

Campus operations are supported by endowments, 95 percent of which are marked for student financial aid. A recent $90 million capital campaign has added to this endowment, as well as provided funds for a new $40 million STEM building and an entrepreneurship program.

The school is so financially savvy, in fact, that it has been given the #1 Top Value ranking in the country among liberal arts colleges by Consumer’s Digest, and in 2014 was also named in the top 10 percent of “Best Colleges for Your Money,” by Money magazine.

The Value of a Grove City College Education
The value of a Grove City College education goes far beyond tuition savings, however. It doesn’t take long for Grove City College students to put their degrees to work finding jobs in the professional world. Families get an excellent return on their investments, with graduates enjoying a 95 percent placement rate in their fields or in graduate school within six months of graduation.

“Because we are a Christian college, we believe that it is our mission to help students realize and pursue God’s calling in their lives, philosophically and practically,” explained Dr. James Thrasher, director of Career Services. “We meet with the freshman class on their third day on campus to discuss their vocational calling, and we work with each student to create a vision for the four-year process that will help them succeed.”

In addition to an engaged professional staff, the Career Services office relies on a very strong alumni network to help students in multiple areas, including job shadowing, internships, networking, interviewing and inside referrals. More than 160 outside organizations and companies attend campus internship and camp fairs to connect prospective job candidates.

“Liberal arts graduates do exceedingly well in the job market based on their aptitude and transferrable skills,” said Dr. Thrasher. “For example, we’ve had biology majors take positions with business consulting firms and education majors go into health care. Once they find their calling, they can be successful in any field; they are not confined to certain areas.”

Grove City College is unique in that they not only develop students intellectually, but holistically, according to Dr. Larry Hardesty, vice president, Student Life and Learning. “We work very hard when freshmen arrive to create a community,” he explained. “The biggest difference between Grove City and other schools is this class identity—it’s a solid social foundation that helps students through the emotional transition, and results in good decision making, emotionally and physically.”

In addition to each freshman residence hall having traditional activities, Grove City also supports a robust intramural program in which approximately 2,300 students participate, and a Welcome Week, created by and for students. Students have access to 150 clubs and organizations, 26 academic honoraries, 10 fraternities, eight sororities, nine housing groups, 20 groups focused on fellowship or service, and 19 NCAA Division III athletics teams, two of which are nationally ranked.

“When students are energized around a project, they get other students to buy in,” explained Dr. Hardesty of the school’s emphasis on student leadership. “They are also learning things that you can’t find in a textbook; they are making real-life decisions that help them to understand who they are and what their passions are.”

Just an hour north of Pittsburgh, Grove City College annually ranks among some of the best colleges and universities in Pennsylvania and the U.S. To learn more, take a virtual tour at or call 724-458-2100.

“At Grove City College, we have a clear mission of faith and learning, and important values that students, alumni, faculty, staff and administrators unwaveringly support: to provide an academically unsurpassed education in a Christian environment, and to make this opportunity a true value for students. For nearly 140 years, our success has been grounded in these tenets.”

Meet the President: Paul J. McNulty
In 2014, Paul J. McNulty, ’80, was appointed as Grove City College’s ninth president. A native of Baldwin, PA, he is a former U.S. Deputy Attorney General and federal prosecutor. Pres. McNulty oversaw the prosecution of terrorists in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks and set national policy around corporate fraud. He is Of Counsel with the global law firm Baker & McKenzie and is considered a leading expert on business ethics, corporate governance and internal investigations.

The content for this advertorial was provided by Grove City College, written by North Hills Monthly magazine.