Less than a year ago, Redeemer undertook a historic restructuring of tuition and fees to put Christian higher education within reach. In February of 2019, Redeemer announced that these changes included a 42% tuition reduction, slashing tuition from $16,992 per year to $9,800 for Canadian undergraduates. The bold effort to enable more students to access Christian university education was supported by $11 million in generous donor funding over a five year period.
“This is an exciting time of growth at Redeemer…We praise God for the privilege of being able to engage these new students in Christian university education.”
This Fall, the investment in affordability is paying off. September saw 789 students enrolled in Redeemer programs, a 14.5% increase over last year’s 689 students. Most significantly, Redeemer welcomed 307 new students, the second largest incoming class in the university’s history. “This is an exciting time of growth at Redeemer,” said Dr. David Zietsma, vice president for external relations and enrolment. “We praise God for the privilege of being able to engage these new students in Christian university education.”
The new incoming student cohort is made up of 244 undergraduate students, 51 new Education students, and 12 students in the new Act Five gap year program which also launched this September.
The increase in new students is an early indicator that the tuition and fee restructuring is having the desired impact. Christian university education is desired but affordability is critical. Even as a new growth phase is occurring, Redeemer is concluding its five year, Redeemer 2020 Strategic Plan. The strategic plan is funded by the Re Campaign which has received $19 million in gifts and pledges. The plan has enabled Redeemer to dramatically reduce long term debt, renew the academic program and reach more students in high school than ever before. New programs, an emphasis on experiential learning, and significant strides in integrated marketing have all converged to make Redeemer an attractive option for students looking to integrate their Christian faith and their university education. “New students will benefit from the initiatives of the last five years even as we are getting ready to launch the next strategic plan sometime next year,” said Zietsma. “For students who want to serve God with their whole lives, Redeemer is an exciting and affordable place to figure out what that looks like.”
The halls, classrooms, weekly chapels, and other spaces are certainly teeming with students, leading to a buzz in the air. With thanksgiving for the opportunity, Zietsma adds, “we pray that God will give us wisdom as we serve these students!”