Concordia University-Portland is among the most affordable, private, liberal arts universities in the state. With 98% of our students receiving institutional grant money, more students than ever – including many first-generation students – are finding that a stellar education at Concordia is within reach. Along with customized financial packages, our students enjoy small class sizes, professors who care about their success, and an entire community cheering them on and supporting them every step of the way.
Degrees that pay off.
Concordia focuses on preparing students for life-long careers that have staying power – from business, chemistry, and nursing, to elementary and secondary education. By keeping up with employers’ needs, we are able to anticipate changes and trends in the marketplace. Experiential learning, service learning, and internships are part of the Concordia experience as early as the freshmen year to provide practical experience while building professional networks for future employment. Well before graduation time, our career services team provides professional support to assist students in their transition to the workplace. In short, the employability of Concordia graduates is a priceless return on their investment for their Concordia degree.
Numbers tell the story.
While the national average two-year default rate on student loans is 10%, Concordia’s rate of 2.8% is substantially lower. Low default rates indicate that Concordia students are becoming employed upon graduation and are paying down their student loans.
On average, Concordia students earning a four-year degree also acquire less debt per student than the national average. The average federal loan debt of a Concordia student in 2012-13 was $27,200 for a four-year undergraduate degree, below the national average of $29,400, according to the Institute for College Access & Success.
And, Concordia offers 98% of its students institutional tuition assistance to help reduce the cost of tuition and keep it comparable with other private and public universities in our area.
“The most important investment you can make in today’s economy is to get your bachelor’s degree,” said Concordia alumnus Bryce Baillie (’00 BA, ’04 M.B.A.), finance manager at Southwest Washington Behavioral Health. Having incurred a combined total of approximately $45,000 in student debt to earn his bachelor’s and master’s degree from Concordia, Bryce equates paying off his student loan to a small car payment.
“It’s difficult to become a manager in any business without a bachelor’s degree. And, an executive-level role typically requires a master’s degree. Without the degree you are seriously limiting your future earning potential in the government and private sector. College degrees open doors but you also need to network, sell yourself in the interview, and do the hard work. I am grateful to have my undergraduate and graduate degrees from Concordia as I would not be as successful today without it.”
Another Concordia graduate put it this way: “I’m a firm believer that higher education is a good thing,” said Ken Jubb, VP of Operations for CSI Digital and a 2000 graduate of Concordia with a bachelor’s degree in business administration whose student debt upon graduation approximately $20,000. “I took out student loans and also worked throughout my college experience to help pay for my room, board and books. With a Concordia bachelor’s degree I was able to take my career to the next level and pay off my student loans.”
Concordia is not only among the most racially and ethnically diverse private universities in Oregon, approximately 33% of Concordia’s students are the first in their family to attend college. Roughly 38% of new freshmen (2012-2013) received need-based Pell Grants, typically those with annual household incomes below $50,000.
At Concordia University, keeping student debt low while ensuring a high-quality Lutheran liberal arts education has always been a priority.