North Portland Bible College Guards the “Affordability” Principle
Since its beginnings nearly thirty-six years ago, North Portland Bible College continues to uphold three fundamental principles that mark its distinctive place in higher education in Portland. These principles are accessibility; affordability; cultural relevance. Believing that costs should not be a detriment for any student to attend college, NPBC guards this principle of affordability wisely.
While the cost of college everywhere has spiraled over the past decade, reaching over $400 per credit hour in most private, independent schools, NPBC has continued to keep its tuition fees at a remarkably low level. While most other schools derive as much as 80% of their operating costs from tuition and fees, at NPBC tuition/fees provide approximately 15% of what it costs to meet the operating budget. This has been possible, in part, because the college works hard to keep its operating costs at a minimum, and because both staff and faculty serve with an impressively sacrificial spirit. Of course, the remaining 85% of operating expenses must be supplied by faithful donors who value and support the ministry of NPBC.
Many factors affect our expenses: program costs, the need to pay faculty and staff, along with equipment and facility upgrades. As operating expenses continue to rise, we have taken notice that according to the website, The College Board, the average tuition increase for 2015 was 3.7%. While North Portland Bible College faces the same increasing costs, great care is being taken in decisions about tuition. We remain committed to the “affordability” concept. However, it will be necessary to meet rising costs with a tuition adjustment. The NPBC Board of Trustees has just announced that tuition for the next academic year, beginning with the Fall 2016 term, will increase to $95 per credit hour. A full three-credit course will now cost $285.00, still substantially below other colleges. A similar course at most other schools would cost $1200 or more.
We do not take increases in tuition lightly, and as we continue to grow, we will continue to strive to maintain the three core principles we believe God has honored over the years—accessibility, affordability, cultural relevance.