News & Events

Financial success means more benefits for students

June 12, 2019

Liberty University has experienced its best year ever for financial strength. As revenues continue to increase — from $860 million five years ago to a projected over $1 billion next year — the administration has been distributing more funds to help students pursue their dreams.

“The financial success that we’ve achieved allows us to keep our tuition in the lowest 25 percent of all private universities both online and in a residential program, and we want to make sure we’re able to do that for generations to come,” Liberty President Jerry Falwell told the crowd at Commencement. “We give $230 million in financial aid to our students every year, not from the government, but from Liberty University, and that’s our goal.”

Beginning this fall, Liberty is using university funds to fuel the Middle America Scholarship program, which focuses on assisting families whose income is typically between $35,000 and $95,000 per year. According to Robert Ritz, executive vice president of finance, the program is the largest, need-based student aid program in the university’s history.

The program is for eligible new resident students and will provide nearly $18 million of aid per year. For the fall, 1,623 new students have already been awarded Middle America Scholarship funds totaling $7.1 million — an average of $4,380 per student for the year.

Falwell said that during the major rebuilding of campus, with new state-of-the-art academic and athletics facilities, as well as new residence halls, the university has been able to plan for the future.

“Campus has been transformed as we built over $1.5 billion worth of facilities over the past 12 years. But even while we did it, we also increased our endowment to $2 billion — so we’re more financially sound than ever before.”

He also noted that the annual economic impact that Liberty has on the Lynchburg area tops $1 billion, “so what we do here as a school affects the pocketbook of tens of thousands of families throughout the area.”

Earnings from a strong endowment will help to fund scholarships and provide financial support to maintain facilities and to weather the ups and downs of the national economy for decades to come.

In April, Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings re-affirmed Liberty University’s ‘AA’ rating with a stable outlook.  The ‘AA’ rating means that the university has a very strong capacity to meet its financial commitments.

Keeping student costs low and maintaining fiscal discipline means that future generations of Liberty students will continue to benefit.

“The endowment is our future. It is going to help our children and even future grandchildren if they attend Liberty,” Ritz said. “Realizing that Liberty’s financial legacy will reach that far forward in years is impressive and humbling.”

Read more about Liberty’s growth and success in the Liberty Journal cover story, “Best Year Ever.”

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