Drake’s President on College Affordability and Debt

Marty Martin President Drake University

Drake University’s President, Marty Martin believes everyone deserves a pathway to achieve success, but success looks different for everyone. He explains how Drake University has a spot for everyone, starting with affordability, countless opportunities, and most importantly the University’s ability to create “Unicorns” for the workforce. 

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Marty Martin, President of Drake University

So what exactly is a “unicorn”? After attending a conference, President Martin was inspired and driven to prepare every single person who enters the doors of Drake University to not only be able to do a job well, but also lead a team. Drake’s approach to education is a holistic approach, an integration of a liberal arts education with professional preparation. Giving students the freedom to create their own degrees to be more experienced and well-rounded graduating college. Some people think Liberal Arts is a dying form, but Martin thinks otherwise. He believes there is no other institution that is going to offer a well-rounded education and the ability to weave degrees together with a staff as supportive and helpful as Drake. 

Martin himself is a highly accomplished individual, serving as a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force. Being a Kentucky native, he earned both his bachelor’s degree and J.D. from the University of Kentucky. Starting his academic career out as a Law Professor at multiple universities before moving into Vice President roles at the University of Gonzaga and finally serving as the President of Drake University beginning in 2015. 

One of the most polarizing questions right now is this: is college really necessary? Martin takes the stance that more education is always better than less. The hope is, every American graduates high school, but after high school, someone may further their education. Whether that be college, an apprenticeship, trade school, the military, or whatever is going to set the individual up for their own success. Martin explains the route Drake University takes by providing support systems to their students to help guide them down the right path best suited for the individual.

Because Drake University is a private University, oftentimes people hear assume it’s unaffordable. This is not the case for Drake, Martin explains. From the 75 million dollars in tuition support the University gives out each year, the University is within 100 dollars of post-graduation debt when compared to The University of Iowa and Iowa State University, the two biggest public universities in the state.

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Drake alumni have a default rate of 0.8%, a default rate is the percentage of students that are not able to pay off their loans post-graduation. It shows the economic success their post-collegiate jobs are providing them with, for a university of that a default rate of 1.8% speaks volumes of the success the alumni are experiencing. Plus, the introduction of the John D Bright college was created to increase affordability and accessibility for every single person.

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