Grand Valley trustees adopt budget, set tuition, increase financial aid

ALLENDALE – The Grand Valley State University Board of Trustees adopted the university’s FY 2016 budget and set tuition rates for the academic year at its July 15 meeting, held in the Kirkhof Center on the Allendale Campus. The tuition increase complies with the state’s tuition cap and keeps Grand Valley’s tuition in the bottom half of all Michigan universities. The budget raises financial aid, in keeping with Grand Valley’s mission to increase access to Michigan’s students.

Trustees approved increasing tuition by $221 per semester, bringing annual tuition to $11,520 for a full-time undergraduate Michigan resident. The budget includes $44 million in financial aid for students, which is an increase of more than $3.5 million to be awarded in the form of scholarships or grants. Financial aid is increasing 9 percent, while tuition is increasing 4 percent.

“Grand Valley is efficient and effective,” said David Hooker, chair of the Grand Valley Board of Trustees. “This budget allows us to focus on student affordability. We understand the need for financial aid for our students. Our budget strategies have allowed us to increase aid by a substantial amount this year. Grand Valley educates a workforce and is keeping talent here in Michigan. We know that graduates are staying in the state, getting jobs and giving back.”

In fall 2015, 59 percent of all undergraduates received gift aid, and of the 2014-15 graduates who earned a degree in four years or less, 31 percent had zero debt. The university is expected to receive $68.2 million in state funding, some of which is awarded to Grand Valley based on performance in key areas such as retention and graduation rates. The performance funding has allowed Grand Valley and President Thomas J. Haas to institute the Grand Finish grant to keep students on track for graduation with a financial incentive. The grant awards a $1,000 scholarship at the start of the fourth year to students with 90 credits. Since the Grand Finish program began in 2011, more than 11,000 students have earned the gift heading into their final year of their undergraduate degree. Nearly 90 percent of recent Grand Valley graduates are employed or pursuing advanced degrees. Of those working, 83 percent are working in Michigan.

The university illustrates operational efficiency with administrative costs per student more than $800 lower than the average Michigan university’s administrative costs. That efficiency results in $17 million of savings being given back to Grand Valley students and their families.

The state’s share of Grand Valley’s entire budget is 18 percent. Trustees earmarked all of the funding from the state for student financial aid, debt service, maintenance and utilities for classroom buildings.

The budget passed by the board also includes a modest 2.9 percent wage increase for faculty and staff members.

For additional information highlighting Grand Valley’s performance,

. For a chart detailing tuition at Michigan universities, visit

In other board action/discussion:

• Board members appointed John C. Kennedy as chair of the board and Mary Kramer as vice chair. Kennedy is president and CEO of Autocam Corporation and Kramer is publisher of Crain’s Detroit Business and corporate vice president of its parent company, Crain Communications.

• The board recognized and commended President Thomas J. Haas for 10 years of superior service and accomplishments as president of Grand Valley State University.


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