GVSU issues third annual accountability report

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ALLENDALE, Mich. — In its third annual review of academic and fiscal performance, Grand Valley State University shows that it has become even more affordable to students in the face of waning state support.

The report, which was issued October 16, shows Grand Valley's tuition remains well below the state average, and has posted the fifth-lowest percentage change over the last 10 years. The university offers $199 million in financial aid and has the third-highest amount of Merit Awards in the state. The average Grand Valley student pays $2,602 less than the posted tuition price.

Grand Valley is able to remain affordable through a commitment to efficiency and sustainability and robust private-public partnerships. Grand Valley students further save money by being able to graduate on time — the university's five-year graduation rate is the fourth-highest among the 15 state universities.

And once students have completed their education, they find success in the workplace, with 96 percent of Grand Valley graduates employed or in graduate school — 94 percent in Michigan.

A Grand Valley education remains affordable despite the fact that the university's state appropriation per student remains the lowest in the state and the university has the second-lowest amount of state-funded instructional space.

"Reductions in support from the state for its public universities continue again this year, and Michigan is at the very bottom when it comes to recent investment in higher education," said Grand Valley President Thomas J. Haas. "Despite these challenges, Grand Valley shows an excellent return on investment for our students and their families."

Haas created the report in 2007 as a way to demonstrate that Grand Valley is a good steward of its resources. The report can be downloaded at www.gvsu.edu/accountability.

Other action by the Board of Trustees included:

• Approval of an annual state appropriation request, asking the state to increase funding for Grand Valley students to $3,775 per FTE. Vice president for University Relations Matt McLogan said that number was picked by the state as the dollar amount Grand Valley students deserve and should receive.

• Approval of a capital outlay budget request and five-year plan for 2011, requesting funds for the Mary Idema Pew Library and Learning Commons and a new classroom building on the Allendale Campus to support the science

• Approval to make offers to purchase two pieces of land: 58 acres of land just south of the Allendale Campus and the former A&P warehouse on Front Ave. in downtown Grand Rapids.

• Approval of the opening of two new K-5 charter schools: Legacy Charter Academy in the northeast section of Detroit and The Neighborhood Academy in Dearborn.