Grand Valley enrolls record number of students, freshmen

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Students are enrolling in record numbers at Grand Valley this fall. Officials are welcoming a record number of first-year students at 4,226, bringing the total number of students to 25,094, hitting a major milestone for the university. 

The percentage of minority students is also a record high 15.6 percent; there’s a record number of international students, with more than 400 enrolled; and there’s also a record number of out-of-state students enrolled, up to 1,384. There’s also an increase of students from Southeast Michigan. 

“What these numbers represent is that Grand Valley is true to its commitment to students,” President Thomas J. Haas said. “We want controlled growth so we can ensure quality programs and smaller class sizes. We also have a keen eye on what our students need to be successful in pursuing careers or advanced degrees. Our academic programs, with our liberal education base, are relevant to the region and the world.”

Haas also said that the university’s ability to control cost is critical for students and is strengthened by steady and generous supporters. Grand Valley is on the list of “America’s Best College Buys” for the 18th year in a row. The Grand Finish grant encourages students to stay on track to graduate in four years with a $1,000 scholarship given at the start of the fourth year to students with 90 credits. The net cost of tuition at Grand Valley actually decreased this academic year because of an increase in financial aid and a tuition increase of less than $300 per year.

“Each member of the board is committed to making sure that qualified students have access to a Grand Valley degree, and that the degree signifies a well-educated graduate,” said David S. Hooker, chair of the board. “We are confident in the financial responsibility of the university, and the number of students flocking to Grand Valley shows us we’re delivering in the classrooms and in campus life as well. I’m also pleased to note that the ambitious prediction of founding board chair Bill Seidman, that one day Grand Valley would be home to 25,000 students, has been realized.”

Enrollment increases in engineering, health professions, nursing and business show how closely the university’s programs align with students’ desires and employers’ needs.

“We work hard to get students to Grand Valley, but we work even harder to support them as they earn their diplomas,” Provost Gayle R. Davis said. “Our faculty are designing programs that help Grand Valley students become life-long learners and contributors to their communities as well as secure suitable employment upon graduation. We’re thrilled with the quality and diversity of the students who are choosing Grand Valley.”

Grand Valley was rewarded by the state legislature and the governor for a third year in a row with appropriations based on performance. Grand Valley has the third best graduation rate of all public universities in the state of Michigan, and is in the top four for retention rates. Grand Valley is a brain gain for the area with nearly 85 percent of Grand Valley graduates staying in Michigan to begin their careers or graduate work.

For full details on Grand Valley’s academic and financial accountability, see www.gvsu.edu/accountability.