Message from the Director

The Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships is excited to share our 2016-2017 Annual Report with the campus community.  In this report, we present information about financial aid awards at GVSU during the 2016-2017 academic year.  We also highlight ongoing and future office initiatives within each of our four primary areas: financial aid, scholarships, student employment, and financial literacy. 

In the coming year, our office will focus on the University’s strategic plan as it relates to retention.  Through proactive communication and outreach, we will focus on programs such as The Grand Finish scholarship and many other campus-wide initiatives.  We will also continue to work with local high schools, organizations, and the campus community to bridge the gap for students that need financial assistance to make attending college a reality.

Timely persistence to a degree and success beyond college correlate directly with a student’s ability to make educated decisions regarding available financial aid, scholarships, and employment resources.  We provide individualized financial aid counseling and financial literacy programming as part of our ongoing effort to help students understand their financial aid options, become financially educated, and graduate in four years. 

The Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships strives to provide students with knowledge and resources that will enable them to graduate in a timely manner and enjoy success thereafter.  We look forward to working with our campus partners during the upcoming academic year to educate students to shape their lives, their professions, and their societies.   


Michelle Rhodes,
Associate Vice President for Financial Aid

Financial Aid Overview

Financial aid is awarded in the form of grants, loans, scholarships and work study.
For the purpose of this report, we have broken down financial aid into 4 sources: federal, state, Grand Valley (general fund and private donor funds) and outside agencies. Grand Valley strongly encourages all students to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as this is the primary application for the majority of financial aid programs.

Fall Bridge

Percentage of Financial Aid Awarded by Type


Students Graduate Without Student Loan Debt
Students Received At Least One Form of Financial Aid
Students Received a Federal Pell Grant

Total Financial Aid Awarded by Source



"My daughter is a third year student at GVSU and the [Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships] has always been more than helpful and a blessing!"

 – Parent of a Current Student


Grants are a type of financial aid that do not need to be repaid.  They are usually awarded on the basis of need and possibly combined with some skills or characteristics the student possesses. Sources for grants include the federal government, state of Michigan, and Grand Valley.

Grants Awarded by Source


2016-2017 Total Grants 


Federal Grants


Grand Valley Grants


State Grants




Winter Superior Hall

Students Received a GVSU Grant

Office Initiative: Targeted Email Outreach

In an effort to reach students based on their circumstances and needs, and to improve persistence and retention, we engaged in more specific targeted outreach efforts.  This more personalized approach allows us to be more specific when requesting documents and explaining circumstances to students and families.


Student loans, like any consumer loans, must be repaid with interest. In addition to federal loans, there are alternative loan options available to students. Federal loans often have the best interest rates, deferment options, and repayment plans.

Henry Hall

2016-2017 Total Loans


Federal Direct Student Loans


Federal Perkins Loans


Federal Nursing Loans


Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans


Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans


Alternative Loans




Loans Awarded By Source


Students Borrowed a Loan

"The staff in the Financial Aid Office are so very knowledgeable and helpful. They are also so pleasant to talk to. WONDERFUL STAFF!!"

– Parent of a Current Student


Scholarships are made available as a resource to help students fund their educational costs.  Scholarships are supported by the state, Grand Valley, and outside agency funds.  Grand Valley scholarships are awarded through the general fund and/or private donors.

Percent of Scholarships Awarded by Source


2016-17 Scholarships


Grand Valley Scholarships


Outside Agency Scholarships


State Scholarships




Scholarship Awards
Students received a merit and/or donor funded scholarship
Students submitted applications on myScholarships

Office Initiative: Scholarship Success Collaboration

Our scholarships division teamed up with Laker Connections Student Success Collective (Brothers: Black Male Scholars, Laker Familia, Niara, and Queer Connections) and TRiO programs across campus. Together we’ve assisted over 100 students with applying for scholarships and writing effective essays.

Student Employment

Student Employment can help pay for indirect costs. Student Employment aids students in obtaining employment that will help finance their education and develop work skills for their future career.

2016-2017 Total Student Wages


Non Work-Study Wages


Federal Work Study Wages




Wages Earned by Students


Student employees on-campus

SEAD Department Champions

Chemistry Department - 2016 Student Employee Appreciation Days Department Decorating Champions

Average Wages Earned by Student

Student Engagement 

Students who are engaged on campus are more likely to do well academically and complete their degree.  An on campus job is a great way to get involved!

MoneySmart Lakers

Become a MoneySmart Laker.  MoneySmart Lakers is a financial literacy program that aims to educate current students about their personal finances.  The goal is to provide students with the tools and resources to help them understand their finances and to help develop or define their money management skills.  

Student Loan Exit Counseling Appointments

MoneySmart lakers

2016-2017 Student Engagement


Number of Individual Appointments


Fall Presentation Attendees


Winter Presentation Attendees


MoneySmart Program Offerings

Individual Appointments: Students meet individually with peer mentors to discuss specific personal finance questions or issues a student might be facing. Students are able to request these appointments over by utilizing an online request form on the MoneySmart website.

Group Presentations: MoneySmart Lakers has several stock presentations created on various financial topics available for classroom or group presentations. The information in all presentations represent research and expertise from leading studies and members of the financial field.  There were 50 presentations held in the fall semester, and 28 presentations held in the winter semester.

MoneySmart Academy: This series was a customized program designed to provide participants with too ls and resources to help them understand their finances and to help develop or define their money management skills. Sessions were held during the Fall and Winter semester, and had over 55 attendees! One participant from each session won a $300 Scholarship.