Reading Your Award Letter

Click below to watch short one-minute videos about the award letter, next steps, and other topics that will be useful for planning to attend GVSU:

Financial Aid & Scholarships Video Library

The Financial Aid Award Letter consists of the different types of aid that can be utilized to help pay your educational expenses.

  • Page 1: You will see the types of aid and amounts for the fall and winter semester as well as the totals for the year; you may see loans, grants and/or scholarships.
  • Page 2: You will find a brief description of the aid options you were offered. If you are viewing your award online using the student myBanner account you can click on the different aid options to view the description.
  • Page 3: Step-by-step instructions on how to accept the aid you would like to use. Please see below for answers to some of our frequently asked questions about award letters or contact us for more information.

Award Letter FAQ

Depending on where you are in the process, your next steps will vary.  

Tuition rates for the 2020-21 academic year will be set in July.  Please click here for current tuition rates.

Our estimated cost of attendance includes direct costs (e.g. tuition, housing, and dining) and indirect costs (e.g. personal and miscellaneous expenses). Depending on your situation you may not need to utilize aid to cover the full cost of attendance if you are planning on paying some of your costs, direct and/or indirect, out-of-pocket.

Financial aid is required to create an estimated cost of attendance. Each student will have their own actual costs, reflected on a bill that will be released in late-July.  This cost of attendance is used to help families plan and budget for the upcoming academic year. As each family's circumstances varies, we are happy to talk about the various options based on your family's circumstances.  Please contact us to discuss your options.

Deadlines for the 2020-2021 Academic Year are as follows:

Fall Semester: August 21, 2020

Winter Semester: December 18, 2020

Spring/Summer Semester: April 24, 2021

We understand that your family's circumstances may have changed since you filed you FAFSA.  A Special Circumstances form is available online to notify us of changes to your family's circumstances that could potentially alter your financial aid award.  If you have specific questions regarding your circumstances, please contact us

GVSU does offer a payment deferment plan option for any expenses on the student's account. The deferment plan splits any balance into four monthly payments over the course of the semester. More information on the  plan can be found on the Student Accounts Office website. Payments can be made in-person with cash or check at either the Allendale or downtown Grand Rapids Pew campus, or online via the student's myBanner account.

While there is no specific deadline to accept your financial aid, we do recommend that you accept your aid and complete any additional requirements by the end of July. 

If you would like to use the Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan, a separate application must be completed by the parent that would like to borrow the loan. The Parent PLUS loan is solely in a parent's name and the application is completed through The application for the 2020-2021 academic year will be available in early May.

Orientation for both incoming freshman and transfer students can be scheduled through the Admissions Office. New students will be able to sign-up for classes during their orientation session.

Incoming Freshman and transfer students will sign up for classes when you are on campus for orientation. To sign-up for orientation please visit the Admissions webpage.

There are a variety of options for students wishing to live-on campus. Visit the Housing webpage to view floor-plans and current prices. Housing Applications for on-campus housing can be completed through the student's online myBanner account. Students are not required to live on-campus and also have the option of commuting from home or living in another off-campus option. 

Federal Work-study is a federal program that reimburses employers part of the cost of paying student employees. Federal Work-Study is awarded to students based on financial need; if a student with Federal Work-Studyis hired as an on-campus student employee, part of their wages are paid through federal funding. Federal Work-Study funds are not applied to a student's GVSU account but paid out through paychecks every two weeks.

While some on-campus jobs require Federal Work-Study, there are many jobs that do not. Both students with or without Federal Work-Study must apply for on-campus positions through Handshake, GVSU's student jobs portal.  Students may log in to Handshake to search and apply for on-campus jobs once they have signed up for Orientation. Contact  Student Employment for additional information concerning on-campus job opportunities.