GVSU welcomes one of its largest first-year classes

Picture of students walking on the Allendale Campus.
Image Credit: Amanda Pitts

Grand Valley State University enrolled one of the largest first-year classes in its history this fall. It's the eighth year in a row the university has welcomed more than 4,000 freshmen to campus, and they're coming into college with impressive academic records from high school. Grand Valley has one of the strongest first-year enrollments in the state, which has seen a population decline and a decrease in high school graduates.

First-year enrollment at the university is 4,301, with total enrollment topping more than 24,000 (24,033). The freshman class has the strongest entering GPA in Grand Valley's history, with 75 percent coming in with a GPA of 3.39 or higher. There is an increase in first-year students of color, from 719 in 2018 to 727 this fall, along with an increase in non-Michigan students at the university, from 2,179 to 2,237. 

"We welcomed an amazing class this fall," said first-year President Philomena V. Mantella. "Bright students have a lot of choices when it comes to pursuing a college degree, and they know Grand Valley delivers on its promise of a great education, while being a tremendous value. We're committed to providing access for qualified students to attend Grand Valley, and we're dedicated to their success. Success means not only a degree and a job, it also means a path forward to lifelong learning, advancement and service. We all benefit when motivated, educated people work in and for our communities."

Grand Valley is among the top three Michigan public universities for retaining students. University data shows an 84.5 percent retention rate for first-year students. To ease financial pressures for students, the Board of Trustees in July increased financial aid by 14 percent, bringing the total aid available to students to $59.9 million.

"The university has a mission to serve students and works to provide scholarships and grants to remove barriers," said Vice President for Enrollment Lynn Blue. "Students are attracted to Grand Valley because of its diversity of programs and opportunities, and we need to offer financial assistance to the promising students who need it."

Students from all across Michigan (21,796 residents) have enrolled at Grand Valley, joined by 1,863 from other states, and 374 from other countries.  

Of recent graduates, 95 percent are employed or pursuing advanced degrees, and of those working, 86 percent stayed in Michigan. The university was named a "Top Public School" by U.S. News and World Report, and one of "America's 100 Best College Buys" by Institutional Research and Evaluation.

For more details about Grand Valley's performance, visit www.gvsu.edu/accountability.  

Grand Valley State University attracts more than 24,000 students with high-quality programs and state-of-the-art facilities. Grand Valley is a comprehensive university serving students from all across Michigan and dozens of other states and foreign countries. Grand Valley offers 94 undergraduate and 42 graduate degree programs and has campuses in Allendale, Grand Rapids and Holland. The university offers programming and classes from centers in Traverse City and Detroit; the Robert B. Annis Water Resources Institute and the Muskegon Innovation Hub are located in Muskegon. The university is dedicated to individual student achievement, going beyond the traditional classroom experience, with research opportunities and business partnerships.