Grand Valley boosts financial aid, designates more than $2 million to support students affected by pandemic

Members of the GVSU Board of Trustees.
Image Credit: Valerie Hendrickson

Grand Valley State University Board of Trustees approved a $5.4 million increase in financial aid, an 8 percent increase over last year.

The increase, approved at a June 25 meeting at the L. William Seidman Center on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus, brings the total financial aid increase to more than $23 million during the last four years. The total amount of all institutional financial aid is $70.1 million.

Grand Valley also designated an additional $2.25 million in institutional financial aid to support student hardship needs as a result of COVID-19; this is the second year of a four-year commitment of the COVID-related aid.  

Megan S. Rydecki, chair of the board, thanked President Philomena V. Mantella for her leadership throughout the pandemic.

“We are grateful for the president’s leadership and vision, and how she rallied her team,” Rydecki said. “Grand Valley students were able to continue their education, and we remain excited about the strategic planning process and the future.” 

Mantella thanked all in the campus community for their care of students and the university. “We are planning and preparing for a robust Fall semester, as we get ready for students who will be joining us for the first time, as well as those who will be returning,” Mantella said.

Trustees also approved a tuition increase of $158 per semester (2.4 percent), bringing per-semester tuition to $6,780 for a full-time undergraduate Michigan resident. This places Grand Valley 10th among Michigan’s 15 public universities for tuition rates. 

With the boost in financial aid, the net tuition for resident undergraduates receiving institutional financial aid is projected to decrease by $200. About 56 percent of students received institutional financial aid last year.

Trustees also approved rates for room and board. The overall rate adjustment for housing and dining is 1.9 percent, an average increase per semester of $21 for housing and $75 for a primary dining plan. The overall cost of attending Grand Valley remains the second lowest of all public universities in Michigan.

In other board action/discussion

  • Trustees approved making the federal holiday honoring the January birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. an official university holiday. President Philomena V. Mantella brought forward the recommendation from the university's Network of Advisors for Racial Justice. This means faculty and staff members do not have to report to work on January 17, 2022, or future MLK holidays. Since 2012, classes have been canceled, allowing more students to commemorate King's life by participating in programs on campus or volunteering in the community.
  • The board approved the authorization of Lincoln-King Adams-Young Academy in Detroit, which is scheduled to open in fall 2021.
  • The board approved the restructure of the College of Education and the College of Community and Public Service into one college. The new college has been named the College of Education and Community Innovation. Students earning degrees in these colleges will not experience a disruption.
  • The board approved the creation of the School of Interdisciplinary Health, combining three College of Health Professions departments into one unit (Allied Health Sciences, Diagnostic and Treatment Sciences, and Public Health).
  • Trustees approved a request from the School of Computing, housed in the Padnos College of Engineering and Computing, to drop "Information Systems" from its name. The shorter name aligns with accrediting bodies and computing curriculum standards. 
  • Megan Rydecki was re-elected chair of the board; Susan Jandernoa was re-elected as vice chair.