Students around the fountain outside the Student Service building.

GVSU sees increase in first-year students

Welcomes most diverse class in university's history

ALLENDALE, Mich. – Enrollment numbers are in for the Fall semester, and Grand Valley reported across-the-board increases in students new to the university. Nearly 4,000 first-year students enrolled, a 3 percent increase over last year. The university reported an 8 percent increase in transfer students and a 2 percent increase in graduate students. There is also a 9 percent increase in first-year students from Southeast Michigan.

GVSU is also seeing dramatic increases in first-generation college students and students of color, welcoming the most diverse first-year class in the university’s 62-year history with a 23.4 percent increase (4,462) in students of color. For students who are just entering college, Grand Valley reported a 28.4 percent increase (351) in students who are the first in their families to attend college and a 24.4 percent increase (243) in low-income or Pell-eligible students, a 69.7 percent increase (152) in Black students and a 9 percent increase (27) in Hispanic or Latino students.

While total enrollment at 21,648 is down slightly more than 3 percent over last year, B. Donta Truss, vice president for Enrollment Development and Educational Outreach, said that mirrors national pandemic enrollment and retention challenges. He is confident enrollment will return to pre-pandemic levels given the positive experience students have at GVSU.

“Grand Valley delivers a high-value education that is accessible and affordable,” Truss said. “When students get on campus, they find out quickly that our professors and advisors truly care about them and their progress. Students can take part in quality experiences with support systems in place to help them be successful. We are excited to welcome all students to GVSU.”

Grand Valley State University President Philomena V. Mantella said students recognize the value GVSU offers.

“Throughout the pandemic, we continued to move our university forward with great energy and conviction,” Mantella said. “We are absolutely committed to empowering every student. The value that Grand Valley offers is proven time and again with our strong liberal education foundation and deep connection with Michigan employers that provide internships and jobs upon graduation. Students are enrolling at GVSU because they recognize we offer powerful experiences with a strong return on their investment. More than 80 percent of our graduates are working in Michigan and giving back to their communities.”

Students are enrolling from nearly every county in the state of Michigan, 44 states and 83 countries.