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Grand Valley Trustees adopt budget, set tuition

  • The L. William Seidman Center
  • John Kennedy was elected to the position of vice chair of the board.
  • Shelley Padnos turns over the position of board chair to David Hooker.
  • The board recognized Jeanne Arnold for her years of service as the first vice president of Inclusion and Equity.

Posted on July 11, 2014

The Grand Valley State University Board of Trustees adopted the university’s FY 2015 budget and set tuition rates for the coming academic year during its July 11 Board of Trustees meeting held at the L. William Seidman Center in Grand Rapids. The tuition increase is the lowest percentage rate and dollar amount in the last 10 years. The increase complies with the state’s tuition cap and keeps Grand Valley’s tuition in the lower half of all Michigan universities. The budget substantially raises financial aid for students and their families. 

Trustees voted to increase tuition by $149 per semester. This brings annual tuition to $10,752 for a full-time undergraduate Michigan resident. The budget includes $38 million for student financial aid, an increase of $3.1 million that becomes available for students in scholarships and grants.

“We are concerned with quality and affordability for our students,” said Shelley Padnos, chair of the Board of Trustees. “This budget achieves a balance that will help students graduate and find jobs. We have increased financial aid, helping students borrow less, and we were able to keep tuition costs manageable. I always like to remind students and their families to look at the bill in dollars, not the percentage increase in tuition. Grand Valley still charges less than most Michigan universities.” 

The university is expected to receive state funding of $63 million; some of the funding is the result of Grand Valley’s best-in-class performance. The state’s share of Grand Valley’s budget is 18 percent, meaning students and their families pay 82 percent. Trustees earmarked the entire state allocation for student financial aid, debt service, maintenance and utilities for classroom buildings.

President Thomas J. Haas said he applauds lawmakers tying funding to performance because Grand Valley and its students benefit.

“The state is investing again in higher education and demanding outcomes, which serves Grand Valley well,” Haas said. “We have been judged best in class, and we are now able to share the increase in the state’s investment in Grand Valley with our students. The state’s recognition of our performance has allowed us to hold down tuition and increase financial aid. This is welcome news for our hard-working students.”

Grand Valley is responsible for a nearly 30 percent increase in college graduates in Michigan in the last 10 years. Of Grand Valley’s most recent graduates, nearly 85 percent are employed or in graduate school, or both. Of those working, 90 percent are employed in Michigan. 

The budget passed by the board also includes a modest three percent wage increase for faculty and staff members.

For additional information highlighting Grand Valley’s performance, visit

For a chart detailing tuition at Michigan universities, visit

In other board action:

The Board of Trustees approved a new major in entrepreneurship. The program is designed to provide undergraduate students in the Seidman College of Business with a broad, highly applicable set of skills that will serve as a springboard for those who wish to start, run or grow their own personal or family-owned business. The entrepreneurship double major will give students a well-rounded experience and the knowledge and skills to pursue a career in an established business or start their own venture. The new major will meet the business community’s demand for students with more entrepreneurial skills.

The Board of Trustees also approved the authorization of Light of the World Academy in Pinckney, a charter school that will serve grades K-6 in its first year and grades K-8 at full capacity. The school is expected to serve 360 students at full capacity. The board also approved a resolution for appointment or reappointment of charter school board members to Grand Valley-authorized public school academy boards.

David S. Hooker was elected as chair of the Board of Trustees, and John C. Kennedy was elected as vice chair. Hooker's mother, Judith Hooker, served as board chair from February 1995-February 1997.


Hooker was appointed to the board in 2011. Hooker is president of Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Kennedy was appointed to the board in 2011. Kennedy is president of Autocam Corporation.

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