Tuition-free academic excellence. You have our word on it.

When it comes to access to a first-class college education, a student's family income should not be a barrier. That's why we've vowed to help make a Grand Valley education accessible to more students than ever with our Grand Valley Pledge. Our new program is simple: We pledge that admitted freshman students who meet the short list of other criteria below will be automatically awarded full undergraduate tuition and course fees, renewable for up to four years based on FAFSA eligibility.

"The Grand Valley Pledge is a commitment to our communities," said Grand Valley President Philomena V. Mantella. "It is another way of assuring that we create opportunity and advance equity in the communities in which we live and teach, as well as inspire a broader movement of making higher education accessible to all."

That's the Grand Valley Pledge and you have our word on it.

How Does the Grand Valley Pledge Work?

It's simple! For the 2024-2025 academic year, you must complete the following:

  1. Apply to GVSU.
  2. Be accepted.
  3. File the FAFSA and complete any additional requirements.
  4. That's it! If you meet the eligibility criteria listed below, you will have federal, state, and institutional gift aid that covers (or even exceeds) the cost of your tuition.

100% Free Tuition
No Separate Application
Accessible Education

Recipients must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Must be admitted Fall 2024 or Winter 2025 as an undergraduate degree-seeking freshman*
  • Live in the state of Michigan
  • Family Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of $0 - $50,000, as reported on the FAFSA
  • Family Assets of $50,000 or less, as reported on the FAFSA
  • Must be enrolled full-time

Incoming Freshmen

  • Renewable for an additional three years (total award of eight consecutive fall and winter semesters)
  • Must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • Must file a FAFSA annually
  • Must continue to meet family AGI and asset requirements as outlined above


*Please note, if you have been awarded funds intended to cover your tuition or are utilizing benefits to cover your tuition, the GV Pledge will be adjusted accordingly.*

Frequently Asked Questions

The Grand Valley Pledge guarantees that you will have a combination of the Federal Pell Grant, other federal grants, state, and institutional gift and grant aid that at least covers the following:

  • Full tuition of the block rate (12-15 credits) for undergraduate level coursework
  • Additional tuition charges that are assessed per credit hour for certain classes (more info on additional tuition)

If you qualify for aid in excess of tuition, you can use those funds to cover your other costs (i.e. books, housing, food, parking permit, other educational expenses).

We are strongly recommending that you file your FAFSA by March 1 as funds may be limited for this program.

We will use information as it is reported on the FAFSA. You may be selected to submit documentation to verify that the information reported on your FAFSA is accurate. The most simple way to ensure this is by utilizing the IRS Data Retrieval Tool that is built in to the FAFSA application. Total AGI for both the parent(s) and the student will be combined to determine eligibility for the program.

We will use asset information as it is reported on the FAFSA.  The asset information that is reported is as follows:

  • Total current balance of cash, savings, and checking accounts
  • Net worth of investments
  • Net worth of your current businesses and/or investment farms

For more information on this, please visit the Federal Student Aid website. Total assets for both the parent(s) and the student will be combined to determine eligibility for the program.

You will receive an email notification if you are eligible for the Grand Valley Pledge. You can also determine this once you receive your GVSU financial aid offer by looking at the total amount of grants and scholarships and seeing that it meets or exceeds the total amount of tuition listed.

Federal and institutional gift and grant aid will automatically be renewed for students who continue to qualify.  In order to meet the requirements for renewal you must:

  1. Complete the FAFSA each academic year you attend to show that you continue to meet income and asset requirements, and
  2. Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress

We have a Special Circumstances process in place to review changes in household income, divorce, death of a parent, etc.  For more information please visit the Financial Aid Special Circumstances webpage.

No. Only students seeking first bachelor's degrees qualify.

No, you must be enrolled in at least 12 credits to qualify for the Grand Valley Pledge.

No, the GV Pledge is only awarded in the fall and winter semesters.

Your total financial aid award and outside resources may not exceed your total cost of attendance. If you are awarded up to the cost of attendance, your outside scholarship award(s) will be used to reduce or eliminate your student loan awards before any adjustments to other awards are made. 

However, if the outside scholarship or funding covers the amount of tuition, the GV Pledge will be adjusted accordingly. This includes VA benefits, Promise programs, dependent tuition coverage at GV, and more.

Please visit financial aid's Outside Scholarship Policy to learn more about your outside scholarship.

No. There is no on-campus housing requirement included with the Grand Valley Pledge program.  There is, however, a separate on-campus housing policy for new freshman.

*This program began in Fall 2021. The Fall 2021 class was only eligible if they lived in the counties of Calhoun, Grand Traverse, Kent, Muskegon, Ottawa, or Wayne. 

Page last modified January 31, 2024