While no student wants to see their tuition bill go up, the Lanthorn recognizes that for the 2015-16 school year, it could have been a lot worse.

The Grand Valley State University Board of Trustees approved raising tuition a flat 3 percent, which is below the state-imposed cap of 3.2 percent for public universities.

Because GVSU stayed under the 3.2 percent cap, the university is still eligible for performance-based funding from the state of Michigan. That’s good news for the Laker community, because GVSU tends to do well when it comes to performance standards.

In an Oct. 15 interview with the Lanthorn, Gov. Rick Snyder said GVSU has performed well in the past few years.

“(GVSU has) been at the higher end in terms of graduation rates, achievements, cost and everything else,” Snyder said. “I would imagine your school has done well with respect to the formulas and weighting that we’ve had over the last few years, and you’ve really set some benchmarks to encourage that kind of great performance.”

This is particularly important because in 2014, GVSU received the lowest amount of state-appropriated funds per student of any public university, with $2,835. For comparison, Wayne State University received $8,176 per student, putting WSU at the top of the list.

While the tuition increase for GVSU may be reasonable, it is necessary to look at the whole picture.

At the Feb. 13 Board of Trustees meeting earlier this year, housing and dining costs rose 2.8 percent for the 2015-16 school year.

When combined, these fees add up to $318 more tacked on per semester for lower level undergraduates. For upper level students, that addition is $327. The cost is even greater for Frederick Meijer Honors College students, who have to pay $20 more per honors credit, putting another $60-$80 per honors class on to the bill.

Adding all these other fees up can make a huge difference for college students, especially when one factors in the cost of books and other supplies a successful student needs. Indeed, a $163 tuition bump doesn’t seem nearly as bad as the total increase of $318 for the typical freshman. GVSU’s meal plan is currently one of the cheapest in the state, but it seems to be ever-increasing.

According to Brian McVicar’s July 10 article “How GVSU’s $356 tuition hike compares with increases at other Michigan universities,” in the Grand Rapids Press, GVSU has the highest net price (room and board, tuition, books and other fees minus financial aid) of the 15 public universities in the state.

We’re glad that the approved tuition increase is reasonable, but it’s time the Laker administrators start looking at some of the other costs they place on GVSU students, too.