This year, students attending Grand Valley State University will have to fork over an additional $298 for their annual tuition, now at $10,752 for a full-time undergraduate Michigan resident. While GVSU’s tuition increase for the 2014-2015 school year is the lowest percentage rate in the last 10 years, according to Hannah Lentz’s article, the increase in cost is still an extra burden on students. Just because GVSU raised tuition slightly less than other Michigan universities did, it does not hide the reality that yet again, tuition did go up. The nearly $300 increase could instead be used to buy groceries for a few weeks or pay most of the month’s rent or utilities for several months. 

In addition to the higher tuition costs, students that are part of the Frederik Meijer Honors College are experiencing the $20 per honors credit fee for the first time this semester. For freshmen in the Honors College, this can amount to another $120 each semester. Some other classes have an extra fee that can be as much as several hundred dollars more, which is just another burden on students. 

Finding extra cash for necessities becomes harder, or even impossible. Extra activities – like going out to eat, going to the mall or spending time with friends – become harder to enjoy because of the feeling that money is being wasted instead of going to a more productive cause.

Many students work one or more jobs during college to help cover tuition and other expenses. Some end up taking fewer credits during the semester in order to work more hours. However, taking fewer credits prolongs their stay at GVSU, and the costs of those extra semesters add up fast. Rising tuition costs and a 31 percent four-year graduation rate is certainly nothing to be proud of. Though 31 percent is the national average for public universities, GVSU has never been satisfied with being average. 

It is our hope that GVSU continues to come up with innovative ideas such as the Grand Finish Grant to encourage students to graduate in four years and to find new ways to keep tuition rates low. 

We also hope that GVSU looks closely at what they spend their money on. It has always been and always will be a burden on students to pay such high tuition, so it is the university’s responsibility to spend our money carefully and wisely. 

Though this year’s increase is much lower than in past years, every dollar makes college even less affordable for those who are wanting to go or considering whether they should attend or not.