GVL / Robert Mathews
President T. Haas speaking during the recent Board of Trustees meeting.

Robert Mathews

GVL / Robert Mathews President T. Haas speaking during the recent Board of Trustees’ meeting.

Anya Zentmeyer

The Grand Valley State University Board of Trustees approved a 3.7 percentage tuition increase for the 2012-2013 academic year at their July 13 meeting at Pew Campus’ Eberhard Center. The increase translates to a per-semester hike of $181, bringing the average yearly tuition for a full-time, in-state student from $9,716 in 2011-2012 to $10,078 this fall.

“The challenge is clear,” said President Thomas J. Haas in a statement released by GVSU’s News and Information Services following the approval. “We are increasing financial aid beyond the increase in tuition and we’re keeping our tuition rate below the state average for public universities. Our graduates are sought after by employers, and we continue to keep high-quality, well-educated workers in the state.”

GVSU is one of the last of Michigan’s 15 public universities to set 2012-2013 tuition rates with the exception of Oakland University and Western Michigan University, and the increase falls in the lower half of rate increases. Michigan Technological University tops the chart, setting a $500, 3.9 percent increase for the 2012-2013 academic year.

“These rates keep GVSU tuition below the state average and below the legislative tuition cap,” said Jim Bachmeier, vice president for finance and administration.

Bachmeier said the increase is largely due to the university’s lack of state funding, which was cut by 15 percent last year, and puts GVSU at the very bottom of the list. This year, GVSU is expected to receive $52.6 million in state allocations with an additional one-time state grant of $2.8 million in performance funding. Where two decades ago state allocations accounted for two-thirds of GVSU’s total revenue, this year’s $52.6 million from the state will account for only 17 percent.

“We approved this budget keeping access and affordability for students top of mind,” said Shelley Padnos, who was voted to replace Noreen K. Myers as the board’s new chair. “We have to maintain the quality the state needs from Grand Valley to produce the strong graduates who are having a real hand in leading us to a more prosperous time.”

The net cost of average yearly tuition for students should fall around $6,200, including scholarships and institutional financial aid – aid that the university plans on boosting from $31.1 million last year to $33.6 million for students who can demonstrate financial need. The boost aims to help account for the tuition increase, which Bachmeier and other trustees recognized might create financial hardships for students this coming year.

The board also approved the university’s general fund budget at the July 13 meeting for the 2012-2013 fiscal year, which totals at $285.2 million and contains a $7.2 million increase in expenditures. Since $2.8 million of those base expenditures supported through state appropriation, Bachmeier noted that this leaves $4.4 million in continuing revenue of base expenditures.

University employees will receive a 2.9 percent increase from last year, with salaries budgeted at $145.7 million total.

Trustees voted Michael Thomas to replace Shelley Padnos as vice chair of the GVSU Board of Trustees as she moves into her new position as chair of the board. Teri Losey and Bachmeier will remain in their positions on the board as secretary and treasurer, respectively.
To view the president’s accountability report, visit http://www.gvsu.edu/accountability/.
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