GV Pledge intends to create opportunities, advance equity in local communities


GVL / Annabelle Robinson

Audrey Whitaker

Grand Valley State University has pledged to waive tuition fees for low-income students from six Michigan counties beginning fall 2021.

To qualify for the Grand Valley Pledge, incoming freshman must be accepted and enrolled as a full-time student, report $50,000 or lower in gross family income when filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and live in Calhoun, Grand Traverse, Kent, Muskegon, Ottawa or Wayne county, according to the Grand Valley Pledge website.

Although the university is based in Allendale, GVSU is present in each of these six counties.

The Grand Valley Pledge is a commitment to our communities,” said GVSU President Philomena V. Mantella in a statement. “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.”

In an effort to make assistance as accessible as possible, there is no separate application required, said Michelle Rhodes, Associate Vice President for Financial Aid said. Eligible students will receive an email notification.

The pledge applies to spring and summer semesters and will be renewed each year that a student is eligible and shows satisfactory academic progress, according to the website.

GVSU student Grace Bartholomew said she is glad to see the university making an effort to support communities like hers in Grand Traverse.

“It would benefit students who want to come to a university, rather than attending our local community colleges,” said Bartholomew. 

Bartholomew said that by removing the cost barrier many students face, GVSU is taking action to embody its mission and offer opportunities to a wider range of people

“I feel this is a huge thing for Traverse City because it allows those who are lower-income to attend classes that aren’t necessarily offered at a community college at a lower price and still have the convenience of living at home,” said Bartholomew.

More information about the Grand Valley Pledge and answers to frequently asked questions can be found at https://www.gvsu.edu/gvpledge/