GV sees tuition cost rise along with increased state funding to university


GVL / Meghan Tripp (Landgren)

Michaela Triemstra, Staff Writer

On June 24, Grand Valley State University’s Board of Trustees approved a 2.9% increase in tuition for the 2022-23 school year. 

For undergraduate students who have earned less than 55 credits, this equates to an increase of $196 per semester in tuition costs. The new cost for tuition per semester is $6,976, or $586 per credit hour. 

For students who have already earned 55 credits or more, tuition increased by $206 per semester, making the overall tuition per semester $7,326.

As part of recent increases to tuition costs, university officials have pointed to underinvestment from the state government as a major reason behind their decision to raise rates.

This year, however, state allocations for GVSU and other universities increased under a $22.2 billion education budget signed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer in July. The state approved $2 billion in funding that is shared between the 15 public universities in Michigan. GVSU received over $81 million in funding – over seven million dollars more than it received from the state last year. 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer hailed the legislative passage of the increased funding, which was part of a larger statewide budget totaling $76 billion.

The budget will invest in every student and classroom, protect public health and public safety, expand mental health resources, grow Michigan’s economy and workforce, and empower working families and communities,” Whitmer said in a statement.

Following the increases in tuition and state aid, GVSU ranks No. 10 in tuition costs out of 15 Michigan universities on the list, with number 1 being the most expensive university. GVSU also ranks No. 14 in cost of on-campus room and board and No. 12 in the overall cost of attendance. 

The tuition increase comes as the burden of nationwide inflation threaten students’ abilities to afford everyday necessities.  Increases to basic commodities like gasoline, food and the like have had a months-long impact on students considering how to afford their education.

University officials, however, have defended their decision as a necessary increase to ensure continued operations.

Outgoing GVSU Board of Trustees Chair Megan Rydecki drew comparisons to other universities in the state when contextualizing the decision, which constituted the second-lowest tuition increase since 2004.

“It’s worth noting that with the increase, and even with room and board, this puts us at 12 out of 14 in terms of total costs among Michigan public universities,” Rydecki said. “With the continued commitment to financial aid, we can continue to show that we are being good stewards of our funds and we’re also providing a great return on that investment for them.”

Compared to other universities in Michigan, GVSU is one of the universities with the lowest increases in tuition.

In June, Michigan State University’s Board of Trustees voted on a 3% tuition hike. Western Michigan University’s Board similarly settled on a 3.85% increase.

While the increased state funding for higher education has bolstered the university’s budget tuition remains a large factor for continuing to provide high quality education, programs and housing.

As inflation woes directly impact students’ ability to afford living expenses, so too has the cost to fund GVSU operations increased. A 2.9% increase, the Board believed, was necessary to ensure the financial health and affordability, with Board of Trustees Secretary Stacie Behler highlighting an inclusion of nearly $70 million in scholarships and student aid.