GV officials address Student Senate on student enrollment, diversity


GVL / Bethann Long

Chloe Schram, Staff Writer

At their Nov. 10 general assembly, Grand Valley State University’s Student Senate welcomed university Vice President for Enrollment Development and Educational Outreach B. Donta Truss and Associate Vice President of Admissions and Recruitment Daniel C. Vélez to speak to senators.

Truss said this year GVSU brought in more student diversity than ever before. In aiming to provide equity in students’ opportunities and resources, GVSU has created a strategic enrollment management plan to help potential students in the admissions process.

“We are always looking for new, innovative approaches to recruiting students to GVSU and are open to suggestions,” Truss said.

Holistic admissions, the admissions method used by GVSU, was adopted by the university during the COVID-19 pandemic. This method makes the process of admitting students more equitable by considering factors outside of a student’s academic performance in their application.

“Students who fall in a certain (grade point average) range can be reviewed, and their neighborhood and lived experiences are also considered in the admissions process,” Vélez said. “We look at more than just GPA and test scores.”

Vélez said GVSU also looks to drive enrollment through partnerships with various organizations and programs. This includes getting input from the Student Senate and pairing with over 80 charter schools throughout Michigan.

He said GVSU also provides international students with visitation programs and restructured admissions among other services. International students can submit applications for GVSU and join the large community of learners in West Michigan.

GVSU also takes transfer students into consideration when attempting to attract applicants. Transferring schools can be intimidating, so the university wants to make the process possible and accessible for everyone.

“We are pushing to create access to different students interested in transferring to GVSU,” Truss said.

The Be a Laker, Bring a Laker program also helps recruit students of different interests and backgrounds to the university, in which alumni, parents, students and faculty members connect with prospective students and encourage them to apply to GVSU.

“We want to walk alongside those students and are working on collecting that data to help these communities,” Vélez said.

Truss and Vélez seemed to indicate in the meeting that GVSU will continue to attempt to find new ways to bring student diversity to GVSU and make admissions more considerate for students with different backgrounds and life experiences.