On Friday, Grand Valley State University announced a tuition increase of 3.7%.  That's an increase of $362 per year and brings the yearly total to $10,078.  Tuition was just over $5,000 in 2002.

State funding and operating expenses are always changing and make planning for the future challenging for GVSU and everyone else.

Is GVSU's tuition increase of 3.7% fair?

3.7% seems like a reasonable increase, but when you consider the larger increases of years past, it begins to add up quickly.  Expanding and improving facilities is important, but so is being able to provide an affordable education.  At some point reducing expansion and freezing tuition increases must be a consideration.

GVSU says the increase is one of the smallest the university has passed in the last two decades and follows what has been years of declining state aid. Last year, for example, state aid to Michigan’s 15 public universities was reduced by 15 percent.

“Grand Valley has the lowest per-student funding in the state and nearly the lowest in the nation," President Thomas Haas said in a statement. "The challenge is clear. We are increasing financial aid beyond the increase in tuition and we’re keeping our tuition rate below the state average for public universities."

He stressed that GVSU remains among the state's most affordable public universities.

To help offset the increase, the university said it will bump up the amount of financial aid it offers to qualifying students.


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