Today, the Grand Valley State University Board of Trustees approved the budget for fiscal year 2016. The budget includes an increase for tuition and a 2.9 percent raise for staff and faculty.

The budget was approved at today's meeting held in the Kirkhof Center on the Allendale Campus. Tuition will be raised by 4 percent. The tuition increase complies with the state's tuition cap.

Trustees approved increasing tuition by $221 per semester, bringing annual tuition to $11,520 for a full-time undergraduate Michigan resident. The budget includes $44 million in financial aid for students, which is an increase of more than $3.5 million to be awarded in the form of scholarships or grants.

"Grand Valley is efficient and effective," said David Hooker, chair of the Grand Valley Board of Trustees. "This budget allows us to focus on student affordability. We understand the need for financial aid for our students. Our budget strategies have allowed us to increase aid by a substantial amount this year. Grand Valley educates a workforce and is keeping talent here in Michigan. We know that graduates are staying in the state, getting jobs and giving back."

In fall 2015, 59 percent of all undergraduates received gift aid, and of the 2014-15 graduates who earned a degree in four years or less, 31 percent had zero debt.

The university is expected to receive $68.2 million in state funding.

The state's share of Grand Valley's entire budget is 18 percent. Trustees earmarked all of the funding from the state for student financial aid, debt service, maintenance and utilities for classroom buildings.