GRCC In the News, 2-20-17

What will you be making at age 34?

Feb. 17, 2017; Grand Rapids Business Journal

Lou Glazer said a common refrain he hears from employers, parents and politicians is high school graduates would make higher wages by pursuing two-year degrees or occupational certificates instead of a traditional four-year education.

… Among two-year colleges in West Michigan, the highest median wage at 34 goes to students who attended Grand Rapids Community College at $30,700, and the lowest wage in the same category is earned by students who attended Montcalm Community College at $20,600.

Grant and Resource Development Department debuts newsletter

The Grant and Resource Development Department is thrilled to roll out the newly minted Grants Lab Newsletter! This newsletter will keep you informed on topics ranging from recent awards to upcoming opportunities to helpful resources. We will also be publishing short articles to help you and your team as you engage in the grant development process.

The Grants Lab Newsletter is your one-stop-shop for all things grant-related at GRCC! Won’t you check it out here?

IIPD Grant Applications are due on March 17, 2017 at 4:30 pm.

The deadline for the submission of grant applications for the Instructional Improvement & Professional Development (IIPD) Grants program is 4:30 p.m., March 17, 2017.  Information about how to apply for an IIPD grant can be found at this website: IIPD Application and Guidelines. Please note that applications must include Dean’s and Department Head Approval forms, a budget form and budget documentation. If you have any questions about IIPD grants, please contact Judith Larsen, Director, Grants and Resource Development Department, at 234-3910 or Good luck!

SLT Profile: Default Management Team

The GRCC Default Management Team includes:
  • Ann Isackson, Paul Doane, Sandi Glennemeier, Rebecca Powell and Veronica Beitner, Financial Aid
  • Bruce Morrison, Institutional Research and Planning
  • Bryan Vliem, Student Records
  • Eric Mullen, Enrollment Management and Financial Aid
  • John Cowles, Student Success and Retention
  • Marisol Blanco, College Success Center
  • Michael Passer, IT-Enterprise Applications
  • Tina Hoxie, Student Affairs
  • Todd Hurley, Accounting and Budget Services
  • Victoria Powers, Counseling and Career Center/TRiO

To address rising student loan default rates at GRCC, this team has developed, implemented and begun monitoring a student loan default management plan.

This plan consists of two primary areas of focus. The first is to provide delinquent borrowers with information necessary to facilitate successful loan repayment.

The second is to identify various touch points during the student’s college experience where financial literacy education could be delivered effectively. Since the team’s formation in June 2012, resources have been secured to provide students both delinquency outreach and financial literacy services through the SALT® educational finance support program.  Additionally, two part-time Loan Repayment Specialists were hired to serve as student advocates and to organize on-campus financial literacy events.

During the past year, an outreach campaign to delinquent borrowers and students entering repayment was initiated.

The campaign included:

  • Phone, text, mail and email communications.
  • In-person loan exit counseling sessions.
  • Information at Gradfest.
  • Information sent with 1,800 diplomas.

On-campus financial literacy offerings were expanded to current students through partnerships with Student Alliance and Phi Theta Kappa, as well as community organizations including Hello West Michigan, PNC Bank, and Lake Michigan Credit Union.  Additionally, in the last year 3,026 students enrolled in SALT® and 6,381 financial literacy modules were successfully completed by students enrolled in CLS 100, PY 100 and CLS 102 classes.

With these outreach and financial literacy initiatives, the college’s cohort default rate has continued to decline from an all-time high of 26.4% to our current rate of 23.2%. When draft cohort default rates are released in late February, a further decline is anticipated.

During the coming year, the team will:

  • Evaluate and revise the default management plan.
  • Expand the communications plan
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of financial literacy components used in first-year experience courses.
  • Examine the relationship between SALT® enrollment and successful loan repayment.

The GRCC Default Management Teams goal is to reduce the cohort default rate to 20% or below in the next three years.