GRCC approves budget with flat tuition rate, focusing on keeping college accessible and affordable through pandemic recovery

Student in class taking notes during a lecture.

Grand Rapids Community College trustees approved a budget that freezes tuition rates for the 2021-2022 academic year in an effort to keep education accessible and affordable for residents as West Michigan emerges from the pandemic.

Trustees on Monday unanimously approved a $115.4 million budget, which also includes waiving online class fees for the fall semester and retaining single swipe parking fees to help students access classes and services without paying more to park.

“Our world has changed in many ways since most of our students were on campus, and we are working to support them as they face new challenges,” board of trustees Chairperson David Koetje said. “This budget reflects our commitment to ensuring that students of all ages across West Michigan have access to the quality education they’ll need to move forward.”

The tuition freeze comes at a time when students also have several options to attend with education costs covered by state and local programs.

Michigan Reconnect is available for residents ages 25 and older who have not yet earned a degree. Futures for Frontliners supports students who worked in essential jobs during the spring pandemic shutdown, and Grand Rapids Promise Zone scholarships are for students graduating from a Grand Rapids high school.

Students not eligible for Michigan Reconnect, Futures for Frontliners, or Promise Zone may still qualify for a Pell grant or for one of the many GRCC related scholarships available for students.

“We embrace our mission of being the place West Michigan turns to in times of need,” GRCC President Bill Pink said. “This budget demonstrates our focus on our community – students, and also our partners and employers. We are creating more and different opportunities for people so they can find their place in our recovering region.”

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