GRCC trustees approve 0.9% tuition increase, part of an effort to keep a college education accessible, affordable

Students in class.

Grand Rapids Community College trustees approved a 0.9% tuition increase for the 2022-2023 academic year, part of an effort to keep education accessible and affordable for students of all ages as West Michigan continues to emerge from the pandemic.

Board Chairperson David Koetje said the increase, approved unanimously today, reflects the college’s focus on keeping a GRCC education within reach at a time when many people in the community are experiencing financial challenges.

“Our college is the place our community turns to during challenging times,” Koetje said. “As West Michigan recovers from this pandemic, we know students are starting – and in increasing numbers, restarting – an education that will help them gain new skills and degrees that will help them move forward. This tuition rate is financially responsible for the college and also reflects our commitment to keeping that education accessible.”

The tuition change comes at a time when students also have several options to attend with education costs covered by state, local, and federal programs. One in five students attending during the Winter 2022 semester has tuition covered by grant or scholarship program. 

Michigan Reconnect is available for residents ages 25 and older who have not yet earned a degree and Grand Rapids Promise Zone scholarships are for students graduating from a Grand Rapids high school.

Students also may qualify for a federal Pell Grant, or for scholarships through the Grand Rapids Community College Foundation.

“Our world has changed, but our mission has not,” GRCC President Bill Pink said. “A college education will change lives. Affordable tuition is one aspect of accessibility. We have scheduling options, class formats, and nearby locations that allow students to work around home and job responsibilities. We have support for them once they are here so they can finish what they started.” 

Pink said GRCC leaders have worked to keep tuition increases as small as possible to keep education affordable, especially during the pandemic. He said it was vitally important to provide students continued relief as the region recovers. The 0.9 percent increase follows a tuition freeze last year, a 1.7% increase in 2020, and 0.8% increases the two prior years.

The new in-district tuition rate will be $118 per contact hour, up $1 from 2021-2022, and the total cost for a fulltime student will be $3,999 for the year. The out-of-district rate will be $249 per contact hour, up $2, and the out-of-state rate is $374 per contact hour, up $3. Universal fees will be unchanged. 

The college has other approaches to keep a college education within reach. GRCC has partnerships throughout West Michigan with local school districts and intermediate school districts for Early/Middle College and dual and concurrent enrollment programs.

The GRCC Foundation also works with partners to help with expenses. This year, the foundation plans to award more than $1.4 million in scholarships.

GRCC also is continuing a parking fee structure that allows students to pay once a day, making it easier for them to get to classes and services at the college’s two downtown campuses.

Students can use their RaiderCard to swipe into a lot and pay $3.50, then have unlimited access to parking lots on the Main Campus and DeVos Campus for the remainder of the day. Previously, students were charged $3.50 each time they exited a lot.

The move is intended to save students money at a time when many face financial challenges and prevent parking costs from being a factor in their decision to take a class or access programs.

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