GRCC trustees approve 1.7 percent tuition increase, part of an effort to keep quality education affordable and accessible

Student walking by Calkins and GRCC signs.

Grand Rapids Community College trustees approved a 1.7 percent tuition increase for the 2023-2024 academic year, part of a continuing effort to keep higher education affordable and accessible for students of all ages from across West Michigan.

GRCC President Charles Lepper said the new tuition rate, approved unanimously by the board of trustees on Monday, reflects the focus on keeping a college education within reach at a time when many people in the community face financial challenges.

“A college education will change lives” Lepper said. “We tell our community members, ‘You belong at GRCC, and we will help you be successful.’ We want to keep our tuition as affordable as possible to help students of all ages get the education they want and need.”

The in-district tuition rate of $120 per contact hour is a 1.7 percent increase — $2 per contact hour — from the 2022-2023 rate. The total cost for most fulltime students will be $4,059.

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 2023 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 covers the cost of in-district tuition. Additional information is available at

The new Michigan Achievement Scholarship could provide future Grand Rapids Community College students with $2,750 a year to help cover the cost of tuition.

The college is proud to partner with the Grand Rapids Promise Zone this fall to provide a GRCC education without cost to graduates from 25 public, public charter and private high schools located within the city. Additional details are at

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

Michigan community colleges receive revenue largely from three sources: tuition and fees, local property taxes, and state aid.

“We don’t take approving tuition increases lightly,” said David Koetje, chairperson of the GRCC board of trustees. “Trustees recognize any increase in tuition can create a challenge for some students. But the college crafted a responsible financial plan, considering the rising costs we all are facing and some of the structural challenges in the way colleges are funded. We think this is a plan that allows us to continue delivering a high-quality education while keeping the cost to students as low as possible.”

Celebrating Women’s History Month by giving back

The Office of Diversity Equity and Inclusion is collecting donations until the end of the month for the YWCA and the Women’s Resource Center.

The YWCA accepts donations of cleaning items, hygiene items, sheets, and baby items.

The Women’s Resource Center collects lightly-used business casual clothing.

Donations can be dropped off at the ODEI office inside the Library and Learning Commons. A full list of acceptable donation items can be found on the ODEI News and Events webpage.

Posting on GRCC and Community boards

Have a poster you want put up to advertise a GRCC event? You can use the GRCC posting boards located on campus.

Have something you would like to share with the campus community not directly related to GRCC? You can use the Community posting boards located on campus.

GRCC posting boards:

  1. Please drop off 20 posters to cover the boards, if you are short of 20 we cannot put them up.
  2. Posters are put up on Thursday each week, so please plan your posters to be dropped off accordingly.
  3. Everything that goes up on the GRCC posting boards must be approved and stamped with an approval in order to go up. Posters that are not approved will be taken down.
  4. To be approved for our the GRCC posting boards, the poster MUST be affiliated with a GRCC department or a student club/organization on campus.

Community posting boards:

  1. Posters that are unaffiliated with GRCC need to go on our community boards. These are located at:
  • on the first floor of the Student center building by the elevators (2)
  • in RJF level G2 on the north end of the corridor
  • by the main entrance of GRCC Lakeshore campus

Please contact Student Life (616) 234-4160 or with any questions.

GRCC electrical apprentice Wade Wiltenburg earns bronze medal in national professional trades competition

Wade Wiltenburg smiling.

Wade Wiltenburg, a Grand Rapids Community College student in a Workforce Training apprentice program, earned a bronze medal in a national competition featuring nearly 200 of the nation’s top-performing craft professionals.

Wiltenburg, an electrical apprentice from Coopersville, placed third at the Associated Builders and Contractors’ National Craft Championships in Kissimmee, Fla.  Wiltenburg represented both his employer, Buist Electric, and the Western Michigan ABC chapter in the 34th annual competition.

“I’m leaving the competition with a new motivation and respect for the trades,” Wiltenburg. “I competed with the best in the country this week, and that inspires me to keep trying to be the best I can be.”

Wiltenburg faced 38 competitors from across the country during the two-day competition, which included a two-hour online exam and a six-hour practical performance test.

“We are so proud of Wade representing Buist Electric and electrical apprentices in West Michigan,” said Matt DeVries, personnel director at Buist Electric. “He started with Buist at 16 years old and is the perfect example of a student who, with the right training, education, and mentorship, can have a successful career in the trades. We hope Wade’s story and accomplishments inspire future students to join our industry.”

Established in 1987, the National Craft Championships celebrate and recognize upskilling in construction, draw some of the country’s most talented craft professionals and highlight the important role that craft skills training plays in the construction industry.

The NCC featured the nation’s top-performing craft professionals, including carpenters, electricians, pipefitters, plumbers, welders and more, all vying for top honors in 16 competitions with skills on display in 12 crafts. NCC also featured a team competition with journey-level craft professionals from different crafts working to complete a joint project.

“ABC’s premier skilled trades competition showcases the best construction craft professionals in the industry,” said Milton Graugnard , 2023 national chair of the ABC Board of Directors and executive vice president, Cajun Industries LLC, Baton Rouge, La.

“Western Michigan’s craft students brighten the future of the merit shop industry, build America stronger and highlight the countless career opportunities available in construction. From all across this great country, these craft professionals traveled to Florida to demonstrate their superior skills, education and safe work practices.”

Versiti Blood Drive is right around the corner

Last year, we worked together to collect over 30 units of blood. It is heartening to know that together we have accomplished so much good.

Our goal is to have 25 donors at our blood drive on March 22, 2023. We are currently a third of the way there!

Please consider one of three ways to support the community: roll up your sleeve and donate blood, support those who donate by volunteering at the blood drive, or pledge to support our efforts by posting to your social networks about this great community initiative.

Attached below is a poster you can share with your colleagues and students. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Rebecca at about joining the blood drive team, or reach out with any questions you may have.

Thank you again for your assistance and for making our blood drives a huge success. Let’s make an even bigger impact on March 22 by reaching our goal!

Drop-ins are always welcome, and you can reach out to Rebecca if a time slot that works for you isn’t available!


The Versiti Team

Diversity Lecture Series: Graci Harkema – Finding Belonging in Intersectionality March 23

When: March 23 from 4-5 p.m.

Where: Applied Technology Center room 168

Graci Harkema is an international diversity, equity, & inclusion speaker and author, specializing in inclusive leadership and unconscious bias for Fortune 500, small businesses, and non-profit organizations. The Grand Rapids Business Journal has named her a 40 Under 40 Business Leader of West Michigan, one of the 50 Most Influential Women of West Michigan, and one of the 200 Most Powerful Business Leaders of West Michigan. A graduate in communications from Grand Valley State University, Graci is the author of her forthcoming memoir, Rising: From a Mud Hut to the Boardroom–and Back Again. For more, visit

Watch virtually

Community College Survey of Student Engagement: March 13 through March 31

Every two years, students at GRCC take part in the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE). For the 2023 iteration, this survey will be open to students Monday, March 13 through March 31, 2023.

They will receive an email to their GRCC student email with a link to the survey and their unique access code.

Please encourage your students to complete this survey, as it provides us with the student perspective that is crucial to our work!

Student responses are anonymous and will be aggregated when analyzed.

At that same time, the faculty version of this survey will be administered and will be sent directly from CCSSE. We appreciate all feedback in order to make meaningful and impactful decisions.

If you have any additional questions, please contact institutional research at

25th Annual Salute to Women Awards on March 29: Vimeo link available

25th Annual Salute to Women logo in blue script.

The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI) wants to invite you to the Salute to Women Awards .

The awards recognition ceremony will take place Wednesday, March 29 from Noon to 1 p.m. in Sneden 108.

The award celebrates the accomplishments of women and gender equity advocates who impact the GRCC community, and is open to all GRCC stakeholders regardless of gender or gender identity.


Vimeo Link: Salute to Women 2023

English Department ‘Spring Reading’ March 23

Please pass this along to our students.

Thursday, March 23 from 7:00 – 8:30 PM

In the GRCC Library and Learning Commons, 2nd Floor

7 PM – Poetry & Prose Readings by GRCC English Department faculty

  • Susan Davis
  • Katie Kalisz
  • Mursalata Muhammad
  • Nora Neill

7:45PM – Q & A: On Writing and A Writer’s Education

Event Details: Reader Bios & additional information on the English Department Spring Reading webpage.

March 27, 2023 Economic Club of Grand Rapids opportunity for GRCC Students

The Economic Club of Grand Rapids has gifted us with the opportunity to have GRCC students participate in an upcoming luncheon FOR FREE.

The next event is Monday, March 27, with the topic, “Leading in an Era of Disruptive Change.”

Limited seats are available so please complete this google form and get more information here:

The RSVP deadline is 8 a.m., Wednesday, March 22 for this March 27 event.