University offers more students free tuition

Philomena Mantella. Courtesy Grand Valley State University

A Grand Rapids university has expanded its tuition-free program.

Grand Valley State University (GVSU) last week said it expanded its Grand Valley Pledge program, which awards free tuition to qualified, full-time undergraduate students who have a family income of less than $50,000.

The program now includes first-year or transfer students. It initially was created for students in six counties where GVSU has a presence.

“We never want finances to be a barrier that stops students from moving forward,” said Philomena Mantella, president, GVSU. “I am so pleased Grand Valley is able to expand its access to all Michigan students who want to go to college. Talented students with a passion for learning belong at GVSU.”

Michelle Rhodes, associate vice president for financial aid at GVSU, said students who qualify financially, according to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, automatically are enrolled in the Grand Valley Pledge program without having to fill out extra forms.

Nearly 400 students were enrolled in the Grand Valley Pledge program last fall semester, according to B. Donta Truss, vice president for enrollment management and educational outreach.

He expected several hundred more students to take advantage of the program and said systems are in place to help ensure their academic success.

“Grand Valley has enhanced its support services for all students,” Truss said. “Students who qualify for the pledge program will be positively impacted because of these new initiatives. We believe the key to success is meeting students where they are, and this plan allows us to meet more students and to ensure they have an opportunity to succeed in college. We are a student-ready institution, and this is evidence of that effort.”

More information is available here.

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