Partnership leads to cheaper educational opportunities


Davenport’s David Lawrence said the university is dedicated to finding organizations that are committed to their employees’ education. Courtesy Davenport University

Two West Michigan institutions are partnering to provide affordable educational opportunities.

Earlier this month, Davenport University agreed to offer tuition discounts to Lake Michigan Credit Union employees and members.

David Lawrence, vice president of admissions for Davenport University, said the aim of the tuition remission program is to attract talented individuals to the credit union, retain them and allow them to grow and pursue other positions within the company.

“We look for leading organizations in Michigan that have a commitment to its employees’ education, and what we end up doing is helping to provide a lower cost, partnered with … tuition remission to make it more affordable for its employees,” he said. “As we got the chance to start meeting with the (Lake Michigan Credit Union) executive team, we started to understand their culture, their commitment to education and it helped (us better) understand that we do want to partner with them.”

Depending on the number of classes an undergraduate student takes, tuition costs at Davenport are around $34,000. According to the agreement, LMCU employees are recipients of a 39% discount on tuition rates for most undergraduate and graduate degree programs that pertain to areas of the college of business and technology programs, such as accounting, marketing, human resources, digital forensics and cybersecurity.

Spouses and dependents of LMCU employees age 29 and younger are eligible for a 20% tuition discount. There also is a 20% discount for employees who are seeking to enroll in professional development workshops, certification programs and other noncredit training opportunities.

LMCU members are eligible for a 20% discount on tuition rates for undergraduate and graduate degree programs that fall under the university’s college of business and technology programs. The university’s application fee will be waived for both employees and members.

Don Bratt, chief marketing officer at Lake Michigan Credit Union, said the discount benefits are available now for its members and employees who were newly enrolled in Davenport as of January of this year, and the benefits will continue into the new school year this fall.

There are over 1,500 employees who work at LMCU, and there are over 435,000 members throughout the state, as well as Florida and Indiana. About 97% of the credit union members are in Michigan.

“The nice thing about Davenport is that they have campuses in many of the areas we have branches and staff,” Bratt said.

He said the credit union does have similar affiliations with other educational institutions such as Cornerstone University, Northwood University and Point Park University in Pennsylvania, which has an online program.

“We are always looking for ways we can improve the value to our members as well as our employees, and Davenport has this new tuition scholarship program where they are able to offer discounts for (our) company employees as well as our members,” Bratt said. “So, we saw it as a perfect avenue to offer extra educational value, more affordability by partnering with Davenport University. So, we are very, very excited that they are looking for ways to make tuition more affordable, and we really appreciate the partnership so that we can align with them and then pass it on to our staff and members.”

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