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GRCC sees nearly 3.6% overall enrollment increase in winter 2024 semester

Feb. 7, 2024 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Grand Rapids Community College saw a nearly 3.6% enrollment increase over the fall semester, with growth in new students, returning students and occasional students.

As of Jan. 19, GRCC’s Winter 2024 enrollment is 11,487, with the number of new students increasing by 5%. Enrollment by returning students (students re-enrolling from the previous semester) and occasional students (students who have attended GRCC before but were not enrolled in the previous semester), rose by 3% and 7%, respectively.

Amanda Kruzona, director of Institutional Research and the college’s data officer, said growth can be seen in many categories:

  • Black/African American students – 12%
  • Hispanic/Latinx students – 12%
  • Asian students – 11%
  • Full-time students – 13%
  • Ages 30 to 39 – 10%

“Our international student population rose by over 50%, bringing it back to pre-pandemic levels,” Kruzona said. “We had a 34% increase in students from outside Michigan, and our Lakeshore Campus enrollment grew by 14%.

“At GRCC, we are always looking at our processes for ways to improve the student experience. We look at what students need and offer support to help them reach their goals.”

Eric Mullen, dean of Student Success and Retention, credited some of the growth, especially in returning students, to development of the GRCC Cares Network, a whole-college effort to connect students to campus and community resources. 

When GRCC Cares team members are alerted to a student who needs support, they review their records and talk to those who work with the student to determine how best to help. Team members reach out to the student with information about resources – on campus and in the community – that can help. The college’s “Get Help” webpage includes information on mental health counseling, the Student Food Pantry and loans of laptops and hotspots. It also has links to West Michigan organizations that help with legal problems, domestic violence, and transportation needs.

“So many times, a student’s higher ed journey is disrupted by something outside the campus,” Mullen said. “It can be a need for housing or child care or a job to help pay for school. We work to help students overcome these hurdles before they withdraw from GRCC.”

GRCC’s Fall 2023 enrollment also showed growth, increasing 3.2% over the previous year. The numbers of Hispanic/Latino and Black/African American students rose 11.3% and 11.89%, respectively.

The headcount figures do not include GRCC’s Workforce Training programs, which don’t operate on a semester schedule.

Media Contact
Erin Van Egmond

Erin Van Egmond

Vice President of College Advancement and Executive Director of the GRCC Foundation
(616) 234-3931