April 20, 2020 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. —Grand Rapids Community College trustees approved a 1.7 percent tuition increase for the 2020-2021 academic year, part of a continuing effort to keep higher education affordable and accessible for students of all ages from across West Michigan.
President Bill Pink 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.
“GRCC is going to play a vital role in helping West Michigan recover from this crisis -- a mission we embrace,” Pink said. “That means we have to keep education affordable for students starting their educational journey as well as adults looking for new skills as they re-enter the job market.”
Pink said GRCC has made other changes in recent months to make college more accessible, including increasing the number of Saturday classes, seven-week classes and online classes.
“This is a fiscally responsible approach that still keeps a GRCC education affordable while maintaining quality programs for people looking for credits for degrees or to transfer, or for in-demand skills for a rapidly changing workforce,” board Chairman David Koetje said.
The in-district tuition rate of $117 per contact hour is a 1.7 percent increase -- $2 per contact hour -- from the 2019-2020 rate. It’s the third year in a row that GRCC has kept tuition increases under 2 percent.
The total cost for a fulltime student will be $3,969 for the year.
Even with the tuition increase, students eligible for a full Pell grant award will have more than $2,300 available to cover textbooks and other educational expenses, a full $90 higher available balance than last year.
The college has other approaches to keeping the cost of attending affordable. GRCC has partnerships throughout West Michigan with local school districts and intermediate school districts for Early/Middle College and dual and concurrent enrollment programs. More than 1,670 high school students take post-secondary classes at GRCC with no cost to them.
The Grand Rapids Community College Foundation also is working with partners to help with college expenses. Last year, the foundation awarded more than $1.2 million in scholarships.
The college is proud to partner with the Grand Rapids Promise Zone this fall to provide a GRCC education without cost to graduates from 24 public, public charter and private high schools located within the city.
Grand Rapids Community College offers learners of all ages opportunities to gain credits for degrees or transfer and in-demand career skills leading to rewarding careers. GRCC was established in 1914 – Michigan’s first community college -- and offers affordable classes on weekdays, evenings, Saturdays and online at locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.