April 14, 2020 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Grand Rapids Community College is waiving all fees for summer classes, saving many students more than $200 and helping them continue their education during challenging times.
GRCC President Bill Pink said the college is being relevant and responsive to the needs of its students and the greater community during a time when many people are facing financial challenges because of the coronavirus crisis.
Summer classes are ideal for incoming freshmen seeking a head start on their college journey, current students scheduling classes around other responsibilities, and older learners looking to gain new skills as they return to the workforce. Summer sessions also are helpful for students who attend four-year schools and are looking to gain more affordable credits to transfer.
“We know people are hurting right now,” Pink said. “We want to make it easier for people to start - or resume -- an education to prepare for their next step. GRCC will play an important role in getting West Michigan back to work. We want to remove as many barriers as we can to best serve our community.”
Students would still be responsible for tuition.
The college typically applies universal fees to cover technology, record keeping, facilities and student activities, with some classes also requiring additional charges for materials. Waiving these fees could save a student taking six credits more than $200 during GRCC’s two summer sessions. Students who already have registered and paid for summer sessions will have their fees refunded.
GRCC’s bookstore is providing free shipping for all textbooks and class materials for summer classes through the end of April.
GRCC’s summer schedule has two seven-week sessions and one 14-week session, with most classes starting on May 11. Classes in the 14-week session and the first seven-week session will be conducted through distance learning as the college works with state and local authorities in response to the global pandemic.
The second seven-week session, scheduled to begin June 30, is set to offer classes through both distance learning and face-to-face instruction. GRCC leaders will determine by May 22 if any changes need to be made to the second seven-week schedule.
Students can still register for summer courses at grcc.edu/enroll.
Provost Brian Knetl said the college is committed to helping students succeed, with support services such as advising and counseling taking place remotely. Staff from the Enrollment Center, the College Success Center, and the Library and Learning Commons also are available to answer questions and assist with registration.
The college also has loaned laptops to students needing technology and has boosted wifi access to the parking lot on the DeVos Campus to help students connect with the internet for classes.
The college frequently updates a website – grcc.edu/gethelp – listing college and community resources to help address food and housing insecurity and other challenges.
“We want students to be successful so our entire community can be stronger as we emerge from this crisis,” Knetl said. “We’re making education more affordable, but keeping the smaller class sizes and robust support services people expect from GRCC.”
Summer sessions are helpful for West Michigan students attending classes in four-year schools, allowing them to take classes at GRCC, then transferring them back to their home colleges. Last year there were 1,458 summer guest students at GRCC – accounting for nearly a quarter of all students enrolled during the sessions.
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.