July 24, 2020 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Grand Rapids Community College is pushing back the due date for fall tuition payments, with leaders saying they don’t want students to delay their education as they are recovering financially from the coronavirus crisis and will need extra time.
The first fall tuition payment won’t be due until Aug. 12, pushed back from August 5. The move allows students more time to sign up for fall classes with no money down. Students also can take advantage of a plan to spread tuition and fees over multiple payments.
“This year has presented many financial challenges for students,” said Tina Hoxie, associate provost and dean of Students Affairs. “Many students lost jobs or faced significantly fewer hours during the crisis. We don’t want these challenges to force them to postpone their education, especially when they can gain skills or credentials that can help them gain new jobs.”
The move is one of several the college has taken to help students financially during the crisis.
The college earlier waived online course fees for any distance learning classes during the 2020-2021 academic year, saving students about $50 for each three-credit class.
That follows the college waiving all online and universal fees for summer classes.
GRCC also has created a financial aid hotline, staffed by experts who can answer questions about eligibility and filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, better known as FAFSA. Students can call (616) 234-4030 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The GRCC Foundation last year awarded more than $1.2 million in scholarships. While the deadline for fall scholarships has passed, students can apply for mid-year awards. A common application for all scholarships is posted at grcc.edu/scholarships.
The college also is offering loaner laptops and a limited number of wifi access hotspots for students to help them access virtual, online, and hybrid classes this fall.
The GRCC Office of Student Life also is continuing weekly curbside food distributions during the summer to help students facing food insecurity. Food distribution dates and links to other college and community resources are available at grcc.edu/gethelp.
GRCC’s fall semester class offerings are intended to provide options for students to gain an education in the safest possible environment.
The college is expanding the number of virtual classes, which meet online at specific times using programs such as Zoom, Google Meet and Blackboard, allowing students to interact with faculty and classmates in real time.
Online classes are entirely online with no set meeting times, and are ideal for people who work well independently or who need a flexible schedule.
Hybrid classes have students working mostly online, with limited meetings on campus. On-campus classes meet on campus at specific times, with proper social distancing and safety protocols.
It is possible that hybrid and on-campus classes could shift to remote or online instruction at any time in the event of another pandemic-related shutdown. GRCC leaders continue to work closely with state and Kent County health authorities to be on top of the latest developments.
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.