What You'll Find Within Grand Valley

Students come to Grand Valley because of its academic excellence, first-rate faculty, and great return on investment, housed in our state-of-the-art facilities in outstanding locations.

Academic Excellence

Grand Valley students don't just learn skills; they learn how to think — for a lifetime. Graduates leave Grand Valley's campuses with experiences that prepare them well for success — in life, on the job, and in the community.

  • The middle 50 percent of Grand Valley's entering class for Fall 2013 earned high school GPAs ranging from 3.3 to 3.8 and ACT composite scores of 21 to 26.
  • Grand Valley's liberal education foundation spans all 86 undergraduate and 33 graduate programs, integrating disciplines so students connect topics and view the world from a broad perspective — better equipping them to make both personal and civic decisions.
  • Our liberal education, whether through foundation courses or the liberal studies major, allows personalization through electives, clubs, and events — ensuring every student receives the education that meets their goals.
  • Grand Valley offers opportunities for undergraduate students to collaborate with faculty members on research projects that are only available to graduate students at other schools.
  • At Grand Valley, learning takes place outside the classroom, too. More than 7,000 students participated in internships, co-ops, practica, and student teaching in 2012-2013. In 2012-2013, Grand Valley students performed more than one million community service hours through classroom assignments, student organizations, and personal volunteer work.
  • Grand Valley is home to vibrant student life, including more than 370 student organizations that keep students active, involved, and engaged.
  • Inclusion is a university value, a part of our culture, and a cornerstone of our curriculum. Grand Valley has many offices and centers dedicated to meeting the needs of a diverse university, including a record 401 international students representing 78 different countries during the 2014-2015 academic year. In addition, Grand Valley is ranked 5th among U.S. master's degree-granting institutions for total number of study abroad students, with more than 730 students studying abroad in 2013-2014.
  • In the 2012-2013 academic year, Grand Valley student athletes logged more than 3,000 hours of community service and about 60 percent achieved a 3.0 or better GPA. Grand Valley extended its streak of finishing first or second in the Directors' Cup standings as the top athletic program in NCAA Division II to 13 consecutive years. Since 2002, GVSU teams have won 16 NCAA Division II national championships, 12 of which have been in women's sports.
  • Grand Valley ranks eighth of Michigan's 15 public universities in number of students of color, which helps ensure a broad range of personal and educational experiences and prepares students for life in a global economy.
  • Grand Valley's Sustainable Community Development Initiative connects students with sustainability best practices through courses, internships, activities, and resources, helping assure the environmental, social, and economic impact of our activities will create a high quality of life for our current generation and those of the future.
  • The Peter Cook Leadership Academy at the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies inspires potential leaders to serve their community, state, and nation. Each year 40 students take part in the cocurricular and crossdisciplinary program that provides them opportunities to expand their horizons and engage the community.

First-rate Faculty

Excellent academic credentials, unparalleled dedication, and active engagement in their scholarship and disciplines make for energized, accessible, and responsive faculty members.

  • Ninety-two percent of regular faculty members have earned their doctorate or other terminal degree.
  • Outstanding faculty members, never graduate students or teaching assistants, teach every class and inspire learning and self-discovery. An average class size of 27 students and student to faculty ratio of 17:1 ensure a more personal classroom experience.
  • Grand Valley faculty members love to teach and believe that research mentoring is the greatest form of teaching. Through active, engaged scholarship in student-directed research projects, they inspire students' passions for learning, self-discovery, and incorporating academics with professional work.
  • During the 2014-2015 academic year, Grand Valley employed 1,678 full- and part-time faculty members, of which 563 were part-time. Part-time faculty members bring invaluable industry experience and real-world learning to the classroom, and provide career connections and opportunities.

Great Return on Investment

We know Grand Valley tuition is a real investment, and we're sensitive to actual family budgets. Grand Valley costs much less than other public universities of comparable quality — and has been named one of America's 100 Best College Buys for 19 years in a row.

  • More than 2,500 students received the $1,000 Grand Finish grant in 2013. It rewards students for staying on a four-year path to graduation. Of all the 2014 graduates who graduated in four years or less, 33 percent had no debt.
  • Grand Valley provides high-quality education opportunities at an affordable tuition rate. Only six of Michigan's 15 public universities have a lower first-time student annual tuition than Grand Valley.
  • In the 2013-2014 academic year, 94 percent of our full-time dependent students received financial aid — with an average award of $13,276.
  • Grand Valley has answered the call for a better-educated Michigan. Grand Valley's enrollment went up 63 percent in the past 15 years, while degrees awarded went up 57 percent in the past 10 years. As a result, Grand Valley accounted for nearly 25 percent of the increase in college graduates in Michigan in the last 10 years. In addition, Grand Valley's cost per degree has dropped by 30 percent compared to 10 years ago.
  • Grand Valley's liberal education focus emphasizes critical thinking, creative problem solving, and cultural understanding — preparing students for life in a fast changing world. Accordingly, nearly 90 percent of Grand Valley graduates are successfully employed or pursuing advanced degrees. Of those working, 86 percent are employed in Michigan.
  • Through basic and applied research, artistic expression and performance, and other forms of scholarship, GVSU faculty members not only contribute to the development and application of knowledge while creating a dynamic environment for learning, but also contribute to the economic progress of the region that they serve. The Grand Valley community's sponsored projects and research injected $23 million into the Michigan economy.
  • The total economic impact of Grand Valley's faculty members, staff members, and students in Kent, Ottawa, and Muskegon counties during the 2012-2013 fiscal year was $730.1 million. Add in the avoided cost from our sustainable social, environmental, and economic best practices and the estimated annualized economic impact to West Michigan is $926 million.

State-of-the-Art Facilities

Grand Valley continually sets new standards for excellence in how our facilities are used to promote academic achievement. Inspiring classroom and research facilities, modern living centers, and convenient student services make Grand Valley campuses ideal places to engage, learn, and live.

  • The new Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons opened on the Allendale Campus in the summer of 2013 as the intellectual heart of the university and is already nationally recognized as a model for 21st century learning. It features a knowledge market with peer experts to provide research, writing, technology, and presentation coaching, as well as capacity for 150,000 books on open shelves and 600,000 library items in an automated retrieval system.
  • The new L. William Seidman Center opened in May 2013. The four-story building located along the Grand River in downtown Grand Rapids is nearly 130,000 square feet and fully houses the Seidman College of Business, as well as numerous business outreach programs. The building enhances the Seidman College of Business's growing reputation as one of the premier business schools in the country and provides business students convenient access to the thriving Grand Rapids business community.
  • The GVSU Detroit Center opened in 2013, housing classrooms for both the Grand Valley Charter Schools Office and the College of Education. It holds the regional offices for the Small Business and Technology Development Center and serves as a central meeting location for Grand Valley professionals conducting business in southeast Michigan.
  • The new field station building at Grand Valley's Robert B. Annis Water Resources Institute in Muskegon opened in the summer of 2013. The new building is significantly bigger than the original and offers space for year-round research, encouraging better science and better solutions to the issues facing our freshwater resources.
  • New construction and renovations pumped more than $21 million into the local economy in 2013, creating hundreds of trade and construction jobs.
  • Our commitment to sustainability and the environment is evident in our meeting LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) specifications in all our new construction projects. It's just one reason why Grand Valley was listed as one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the U.S.A. and Canada in The Princeton Review's Guide to 332 Green Colleges: 2014 Edition.
  • In April 2013, Grand Valley broke ground on its new 151,000-square-foot, four-story Science Laboratory Building on the Allendale Campus, scheduled to open in Fall 2015. The building will help attract and educate talented students in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and health professions fields. Of Grand Valley's 81 undergraduate programs and 31 graduate programs, about 40 of them touch on the STEM and health professions in some way.

Outstanding Locations

West Michigan is a great place to live, and Grand Valley helps drive our region's economic growth. Grand Valley students and alumni have unique opportunities to learn and work in up-and-coming industries — because Grand Valley is involved in advancing those new industries.

  • Grand Valley has full-service campuses in Allendale, Grand Rapids, and Holland, and regional centers in Muskegon and Traverse City. Being located in Michigan's West Coast, students are close to the sandy beaches of Lake Michigan, the cultural opportunities of Grand Rapids, and only a few hours from the major metropolitan opportunities of Detroit and Chicago.
  • The Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus is located in the heart of Michigan's second largest city, close to internship, employment, and community outreach programs.
  • Top employers of Grand Valley graduates include well-known West Michigan companies such as Amway Corporation, BDO Seidman, GE Aviation, Gentex Corporation, Haworth, Herman Miller, Meijer, Perrigo Company, Steelcase, Inc., and Wolverine World Wide.
  • Students from every county in Michigan choose Grand Valley — the top six counties of origin for incoming freshmen are Kent, Oakland, Ottawa, Wayne, Macomb, and Livingston.
  • The free Campus Connector shuttle links students, faculty members, and staff members to the entire Grand Rapids transit system reducing the number of cars on the road. In the 2014 fiscal year, the shuttles carried nearly three million riders within and between the Allendale and Grand Rapids campuses.