GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Grand Valley State University’s Board of Trustees approved the university’s 2012-13 budget at its July 13 meeting, including a 3.6 percent tuition increase.

Tuition for an undergraduate Michigan resident will increase by $181 per semester beginning this fall semester. The annual tuition will be $10,078. This is one of the smallest tuition increases in the past two decades.

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University leaders cited research showing that Grand Valley has held changes in its operating costs to the rate of inflation for the last 20 years, and that it has reduced the cost of producing a degree by 14 percent in the last decade.

The reality — and challenge — is that state support in the last 20 years has diminished from two-thirds of Grand Valley’s revenue to just 17 percent of revenue. State aid was cut by 15 percent last year alone. The university is expected to receive state funding of $52.6 million plus a one-time state grant of $2.8 million. The entire state allocation will be used for student financial aid, debt service, capital maintenance and utilities for classroom buildings.

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“We continue to increase our efficiency in operations while we achieve steady improvements in our classrooms, labs and overall campus life for students,” President Thomas J. Haas said. “Grand Valley has the lowest per-student funding in the state and nearly the lowest in the nation. The challenge is clear. We are increasing financial aid beyond the increase in tuition and we’re keeping our tuition rate below the state average for public universities. Our graduates are sought after by employers, and we continue to keep high-quality, well-educated workers in the state.”

“We approved this budget keeping access and affordability for students top of mind,” said Shelley Padnos, chair of the Board of Trustees. “We have to maintain the quality the state needs from Grand Valley to produce the strong graduates who are having a real hand in leading us to a more prosperous time. This university issues an Accountability Report each year that shows Grand Valley graduates are finding jobs and moving into careers and graduate schools. The return on investment is obvious for the students who choose Grand Valley State University, but it’s clear that the entire state benefits from its graduates and the university’s presence.”

The private-public partnership is a strong component of the university’s success, and the faculty and staff are part of that tremendous support. More than half (55 percent) of Grand Valley’s employees gave back to the university to support its programs and student scholarships. This figure is well above the national average.

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For additional information about how Grand Valley is accountable, visit