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Grand Valley State University (GVSU) is a large public university located in the Western Michigan town of Allendale, outside of Grand Rapids. The school educates over 20,000 undergraduate and around 3,000 graduate students in programs that run the gamut from accounting to writing, and everything in between. These 141 programs are offered on campus, online, and through hybrid programs. The school also supports students in their pursuit of professional licensure in healthcare and other fields.

Overview of Grand Valley State University (GVSU)

For those who engage with GVSU on campus, the school has much to offer. They offer over 6,000 beds for those who wish to live on campus, over 300 clubs and organizations, study abroad opportunities, and a community of alumni that is 133,000 strong and growing all the time. To fuel all of these folks, the GVSU campus offers many dining opportunities including coffee shops, fast food, and cafeteria-style dining.

Students can also round off their education with healthy recreation and wellness outlets on campus. GVSU offers intramural and club sports, nutrition and wellness offerings, rock climbing, and group fitness classes. There are even outdoor activities such as cycling, rock climbing, and backpacking adventures that create memories for a lifetime.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting Suburb: Large
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 16:1
Graduation Rate 67%
Year Founded 1960

Student Enrollment

Total Students24,033


Undergraduate Student

Male 8,445
Female 12,667

Graduate Student

Male 1,168
Female 1,753

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GVSU Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 6,096
Female 10,328


Male 4,938
Female 8,779

Acceptance Rate83%

Male 81%
Female 85%

Enrollment 4,248

Male 1,622
Female 2,626
Application Fee $30
High School GPA Required
High School Rank Recommended
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Required
Recommendations N/A
SAT/ACT Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline May
Common Application Accepted N/A

GVSU Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

The cost of education is a huge issue for most Michigan families. Since GVSU is a public university, it can offer top-tier academics for a lower rate than most private institutions. In fact, Michigan students can take a year of courses, full-time, for around $14,000. Out-of-state students pay over $20,000, which is still a bargain for the top academics offered on campus.

Student living can be cheap, but those expenses still add up. GVSU students pay around $12,000 for their on-campus living and off-campus students pay under $10,000. All in all, the gross cost for a Michigan resident is $26,000 for on-campus and $24,000 for off-campus living. These figures rise by around $6,000 for non-Michigan students. However, these figures don't factor in grants and scholarships.

The financial aid office mitigates student costs with a range of grants and scholarships which result in a more palatable net price for a GVSU education. Indeed, the overall average net price for a year at GVSU is a mere $17,000, including all living expenses. This figure falls to an affordable $10,000 for the school's lowest-earning households and maintains affordability for top earners, who pay only $22,000 for a year of academic excellence.

Average net price 2018-2019
Net Price $16,860
Average Total Aid $7,930
Students Receiving Financial Aid 87%
Room & Board $9,400

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $12,860
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $18,296
  • Books and Supplies - $740
  • Room & Board - $9,400
  • Other - $2,040


Michigan students have many options for their college degree. The state is full of top-notch public and private institutions. Grand Valley State University is one of them. Undergraduate students flock to its Western Michigan campus year after year to gain the academic training that may well make them a success in their professional lives. To confirm the academic reputation that GVSU earns, researchers evaluate the hard data points including the school's retention rate and graduation rate, among other factors.

The retention rate is a figure that reflects how many first-time, full-time students return to GVSU for a second year. Since an astounding 83% of GVSU students return, researchers surmise that many students are highly satisfied with the school's faculty, staff, curriculum, and campus resources. On top of that, GVSU's 69% percent graduation rate indicates high satisfaction, as well. Researchers also found that 22% of GVSU students chose to leverage their transcripts for a degree at another institution. Thus, it can be said that GVSU prepares 91% of its student for a college degree.

Student Population Total

Student Population 24,033

Evening Classes : Yes
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Business Majors 1,020 Total Graduates / 22%
Marketing/Marketing Management, General 251 Graduates
Finance, General 197 Graduates
Accounting 118 Graduates
Hotel/Motel Administration/Management 105 Graduates
Management Science 105 Graduates
Health Professions and Related Programs 653 Total Graduates / 14%
Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences, Other 276 Graduates
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 198 Graduates
Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Sonographer and Ultrasound Technician 53 Graduates
Therapeutic Recreation/Recreational Therapy 40 Graduates
All Biological & Biomedical Majors 415 Total Graduates / 9%
Biomedical Sciences, General 220 Graduates
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 102 Graduates
Neurobiology and Behavior 64 Graduates
Biochemistry 19 Graduates
Communication, Journalism, and Related Program 298 Total Graduates / 7%
Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication 151 Graduates
Speech Communication and Rhetoric 97 Graduates
Digital Communication and Media/Multimedia 30 Graduates
Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs, Other 20 Graduates
Parks, Recreation, Leisure, Fitness, and Kinesiology 271 Total Graduates / 6%
Exercise Science and Kinesiology 248 Graduates
Sport and Fitness Administration/Management 23 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 42%

Outcome & Salary

While it's impossible to guarantee that a college degree will yield any specific job or salary, educational researchers do collect data on GVSU's alumni and their early earnings. Of their top-earning graduates, the computer and information systems graduates report the highest median salary, which is over $72,000. The business administration students round out the top five highest earning degrees with a median salary of $65,000. The median salary of the top five earning degrees is $69,000, which goes to students who studied quality control and safety technologies.

These median salaries may be good guides for new students, but they are not averages, nor do they reflect other forms of compensation such as bonuses or other benefits.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $49,900
College Grads Average Salary $59,908
College Grads Mid Career Salary $86,600
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $599,080
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,465,080
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $67,440
10 Year Projected ROI $531,640
20 Year Projected ROI $1,397,640
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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