Without too much intro today, I thought it might be smart to mention the cost of attending GVSU, mostly because I’ve been working with our financial aid office a little, taking care of loans for next semester. But before covering anything I should make a quick disclaimer: I am not a financial aid advisor. I’m in no way, shape, or form capable of giving any financial advice, student related or otherwise, and, frankly, wouldn’t want to be responsible for someone else’s choices regarding money. I just thought it would be great to give a student’s eye view of the costs. Seriously, if you’ve got questions, give our financial aid office a call, because I don’t really know any situation other than my own.
All of that aside, cost is something that I should have covered sooner, because if a student acts fast enough, they can reduce it by a lot. The cost of attending Grand Valley is broken into four components; tuition and required fees, room and board, books and supplies, and stuff you don’t actually have to pay. As you may have guessed, the last one is optional.
All of the numbers I’ll mention here are based off of the 2010-2011 school year, and will typically change from year to year. Tuition can seem a little complex at first, but it’s really not. Students pay a per credit amount for zero to twelve credits at $395 per credit, but just a block rate for twelve to sixteen (meaning that taking sixteen costs the same as taking twelve). The block rate is $4544, so a student with 13 credits and a student with 16 credits both pay $4544. If a student takes eighteen credits, they pay the block rate, plus the cost of two extra credit hours (meaning $4544 plus $790).
Room and board and books and supplies are far more variable than tuition, depending on where you live and what classes you take. There are way too many housing options for me to list them here, but if you’d like to see them all, definitely check our housing website or search “tuition and fees” from the GVSU homepage. Typically, though, housing for a freshman will cost between about $3700 and $4200, depending on which living center you choose (that cost includes the 14+ meal plan). We also suggest setting aside about $900 for books and supplies, but again, this depends on what books you’re using and whether or not you got the message about printing on campus (it’s free, don’t bother buying ink).
Which brings us to costs that you don’t have to pay. These are just items that are available to students, but you don’t need them. You don’t even need them to get a totally fulfilling experience here at GVSU. For instance, a parking permit costs $155 per semester, but there’s a free busing system. Fitness classes cost about $20 or $25 per semester, but just using the gym is free. Some club sports have travel costs associated with them, but there are some intramurals with no cost. You get the picture.
In total, an average student for the 2010-2011 school year can expect to pay $17,612 if they take 12-16 credits and live on campus. But bear in mind that this is what you might consider a “sticker price,” or the cost of GVSU before grants, scholarships, and loans, not to mention whatever a student receives after filling out the FAFSA. So even though $17,612, it’s very unlikely that any student will pay that total in any given year.
And with that, I’m going to wrap things up here. Post any questions you have, but don’t hesitate to give GVSU’s financial aid office a call, as well.