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Grand Rapids Community College freezes tuition for 2021-22 academic year

Posted at 8:45 AM, Jun 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-22 08:45:27-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College trustees approved a budget Monday that freezes tuition rates for the upcoming academic year.

Trustees unanimously approved the $115.4 million budget, which also includes waiving online class fees for the fall semester and retaining single swipe parking fees to help students access classes and services without paying more to park, according to a news release Tuesday.

“Our world has changed in many ways since most of our students were on campus, and we are working to support them as they face new challenges,” Board of Trustees Chairperson David Koetje said. “This budget reflects our commitment to ensuring that students of all ages across West Michigan have access to the quality education they’ll need to move forward.”

The tuition freeze comes at a time when students also have several options to attend with education costs covered by state and local programs.

Michigan Reconnect is available for residents ages 25 and older who have not yet earned a degree.

Futures for Frontliners supports students who worked in essential jobs during the Spring 2020 pandemic shutdown, and Grand Rapids Promise Zone scholarships are for students graduating from a Grand Rapids high school.

READ MORE: State program aims to fill void of skilled workers by offering free tuition for community colleges

Students not eligible for any of those programs may still qualify for a Pell Grant or one of the GRCC-related scholarships available.

“We embrace our mission of being the place West Michigan turns to in times of need,” GRCC President Bill Pink said. “This budget demonstrates our focus on our community – students, and also our partners and employers. We are creating more and different opportunities for people so they can find their place in our recovering region.”

In addition, GRCC’s Lakeshore Campus in Holland Township opens in August, giving more access to the college’s programs for Ottawa County residents.

Renovation work is almost complete across the downtown Grand Rapids campus, adding improved classroom and study space and better access to services.

GRCC officials say it’s all focused on helping students enroll, learn and be successful.

Last year, the college increased tuition by 1.7% and 0.8% during the two prior years.

The in-district tuition rate is $117 per contact hour and the total cost for a fulltime student will be $3,969 for the year.

Waiving online course fees for the fall semester will save students $16 per contact hour, or about $50 for a three-credit class.

The freeze also applies to all universal fees, though students will still be responsible for paying the current rates for these.