request information


Grand Valley State University: Academics, Admissions & Tuition Info

Learn about Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. Read about its admission info, financial aid and degree programs to make an informed education decision.

About Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley State University (GVSU) is a public university located in Allendale, MI, just twelve miles from Grand Rapids, which is one of the state's largest cities. Founded in 1960 to meet the educational needs of Michigan's 'west coast' population, it encompasses a 1,300-acre main campus as well as satellite campuses in Grand Rapids, Holland, Muskegon, and Traverse City, Michigan. In 2012, U.S. News and World Report ranked GVSU eighth among the top public schools in the Midwest.


Grand Valley State University offers nearly 200 areas of study divided among eight colleges. The school offers 82 departmental majors at the undergraduate level, as well as 30 graduate-level degree programs. Nursing, marketing, and criminal justice are among the university's most popular programs of study.

The university library system is comprised of six libraries and learning centers, two at the main Allendale campus and four at the Grand Rapids campus. The Pew Library Learning and Information Commons, scheduled to open in 2013, will also be located on the main Allendale campus. The average class at Grand Valley is 27 students, and students have access to distance learning, as well as 4,000 study abroad programs.


Students should apply for admission at least thirty days before the final day of registration for the semester in which they would like to begin their studies. Of course, sooner is better, and the university advises that admission is subject to close without notice. Each application is carefully considered by an admissions counselor, using a combination of criteria that includes completed high school courses, cumulative grade point average, test scores, and class rank. Students can apply for general admission and choose a major once they've been enrolled.

To apply, students should submit an application, official copies of their high school transcript and ACT or SAT scores, and the non-refundable application fee, as well as any other necessary supporting documents. In the Fall 2011 semester, 83% of those who applied to the university were admitted, and 28% of those who were admitted enrolled in classes.

Over 21,000 of the university's 24,662 students in 2011 were undergraduates. Of these undergraduates, 87% were attending classes full-time. In the same year, women made up 58% of the student body, of which the majority (85%) were white, and 95% of all undergraduates were from the state of Michigan.

Tuition & Financial Aid

As of the 2012-2013 academic year, the lower-division undergraduate tuition to attend Grand Valley State University was $5,039 per 12-15 credit hours for in-state students and $7,284 for out-of-state students. Tuition is due before the start of classes, and students can either elect to pay their bill in full at that time, or sign up for a payment plan. If signing up for the payment plan, students will be required to pay one-fourth of their tuition, as well as a non-refundable $40 fee.

In addition to tuition, students who take courses that require specialized equipment or other costly materials will be required to pay a per-credit hour surcharge. The school estimated in the 2011-2012 academic year that the average undergraduate student would spend approximately $1,000 per year on books and supplies.

Grand Valley offers scholarships for high-achieving freshmen, which students should apply for by December 31st of the year before they plan on attending. There are also over 200 departmental and endowed scholarships available, and the deadline for these applications varies, so students should plan on checking with Grand Valley's financial aid office for more information.

Graduate tuition rates for GVSU vary depending on program. Graduate student assistantships and departmental scholarships are available.

School Type Public, 4-year**
Degrees Offered Bachelor's, master's, doctorate*
Religious Affiliation None**
Academic Calendar Semesters*
School Setting Suburban*
Student Body 21,236 undergraduates, 3,426 graduates in 2011**
Student Housing Various housing options on both the Allendale and Grand Rapids campuses; students must be at least a sophomore to live in on-campus apartments*
Schools (and/or) Programs Eight schools, over 200 degree programs*
Student-Faculty Ratio 17 to 1**
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2011:
Bachelor's: Business, Marketing, Management and Related Support Services (813)
Master's: Education (476)
PhDs: Health Professions and Related Programs (40)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rates 30% in four years, 63% in six years**
Admission Rate 83% in 2011**
Entering Class Size About 3,200 in 2011**
First-Year Retention Rates 82% for full time students, 65% for part time students**
Average ACT Score of Admitted Students Middle 50% scored between 22 and 25 in 2011**
Application Due Date At least 30 days before the last day of registration*
Decision Notification Date Within three weeks of receipt of application*
Tuition 2012 costs are $420 per credit hour for MI residents; $607 for non-residents (tuition only for 1-11 cred hours; does not include student fees)*
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of Students Receiving it) In 2011: Federal grants (36%), state or local grants (25%), institutional scholarships (63%) and federal student loans (65%)**
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 84% in 2011**

Sources: *Grand Valley State University, **National Center for Educational Statistics.

School Contact Information

  • Address: Admissions Office, 1 Campus Drive, Allendale, MI 49401-9403
  • Phone: (616) 331-2025
  • Website:

Find Your Program:

Get Admission Info

Take the first step by getting admissions information directly from Grand Valley State University. Simply answer a few questions to get started.