Grand Valley State University

2014 Quick Stats
1 Campus Drive

Allendale, MI 49401

Phone: (616) 331-5000
2013-2014 Tuition
male /
May 1
application deadline

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U.S. News Rankings

Ranking score and category
U.S. News rank Category Name
#30 Overall Score: 60 out of 100. Regional Universities (Midwest)

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Grand Valley State University is a public institution that was founded in 1960. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 21,317, its setting is suburban, and the campus size is 1,339 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Grand Valley State University's ranking in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges is Regional Universities (Midwest), 30. Its in-state tuition and fees are $10,454 (2013-14); out-of-state tuition and fees are $15,114 (2013-14).

Located just outside of the Grand Rapids area, Michigan’s second-largest metropolitan region, is Grand Valley State University. Although it is one of America’s 100 largest universities in terms of enrollment, Grand Valley strives to make a liberal education its foundation for all of its academic programs. Freshmen are exposed to more than 300 student organizations during an event called “Campus Life Night,” which allows students to explore the many options for extracurricular activities. About 5 percent of the undergraduate community participates in Greek life, and there are more than 20 chapters to choose from. While it is not required, the university recommends that all first year students live on campus to more easily become involved in campus life. The Grand Valley State Lakers are members of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in the NCAA Division II. The athletic prowess of the university is unheralded, and the school has won the Director’s Cup seven times in its history as the best NCAA Division II athletic program in the nation.

Grand Valley State University has made it a priority to become more environmentally sustainable and has begun providing eco-friendly graduation gowns to its students. The size and location of the university allows students to enjoy both an urban and rural lifestyle. Lake Michigan, located just 20 minutes from Grand Rapids, is a popular summer destination for students. Downtown Grand Rapids, 12 miles east of the campus, offers a multitude of restaurants, clubs, and bars. Notable alumni of the university include Greg Colton, writer and director of the animated series Family Guy, and Tommy Remengesau, former president of the Republic of Palau.

School mission and unique qualities (as provided by the school):

Grand Valley State University is a four-year public university in West Michigan providing undergraduate and graduate education to nearly 25,000 students. It has established a reputation for creating unique learning opportunities that attract students from across the state, throughout the country, and all over the world. Its liberal education focus emphasizes critical thinking, creative problem solving, and cultural understanding preparing students for life in a fast-changing world. It fosters a commitment to economic, social, and environmental sustainability and an inclusive campus that values diversity. Through this forward-thinking education, students are empowered to positively affect the global community now and in the future. With 71 undergraduate and 27 graduate degree programs, Grand Valley offers an academic experience one would expect from a small private college and the programs and resources only available from a major university. Virtually all of the university's more than 200 areas of academic study incorporate the skills acquired through its liberal education focus into the learning process. The result is that graduates are better prepared to meet new challenges with confidence and professional expertise. Professional preparation is also important at Grand Valley. Each year more than 5,000 students gain real-world work experience through internships, practica, and student teaching. Preparing students to achieve at a higher level puts a premium on teaching excellence. Grand Valley faculty come from some of the country's leading institutions to do what they do best - teach. To this end, classes are taught by faculty members, not graduate assistants, providing opportunities for collaboration between professors and students and creating undergraduate learning experiences typically only available to graduate students at other schools. Supporting this network of high-achieving students and faculty are contemporary campuses in Allendale and Grand Rapids, Michigan's second largest city. Both campuses include state-of-the-art learning, living, and research centers. Grand Valley also has a campus in nearby Holland and regional centers in Muskegon and Traverse City. In addition, the university has nearly 300 clubs and organizations that keep students involved and active. Plus, Grand Valley features championship-level NCAA Division II sports, and a vast array of athletic, social, religious, and fine arts activities. Academic excellence, first-rate faculty, state-of-the-art facilities, and outstanding locations make Grand Valley an excellent learning environment and a Grand Valley education a great investment. The return on that investment is that Grand Valley degrees are highly respected and valued by employers and graduate schools - 98 percent of Grand Valley graduates are successfully employed or pursuing advanced degrees.

General Information

School type public, coed college
Year founded 1960
Religious affiliation N/A
Academic calendar semester
Setting suburban
2012 Endowment $73,787,894


When applying to Grand Valley State University, it's important to note the application deadline is May 1. Scores for either the ACT or SAT test are due May 1. The application fee at Grand Valley State University is $30. It is selective, with an acceptance rate of 81.6 percent.

For more information about the tests, essays, interviews, and admissions process, visit the Applying to College knowledge center.

Selectivity selective
Fall 2012 acceptance rate 81.6%
Application deadline May 1
SAT/ACT scores must be received by May 1

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Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at Grand Valley State University is 17:1, and the school has 24 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at Grand Valley State University include: Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services; Health Professions and Related Programs; Social Sciences; Biological and Biomedical Sciences; and Psychology. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 83 percent.

Class sizes
Class sizes
Student-faculty ratio 17:1
4-year graduation rate N/A
Five most popular majors for 2012 graduates
Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services 19%
Health Professions and Related Programs 11%
Social Sciences 8%
Biological and Biomedical Sciences 7%
Psychology 6%

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Student Life

Grand Valley State University has a total undergraduate enrollment of 21,317, with a gender distribution of 41.7 percent male students and 58.3 percent female students. At this school, 27 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 73 percent of students live off campus. Grand Valley State University is part of the NCAA II athletic conference.

Total enrollment 24,654
Student gender distribution
Student gender distribution
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity N/A
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority N/A
Collegiate athletic association NCAA II

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Campus Info & Services

Grand Valley State University offers a number of student services including nonremedial tutoring, women's center, placement service, day care, health service, and health insurance. Grand Valley State University also offers campus safety and security services like 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, late night transport/escort service, 24-hour emergency telephones, lighted pathways/sidewalks, student patrols, and controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc). Of the students at Grand Valley State University, 70 percent have cars on campus. Alcohol is permitted for students of legal age at Grand Valley State University.

Students who have cars on campus 70%
Health insurance offered Yes

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Paying for School

At Grand Valley State University, 65.3 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $6,133.

Paying for college doesn't have to be difficult or devastating. Go to the Paying for College knowledge center to get advice on raising cash and reducing costs.

In-state tuition and fees $10,454 (2013-14)
Out-of-state tuition and fees $15,114 (2013-14)
Room and board $8,466 (2013-14)
Financial aid statistics
Financial aid statistics

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* Overview details based on 2012 data

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