Page 16 - Scene Magazine February 2022 47-02
P. 16

  Education Scene
Associate Director of Publications, GVSU
   Grand Valley State University leaders have expanded a tuition-free program that opens its doors to any qualified Michigan student who wants to enroll at the university.
Nearly 400 students who qualified
for the Grand Valley Pledge enrolled for the fall 2021 semester, according to B. Donta Truss, vice president for Enroll- ment Management and Educational Outreach. He expects several hundred more students to take advantage of the program, and said systems are in place to help ensure their academic success.
Regional Outreach Center can assist students and community members who have questions about the Grand Valley Pledge, or other questions related to education.
The Grand Valley Pledge awards full undergraduate tuition (renewable for four years) to qualified students who have a family income of less than $50,000. It is available to new first-year or transfer students. When the program was announced in 2021, it initially included students in six counties where Grand Valley had a presence, including Calhoun County.
“Grand Valley has enhanced its sup- port services for all students,” Truss said. “Students who qualify for the Pledge program will be positively impacted because of these new initiatives. We believe the key to success is meeting stu- dents where they are and this plan allows us to meet more students and to ensure they have an opportunity to succeed in college.
The center is at 8 Michigan Ave. W. It opened in November 2019 to support career exploration and educational goals for K-12 students and adults in the com- munity, and provide resources to assist Battle Creek Public Schools (BCPS) with its district transformation.
President Philomena V. Mantella said she is pleased to expand the Grand Valley Pledge, adding it aligns with the university’s mission of increased access and breaks down a common barrier for many students: affordability.
The center is open weekdays from 8am-5pm. Drop-in virtual advising hours are available through Zoom. For more information and/or to schedule an advis- ing appointment in-person, visit http://
“We never want finances to be a bar- rier that stops students from moving for- ward,” Mantella said. “I am so pleased Grand Valley is able to expand its access to all Michigan students who want to
go to college. Talented students with a passion for learning belong at GVSU.”
Michelle Rhodes, associate vice president for Financial Aid, said the Grand Valley Pledge provides a seamless opportunity for students to enroll in the university. Students who qualify finan- cially, according to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), are automatically enrolled in the program without having to fill out extra forms.
Recruitment is again underway for three educational summer camps for middle and high school students from BCPS.
A study by the U.S. Department of Ed- ucation’s National Center for Education Statistics found high school juniors who believe they cannot afford higher educa- tion are 20 percentage points less likely to attend college within the first three years after high school than their peers who do not think affordability is a barrier.
Questions about the Grand Valley Pledge can be directed to the Financial Aid Office at 800-748-0246 or finaid@
High school juniors can learn about teaching youth and gain college prepa- ration knowledge during the Exploring Careers in Education and Learning (EXCEL) Camp. Students in seventh and eighth grades can learn and experience careers in nursing and health professions through the Summer Health Activities and Professions Exploration Summer (sHaPe) Camp. Students in sixth-grade can participate and learn hands-on en- gineering and science concepts through the Science Technology & Engineering Preview Summer (STEPS) Camp.
GVSU expands tuition-free program to all Michigan students.
“We are a student-ready institution and this is evidence of that effort.”
Summer Educational Camps –
GVSU office in Battle Creek –
Staff members at the GVSU Battle Creek

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