President Bill Pink
said the tuition freeze, approved unanimously by the board of
trustees, reflects the focus on keeping a college education
within reach at a time when many people in the community are
experiencing financial challenges.
“Our world has changed in ways we could not have imagined a year
ago,” he said. “New skills are going to be needed as our
employers respond and get up to speed. A GRCC degree or
certificate helps our residents get the education they need to
re-engage. We have always been the most affordable option for
students. Our goal is to help as many people as possible.”
The freeze comes at a time when students have several options to
attend with tuition 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 pandemic shutdown, and Grand Rapids Promise
Zone scholarships are for students graduating from a Grand
Rapids high school.
Other students might be eligible for federal Pell Grants,
which cover all expenses.
GRCC leaders have worked to keep tuition increases as small as
possible. The tuition freeze follows a 1.7 percent increase last
year, and 0.8 percent increases the two prior years.
“Our college has been fiscally responsible and an excellent
steward of our resources,” board Chairman David Koetje said.
“We are the community’s college. Our community invests in GRCC,
and we are proud to provide a quality education that is
affordable and accessible to students of all ages.”
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.
The college has other approaches to keeping the cost of
attending affordable. GRCC has partnerships throughout West
Michigan with local school districts and intermediate school
districts for Early/Middle College and dual and concurrent
The Grand Rapids Community College Foundation also works with
partners to help with expenses. Last year, the foundation
awarded more than $1.2 million in scholarships.
GRCC is preparing for a fall 2021 semester with more in-person
classes and student services, a continued focus on safety -- and
a reflection of lessons learned for increased opportunities to
Grand Rapids Community College offers learners of all ages
opportunities to gain credits for degrees or transfer and
in-demand career skills leading to rewarding careers. GRCC was
established in 1914 – Michigan’s first community college -- and
offers affordable classes on weekdays, evenings, Saturdays and
online at locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.