GV increases financial aid by $2.8M

One-time state appropriation applied to scholarships, financial assistance for students

By Samantha Butcher | 8/29/12 6:49pm

statefundingprc1

GVL / Kaitlyn Bowman
President T. Haas speaking at convocation.

by Kaitlyn Bowman / Lanthorn

The Michigan budget for the 2012-2013 fiscal year increased funding for higher education by $36.2 million, but the one-time appropriation has had a limited impact on universities.

Despite receiving an additional $2.8 million from the state, Matt McLogan, vice president of university relations at GVSU, said the money did not impact GVSU’s operating budget for the academic year.

“The state appropriation for the current academic year is the same as it was last year,” McLogan said. “…What we did get was $2.8 million in one-time funding that we’ve used to increase the amount of student financial aid. So it has not had a direct impact on the regular operating budget, but it does allow us and did allow us to hand out additional student financial aid this fall.”

GVSU received $52.6 million in state aid in addition to the one-time, performance-based grant. The money makes up 17 percent of the university’s $285 million general fund budget, compared to two-thirds of the budget twenty years ago. The rest of the budget is paid for through student tuition dollars, with special projects like the Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons being funded through private donations.

“The state cut Grand Valley’s appropriation last year by 15 percent, and that reduction remains in effect this year, because the additional funding is one-time money,” McLogan said. “The result of that is that every year, the state appropriation constitutes less and less of our annual operating budget.”

McLogan said the funds GVSU receives from the state are earmarked for financial aid, debt service, classroom building and capital maintenance projects.

“In that way, the state funding has a direct impact on students and the classrooms in which they study, but we no longer use state appropriation to operate the university or pay salaries,” McLogan said.

GVSU received the fourth-highest spending boost from the grant, which takes effect Oct. 1.
The budget increased funding to universities across the state by $36.2 million overall, with $9 million, or 25 percent, of the money contingent on universities keeping tuition hikes below 4 percent, a condition each of the universities met. Tuition at GVSU rose 3.7 percent, or an average of $181 per semester.

Despite the additional aid, GVSU retains its distinction of having the lowest per-student appropriations in Michigan.

“Grand Valley has the lowest per-student funding in the state and nearly the lowest in the nation,” President Thomas J. Haas said in a statement after the Board of Trustees set tuition in July. “The challenge is clear. We are increasing financial aid beyond the increase in tuition and we’re keeping our tuition rate below the state average for public universities.”

To view the GVSU 2012-13 general fund budget, visit www.gvsu.edu/budgets.

sbutcher@lanthorn.com

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Lanthorn.