Grand Valley State University
Allendale, MI, USA

Reviews

Grand Valley State University
3.98 Average Rating

Alie from Michigan

a current student here
44 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
The professors are very knowledgeable and make time to help you if you don't understand or just have a question. Each class I take regarding my major just makes me want to learn more! Even the other classes are interesting! You can sign up for a tutor for free if you need more help. They are really nice. For papers of all kinds, you can take it to the writing center for suggestions, help, reference work, for free as well.
Am enjoying being here
I've met the best people here and get to have fun while learning.
Bang for the buck
FREE printing and use of the computers in the labs. FREE tutors. Beautiful campus!
Tips for prospective students
Get involved! There are SO many activities, you'll find one you like no matter what! Clubs regarding your major, a foreign language that interests you, performing arts, book clubs, volunteer organizations, athletics, fraternities/sororities, and the list goes on. This is the best way to meet people because you find others with common interests. If there isn't a group for you, you can create one! I'd suggest GVSU Alternative Breaks-- you will meet the most amazing people while volunteering nationwide! Entering as a freshman, it is a good idea to live on campus to meet friends. If you are very outgoing, go with traditional style. Everyone's doors are always open and they all know each other. A little more reserved could go with suite style or apartment. You still meet people because your building will do several actives throughout the year together (and GO to these! It's always fun!). For classes, there are many to chose from, it's hard to decide; sometimes you just want to take them all. The size of the classes are small enough so the professor knows everyone by name. Lectures are big, but there are discussion classes about 1/4 of the size and go more in-depth. Professors are always willing to help, so go to their office hours!
Great for these types of students
It is a very friendly campus. Everyone is willing to help if you get lost or have a question. If you are green oriented this is good for you too! They have recycling bins everywhere, various pamphlets regarding water/earth preservation, and group clean-ups. There is a bus system too, which is great. Students get to ride free on the Rapid. They go to all the surrounding off-campus apartments and to both campuses as well as all around Grand Rapids. If you like to eat (who doesn't?) GV has the BEST food. Many different options (Subway, Papa John's, Chinese, Mexican, salad bar, bagel shop, burgers, sushi, Italian, smoothie/coffee places) lets you pick what you feel like no matter what day it is.
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Lauren from midlothian, IL

a current student here
15 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Grand Valley has an immense variety of majors so it is difficult not to find something you're interested in. The lectures are pretty small compared to other universities, typically 2-300 would be the largest. The discussions and labs usually hold about 30 students, offering a more personal learning experience. The professors have frequent office hours and free tutors are available and would fit with almost any schedule. Also, the professors aren't expected to do any research or independent projects for the university, shifting their focus solely toward students.
Am enjoying being here
I absolutely love being at Grand Valley! I stayed in suite-style housing my freshman year and wouldn't have changed a thing. The people are friendly and GV holds numerous social events to meet people and have fun. I didn't know a single person when I entered this school and it worked out perfectly. I met so many people in the first week ALONE and am still so close with my group of friends, despite the 4 months off for summer. Grand Rapids and the beach are both within a short distance from the Allendale campus. I am so glad I chose this school!
Bang for the buck
Grand Valley helps the majority of students financially, which definitely helped make my decision to go here easier.
Tips for prospective students
Get involved! Between clubs, sports (including intramurals!), events (even dances like the President's Ball!), and a really nice rec-center, there is absolutely no excuse not to get involved. Use the free transportation! GV is really green and offers bus transportation to almost anywhere you could possibly need. Take advantage of campus dining! It's not scary dorm food, it actually is delicious... which is more reason to take advantage of the rec-center to battle the freshman 15. Finally, I felt extremely safe and comfortable on this campus, and that doesn't happen easily. I could not have imagined a better freshman experience and highly recommend this school!
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Adam from Morenci, MI

a current student here
13 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Although there are a lot of students at Grand Valley, they try to keep the class sizes small for a better learning environment. They also offer free tutoring if you need it, and professors are usually readily available for help if you need it.
Am enjoying being here
It was really easy to make friends at Grand Valley. Because of the large number of students, there is many different types of people. This with good food and lots of things to do make it a great place to be.
Tips for prospective students
Grand Valley is a great atmosphere to live and learn in. People will smile at you as you walk by and hold doors for you or help you up if you slip in the snow. There are tons of activities for students to do, from clubs and intramurals to watching the exceptional sports teams play, going to concerts and comedians, and watching theater.
Great for these types of students
At freshman orientation, they tell you not to come to Grand Valley if you aren't willing to hold a door for somebody or smile and say hi to a stranger. This pretty much summarizes the people at Grand Valley. In our freshman dorm they also told us to leave the door open as much as possible, and people would just walk around from room to room to say hello. They also had seminars for freshman that were all about making friends and adjusting to college.
For older students, there are also lots of parties to go to at off-campus apartments, but the actual campus is a dry campus.
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Samara from Kalamazoo, MI

a current student here
9 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
The teachers take time out of their schedules to help you, ( although it is a given that you have to do some work yourself.) On top of that the library database is the best ever and easy to navigate through with a little guidance, ( it is a great help when you need to write a paper.) Tutoring is free for all attending students. They even have walk in tutoring sessions.
Am enjoying being here
It is hard to get used to it, as a person of color I don't know what it is but it is hard to relate and communicate with absolutely everyone on campus without some sort of racial lines being recognized. Grand Valley State is working very hard to blurr and eventually make the school itself a place where those lines may exist but not matter at all.
Bang for the buck
Your freshman year it is expensive but you get a meal plan 2-3 meals a day on your card. money on your laundry card AND debit dollars which is basically anytime money that you can used when going to any convenience store on campus. Also any sporting events for students are free( for all students), and printing paper at most computer labs is free also( for all students) . This is my first year and I don't need anything concerning extra food ( unless I have a hankoring for home cooked meals) while on campus. Money wise and food wise for your freshman year you are covered.
Tips for prospective students
Study hard and use the tutoring opportunities as soon as you see you have difficulty in a class. Better late then never. Try to stay active in many on campus activities but, if you get a chance go down town and check it out, they have something going on every night. Also when in doubt talk to a counselor, RA, or some type of faculty when you feel stressed out or need help. That is what they are there for. College is about higher learning not stressing out and crying everyday because its hard. Get the help you need and keep it moving! :)
Make sure you consider who you are going to live with before you agree to live wherever you are going to live. It can be extremely stressful to live with people you have a problem living with and not be able to move out it you have waited too long to make changes.
Great for these types of students
Great for students that need smaller size classes and a more structured learning.
For the students that need hands on teachers.
For students that need to be around very nice and welcoming people and have a great sense of community.
For students that are positive, like to try new things and are or would like to be optimistic about their future career in the college or their lives for that matter.
For students that are culturally aware, and like to experience other cultures as well.
For students that have been home schooled, only children, or have siblings.
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Staci from Brookfield, IL

a current student here
7 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
GVSU has not only the most beautiful, warm and welcoming campus I have seen (from visiting eight schools in total as a high school senior), it is truly a Home away from Home. As any other university, the student gets what they give in to the program, and in to their life on campus. I have absolutely no regrets, and am completely happy with the decision to live on campus, and be involved.
Tips for prospective students
When looking at colleges, make sure you meet with a few teachers, and ask some students what their opinions on the classes are. It may seem awkward to do, but it can really help to get a real opinion of a current student. Also, it may seem super scary at first, but living on campus is just the best thing to do. You truly feel the entire experience of a college when you stay on It's turf.
Academic Rigor
In the ten classes I had taken this first year at GVSU (16 credits per semester), I made sure to put in the time for each class. They tell you to spend two hours per every hour in class on your own time during studies. Again, you get what you give. And with academics at GVSU, it is the same.
Dorm Life
Having lived in a dorm where I could shut my own door to my room, I had a different experience than most. However, it was amazing. The Ra's at GVSU truly care about their kids, and will recall little things about each individual. It makes you feel like you are cared for.
Food and Dining
There are SO many options for dining at GVSU. I am a vegetarian, and was concerned about how limited my options would be. Though, it surprised me when I found out they have dishes for vegetarians, and vegans, and gluten-free eaters, etc. They really so have variety!
What to do for fun
GVSU is about thirty minutes about, maybe less, from Grand Rapids, MI. I am from the Chicago area, so I was concerned about being bored with this city. However, Grand Rapids is really fun! It's not too busy, and it's not too quiet. Just like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, it is just right. Also, on campus, there are always activities and special shows going on in the main lounge building, Kirkhoff Center. A student is never bored, when they take the time to look up events!
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Andrea from Twin Lake, MI

a current student here
7 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Professors are so knowledgeable and always more than willing to help inside and outside of class. Use your professors wisely!! They want to help you succeed in their class and if you get to know them, would love to write a letter of recommendation for you later down the road. The more you go to office hours, the better your education will be and the more likely you are to succeed beyond the classroom.
Am enjoying being here
Being in the Laker Marching Band, Basketball Band, and participating in church services around campus are the ways that I choose to get involved and I have so much fun. There are so many ways to get involved around campus from volunteering and making a difference to just joining an intramural sports team or a club where you can meet with people that share the same interests as you. We even have a Renaissance Fair during the fall! No matter what you are interested, GV probably has it and it is most likely going to be an amazing program/club and definitely experience. And if it isn't, you can put us on the map for whatever interests you!
Bang for the buck
Definitely! Tuition here is dirt cheap compared to my friends attending private college and even CMU, MSU, and U of M. Being cheaper does not make it an easy college by any means! So many professors are doctors in their field and have masters and other degrees in more than one field. These professors are also here to help you, no class is taught by a graduate assistance unless the professor has a conflict and cannot make class. Getting your money's worth is easy to do at GV!
Tips for prospective students
Remember the reason you are here: To study hard, learn lots, and get good grades. You need to put school and class first. You are paying for it, right? Put your best effort into it so you will have no regrets later. Be smart while you are at college! Drinking and other illegal activities may seem fun, but really is not worth it. You HAVE TO have a social life. In order to relieve stress and not go completely insane, make sure you are spending a good amount of time with your friends! Make memories, push your limits, make new friends, go outside your comfort zone. College is a life-changing experience, make it a great one.
Great for these types of students
Grand Valley has so many courses and country-wide recognized sports and majors, it is good fit for many students. I am going into athletic training and physical therapy, both of which GV is very well known for. Just check on the website, which is really easy to use, and make sure we have your program. I promise you won't regret going here!
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Brianna from Kentwood, MI

a current student here
7 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
There is a broad variety of classes that are available and the professors are great. They make you feel important by learning and calling you by name. They make an effort to get on a 1-on-1 relationship with each student.
Am enjoying being here
The atmosphere is great and the people you meet whether in classes or during the social events make the experience very enjoyable. There are plenty of social clubs and organizations that students can join to meet new people and have a support group to go to for things like exam study groups or things like that.
Tips for prospective students
It is a larger school so by joining clubs and organizations, you will be able to meet more people especially if you live off campus.
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Emily from Chelsea, MI

a current student here
5 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Most of the professors are really great. They try to teach to all types of learners (auditory, visual, etc.) and most have done an excellent job. The one professor I, and the rest of my class, had a problem with was replaced because the chemistry department recognized the issue and are doing what they can to work everything out. Grand Valley cares a lot about their students and want everyone to succeed.
Am enjoying being here
There is something here for everyone. We have a wide variety of clubs and organizations to join and the people are all really nice. The only issue that I've found is that the campus clears out on the weekend. It's almost creepy how quiet it gets. Many of the students are local, so they go back home and other just go home or go to other campuses for the weekend. Since not many people stay, Grand Valley doesn't schedule much to do on the weekend. Going downtown is always an option for the few that remain, but without a car, riding the bus can be a hassle since it only runs every our, if it's on time. Most of the clubs downtown are 21 and up on the weekends, so those who are not of age yet either can't go or get a fake ID to get in, which is obviously illegal and unadvised. It's still a fun place to be, you just have to know where to look to find things to do.
Bang for the buck
Grand Valley is becoming a very well known school and with the ever growing medical mile in Grand Rapids, an undergrad at GV looks good for grad school applications. Also, we are provided with many services that other schools have to pay extra for. Students are give money to do laundry if they live on campus, students can ride the buses for free and they take you almost anywhere, the rec center is free for students and is a very nice, high quality facility. The food provided on campus, while it may not be the nice home-cooked food from back home, is better than most colleges. The Grand Valley campus is gorgeous and I would advise anyone who loves the nature experience that we have in Michigan to come here. It doesn't have the big city feel that many other campuses, like U of M, have. It's a nice, relaxing environment to live and study in.
Tips for prospective students
Understand that college is not like high school. You probably won't know many of the kids in your classes and that's ok. Find where you fit in and be yourself. The teachers may not assign homework that is due necessarily, but reading the textbooks, doing problem sets they post online, and whatever other material they provide is well worth doing. It may seem like a waste of time, even if you think you already know how to do something, but in the end it is well worth the time spent doing it when you get an A on an especially hard test.
Great for these types of students
If you're going to college expecting a bunch of wild parties every weekend, Grand Valley is not the school for you. However, for those students that want a great education with smaller class sizes, you would fit in well here.The classes here are great for any student. They are challenging, but the teachers do what they can so that every student understand the material and is sufficiently prepared for the exam and further courses in the subject. If you want to be a name rather than just a number, I highly recommend coming to Grand Valley.
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Kimber from Charlevoix, MI

a current student here
5 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
I have been at Grand Valley for two semesters now and all of my professors are very knowledgeable, but also know how to show you their knowledge so you understand it. Also, my classmates are willing to help out if I don't understand as well.
Am enjoying being here
Grand Valley has a great environment that promotes academics and extracurricular. They offer many clubs, which I have joined two already. They have a beautiful campus and friendly staff.
Bang for the buck
The cost of tuition is fairly low compared to other universities and the campus is well worth the cost with its library, academic buildings, fountains, bridges and trees!
Tips for prospective students
Don't be nervous for college because it's a great and memorable experience! Get to know your classmates and professors because it will help you out. A couple days before classes make sure to look around campus and get familiar with it because it will help with the first day and allow you to be more calm about that semester.
Great for these types of students
Any academic and career driven student is great for Grand Valley State University. It is rigorous, but beyond manageable and will help you out with your future in every aspect of life.
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teri from Kankakee, IL

a current student here
5 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Grand Valley is known for its professors being actual teachers.
Am enjoying being here
Campus life is very exciting if and when you know where to hang out.
Bang for the buck
Grand Valley is a very cheap institution, but that does not affect how competitive it is.
Tips for prospective students
Try to meet people that you have something in common with in your first few weeks here.
Great for these types of students
If you love the snow and are looking to widen your view of the world, then Grand Valley is for you.
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