My second (and final) visit during my trip to west Michigan took me to the campus of Grand Valley State University in Allendale. GVSU (as we Michigan natives affectionately refer to it in convenient and abbreviated fashion) boasts a modern, ever-expanding main campus with a lot of amenities that cater to students.
All of the university’s approximately 3,000 freshmen live on campus in student housing and nearly 6,000 of its total overall enrollment join them. Juniors and seniors normally take the opportunity to find some independence off campus in apartment complexes nearby and a local bus system makes it easy for them to reach not only campus without the hassle of getting into their cars, but also to go into downtown Grand Rapids to take courses at the downtown campus or to take in the city’s social scene when time permits. Meanwhile, those who reside on campus have the opportunity to reside in closely clustered village-style housing with a variety of cafeteria-style, restaurant-style, and actual chain restaurants to choose from at meal times. (There are seven different locations on campus to eat.)
An abundance of majors are open to GVSU students, with physical therapy, nursing, and business among its best known programs. There are just over 200 areas of student open to students (approximately 85 majors and a variety of graduate-level programs as well.) With the amount of athletes on campus (there are 20 varsity sports and 43 club sports to choose from!), athletic trainers get abundant hands-on experiences – as well as the athletes who get to play a large variety of sports at the varsity level. (As an NCAA Division II school, GVSU is also able to offer some athletic scholarship money to varsity athletes.)
While equestrian isn’t recognized by the varsity athletic program at GVSU, it is a full-fledged, coed club sport that competes in the disciplines of hunt seat and western through the IHSA. They share facilities with nearby Calvin College and ride at Kentree Stables in nearby Ada, Michigan. Ample local boarding is also available in the area for students who wish to bring their horse with them to college.
Could GVSU and its mix of a close-knit campus community, access to a thriving city, a variety of majors, and a host of athletic and extracurricular activities be a good fit for your college years? Contact me and let’s find out! (Need more insight? Read my book as well!)