Mark Brooky • Jul 21, 2015 at 1:34 PM


Grand Valley State College was founded in Allendale in 1963. Its first building is Lake Michigan Hall.

It's interesting to note that one of the sites under consideration for the GVSC campus in the late 1950s was North Holiday Hills in Spring Lake Township, according to local historian Dr. Dave Seibold ("Grand Haven in the Path of Destiny").

The Allendale/Grand Rapids school became a university in 1987.

So what's the difference?

The collegeadmissionbook.com website explains that a four-year college typically offers a liberal education, as in "unrestricted," and are usually smaller than universities (Hope College, Calvin College).

A university offers "a full range of academic programs in undergraduate, master's and doctoral programs," the website explains. "They may be either public or private, and can have an enrollment as small as 5,000 or as large as 50,000. Research is part of the mission of these schools, and so faculty members are expected to place a priority on research as well as teaching."

But, as the website further states, that's not always the case. CLICK HERE to read the full explanation.

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