President Philomena V. Mantella

Grand Valley State University is the third highest producer of Latino graduates in Michigan, according to a new report by Excelencia in Education.


The Washington, D.C.-based organization also reported Grand Valley ranks fifth in Michigan in enrolling Latino students. The report, Latino College Completion: United States 2023, provides national data on enrollment and graduation rates, and degree completion gaps between Latinos and White non-Hispanic students.


President Philomena V. Mantella said Latino students in Michigan graduate from four-year institutions at a rate 10 points lower than their White non-Hispanic peers, 54 percent compared to 64 percent. Mantella said being active in Excelencia, advocating and supporting Latino students will help to close that gap.


“GVSU is proud to stand with other institutions within Excelencia’s network that have pledged to support Latino students,” Mantella said. “We were in the initial cohort to receive a Seal of Excellence four years ago. Our work has not stopped. We will continue to fulfill our promise to students and their families that GVSU will provide a welcoming community in which they can succeed and thrive.”


Excelencia’s Presidents for Latino Student Success network represents 4 percent of America’s colleges and universities yet, in 2022, enrolled 31 percent and graduated 33 percent of all Latinos students.  


Grand Valley is among 30 institutions within the network that have earned the Seal of Excelencia for demonstrating, through data, practice and leadership, how they intentionally serve Latino students while serving all.