Arms race' of building projects, retiree health benefits fuel significant growth in college debt

Tim Goral's picture

Fall of 2013 marked a big moment for Grand Valley State University.

After years of construction, two new building projects – the L. William Seidman Center and Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons – officially opened, creating more classrooms and collaborative learning spaces to serve the university’s growing student body.

But the high visibility buildings, in downtown Grand Rapids and in the center of the Allendale campus, were financed in part through substantial borrowing, shining a light on growing debt and long-term liabilities that play out behind the scenes at both GVSU and higher education as whole.

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