What is it like to live in Allendale, Michigan? Many students and their families wonder what it’s like to live here if they’ve never been or visited GVSU. That’s understandable. We think Allendale is a pretty great place to live, and here we’ll talk about some of the facts and figures related to the Allendale standard of living. 


Situated in Ottawa County 15 miles west of Grand Rapids and 20 miles east of Lake Michigan, Allendale is best known for being the location of the main campus of Grand Valley State University. It was named after Agnes Allen, the first person on the local tax rolls. She was the widow of Hannibal Allen, the son of famous Revolutionary War patriot Ethan Allen

The population of Allendale currently is over 26,000 people. GVSU is one of the fastest growing universities in the United States. The West Michigan area has a number of colleges and universities, but GVSU is the largest by far. The university offers 95 undergraduate degrees and 43 graduate degrees and has approximately 23,000 students enrolled here.  

The town of Allendale has its own culture and feel. There are many coffee shops and parks and plenty of residential housing as well as off-campus housing for GVSU’s students. Due to the presence of the university, there are many young professionals in the community. 3,500 people in Allendale work directly for GVSU. The median household income is $47,644, and the cost of living in West Michigan is much more affordable than in many areas of the United States. 



Allendale is also a great place to raise a family. The public schools in Allendale are highly rated. The area surrounding Allendale has many back roads, trails, and lakes. It’s great for people who love to hike, camp, bicycle, swim, or ski. It’s easy to be physically active in West Michigan, and the foodshed is incredible. The diversity of the foods grown here is second only to California. From vineyards to community farms, we have it all, and it’s fresh, local, and delicious.  

If you’re interested in learning more about the Allendale standard of living, the simplest way to find out more information is to visit the area. Allendale is a small town, but Greater Grand Rapids has many opportunities for culture, including sports, concerts, lectures, dining, and theatre. It’s a straight shot from Allendale to Grand Rapids either by car or by bus, and the downtown is safe to explore. This is a wonderful place to visit in the summer.

If you’re interested in choosing the right place to live while you attend GVSU, call Meadows Crossing to make an appointment. We will gladly give you a tour of our apartment community and show you everything we have to offer students who live and study here. 

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