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Colleges in Michigan

Thinking of attending college in Michigan? This northern state offers a wide range of potential schools to choose from. With 90 accredited four-year schools and 57 accredited two-year schools across the state, Michigan's many colleges and universities can accommodate almost any course of study you wish to pursue.

If you're seeking a four-year program, there are 63 private non-profit schools, 12 private for-profit institutions, and 15 public universities in Michigan. Students who wish to pursue a two-year degree can choose from 31 public colleges, 11 private non-profit institutions, and 15 private for-profit colleges. Additionally, Michigan is home to 80 accredited schools that offer programs of less than two years, ranging in subjects from cosmetology to medical education.

Michigan's diverse educational options draw more than half a million students each year. In fact, in the 2010-2011 school year, Michigan's colleges and universities boasted an enrollment of 593,676 undergraduates and 92,373 graduate students, for a total student enrollment of 686,049.

The state's largest educational institution, the University of Michigan, had a student enrollment of 58,947 in the 2010-2011 academic year. Coming in at a close second, Michigan State University had 47,954 enrolled students in the same year. Not to be outdone, Michigan's community college system had 294,960 credit-seeking students enrolled in 28 campuses across the state.

Michigan Graduation Rates

Michigan's students tend to be a committed bunch. Of first-time college freshman who entered a four-year program in 2009, 79.8 percent returned in 2010. At public universities, this number rose to 81.2 percent, while private schools had a lower retention rate of 74 percent.

At two-year colleges, these numbers were a lower, with an overall 51.6 percent of students returning for a second year. Of these returnees, 51.5 percent attended a public institution. Private two-year colleges boasted a much higher retention rate at 71.2 percent.

Michigan graduation rates reflect significant differences between four and two-year programs. Of students who first enrolled in a four-year program in 2003, 54.8 percent had graduated with a bachelor's degree within six years. However, only 15.2 percent of students who began a two-year program in 2006 earned their associates degree within three years of enrolling.

These numbers are slightly lower than the national graduation rates during the same timeframe, which average 55.5 percent and 29.2 percent respectively.

SAT and ACT Scores

In Michigan, a resounding 100 percent of high school graduates took the ACT in 2011. In contrast, only 5 percent took the SAT.

Michigan students' average composite ACT score in 2011 was 20 out of a possible 36, slightly lower than the national average of 21.1. On average, Michigan students exceeded the ACT's benchmarks for college readiness in just one area - English - with an average score of 19.3. However, about 20 percent of Michigan students did achieve above benchmark scores in all four areas: English (18), math (22), reading (21), and science (24)

Michigan Average ACT Scores - 2011
English Math Reading Science Composite







National Average ACT Scores - 2011
English Math Reading Science Composite







As for the SAT, students were tested in three areas, each with a total possible score of 800. The 5 percent of Michigan students who took the SAT in 2011 earned an average critical reading score of 583, a math score of 604, and a writing score of 573. All of these scores are slightly higher than the national averages.

Michigan SAT Percentiles - 2011
Percentile Critical Reading Mathematics Writing














National SAT Percentiles - 2011
Percentile Critical Reading Mathematics Writing














Michigan Tuition

The cost of attending a public, four-year institution in Michigan is a bit higher than the national average, with a typical resident student paying about $18,332 for tuition, fees, room, and board. The national average for in-state tuition at public universities was about $16,000 in 2011. Students from out-of-state paid about twice that, for a grand total of $37,051.

Typically, tuition at Michigan's private universities costs more for residents than it does at public universities; however, most private schools don't charge more for out-of-state students. In 2011, students at Michigan's private, four-year schools paid an average of $23,945 for tuition, fees, room, and board.

At Michigan's two-year schools, in-state students paid an average of $2,486 in tuition costs, while out-of-state students paid about $5,167.

Average Michigan Higher Education Costs - 2010-2011
Public Universities (Resident) Public Universities (Nonresident) Independent Universities (Resident & Nonresident) Public 2 Year Colleges (Resident) Public 2 Year Colleges (Nonresident)

Tuition & Fees


















Total Cost







Michigan Education Trust

If you're feeling overwhelmed by the thought of paying for college in Michigan, look into the state's three 529 plans. 529 Plans are savings instruments that typically let users make contributions tax-fee or tax-advantaged and save to cover the costs of post-secondary education.

Michigan's 529 plans include the Michigan Education Trust, a pre-paid plan that covers tuition and fees at Michigan's public colleges and universities. The Michigan Education Savings Program, a direct-sold plan, also allows families to save for expenses like room, board, and books. The MI 529 Advisor Plan, which is sold through an advisor, offers multiple investment options.

Sources: University of Michigan, National Center for Education Statistics, Michigan State University, Michigan Community College Association, National Information Center for Higher Education Policymaking and Analysis, ACT, Inc., The College Board

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