Love the Midwest? Check Out These Top 5 Online Colleges in Michigan

Ellery Weil, Ph.D.ASO Rankings Team
Updated September 20, 2023
Edited by
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The Mitten, home of the Motor City, the top producer of tart cherries in the United States — these are all things that might come to mind when people think of the state of Michigan. The Wolverine State is also home to several colleges and universities, most notably rivals University of Michigan and Michigan State University.

Michigan’s biggest industries include computer engineering and healthcare. If you love the friendly culture of the Midwest, consider applying to online schools in Michigan today.

Reasons to Consider Online Schools in Michigan

  • An online degree means you don’t have to relocate — you can study where you already live, saving you time and money.
  • Some of Michigan’s largest schools offer online degrees and certificates in many fields.
  • Online learning minimizes the risk of disruptions due to weather — important in snowy Michigan!
  • Online colleges in Michigan generally offer flexible hours, which is key for students with families and for those working full-time jobs.

Did You Know…

Eighty percent of students find that e-learning makes them more likely to contact their professors and fellow students, according to a 2021 study from Clemson University.

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5 Best Online Schools in Michigan

Read About Our Methodology Herearrow-circle-right

#1 Top 5 Online Colleges in Michigan

Andrews University

  • Location-markerBerrien Springs, MI
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$28,992
  • Out-of-state$28,992
  • Retention Rate87%
  • Acceptance Rate67%
  • Students Enrolled3,390
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment27%
  • AccreditationYes
#2 Top 5 Online Colleges in Michigan

Central Michigan University

  • Location-markerMount Pleasant, MI
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$12,383
  • Out-of-state$22,881
  • Retention Rate74%
  • Acceptance Rate70%
  • Students Enrolled19,362
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment40%
  • AccreditationYes
#3 Top 5 Online Colleges in Michigan

University of Michigan-Flint

  • Location-markerFlint, MI
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$11,406
  • Out-of-state$22,701
  • Retention Rate74%
  • Acceptance Rate66%
  • Students Enrolled7,297
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment53%
  • AccreditationYes
#4 Top 5 Online Colleges in Michigan

Baker College

  • Location-markerOwosso, MI
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$9,720
  • Out-of-state$9,720
  • Retention Rate49%
  • Acceptance Rate73%
  • Students Enrolled7,606
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment62%
  • AccreditationYes
#5 Top 5 Online Colleges in Michigan

Ferris State University

  • Location-markerBig Rapids, MI
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$12,376
  • Out-of-state$12,376
  • Retention Rate76%
  • Acceptance Rate87%
  • Students Enrolled12,472
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment29%
  • AccreditationYes

Why Accreditation Matters for Michigan Online Colleges

As you apply to online colleges in Michigan, be sure to look for accredited institutions.

Institutional accreditation means the school’s curriculum and faculty have passed the standards set by an independent accrediting body. It also means your degree will be recognized by future employers and other colleges and universities.

Certain programs, such as those in law and education, should also have programmatic accreditation. This type of accreditation is essential for careers requiring professional licensure.

Many of the best online schools in Michigan are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

How Much Do Online Colleges in Michigan Cost?

Online colleges in Michigan can get pricey. In 2020-2021, the average cost of in-state tuition and fees in Michigan was $13,716, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Out-of-state tuition and fees averaged an even higher $39,427.

Qualifying for in-state tuition can save you money on college. Some online schools in Michigan offer all distance-learning students in-state tuition prices, regardless of their location.

You can also receive federal financial aid by submitting the FAFSA.

4 Scholarships for Students at Michigan Colleges Online

Here are four popular scholarships for students attending online schools in Michigan.

1.MLK Regional Scholarshiparrow-circle-right

  • Eligibility: High school seniors planning to attend a two- or four-year program in Michigan. Must have a minimum 2.0 GPA and live in Bay, Midland, or Saginaw counties.
  • Amount: $1,000

2.Michigan Sugar Queen Scholarshiparrow-circle-right

  • Eligibility: Female students ages 18-23 attending an accredited college in Michigan. Must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and submit two recommendation letters. Scholarship finalists must interview with the selection committee.
  • Amount: $1,000-$2,000

3.Grand Rapids Community Foundation Scholarshipsarrow-circle-right

  • Eligibility: Students living in Kent County (including the Grand Rapids metro area). Must submit financial information, transcripts, and a short essay on your academic interests and community involvement.
  • Amount: Varies

4.Michigan Retailers Association Scholarship Programarrow-circle-right

  • Eligibility: Children of MRA members and part-time employees of MRA businesses. The scholarship committee considers academic achievement, test scores, and community engagement — it does not consider financial need.
  • Amount: $3,500

Did You Know…

Michigan State University is a pioneer in hybrid online/in-person graduate programs and has been offering them since 2010.

Fastest-Growing Jobs in Michigan

For those looking to go into healthcare, Michigan is a great place to be. The state is currently experiencing a high demand for nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other healthcare professionals.

Other in-demand careers in Michigan include STEM jobs like statistician and computer support specialist.

10 Fast-Growing Jobs in Michigan
JobMedian Annual Salary in MI (May 2021)Job Growth Rate in MI (2020-2030)Minimum Education Required
Restaurant Cooks$29,44056%None
Nurse Practitioners$102,06051%Master’s
Amusement and Recreation Attendants$23,38043%None
Nonfarm Animal Caretakers$27,92039%High school diploma
Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors$44,96038%High school diploma
Occupational Therapy Assistants$50,44038%Associate
Dental Laboratory Technicians$42,30035%High school diploma
Physician Assistants$104,81032%Master’s

Sources: BLS, Projections Central

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Colleges in Michigan

question-mark-circleHow many colleges and universities are in Michigan?

According to NCES, Michigan is home to 178 colleges and universities as of March 2023. This total includes 21 public four-year schools, 32 public two-year schools, and 55 private nonprofit four-year universities.

question-mark-circleWhat colleges in Michigan are online?

Many top schools in Michigan, including the University of Michigan-Flint, offer online degree programs. You can also earn online associate degrees through many Michigan community colleges and enroll in online programs at private colleges like the University of Detroit Mercy.

question-mark-circleWhat is the easiest college to get into in Michigan?

According to NCES data, some of the easiest Michigan colleges to get into are:

  • Davenport University: 98% acceptance rate
  • Grand Valley State University: 92% acceptance rate
  • Hope College: 92% acceptance rate
  • Oakland University: 92% acceptance rate

Other Michigan colleges, including many community colleges, offer open admission, meaning they accept all eligible applicants.

question-mark-circleHow long do you have to live in Michigan to get in-state tuition?

According to the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, to qualify for in-state tuition, you (or your parent or guardian, if you’re a minor) must maintain a primary residence in Michigan for 12 continuous months before you file the FAFSA.

question-mark-circleIs college free in Michigan?

College is not generally free in Michigan, with tuition costs varying depending on the school, whether you’re an in-state or out-of-state student, and more.

Fortunately, both federal aid and private scholarships can help you pay for college in Michigan. Be sure to fill out the FAFSA and apply for any scholarships you’re eligible for.

Next Steps

Shape your future with an online degree

Connect with a community of peers, and find a program that will allow you to continue your education in a fast and flexible way.