Best Private Colleges in Michigan 2022

Best Private Colleges in Michigan 2022

Private colleges, unlike large public institutions, can be a great option for students wanting a more intimate campus experience, more personal attention from excellent professors, and more immediate access to support services. Here is our list of the best private colleges in Michigan.

Colleges and Universities in Michigan

With over 80 public and private colleges to choose from, students hoping to earn their associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree can find a program that suits their educational needs and budget. Michigan State University and the University of Michigan are the two largest schools, both serving around 42,000 students and costing $16,000 in tuition. Most of the schools in The Wolverine State, however, serve smaller student populations, with tuition fees ranging from $3,000 to $49,000.

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Additionally, students pursuing their degree at a school with religious affiliations have more than 20 options to choose from, including Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Grand Rapid’s Calvin College, and Hope College in Holland. Students attending one of Michigan’s private schools, like Davenport University, can earn their degrees in fields like nursing, education, criminal justice, and history. Michigan, like many other states, also provides a special loan forgiveness program to those in medical, dental, and mental health professions who work in underserved communities. Recipients can receive up to $200,000 of tax-free funds over an eight-year period.

The great state of Michigan famously serves as the major hub of the United States auto industry — and also boasts the longest freshwater coastline in the nation. Students who love the outdoors but are also drawn to the metropolitan energy of big cities like Detroit and Grand Rapids will feel very much at home in Michigan.

To find your degree program, explore some of the top schools in Michigan.


What are Michigan’s Colleges & Universities?

Michigan’s Best Overall

What is the difference between public and private colleges?

Public and private colleges and universities operate under different business models. Public colleges and universities are owned by the state and receive both state and federal funding to operate. Private colleges and universities are private companies with private funding. If you’re looking at the pros and cons of private vs. public colleges, consider that many public colleges provide diverse course offerings, influential professors, and an excellent return on your investment.

Public colleges are schools that receive most of their funding from tax revenues. As a result, the cost of a bachelor’s degree at a public university is often lower than the equivalent cost at a private college — especially for students attending a public school in their home state. Attending a college in-state is usually the cheapest option. Private universities and colleges can be very competitive with their funding opportunities, so do not simply believe that private colleges are always going to be more expensive. According to National Center for Educational Statistics, the average annual cost (tuition, fees, room and board for full-time students) at a public university was slightly over $20,000. In contrast, private universities cost, on average, nearly $43,000 annually. But in the end, the cost of college comes down to each student’s academic and financial situation.

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How do we determine Michigan's best private colleges and universities?

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great! If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence in their fields of study.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is freer from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

To rank the influence of schools, we first determine the influence of scholars and professionals based on the number of citations and publications they have had over the past 10 years. In addition to publications and citations, we consider the web links to and from these sources, and the page views of those sources. We then match the influential people to their alma maters and institutions of employment, so that their influence is attributed to those schools. Our machine-learning Influence Ranking algorithm produces a numerical score of academic achievements, merits, and citations across Wikipedia, wikidata, Crossref, Semantic Scholar and an ever-growing body of data. If you are interested in exploring how and why we rank by influence, explore our methodology in more depth.

This list is composed entirely of private colleges and universities that offer bachelor’s degrees. We’ve identified 21 private universities in Michigan. To be included in the list below of the best private universities in Michigan, schools must be fully accredited, private, non-profit institution, and must offer a broad range of bachelor’s degrees.

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Best Private Colleges in Michigan

  1. #1

    Calvin University

    Grand Rapids , MI
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $38K

    Acceptance

    73%

    Graduation

    75%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1250/27

    What is Calvin University known for?

    Calvin University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Philosophy
    • Business
    • Biology
    • Physics
    • Computer Science
    • Literature
    • Chemistry
    • Engineering
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #3

    University of Detroit Mercy

    Detroit , MI
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $30K

    Acceptance

    79%

    Graduation

    73%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1155/24

    What is University of Detroit Mercy known for?

    University of Detroit Mercy’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Law
    • Social Work
    • Religious Studies
    • Engineering
    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Philosophy
    • Political Science
    • Psychology
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #4

    Kalamazoo College

    Kalamazoo , MI

    Tuition + fees

    $55K

    Acceptance

    74%

    Graduation

    79%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1270/28

    What is Kalamazoo College known for?

    Kalamazoo College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Economics
    • Political Science
    • Literature
    • Sociology
    • Biology
    • Philosophy
    • Mathematics
    • Business
    • History
    • Religious Studies

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #5

    Albion College

    Albion , MI

    Tuition + fees

    $53K

    Acceptance

    74%

    Graduation

    68%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1095/24

    What is Albion College known for?

    Albion College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Earth Sciences
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics
    • Biology
    • Political Science
    • Business
    • Literature
    • Economics

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #6

    Andrews University

    Berrien Springs , MI
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $32K

    Acceptance

    49%

    Graduation

    61%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1210/25

    What is Andrews University known for?

    Andrews University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Education
    • Medical
    • Engineering
    • Nursing
    • Business
    • History
    • Chemistry
    • Biology
    • Philosophy

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. #7

    Kettering University

    Flint , MI

    Tuition + fees

    $44K

    Acceptance

    74%

    Graduation

    67%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1275/27

    What is Kettering University known for?

    Kettering University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Computer Science
    • Biology
    • Mathematics
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. #8

    Adrian College

    Adrian , MI
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $39K

    Acceptance

    61%

    Graduation

    54%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1030/21

    What is Adrian College known for?

    Adrian College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Criminal Justice
    • Chemistry
    • Philosophy
    • Mathematics
    • Political Science
    • Physics
    • History
    • Business
    • Biology
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. #9

    Madonna University

    Livonia , MI

    Tuition + fees

    $25K

    Acceptance

    68%

    Graduation

    58%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1030/21

    What is Madonna University known for?

    Madonna University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Criminal Justice
    • Nursing
    • Psychology
    • Communications
    • Medical
    • Religious Studies
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • History
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

  9. #10

    Olivet College

    Olivet , MI
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    60%

    Graduation

    49%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Olivet College known for?

    Olivet College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Literature
    • History
    • Biology
    • Mathematics
    • Sociology
    • Business
    • Psychology
    • Anthropology
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. #11

    Lawrence Technological University

    Southfield , MI

    Tuition + fees

    $38K

    Acceptance

    82%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1145/24

    What is Lawrence Technological University known for?

    Lawrence Technological University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Education
    • Literature
    • Communications
    • Sociology
    • Chemistry
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. #12

    Davenport University

    Grand Rapids , MI

    Tuition + fees

    $21K

    Acceptance

    93%

    Graduation

    52%

    Student body

    5K

    What is Davenport University known for?

    Davenport University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

  12. #13

    Alma College

    Alma , MI

    Tuition + fees

    $44K

    Acceptance

    67%

    Graduation

    71%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1130/22

    What is Alma College known for?

    Alma College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Anthropology
    • Psychology
    • Biology
    • Physics
    • Religious Studies
    • Philosophy
    • Mathematics
    • Communications
    • History
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  13. #14

    Concordia University Ann Arbor

    Ann Arbor , MI

    Tuition + fees

    $32K

    Acceptance

    61%

    Graduation

    42%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Concordia University Ann Arbor known for?

    Concordia University Ann Arbor’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Religious Studies
    • Medical
    • History
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Literature
    • Business
    • Mathematics
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  14. #15

    Spring Arbor University

    Spring Arbor , MI

    Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    63%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1097/23

    What is Spring Arbor University known for?

    Spring Arbor University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Social Work
    • Religious Studies
    • Communications
    • Psychology
    • Business
    • Philosophy
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Sociology
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  15. #16

    Cornerstone University

    Grand Rapids , MI

    Tuition + fees

    $27K

    Acceptance

    87%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1070/22

    What is Cornerstone University known for?

    Cornerstone University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Social Work
    • Religious Studies
    • Communications
    • Psychology
    • History
    • Education
    • Literature
    • Business
    • Sociology
    • Philosophy

    Most Influential Alumni

  16. #17

    Finlandia University

    Hancock , MI

    Tuition + fees

    $25K

    Acceptance

    83%

    Graduation

    26%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1005/19

    What is Finlandia University known for?

    Finlandia University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Sociology
    • History
    • Philosophy
    • Literature
    • Criminal Justice
    • Biology
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  17. #18

    Siena Heights University

    Adrian , MI

    Tuition + fees

    $29K

    Acceptance

    74%

    Graduation

    53%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Siena Heights University known for?

    Siena Heights University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Mathematics
    • Chemistry
    • Philosophy
    • Social Work
    • Business
    • History
    • Criminal Justice
    • Religious Studies
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

  18. #19

    Kuyper College

    Grand Rapids , MI

    Tuition + fees

    $25K

    Acceptance

    59%

    Graduation

    42%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    965/23

    What is Kuyper College known for?

    Kuyper College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Social Work
    • Religious Studies
    • Education
    • Communications
    • Psychology
  19. #20

    Aquinas College

    Grand Rapids , MI

    Tuition + fees

    $36K

    Acceptance

    71%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1105/23

    What is Aquinas College known for?

    Aquinas College ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Economics
    • Philosophy
    • Sociology
    • Religious Studies
    • History
    • Communications
    • Business
    • Physics
    • Chemistry
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

  20. #21

    Rochester College

    Rochester Hills , MI

    Tuition + fees

    $25K

    Acceptance

    99%

    Graduation

    42%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    970/19

    What is Rochester College known for?

    Rochester College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Religious Studies
    • Literature
    • Nursing
    • Biology
    • Communications
    • Psychology
    • Medical
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

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Michigan’s Best Private Colleges in Your Area Interest

Resources for College-Bound Students

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utiulized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. Kalamazoo College
  2. Kettering University
  3. University of Detroit Mercy
  4. Lawrence Technological University
  5. Andrews University
  6. Hope College
  7. Albion College
  8. Calvin University
  9. Aquinas College
  10. Madonna University
  11. Alma College
  12. Adrian College
  13. Cornerstone University
  14. Spring Arbor University