Best Public Colleges in Michigan 2022

Best Public Colleges in Michigan 2022

Public colleges and universities account for almost 75 percent of all undergraduate students in the U.S. The best public colleges in Michigan provide broad access to reputable degree programs, affordable tuition, and sprawling educational communities.

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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This list is composed entirely of public colleges and universities that offer bachelor’s degrees. We’ve identified 21 public universities in Michigan. To be included in our list of the best public colleges in Michigan, shcools must receive direct funding from the state, be fully accredited, and offer a broad range of bachelor’s degress.

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Best Public Colleges in Michigan 2022

  1. #1

    University of Michigan

    Ann Arbor , MI
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $17K

    Acceptance

    26%

    Graduation

    93%

    Student body

    45K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1435/32

  2. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $15K

    Acceptance

    69%

    Graduation

    52%

    Student body

    20K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1120/24

    Wayne State University’s Online Degrees

    BS in Mortuary Science
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Social Work
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  3. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    18K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1105/22

    Western Michigan University’s Online Degrees

    BA in Comparative Religion
    • Required Credits: 127
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Criminal Justice Studies
    Degree Concentrations
    • Criminal Justice
    • Justice Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Psychology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  4. #5

    Oakland University

    Rochester Hills , MI

    Tuition + fees

    $15K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    16K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1125/23

    Oakland University’s Online Degrees

    BS in Environmental Health and Safety
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Integrative Studies
    Degree Concentrations
    • Business Communication
    • Healthcare Leadership
    • Human Resource Development
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSN in Nursing (RN to BSN)
    Degree Concentrations
    • Program type: Degree completion
    • Required Credits: 32
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  5. Tuition + fees

    $16K

    Acceptance

    75%

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    14K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1080/22

    Eastern Michigan University’s Online Degrees

    BS in Technology Management
    • Required Credits: 124
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSN in Nursing: RN to BSN
    Degree Concentrations
    • Program type: Degree completion
    • Required Credits: 79-81
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  6. Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    67%

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1080/23

    Northern Michigan University’s Online Degrees

    BSN in Nursing (RN-to-BSN)
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Psychology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Applied Workplace Leadership
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Clinical Lab Sciences/Laboratory Medicine
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Construction Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Loss Prevention Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Native American Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Applied Workplace Leadership
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Clinical Lab Sciences/Laboratory Medicine
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Construction Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Loss Prevention Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Native American Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSN in Nursing
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  7. Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Acceptance

    88%

    Graduation

    69%

    Student body

    22K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1150/24

    Grand Valley State University’s Online Degrees

    BS in Health Information Management
    • Required Credits: 126
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Health Sciences
    Degree Concentrations
    • Health Professional
    • Program type: Degree completion
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Hospitality and Tourism Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSN in Nursing (RN-to-BSN)
    • Required Credits: 128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA/BS in Public and Nonprofit Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Respiratory Care
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Combined Degree: Computer Engineering BSE and Applied Computer Science MS
    • Required Credits: 141
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Combined Degree: Computer Science BS and Applied Computer Science MS
    • Required Credits: 135 - 138
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  8. #11

    Ferris State University

    Big Rapids , MI

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    82%

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    9K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1050/21

    Ferris State University’s Online Degrees

    BS in Allied Health Science
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Automotive Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Dental Hygiene
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Digital Media Software Engineering
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Health Information Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in HVACR Engineering Technology and Energy Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Information Security and Intelligence
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Integrative Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSN in Nursing
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Project Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Respiratory Therapy
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Risk Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  9. Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Acceptance

    68%

    Graduation

    55%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1185/25

  10. #13

    Lake Superior State University

    Sault Ste Marie , MI

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    69%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1070/22

  11. #14

    Saginaw Valley State University

    University Center , MI

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    89%

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1085/22

  12. Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    38%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1095/23

    University of Michigan–Flint’s Online Degrees

    BAS in Applied Science
    Degree Concentrations
    • Program type: Degree completion
    • Required Credits: 124
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BBA in Business Administration
    Degree Concentrations
    • Accounting
    • Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management
    • Finance
    • General Business
    • International Business
    • Marketing
    • Operations and Supply Chain Management
    • Organizational Behavior and Human Resouces Management (OBHRM)
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Early Childhood Studies
    • Required Credits: 128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Health Care Administration
    • Required Credits: 124
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in History
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSN in Nursing (RN-to-BSN)
    Degree Concentrations
    • Program type: Degree completion
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Philosophy
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Psychology
    • Required Credits: 124
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Respiratory Therapy
    Degree Concentrations
    • Program type: Degree completion
    • Required Credits: 124
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  13. #16

    Schoolcraft College

    Livonia , MI

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    19%

    Student body

    7K

    What is Schoolcraft College known for?

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  14. #17

    Northwestern Michigan College

    Traverse City , MI

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Graduation

    23%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Northwestern Michigan College known for?

    Northwestern Michigan College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  15. #18

    Jackson College

    Jackson , MI

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Graduation

    12%

    Student body

    3K

    What is Jackson College known for?

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

  16. #19

    Henry Ford College

    Dearborn , MI

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    10%

    Student body

    8K

    What is Henry Ford College known for?

    Henry Ford College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  17. #20

    Lake Michigan College

    Benton Harbor , MI

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Graduation

    21%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Lake Michigan College known for?

    Lake Michigan College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

  18. Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Graduation

    38%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Alpena Community College known for?

    Alpena Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

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Michigan’s Best Public College in Your Area of Interest

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. University of Michigan
  2. Michigan State University
  3. Michigan Technological University
  4. University of Michigan–Dearborn
  5. Western Michigan University
  6. Central Michigan University
  7. Grand Valley State University