Most Affordable Colleges in Michigan 2023

Most Affordable Colleges in Michigan 2023

Here are the most affordable colleges and universities in Michigan. Our list will help you find the right kind of school for you, at a price you can afford.

Key Takeaways

  • Michigan provides so many study opportunities both for local and international students.
  • Michigan has a diverse group of institutions of higher learning. This includes technology and career preparation universities, small colleges, religious schools, and large state schools that support athletic rivalries.
  • Michigan has also a relatively lower cost of living than any other region across the US, thus making the state a perfect choice for those looking not only for affordable colleges, but also for a cheaper way of life.

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?

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Michigan: Home to Quality, Inexpensive Colleges

You can find the best universities and colleges across Michigan and in cities like Grand Rapids, Detroit, Kalamazoo, Flint, and Ann Arbor. Michigan’s state capital, Lansing, is where you can find one of the biggest colleges in the US, Michigan State University, home to more than 37,000 undergraduates every year.

Michigan’s Top Cities for Higher Education

Lansing: This is Michigan’s state capital, and is the center for Michigan’s industry, government, commerce, education, and culture. Lansing is where you can find Michigan State University. The state is also home to two nursing schools, two medical schools, a veterinary school, and two law schools, including the Michigan State University College of Law. This city is also where the state capitol is located, as well as the state’s Supreme Court, a famous library, and a historical center.

Ann Arbor: The embodiment of a real college town, it is home to the University of Michigan. Here, students seem to practically run the city; from the school’s sporting events that turn the entire town into a bed of blue and maize, to the students’ sway over liberal political demographic and cheap but good places to drink and eat.

The University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus plays a crucial role in the town’s culture and heritage, as evidently seen by the Museum of Art and Museum of Natural History, which are both open and allow students to access for free.

Detroit: What was once the world’s wealthiest cities is now known as the gritty and industrial “Motor City.” Although no longer leading in the car manufacturing industry, Detroit still has its own charm—a city of urban culture, vibrancy, and sass. It also offers a rich cultural and arts scene, such as the Detroit Institute of Arts, found within the vicinity of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

Funding Options for Michigan College Students

Scholarships: Scholarship awards can be as little as $25 or full-ride tuition and expenses for four years of college. Because of the overwhelming options, finding the right one is a challenge. Talk to your high school counselors first or go to the financial aid office of your college of choice. Some free websites to help you find scholarships include:

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Grants: Similar to scholarships, grants are usually issued by government agencies, non-profit organizations, or colleges, and are awarded to qualified students based on their financial needs. Examples of grants available for college students in Michigan include:

  • Michigan Student Aid, which includes programs such as the Michigan Educational Opportunity Grant, Children of Veterans Tuition Grant, Michigan Tuition Grants, and the Tuition Incentive Program.
  • Grants, like the Pell Grant or the Academic Competitiveness Grant, are needs-based grants for low-income students. Students can apply for these federal grants by completing the federal financial aid form (FAFSA).
  • The federal Teach Grant program is for graduate and undergraduate students who wish to pursue a teaching career. This is also ideal for students who agree to teach in high-need fields or low-income areas for a given period of time after they graduate.
  • Grants for specific ethnic groups are also offered. These include grants for African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics, Jewish Americans, Irish Americans, Native Americans, and Italian Americans. There are also grants for women, for people from a specific religious group, for first-generation college students, for high-needs fields, or for specialized fields like engineering, math, or science.

College Work Study Programs

There are types of study programs that pay a certain amount to students based on their financial needs as part of college-based, state, or financial aid packages. College work-study programs require students to work on campus or locally for a minimum wage.

There are 21 colleges and universities in Michigan with stated tuitions and fees under $20,000/year. The following list of the most affordable colleges and universities in Michigan is composed entirely of schools offering bachelor’s degree programs, have stated tuition and fees near or under the national average of $16,000/year, and are fully accredited colleges.

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Most Affordable Colleges in Michigan 2022

These schools are ranked by academic excellence, and all under $20,000/year.

  1. #1

    University of Michigan

    Ann Arbor , MI
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $17K

    Acceptance

    20%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    44K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1430/32

  2. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $15K

    Acceptance

    63%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    20K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1100/23

    Wayne State University’s Online Degrees

    BS in Mortuary Science
    • Required Credits: 56
    • 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

    83%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    17K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1115/23

    Western Michigan University’s Online Degrees

    BS in Family Studies, Child And Family Development
    • Required Credits: 122
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Healthcare Services & Sciences
    Degree Concentrations
    • Clinical Practice in Health
    • Audiology Preparation
    • Blindness and Low Vision Studies Preparation
    • Occupational Therapy Preparation
    • Physician Assistant Preparation
    • Required Credits: 62
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Nursing
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS/BA in University Studies
    • Required Credits: 56 or more
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  4. #5

    Oakland University

    Rochester Hills , MI

    Tuition + fees

    $15K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    16K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1095/23

    Oakland University’s Online Degrees

    BSN in Nursing Rn To Bsn
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Environmental Health And Safety
    • Required Credits: 125
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  5. Tuition + fees

    $16K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    13K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1090/22

    Eastern Michigan University’s Online Degrees

    BS in Information. Assurance And Cyber Defense
    • Required Credits: 124
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSN in Nursing: RN to BSN
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  6. Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    71%

    Graduation

    49%

    Student body

    6K

    Northern Michigan University’s Online Degrees

    BAS in Applied Science In Management
    • 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 Ski Area Business Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: None Reported
    BS in Applied Workplace Leadership
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Criminal Justice
    • 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
    BSN in Nursing
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Psychology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  7. Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    67%

    Student body

    21K

    Grand Valley State University’s Online Degrees

    BS in Respiratory Care
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: None Reported
    BSN in Nursing
    • Required Credits: 128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: None Reported
    BS in Health Professional
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  8. #11

    Ferris State University

    Big Rapids , MI

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1050/22

    Ferris State University’s Online Degrees

    BS in Digital Media Software Engineering
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Project Management
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Information Security And Intelligence
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Integrative Studies
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Technical Education Pre-Mo-Ted
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Allied Health Science
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSN in Nursing
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Respiratory Therapy
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Dental Hygiene
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Hvac/R Engineering Technology And Energy Management
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  9. Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Acceptance

    69%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1205/25

  10. #13

    Lake Superior State University

    Sault Ste Marie , MI

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    73%

    Graduation

    52%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1035/22

  11. #14

    Saginaw Valley State University

    University Center , MI

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    42%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1080/22

  12. Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    74%

    Graduation

    36%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1090/20

    University of Michigan–Flint’s Online Degrees

    BA in Applied Science
    • Required Credits: 124
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Health Care Administration
    • Required Credits: 124
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Early Childhood Studies
    • Required Credits: 128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Business Administration
    Degree Concentrations
    • Accounting
    • Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management
    • Finance
    • General Business
    • International Business
    • Marketing
    • Organizational Behavior & Human Resouces Management (OBHRM)
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Nursing
    • 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
    • Required Credits: 124
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  13. #16

    Schoolcraft College

    Livonia , MI

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    20%

    Student body

    6K

    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

    $9K

    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

    $7K

    Graduation

    15%

    Student body

    2K

    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

    16%

    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

    42%

    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 Most Affordable Colleges in Your Area of Interest

2021 Ranking Archive
  1. Henry Ford College
  2. Schoolcraft College
  3. Lake Michigan College
  4. Alpena Community College
  5. Northwestern Michigan College
  6. Jackson College
  7. Saginaw Valley State University
  8. Northern Michigan University
  9. University of Michigan–Flint
  10. Lake Superior State University
  11. Ferris State University
  12. Western Michigan University
  13. Eastern Michigan University
  14. Central Michigan University
  15. Grand Valley State University
  16. University of Michigan–Dearborn
  17. Oakland University
  18. Wayne State University
  19. Michigan State University
  20. University of Michigan