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 Here
These rankings include
#1 Top 5 Online Colleges in Michigan
Berrien Springs, MI
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
Andrews University offers flexible online programs that meet high academic standards. Students based anywhere in the country can enroll in the school's 21 online programs. The institution's enrollment includes 918 online degree-seekers.
The school fosters a strong online learning community, featuring collaborative opportunities. Participants learn alongside colleagues in a virtual classroom environment. Students can complete research projects to contribute to the field while improving their resume in preparation for their job search. Online learners also benefit from numerous institutional resources and career services, including mock interviews and job fairs.
Eligible students can receive financial aid to defray the cost of their degree. To receive the most funding possible, learners can apply for scholarships, grants, fellowships, and any other awards for which they qualify. According to the institution's statistics, 99% of enrollees benefit from financial aid of some type.
#2 Top 5 Online Colleges in Michigan
Central Michigan University
Mount Pleasant, MI
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
Central Michigan University delivers high-quality, flexible online programs. Students can enroll in the school's 54 online programs without relocating to Mount Pleasant, where its main campus is located. The institution enrolls 7,657 online degree-seekers.
Students can access support and resources through the online learning community. Participants can develop connections with classmates, which may lead to jobs after graduation. Degree-seekers can collaborate with professors on original research projects and can pursue internships with local organizations. To assist distance learners, the institution delivers resources including academic advising in a virtual format.
The federal government provides funding to support students with financial need. Learners can also receive institutional funding based on financial need or academic merit. To help pay for their degree, 96% of enrollees receive financial aid, according to the institution.
#3 Top 5 Online Colleges in Michigan
University of Michigan-Flint
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
Enrollees can communicate with peers and faculty through the online learning platform. In addition to completing internships, degree-seekers can bolster their resume by conducting original research. Students can take advantage of institutional resources including career services and academic advising. Learners who are nervous about attending job interviews can participate in mock interviews to prepare for their job search.
Educational expenses depend on several factors, including degree type. For specific information regarding program costs, applicants can contact an admissions counselor. Merit-based and need-based awards can help enrollees reduce out-of-pocket expenses.
#4 Top 5 Online Colleges in Michigan
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
Baker College delivers online degrees that prepare enrollees for professional roles in a variety of fields. Many of the school's 4,691 online learners save money on transportation and housing costs. Students from all walks of life will find the college’s flexible remote learning programs attractive.
Enrollees can connect with peers and instructors through group projects, virtual office hours, and online discussion boards. Internships allow degree-seekers to practice field-specific skills while bolstering their resume. Academic advisors provide support and guidance for online students throughout their program. Job fairs provide opportunities for learners to network and explore potential employment opportunities.
Students in different programs often have unique costs and educational expenses. Applicants can discuss the exact cost of earning a degree with an admissions counselor. In addition to institutional funding, enrollees can apply for private scholarships based on their field and background.
#5 Top 5 Online Colleges in Michigan
Ferris State University
Big Rapids, MI
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
Ferris State University’s online programs provide enrollees with a competitive education, preparing them for their future careers. The 3,610 learners who study online receive the same high-quality education as the school's on-campus students. Degree candidates from all walks of life will find the college’s flexible remote learning programs appealing.
Enrollees can participate in asynchronous class discussions and email professors for individual assistance. Degree-seekers can collaborate on original research projects and pursue experiential learning opportunities such as internships. Academic advisors help students select classes that align with their interests and career goals. To prepare to secure employment after graduation, learners can participate in career workshops and mock interviews.
Enrollees may pay different costs and fees based on their program. Applicants can discuss the exact cost of earning a degree with an admissions counselor. Merit-based and need-based awards can help learners reduce out-of-pocket expenses.
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 Scholarship
- 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 Scholarship
- 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 Scholarships
- 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 Program
- 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.
|Job||Median Annual Salary in MI (May 2021)||Job Growth Rate in MI (2020-2030)||Minimum Education Required|
|Amusement and Recreation Attendants||$23,380||43%||None|
|Nonfarm Animal Caretakers||$27,920||39%||High school diploma|
|Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors||$44,960||38%||High school diploma|
|Occupational Therapy Assistants||$50,440||38%||Associate|
|Dental Laboratory Technicians||$42,300||35%||High school diploma|
Sources: BLS, Projections Central
Frequently Asked Questions About Online Colleges in Michigan
How 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.
What 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.
What 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.
How 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.
Is 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.