Best Online Colleges in Michigan 2021

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One of the most populous U.S. states, Michigan hosts over 180 institutions of higher education. Many of these schools offer their academic programs online, enabling students to earn a degree from the comfort of their home. Online education makes college accessible to all types of students by cutting down on campus visits and scheduled class sessions.

Earning a degree comes with many benefits. In 2019, workers with a bachelor’s degree earn an average annual salary of $64,986, compared to an average salary of $38,792 for high school graduates. Students enrolled online at Michigan colleges often improve their career and salary prospects while working their current job.

This page offers an overview of online colleges in Michigan, including typical admission requirements, state residency requirements, and scholarships for Michigan students.

Table of Contents

Top 10 Online Schools and Colleges in Michigan: 4-Year Colleges

Rank School Location
1 Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, MI
2 Grand Valley State University Allendale, MI
3 Northwood University Midland, MI
4 University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI
5 Ferris State University Big Rapids, MI
6 Siena Heights University Adrian, MI
7 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
8 Davenport University Grand Rapids, MI
9 University of Detroit Mercy Detroit, MI
10 Northern Michigan University Marquette, MI
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FAQs

  • How long do you have to live in Michigan to get in-state tuition?

    College students must reside in Michigan for at least six months prior to the first day of classes to qualify for in-state tuition.

  • What is the average cost for online college?

    Tuition rates vary among colleges and academic programs, but an online bachelor’s degree in Michigan typically costs $38,496-$60,593.

  • Is college free in Michigan?

    While Michigan does not offer tuition-free college, many students benefit from various higher education funding options, including grants, scholarships, and loans.

  • How many colleges and universities are in Michigan?

    The National Center for Education Statistics lists 189 colleges in Michigan, including community colleges and four-year colleges and universities.


Best Online Colleges in Michigan 2021

More Michigan adults hold a college degree than ever before as the state makes progress toward closing the gap between its college attainment rate and the national average. Michigan’s higher education offerings include many colleges and universities with online programs. College costs more in Michigan than the national average, but online students can take advantage of financial aid opportunities to help offset the cost of tuition.

This guide covers important information about online schools and colleges in Michigan, covering topics such as the importance of accreditation, financial aid opportunities, and adult education programs in Michigan.

  1. Central Michigan University
    Location

    Mount Pleasant, MI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Central Michigan University is a public research institution in Mount Pleasant and is one of the largest schools in the state. In eight-, 12-, and 16-week formats, you can earn your undergraduate or graduate degree in the applied arts, sciences, and education. At CMU, you can position yourself for exciting careers in product development and visual merchandising with a Bachelor of Science degree in fashion merchandising and design. For more traditional tracks, CMU offers bachelor's degrees in education, psychology, and political science. Online options for graduate students include master's degrees in nutrition and dietetics, and entrepreneurial transactions, or doctoral degrees in educational technology or health administration. CMU uses the Blackboard system to deliver courses both synchronously and asynchronously. Whichever format is used in your program, you will have 24/7 access to course content in addition to any scheduled chat sessions, lectures, or exams.

  2. Grand Valley State University
    Location

    Allendale, MI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Unlike many online programs, Grand Valley State University features far-reaching and diverse interdisciplinary studies and liberal arts programs for distance learners. At this public university in Grand Rapids, Michigan, you can earn degrees in women, gender, and sexuality studies, political science, history, and global studies in fully online or hybrid formats. Courses are self-paced and asynchronous and allow for working adults to work around their busy schedules. Transfer credit may be accepted toward your online degree at Grand Valley and are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

  3. Northwood University
    Location

    Midland, MI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Northwood University offers fully online and hybrid degrees in business administration. Some of the programs, such as the bachelor's degree in advanced manufacturing business, require a minimum of 30 transfer credits in a related specialized area or an associate degree for admission. A minor concentration in operations and supply chain management, which requires blended coursework, or international business can be coupled with any of Northwood's 11 BBA undergraduate majors. A fully online MBA and Master of Science in finance or organizational leadership are also available at Northwood. The MBA can be completed in 24 months. All students, regardless of location, pay a flat tuition cost per credit.

  4. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
    Location

    Ann Arbor, MI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor offers online degrees for undergraduates and graduates. At UM, there is no communal distance learning website where all online degree offers are managed and listed. Rather, individual departments oversee their online degree programs, determine the admissions process, curriculum, and degree offerings. Distance learners at UM can pursue bachelor's degrees n dental hygiene, or master's degrees in health management and policy, dental hygiene, or one of five graduate engineering programs. UM master's degree programs generally require around 36 credits to complete. Distance learners should expect to spend 24 months working toward graduation. In most cases, transfer credits from other programs cannot be accepted.

  5. Ferris State University
    Location

    Big Rapids, MI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    At Ferris State University, you can quickly work toward a bachelor's degree in their "degree completion program," a master's degree, or earn an undergraduate or graduate certificate. This bachelor's degree program is designed for students who already have an associate degree or 48 transferable credits from an accredited school. Those credits count as the first two years of your bachelor's degree, therefore saving you time and money. Many distance learners complete their bachelor's degree in fields such as dental hygiene, respiratory therapy, integrative studies, or health information management in two years. Traditional master's degrees, in areas like business administration, healthcare administration, and public health, can also be earned online or in a blended format in two years or less.

  6. Siena Heights University
    Location

    Adrian, MI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Siena Heights University's online program features associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees for just about any area of study. Distance learners can take advantage of Siena's undergraduate business administration programs, featuring specializations in business administration, management, and marketing. You can also earn an online MBA in a program with no prerequisites that is open to students of all backgrounds, not just those with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. This MBA program is especially designed for students interested in business ethics, sustainable business management, and business strategy and planning. Students who wish to transfer into Siena must have a minimum 2.0 GPA and completed 12 semester hours of transferable credit. If you do not have 12 credits, you must follow the standard admission requirements.

  7. Michigan State University
    Location

    East Lansing, MI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    At Michigan State University, distance learners can earn graduate degrees online or in a hybrid format. Master of Science degrees are available in supply chain management, management, strategy, and leadership, and healthcare management. You can earn your master's degree in supply chain management in as few as 21 months with only nine days of on campus commitments. The degree in management, strategy, and leadership, is 100 percent online and is an accelerated 20-month program. The healthcare management master's degree is also fully online, with seven semesters of coursework and a capstone project, and can be finished in two years. Graduate certificates in business analytics, supply chain management, and strategic leadership and management are also available. Transfer credits from accredited institutions can be accepted at MSU but must be approved on a case-by-case basis.

  8. Davenport University
    Location

    Grand Rapids, MI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Using the Blackboard system, Davenport University offers many asynchronous degree programs that allow for maximum flexibility for distance learners. Some majors utilize live streaming and virtual classroom technology and follow the synchronous format. In either case, Davenport's expert teachers ensure that you have the best instruction for the course. At Davenport, you can earn various master's degrees, undergraduate degrees, and participate in post-baccalaureate certificate programs. With more than 50 undergraduate programs, Davenport boats a robust variety of business majors. As an online student, you can earn business degrees in management, international business, accounting, legal studies, among other flexible, asynchronous programs. Undergraduate online students receive a 33 percent discount on tuition and can transfer up to 90 credits toward their degree. Transfer students with associate degrees are encouraged to transfer those credits toward a qualifying bachelor's degree. In these cases, you can finish your degree in two years or less.

  9. University of Detroit Mercy
    Location

    Detroit, MI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Detroit Mercy is a private Catholic institution with a selection of graduate degrees available online. Aside from a two-week, full-time orientation session for some majors, requirements for most degrees can be earned remotely. Detroit Mercy boasts diverse offerings in various healthcare fields, including master's degree programs in adult-gerontology, clinical nurse leader/nursing, and health systems management, in addition to a certificate in business turnaround management, and two post master's certificates in nursing. All students pay the same tuition costs and fees regardless of their location.

  10. Northern Michigan University
    Location

    Marquette, MI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Northern Michigan Universityin Marquette features a global online campus with fully online and hybrid degree and certificate options. In addition to traditional majors commonly offered for undergraduate distance learners, this global campus specializes in masters level training in the education field. With degrees in early childhood endorsement, education administration, and four Master of Education specialty areas, degree seekers interested in teaching in grades K?12 will find a diverse set of online options at Northern Michigan. Tuition costs vary per program, but all distance learners pay the same tuition costs and fees.

What Are the Goals of an Online Degree?

Online degrees offer several notable advantages over their campus counterparts, including the ability to complete coursework from anywhere with an internet connection. Many online programs offer their classes asynchronously, enabling students to complete classwork at any time of day, without the need to log on for live class sessions. The flexibility of online learning often enables students to maintain full-time employment while completing their degree.

The rapid growth of distance learning means that colleges now offer online programs in almost every major academic discipline and professional field. Students often complete programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level.

Why Get an Online Degree?

Students enroll at online colleges for many reasons, including academic flexibility and more affordable tuition. The following list highlights some of the most notable benefits of online education.

Flexibility
Many online programs enable students to complete coursework anywhere at any time, offering far more flexibility than on-campus programs.
Tuition Discounts
Online programs often offer tuition discounts to distance learners. Some public online colleges in Michigan offer discounted in-state tuition rates to out-of-state online students.
Increased Degree Options
Online programs allow students to enroll at colleges nationwide, offering a wider total selection of degree options when compared to campus programs.
Ability to Maintain a Career
The flexibility of online education commonly enables students to maintain their current job. Many schools design their online programs with working students in mind.
Self-Paced Options
Many online programs also offer self-paced options, which allow students to complete coursework on their own schedule.

What Are the Requirements for an Online School?

Admission requirements for online colleges in Michigan vary by school, program, and degree, but many schools maintain the same general standards. At the undergraduate level, eligible applicants hold a high school or GED diploma. Many schools also ask applicants to submit SAT or ACT standardized test scores.

At the graduate level, all online programs require applicants to possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college. Graduate programs commonly call for students to submit GRE or GMAT test scores. Many programs also ask students to submit samples of undergraduate work related to their graduate area of focus.

How Does College Accreditation Work?

Scholarships for Online Students

Students enrolled in Michigan online colleges often finance their education with grants, loans, and scholarships. Consider scholarships first, since they do not require repayment. The following list highlights five popular scholarships for online colleges in Michigan.

  • MLK Regional Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: The Bay Area Community Foundation offers this scholarship to high school seniors planning to attend a two-year or four-year program in Michigan. Eligible applicants hold a minimum 2.0 GPA and reside in Bay, Midland, or Saginaw counties.

    Amount: $1,000

    See Scholarship

  • Michigan Sugar Queen Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: Michigan Sugar Company offers this scholarship to female students age 18-23 attending an accredited college in Michigan. Eligible applicants hold a minimum 3.0 GPA and submit two recommendation letters and a current picture. Scholarship finalists interview with the selection committee.

    Amount: $1,000-$2,000

    See Scholarship

  • Casting Your Future Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: The UAW Local 668 offers this scholarship to Michigan high school and college students pursuing programs in skilled/vocational trades. Eligible applicants attend or plan to attend a Michigan college and demonstrate financial need. High school applicants need a minimum 2.0 GPA, while college applicants need a minimum 2.5 GPA.

    Amount: Varies

    See Scholarship

  • Grand Rapids Community Foundation Scholarships

    Who Can Apply: The Grand Rapid Community Foundation offers more than 70 need-based scholarships to students who reside in Kent County (including the Grand Rapids metro area). Eligible applicants submit financial information, academic transcripts, and a short essay on their academic interests and community involvement.

    Amount: Varies

    See Scholarship

  • Michigan Retailers Association Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: The Michigan Retailers Association (MRA) offers this scholarship to the children of MRA members or part-time employees of MRA businesses. The scholarship committee considers academic achievement, test scores, and community engagement. Unlike many scholarships, the committee does not consider financial need.

    Amount: $1,000-$1,500

    See Scholarship

Popular Resources

Whether you’re looking to earn your online degree or you’re a parent looking for answers, you can find all of your questions covered here. Explore these resources to help you make informed decisions and prepare for whatever is thrown your way.


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Advertisement AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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