Online Colleges in Michigan

If you live in Michigan and want to earn a degree without uprooting your life or breaking the bank, consider earning a degree from an online college in Michigan. Earning a degree online is an affordable way to advance your career, qualify for higher-paying jobs, or prepare for an advanced degree. Earning an online college degree in Michigan not only costs less than attending an out-of-state program but also offers networking opportunities and name recognition for graduates planning to work in the state.

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Higher Learning Initiatives in Michigan


In May 2012, MIT and Harvard collaborated to launch edX, an initiative that increases the number of online learners on a global scale. EdX is an open source platform that builds on campus-based learning. Some features include video lectures, interactive quizzes, immediate feedback from instructors, and access to an online laboratory. Students who can prove mastery of a particular open-source course may be eligible to receive a certificate.

Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP)

In early 2012, Michigan became the eighth state to join the Association of American Colleges and Universities’ national initiative called LEAP: Excellence for Everyone as a Nation Goes to College. The initiative’s main goal is to compare, assess, and then publicly report the correlation among curriculum, real student work, and levels of success, rather than just evaluating scores of standardized testing, within peer universities and colleges in other states. The program helps higher education boards highlight areas of excellence and see where improvements need to be made in the Michigan university and college system.

Popular Degree Programs in Michigan

In some states, common majors reflect the state’s industries. For instance, the state of Washington boasts a disproportionately large number of oceanography majors while Texas produces a higher than average number of petroleum engineering majors. Despite serving as home to the auto industry, Michigan’s top majors do not necessarily reflect this distinction. Instead, the state’s most popular programs reflect national interests.

  • Business management and administration: Business management serves as the most common major among schools in the U.S. Along with Michigan, students in 34 other states major in business management and administration at a higher rate than other majors. The major remains common for good reason. Students learn skills valuable in many professional roles.
  • Cognitive science and biopsychology: Cognitive science explores processes such as learning and thought, looking specifically at the mind and how it operates. Biopsychology examines the relationship and interplay between psychology and biology. Both fields rely on the connection between organic structures, such as the brain, and psychology, a connection that may continue to attract more research.

Paying for College in Michigan

Although online degrees tend to cost significantly less than their on campus equivalents, even a degree from a cheap online college in Michigan can come with a significant price tag. When choosing a college that best serves your academic needs, you should also consider which school fits your budget. The cost of tuition may vary depending on the type of school and how many years you study. You should also anticipate peripheral costs like books, housing, and technology fees.

Tuition Prices

The table below compares the difference in cost between a public two-year college in Michigan and a public four-year college in Michigan as of 2018. These totals include the cost of books and other education-related fees. Keep in mind that the data behind this table only considered tuition rates for students enrolled on a full-time basis.

Average Price for In-State Tuition and Fees by Institution Type, 2017-18

 Public Two YearPublic Four Year
U.S. Average$4,234$9,978

Source: College Board

Employment Outlook in Michigan

When it comes to unemployment rates and mean yearly income, the unemployment outlook in Michigan closely mirrors the national outlook. The rate of unemployment hovers only slightly above the national rate at 3.9%, and the mean annual wage sits only slightly below. Keep in mind that these rates also vary throughout the state. In Ann Arbor and Lansing, for instance, the rate of unemployment stands significantly below the national average, at around only 3%. In cities like Flint and Detroit

Unemployment rate, August 2018
United States3.8%

Source: BLS

Annual Mean Wage, May 2017
United States$50,620

Source: BLS

Accreditation for Colleges in Michigan

When looking at Michigan online colleges and universities, you should always consider a school’s accreditation status. Accreditation means that an outside accreditation agency reviewed a school’s programming and determined it meets certain standards of quality. Accreditation protects students from fraudulent or underperforming institutions.

The two most prominent types of accreditation include regional accreditation and national accreditation. Between the two, most people consider regional accreditation more prestigious than national accreditation. While most institutions accept credits earned at regionally accredited schools, not all schools accept credits earned at nationally accredited schools. This distinction is important for students planning to transfer to a four-year program or who plan to pursue a graduate degree. Ultimately, earning a degree from a regionally accredited school ensures that other schools and employers recognize and honor your degree.

When it comes to online colleges in Michigan, you should hold each school to the same standards as their on-campus counterparts. Regional accreditation agencies to look for when researching online programs include the Higher Learning Commission and the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Depending on the degree, some programs may also boast specialized accreditation on top of regional accreditation.

Scholarships for Michigan Online College Students

College students enjoy access to a variety of scholarship opportunities. In addition to scholarships offered through colleges and universities, many private organizations like churches, companies, and community organizations also offer scholarships. Students pursuing their degree at an online community college in Michigan should research scholarships in their immediate area. You can also explore the list of scholarships listed below.

Detroit Promise Two-Year College Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The Detroit Regional Chamber awards scholarships to all eligible high school seniors who graduate from a high school in Detroit and plan to earn a two-year degree from one of several participating community colleges.
Amount: tuition and fees

Apply Here

Detroit Promise Four-Year College Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Each year, the Detroit Regional Chamber provides full-tuition scholarships to students who graduate from a high school in Detroit and plan to earn their bachelor’s degree from a partnering four-year university in the state.
Amount: tuition and fees

Apply Here

The Kalamazoo Promise Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Students who attended school in Kalamazoo for at least four years between grades K-12 can receive tuition support from The Kalamazoo Promise, a nonprofit funded through anonymous donors. Students must enroll on a full-time basis at a participating four-year institution in Michigan and maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA.
Amount: varies

Apply Here

Grand Rapids Community Foundation

Who Can Apply: Each year, the Grand Rapids Community Foundation awards dozens of scholarships to students from the area. Most scholarships require that students demonstrate financial need and maintain a minimum GPA.
Amount: varies

Apply Here

Kids’ Chance of Michigan

Who Can Apply: Kids’ Chance of Michigan provides support to students ages 17-22 whose parents experienced an injury covered under the Michigan Workers’ Compensation Law. Students can apply for the scholarship each year they remain in school.
Amount: $2,500 – $5,000

Apply Here

Michigan Remembers 9-11 Essay Contest

Who Can Apply: Each year, the Michigan Remembers 9-11 Fund awards high school juniors or seniors for an essay about the effects of 9-11. Students submit an essay of 1,000 words.
Amount: $100 – $250

Apply Here

Robert R. Robinson Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The Michigan Township Association awards this scholarship to a college junior, senior, or graduate student at a Michigan college who plans to pursue a career in public administration.
Amount: $1,000

Apply Here

Rosa L. Parks Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The Rosa L. Parks Scholarship Foundation awards annual scholarships to around 40 Michigan high school seniors who exhibit community engagement and academic ability.
Amount: $2,000

Apply Here

The Wilsterman Foundation

Who Can Apply: Students who graduated from a Genesee County high school can apply for this four-year scholarship. Rather than looking at academic achievements, the Wilsterman Foundation seeks students who struggled in high school due to circumstances outside of their control.
Amount: $5,000 per year

Apply Here

UNCF Jay Charles Levine Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Each year, UNCF awards this scholarship to seniors at a Michigan high school who have a minimum 2.75 GPA. Students submit a 500-word statement of career interest and an academic transcript.
Amount: $3,000

Apply Here

Resources for Students in Michigan

  • Michigan Department of Education: The Michigan Department of Education houses a variety of information about schools in Michigan. The website offers a list of grant opportunities for learners, information about the Library of Michigan, and information about the Office of Career and Technical Education, which helps high school students earn early college credits.
  • AdvancED: Students exploring colleges in Michigan or elsewhere can use this database to determine the accreditation status of a school. This International Registry for Accreditation allows you to search for schools by name, location, and type of institution.
  • Michigan Community College NETwork: The Michigan Community College NETwork provides a list and virtual map of community colleges in Michigan. The website also offers useful data about community colleges in the state, such as information about their enrollment, student demographics, program offerings, and tuition and fees.
  • MI Student Aid: Students can visit this state-run website to learn more about financial aid in Michigan and outside of the state. The website provides information about scholarships, financial aid programs, eligibility, and how to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Students can also access a scholarship finder operated under the U.S. Department of Labor.
  • National Student Loan Data System: Students can visit the NSLDS to find out more about their loans or grants. They can view their loans, determine their enrollment status, authorize a loan servicer to access their loans, complete Exit Counseling for TEACH grants or loans, and view answers to frequently asked questions about aid.

Online Schools in Michigan

Andrews University

Berrien Springs, MI

  • Graduation Rate: 59%
  • Average Net Price: $21,496

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Spring Arbor University

Spring Arbor, MI

  • Graduation Rate: 52%
  • Average Net Price: $17,284

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Baker College

Flint, MI

  • Graduation Rate: 10%
  • Average Net Price: $14,150

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Central Michigan University

Mount Pleasant, MI

  • Graduation Rate: 57%
  • Average Net Price: $14,878

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Cornerstone University

Grand Rapids, MI

  • Graduation Rate: 45%
  • Average Net Price: $19,363

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Davenport University

Grand Rapids, MI

  • Graduation Rate: 40%
  • Average Net Price: $18,185

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Eastern Michigan University

Ypsilanti, MI

  • Graduation Rate: 37%
  • Average Net Price: $13,323

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Ferris State University

Big Rapids, MI

  • Graduation Rate: 53%
  • Average Net Price: $14,213

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Grace Bible College

Wyoming, MI

  • Graduation Rate: 32%
  • Average Net Price: $13,397

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Grand Valley State University

Allendale, MI

  • Graduation Rate: 66%
  • Average Net Price: $16,184

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Jackson College

Jackson, MI

  • Graduation Rate: N/A
  • Average Net Price: $8,812

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Madonna University

Livonia, MI

  • Graduation Rate: 36%
  • Average Net Price: $15,121

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Northern Michigan University

Marquette, MI

  • Graduation Rate: 44%
  • Average Net Price: $12,785

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Northwood University

Midland, MI

  • Graduation Rate: 54%
  • Average Net Price: $19,136

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Oakland University

Rochester Hills, MI

  • Graduation Rate: 43%
  • Average Net Price: $11,676

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Siena Heights University

Adrian, MI

  • Graduation Rate: 43%
  • Average Net Price: $17,561

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University of Michigan-Dearborn

Dearborn, MI

  • Graduation Rate: 52%
  • Average Net Price: $12,469

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University of Michigan-Flint

Flint, MI

  • Graduation Rate: 36%
  • Average Net Price: $14,571

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Walsh College of Accountancy and Business Administration

Troy, MI

  • Graduation Rate: N/A
  • Average Net Price: N/A

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Wayne State University

Detroit, MI

  • Graduation Rate: 28%
  • Average Net Price: $14,173

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Western Michigan University

Kalamazoo, MI

  • Graduation Rate: 56%
  • Average Net Price: $16,126

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