Best Community Colleges in Michigan
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Michigan is the 10th-most populous and the second-most agriculturally diverse state in the nation. Community colleges in Michigan offer affordable and flexible programs in both part-time and full-time settings. Manufacturing, tourism, and agriculture are three of Michigan's major industries, and the state is home to automobile giants like General Motors, Chrysler, and Ford. Michigan also boasts the largest state forest system in the U.S. and offers plenty of natural, recreational, and social opportunities to its citizens.
This guide highlights some of the best community colleges in Michigan in terms of education quality, affordability, and other important factors.
Why Study in Michigan?
Thirty-one community colleges in Michigan offer two-year associate degrees. Three of those schools also operate as four-year institutions. The majority of the students who attend these community colleges take classes on a part-time basis.
As of 2018, approximately 58% of public community college students in Michigan received financial aid, while 34% received federal grants and 24% received state allowances. Prospective students looking to reduce out-of-pocket expenses can apply for various types of financial assistance.
Unfortunately, Michigan was among the most adversely impacted states at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the state's economy rebounded, showing the third-highest GDP growth out of all 50 states during the second fiscal quarter of 2021.
Cost of Living
Michigan is one of the more affordable places to live in the U.S., with an average cost of living roughly 9% below the national average. Additionally, by some metrics, the average housing costs in Michigan are only 65% of the national average. However, housing costs can vary widely by location. For example, renting a house in the suburbs can cost half as much as renting a home in downtown Ann Arbor. In contrast, transportation costs in Michigan are roughly 15% higher than the national average.
Cultural and Community Offerings
Michigan features the world's largest open art competition and various cultural festivals. The state houses lively urban districts and plenty of natural wonders to explore. Surrounded by four of the five Great Lakes, Michigan is known for recreational activities like swimming, boating, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and diving.
Michigan residents experience a continental climate, although the Upper Peninsula is cooler. Throughout the year, temperatures typically range from 20-83 degrees. The weather is often partly cloudy. The hottest month is July, while the wettest and coldest months are May and January, respectively.
Featured Online Programs
Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
Michigan Employment Outlook
Although the unemployment rate in Michigan improved significantly in recent months, it still lags behind the national average (5.9% vs. 4.2%, as of November 2021). Some industries have been slow to recover, although short-term projections from the Michigan Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiativespoint to healthcare, construction, and transportation as fields that should see growth in the coming months.
5 Michigan Jobs in Demand For 2022
Paralegals and Legal Assistants
These professionals help lawyers prepare for cases by conducting research and gathering facts. They may also help prepare courtroom documents and keep legal materials organized. Paralegals and legal assistants must have a good eye for detail and communicate clearly.
- Annual Median Salary (May 2020): $50,510
- Job Outlook (2018-2028): 9%
Occupational Therapy Assistant
These assistants help patients carry out treatment plans. They may be responsible for recording vitals and keeping certain medical records up to date. An associate degree is the most common academic requirement for this career. Workers may also need to be licensed, depending on their state.
- Annual Median Salary (May 2020): $49,760
- Job Outlook (2018-2028): 17%
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers
Diagnostic medical sonographers use soundwaves and imaging equipment to create images of the body's internal organs and tissues. Sonographers primarily work in hospitals and diagnostic labs. They help doctors and physicians assess and treat various medical conditions.
- Annual Median Salary (May 2020): $65,560
- Job Outlook (2018-2028): 8%
Dental Laboratory Technicians
These technicians work in the dental field, primarily making and repairing dental appliances, such as dentures. Although some of these positions may be available without a postsecondary education, earning an associate degree can improve a worker's job prospects. Depending on where they work, dental laboratory technicians may also need an occupational license.
- Annual Median Salary (May 2020): $44,860
- Job outlook: 26%
Respiratory therapists examine and assist patients with breathing or cardiopulmonary problems. These therapists work with patients of all ages. Creating effective therapy plans is another key task for these professionals.
- Annual Median Salary (May 2020): $59,920
- Job Outlook (2018-2028): 13%
Popular Career Paths in Michigan
Best Accredited Community Colleges in Michigan
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Frequently Asked Questions About Community Colleges In Michigan
Are community colleges worth it?
Community colleges can help students transition into higher education and learn at their own pace. The national student debt topped $1.7 trillion in 2020, and affordability is top of mind for many students. Learners can save money on their education by earning an associate degree or taking transferable general education courses at a community college and then transferring to a four-year institute.
Community college classes are generally smaller, allowing for a more personalized learning experience. These colleges also offer professional and short-term certificate options for students who want to enter the workforce quickly.
How many community colleges are in Michigan?
Michigan is home to 31 public community colleges.
What is the cheapest community college in Michigan?
Wayne County Community College District is the least expensive community college in Michigan. As of spring 2022, tuition is $109 per credit for in-district residents and $118 per credit for other Michigan residents. For out-of-state residents and international students, tuition is $149 per credit. Financial assistance is available for eligible students. The college offers over 90 AA, AAS, and certificate programs in fields like accounting, surgical technology, and social work.
How much does it cost to go to a community college in Michigan?
The average in-state tuition cost at a community college in Michigan was $3,570 per year during the 2020-21 school year. Out-of-state tuition was $6,750. This cost is much less than the annual in-state tuition at a four-year institute in Michigan, which was $12,810.
What is the biggest community college in Michigan?
Located in Southeast Michigan, Macomb Community College is the biggest community college in Michigan. It serves nearly 38,000 students. Macomb offers over 200 degree and certificate courses at approximately 25% of the tuition cost of a public university.
The college provides 250 private scholarships to its students, while 80% of graduates leave debt-free. The student-to-faculty ratio at Macomb is 25-to-1, and students can take some courses entirely online.
Feature Image: Mike Kline (notkalvin) / Moment / Getty Images